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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 3: Children of the Force

What is it ? : Continuing from the last episode. Cad Bane is disguised as a Clone Trooper and escapes from the Republic by stealing a starfighter, and is in possession of the Holocron, and therefore the location of all Force sensitive children in the Republic. He contacts Darth Sidious, and is ordered to deliver 4 of the children to Mustafar for experimentation. Yoda, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Mace Windu meditate, and between them locate 4 children in danger, splitting up to protect them.
Obi-Wan heads to Rodia, and finds Bane in the process of making off with a child, but is unable to catch the bounty hunter. Anakin heads to Naboo with Ahsoka, who captures Bane while Anakin is dealing with other business (I'm guessing Amidala was at home at the time).
The Jedi team up to force Bane to co-operate, and he takes Oni-Wan and Mace Windu to a space-station to retrieve the Holocron, while Anakin and Ahsoka report to Palpatine. The space-station is a booby trap, and Bane escapes, but Anakin and Ahsoka find traces on Banes captured vessel which lead them to Mustafar, where they rescue the children as the base explodes at the command of Sidious.

High Points : The episodes an absolute corker, fast moving with a really good storyline, worthy of extra note however are . . . .

Ahsoka, there are two moments which show Ahsoka's growth, firstly when the Jedi are using the force to compel Cad Bane to reveal the location of the Children, they are forcing him to obey, risking his life (well he's a multiple murderer, and the kids lives are in the balance, so personally I'd be okay with that) and his mind in the process. She looks at the Jedi in near horror, realising what they're doing, never mind that these are Jedi and they're using the force to cause pain in this man, but they're being Judge, Jury and Executioner at the same time. Also is the fact that these aren't just any old Jedi, but Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker, Jedi who should probably be held to higher standards.
The second time is when her and Anakin are to report to Palpatine, and he just dismisses her, she knows this isn't right and as well as objecting to being treated as an insignificant child, she seems to sense the darkness within Palpatine and the corrupting influence he is having on Anakin.
Both scenes show Ahsoka's independent view on the galaxy, and a sign of her future perhaps being with neither the Jedi or the Sith (I've seen Rebels so I know what happens to her).

As mentioned above, the Group Jedi Mind Trick where Anakin, Obi-Wan and Mace are forcing Cad Bane to comply, causing him discomfort and pain as they impose their will on his. The scene is somewhat reminiscent of the Vulcan Mind Meld in Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country, when Spock is forcing information from the mind of the Vulcan Valeris. The scene is uncomfortable to watch, with our "heroes" inflicting pain on a person (even an obviously evil person) showing all three of them in a very much morally grey area. This combined with Ahsoka not joining in as she isn't comfortable with the situation either, makes this a truly great scene and raises the episode far above the normal ones.
Also, this is the first time we've really seen multiple Jedi working together on one thing, and makes me wonder if Jedi worked together using their powers, what would they be capable of. I'll probably house rule this sometime, but it seems to effectively add the Jedi's force powers together to some degree, definitely far more than the combined actions rule.

Low Points : There's no real downsides to this episode, it's mainly good with a couple of excellent bits, the only downside I can think of is that there won't be a spin off series with Darth Sidious and some Nanny Droids raising a bunch of Jedi Babies (with hilarious results).

So what do you really think ? : I really enjoyed this episode, there are a couple of scenes which (as mentioned above) are absolutely amazing, there's a cool new ship that Obi-Wan and Mace use, Cad Bane keeps up his winning streak (making him the most effective bad guy in the series so far (by a long, long way)). A real gem of an episode, so soon in the second season, things are looking up.

Final Words : Although I've not mentioned it above, perhaps one of the reasons this episode is so enjoyable is that it feels that it really matters. Saving the children from experimentation (although what experimentation is never mentioned) feels important, especially when there's also the future of all potential Jedi in the balance too. Whereas the usual Clone Wars goal of liberating Planet Zib, or negotiating a deal with the Flabaporpians, are obvious macguffins with no real importance. It adds some weight to the storyline, which made me pay more attention, and enjoy it that little bit more.

Score : 8.5/10

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