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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 6: Weapons Factory

What is it ? : Continuing from last Episode, Anakin and Ahsoka are leading the attack on the Droid Factory, and Anakin is undermining Ahsoka's authority by constantly talking over her at briefings. As they are arguing about this, Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee arrive to aid them. The entire briefing that Ahsoka was trying to lead is totally contradicted as Luminara and Barriss have a different one.
Anakin and Luminara will lead a front attack to distract the enemy, while Ahsoka and Barriss sneak inside the Geonosian Hives beneath the factory to plant explosives and destroy the factory. The plan goes mainly to plan, until the two Padawans are detected and their explosives removed, forcing them to improvise and use a Separatist Super Tank to destroy the reactor and bring down the factory on their own heads.
Clone Troopers bring in cargo transports to help clear the rubble, and with the help of Ahsoka boosting the power of her commlink, the Padawans are located in the ruins of the Factory and rescued.

High Points : It's another right little stoater of an episode this one, good action throughout slowed down only by the b-plot (that of Ahsoka feeling undermined by Anakin, more on that later).
The plan to defeat the new super-tanks (shielded mortar tanks) is a good one, luring them into crossing one of the many bridges on Geonosis, and then destroying the bridge, using tactics and terrain is good to see.
Also, the design of the bridges themselves is really interesting. They appear to be normal manufactured bridges from above, but as Anakin and Luminara climb beneath to sabotage them, it becomes clear these are naturally occurring rock bridges across the chasms of Geonosis, but are dressed and decorated to look manufactured. An interesting design choice both inside the world of the series, and by the designers of the series, something different and interesting to see.

Low Points : While I enjoyed the main storyline, the B-Plot of the episode did seem somewhat forced, and it made the heroes act out of character to force the story elements in. Anakin talking over Ahsoka to this degree isn't something we've seen before, and Ahsoka asking for him to send her away seems strongly out of character as well.
But that is blown out of the water, when Luminara Unduli arrives and Ahsoka's briefing and plan is totally thrown out in favour of the one that she has already put together, going so far to having had her Padawan memorise the layout of the Geonosian hive beneath the factory (so not only doesn't Anakin have faith in her plan, neither does Luminara).
The B-Plot is hurt further by the ending of the Episode, Luminara tells Ahsoka that Anakin never gave up on her, and had faith in her, and that seems to settle the situation. As if Anakin has learned anything from this and will suddenly stop destroying her authority in front of the troops as he did at the start of the episode.

So what do you really think ? : The use of Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee in this episode made me think, as both appear to be unsuited to combat and while skilled Jedi, not natural warriors. While Obi-Wan and Anakin have begun wearing battle armour similar to that worn by the Clone Troopers, these two Jedi remain in their robes.
The Jedi order is one of Warrior Monks, with a religious as well as martial aspect to them, their mastery of the force makes them excellent warriors, however many must be extremely uncomfortable with this enforced military service. Jocasta Nu for example, the Jedi Librarian seen earlier in this season, obviously hasn't rushed off to war, but there must be others. Those who want to meditate on the force and it's connections to nature, those who are healers, seers and mystics, and don't want to be generals. Is there no division within the Jedi order, with those who think all this fighting is just a distraction from the mysteries of the force. Or is all resistance within the order crushed by the dictatorial rule of the Jedi Council?

Just wondering!

Final Words : The B-Plot doesn't destroy the episode, but distracts and is pointless, especially when the episode doesn't need it. The battle could have been told straight without any made up tension between Anakin and Ahsoka.

Score : 8/10

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