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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1 Episode 21: Liberty on Ryloth

What is it ? : The third part in the Ryloth Trilogy, the planet has been mainly liberated, Anakin has control of the space around the planet, Obi-Wan has taken control of the southern hemisphere, and Mace Windu has freed the northern hemisphere except for the capital city.
With all of the Separatist forces concentrated in one place, the forces under Mace's control will not be sufficient to free the capital alone without massive civilian casualties, so they seek the Twilek resistance under General Syndulla.
Fighting their way out of a mountain pass ambush, Mace locates a graveyard where many Twileks were buried after a Separatist massacre, and they encounter General Syndulla. He is cautious of helping the Republic forces, firstly because when the Twileks surrendered to the Separatists, they were asked to disarm and were then part of the massacre, and secondly because the Republic army will just be another occupying force.
After guarantees are made by the Republic representative, and by Syndulla to restore democracy to Ryloth, they work together, freeing the capital city and capturing Watt Tambor who has been abandoned by the Separatists for his failure.

High Points : While not as gripping as the last 2 parts, there are a number of scenes in this episode which are definitely impressive.
The Droid ambush of the Republic forces as they travel along a thin path on a cliff edge is excellent, with decent tactics (hemming in the Republic forces by destroying the first and last vehicles in the convoy trapping them between the destroyed vehicles). And Mace force pushing the wreckage off the cliff to clear the way is well thought out and well realised solution.

Likewise sneaking aboard the Separatist convoy to slip over the plasma bridge is tense and exciting, as they rush the city to avoid ending up in the ravine below as the bridge is deactivated.

The betrayal of Watt Tambor by his Tactical Droid ("We both have our orders!"), is excellent, he isn't one of Dooku's lackeys, obviously coming from elsewhere within the Separatist movement, so Dooku doesn't give him a second chance as he does with his own people. He struggles to retain some level of success right to the end, but when he is forced to accept there's nothing else he can do and it's time to retreat, he finds himself cut off and abandoned. The scene really works, and you almost feel bad for him, a bad guy, with worse bosses.

And General Syndulla, Hera from Star Wars: Rebels is a welcome addition to the episode, his hesitance to join the Republic forces in battle is understandable, and it's excellent to see this character long before Rebels came about (at one point he holds a child in his arms and I wondered if it was a young Hera, however she seemed to be the wrong colour, and is not named).

Low Points : Not too much here, my only gripe is that this episode highlights by using the Battle Droids, and the Commander Droids well, the times when they have been poorly used. In this episode the Commander Droids make excellent tactical decisions, and react to changing circumstances well, but only two episodes ago they totally fell apart with the loss of their Captain in orbit.
It makes me wish that the writing would settle down, and they'd use the Battle Droids as a serious opponent all the time, rather than just misusing them as comic relief most of the time.

So what do you really think ? : I enjoyed this episode, it wasn't quite as fast moving and gripping as the last two parts, and seemed to just be ticking off a bunch of things necessary to finishing the story line. It's as if they were a little rushed to get everything in, and didn't have room in the scenes for anything but moving the story along. But while it could have been slightly better, still a good ending for a well above average trilogy of episodes.

Final Words : Only one more episode this season, lets see how it goes, hopefully it can end on a high note.

Score : 8/10

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