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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 3 Episode 10: Heroes on Both Sides

What is it ? : The Republic is running out of money to pay for the ongoing military expenditure necessary for The Clone Wars. The Banking Guild, Techno Union, Trade Federation and Kaminoan delegations suggest deregulation of the banks which will allow the Republic to borrow more and therefore keep the Clone Wars going.
Senator Amidala suggests that calling for peace would also stop the expenditure and with the backing of Senator Organa the Senate holds off their decision of banking regulation.
Amidala talks Ahsoka into getting her through into the Confederacy, so she can talk to her old mentor, now a Senator on the Confederacy Parliament. This she does, and they visit with her old friend and Ahsoka (looking older than usual) flirts with the friends son. Amidala and the friend discuss that both the Republic Senate and the Confederation Parliament both have a majority which want peace, so the friend puts a treaty forward to the Parliament, which is accepted to start peace talks.
Meanwhile the The Banking Guild, Techno Union and Trade Federation delegations have reached out to Count Dooku to provide an attack on Coruscant to convince the Senate to keep fighting. He sends six sabotage droids which blow up the reactor which powers the entire city, and as riots break out in the streets the Senate votes for bank deregulation to fund the ongoing war.

High Points : I enjoyed this episode a lot, even if many parts don't make a lot of sense and even if it is all based around financial deals (did Lucas learn nothing from Episode 1). For the whole it's an exploration of it's title, "Heroes on Both Sides", a line from the opening crawl of Revenge of the Sith. It shows the people behind the Separatists, how in the whole they're as normal as the Republic. And while the military leaders are corrupt, this is invisible to even the Senators of the Confederation Parliament (a member of the Parliament even states during the episode that the Republic is corrupt due to the influence of Commerce in the Senate, unlike their Parliament).

Ahsoka really continues to grow (especially as she seems to be older in this episode), questioning Anakin on why the Jedi, guardians of peace in the Republic don't want peace talks. And speaking of Anakin, the scolding her gives Amidala for breaking the law and being so foolish as to try to end the war peacefully, reminds me that she really should be with this idiot.

Low Points : The entire motivation for the episode is Banking Deregulation, a topic which would confuse me, never mind the kids the series is targeted at. Honestly, Episode 1 was based around Trade Embargoes, now Banking Deregulation, is there going to be a future episode based around extensions in Copyright Law, Commercial Land Zoning or Employee Health Insurance. I'm starting to think that the paperwork for George Lucas's Legal team kept getting mixed up with his scripts.

Now, I can come up with a solution for this, but it's not explained, so I'm putting it here became it made me think. The end of the episode sees the Republic taking out larger loans to fund the Clone Wars. So at the end of the Clone Wars, does the Palpatine declare himself Emperor of the Republic which is saddled with massive debt?
Or does he reveal that the Banking Guild was behind the Clone Wars all along, cease it and all it's money, eliminating it's debt? And surely such a seizure would have massive repercussions and loss of faith in the banking system on a galaxy wide nature, perhaps starting a galaxy wide financial recession?

The Confederation Parliament is obviously based on the British Parliament, a long wooden panelled chamber with seats along both sides. Now I'm aware that the wonderful and amazing Christopher Lee played Dooku, who is the leader of the Parliament, but does it mean that they've all got to be British? Ian McDiarmid who plays Palpatine is also British, and the Republic Senate seems more based on the US Senate.

During the episode, the Confederation Parliament offers a chance to begin peace talks, but the attack on Coruscant makes the Senators decide that the offer of peace talks was just a distraction. The Senators don't seem to be aware they've not even accepted that offer, never mind completed any talks to cease hostilities, so a state of war exists between the two sides. The attack on Coruscant isn't a betrayal, it's just a fact of life when at war, the enemy will attack.
Sadly, the reality of war is, that even after a peace treaty has been signed, war continues right up until the time stated on the peace treaty. This happens so both sides have time to be informed, so that one side doesn't stop fighting and get slaughtered by the opposition who haven't yet found out the war is over. The Senate really needs to learn a thing or two.

Seeing the worlds behind the Confederacy made me wonder what happens to them after the Clone Wars are over. They're not bad people, and they haven't really been aware of what's been going on, since most of the fighting has been performed by droid armies. But they're still enemy worlds, and will be occupied, their leaders put on trial for crimes against the Republic. It's something we've never really seen or been told about, but it makes me wonder? Are they the worlds most likely to put support behind the Rebellion, since the Empire occupied their planets and jailed their leaders? Or did they stay out of it, since the Alliance to Restore the Republic is kind of the last thing they wanted?

The end of this episode was a little too obvious for my liking, the Droids sabotage the power, the Senate votes for Banking Deregulation. I thought for a few moments, especially after Amidala reveals her Confederate friend to Palpatine, is that the friend would be killed, and the blame would be laid at the foot of the Republic Senator and Jedi who had recently visited. The Confederacy would withdraw it's peace offer, and the Republic would have no choice but to pay to continue the war. As it is everyone just seems a little too eager to keep fighting on the Republic side, not just those who are war profiteering, but ordinary senators.

So what do you really think ? : It was a good episode, where we see life on the other side of the war, and how little they are being effected by it in comparison to the Republic. They've got citizens dying in Republic "Invasions", but everything just seems a little more refined and dare I say it, peaceful in the Confederation compared to the Republic.

Final Words : I get scared when I make statements like this with Clone Wars, as it's quality is so variable, but it looks like Season 3 has leveled off and is starting to produce good quality episodes which I'm enjoying. Fingers crossed that this continues.

Score : 8.5/10

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