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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 21: R2 Come Home

What is it ? : After Boba Fett sabotaged the Star Destroyer Anakin and Mace Windu were on in the last episode, it crashed in flames on the planet below. A rescue ship arrives and gathers the escape pods from the Star Destroyer and Anakin and Mace head down to the planet in their starfighters to search for survivors aboard the wrecked vessel.
They find a number of Clone Troopers executed by blaster fire, and realise someone else has been searching the vessel, probably Boba intending to ensure Mace's death. As the 2 Jedi head to the bridge after sending the rescue ship away to get treatment for the survivors already rescued, they leave R2 and Mace's astromech to scan for any survivors, where they are ambushed by gundarks.
Meanwhile on the bridge, Mace and Anakin do not find any signs of survivors, but do encounter a Mandalorian Helment, Mace connects the fake Clone Cadet, the Mandalorian Helmet and realises that he's being hunted by Boba Fett, Jango's son. But this comes too late, as Anakin picks up the helmet to examine it, activating the bomb contained within (surely if Mandalorian armour is that good, it should help protect them from the blast).
The explosion causes a beam to collapse from the ceiling, trapping the two Jedi beneath it, Anakin orders R2 to get help, and he heads for the Starfighters, defeating the last Gundark by attaching it to the Starfighter as he sends it away.
Boba aboard Slave 1, realises that the Jedi have survived the explosion, so is going to bombard the wreckage and kill anyone aboard, so R2 takes the remaining starfighter and heads to orbit to get help. Slave 1 jams all communication, and R2 docks with a Hyperspace ring and jumps away to get help.
Boba takes the survivors he's grabbed from the wreckage, and knowing Mace will follow to try to rescue them.

High Points : The gundarks are interesting opponents for the Astromechs, and Boba's plan seems decent, however this episode is far less than the sum of its parts, since there's way to much going on.

Low Points : Boba spends a lot of this episode not doing anything, he lures Mace into a trap, and then assumes he's dead, he knows that 2 starfighters arrived, but only 1 left, but doesn't check for the other Jedi (he would actually have found both Mace and Anakin incapacitated.
The Gundarks take up far too much screen time, when we can all see numerous ways that jet-pack enabled, flammable oil spraying, electroshocking astromechs could have easily beaten them.
And a B-plot of Mace Windu thinking that Anakin trusts R2 too much, a standard Jedi bias, but one that's never been displayed in Mace before, and one that is gone by the end of the episode.

And a particular niggle of mine in this episode, a few minutes after landing, Mace sends the rescue ship away. Why? Mace and Anakin arrived in Jedi Starfighters, on a rescue mission for the Admiral, 3 Clone Navigators he would have needed to control the ship, and another Clone Trooper, Ponds. That's at least 5 people they're there to try to rescue, people who have just crashed a Star Destroyer into a planet so could be seriously wounded, but Mace somehow thinks they'll manage to pack them all into the glove compartments of the Starfighters.

So what do you really think ? : This episode has so much potential, but wastes it all, Boba is still an effective and interesting antagonist for the story, however he's barely in it. The characterisation set up so well in the previous episode, with him empathising with his Clone Brothers, and not getting on terribly well with his allies is mostly ignored and certainly there's no character development. The only characterisation is wasted making Mace Windu racist (droidist?) and then curing him of it.
A big, big disappointment, wasted on a Gundark hunt.

Final Words : One more episode to go this season, which continues this Boba Fett storyline, hopefully with a return to some characterisation and development in the storyline, rather than a wasted opportunity like this episode was.

Score : 7.5/10

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