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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 4 Episode 6: Nomad Droids

What is it ? : Following on directly from the last episode, C-3P0 and R2-D2 are returning home from their adventure, when the Venator Class Star Destroyer they were aboard comes under attack and they are forced to abandon ship. Fleeing the exploding vessel aboard a Y-Wing fighter with R2 piloting, they come under attack from a Vulture Droid and crash on the planet of Patitite Pattuna.
Seeking parts to repair their ship they are disabled by the tiny inhabitants of the world and shown to their king for sentencing. He orders them to leave the planet, when R2 falls on him crushing the king to death.
The inhabitants want C-3P0 to become their new king, but R2 manages to repair the Y-Wing and the droids flee after teaching the basics of democracy.
However the Y-Wing is now low on power and the droids crash on Balnab, a world ruled by a king who only orders his subjects by a massive hologram. R2 finds the source of the hologram, and discovers a group of Pit droids who are enjoying having a bunch of organics to order around and they refuse to help R2 and 3P0. R2 lets the organic inhabitants of the planet find the entrance to the crashed ship where the Pit Droids are living, and R2 and 3P0 flee as the organics overthrow their once masters violently, destroying the ship.
R-2 and 3P0 are now low on power themselves, and end up shutting down before they are retrieved by pirates. Forced to fight in the pirate droid arena, the droids only escape when the pirate vessel comes under attack by the separatists, and using R2's thrusters they end up on the flight deck of the very vessel which had attacked their Venator earlier. As battle droids drag them off to be melted down, the Republic attacks the ship to rescue Adi Gallia who was captured during the earlier attack, and R2 and 3P0 manage to tag along and return to the Republic.

High Points : As I've mentioned several times since the beginning of this season, the animation is looking better than ever. But I still must note that the exploding Venator Star Destroyer that R2 and 3P0 flee from looks amazing. This is definitely the nicest looking explosion we've seen in the series, and it really looks great.

The death of Hay-Zu, the king on Patitite Pattuna I must draw attention to as well, the inhabitants of the world are truly tiny compared to the droids, but when R2 simply falls over crushing the king it is unexpected, hilarious and to tell the truth, pretty gruesome. Although they don't show the act itself, the fact that you see chunks of the king getting sprayed outwards as R2 falls is way darker than I expected to see.
But I must note, this is a pretty gruesome episode, as later you see the pirate ship blown open to space, and members of the crew fly out into space, dying.

Returning to Patitite Pattuna, when the droids are blasting off back into space, the engine blast catches the inhabitants of the planet, knocking them off their feet and blackening them with the heat. However, no one seems to die, which I found surprising, as at that point, just moments after R2 had crushed the king to death, I thought that the flames from the engine burning the entirety of the population of the world to death wasn't beyond the realms of what was possible in this episode.

Low Points : I really enjoyed this episode, but there were two very small points I must comment on.

Firstly, not only does R2 pilot the Y-Wing in combat, but he mans the guns, shooting down a Vulture droid. Now I've commented on this before, but I never feel write about R2 or 3P0 taking part in combat, I feel like those two are helpers and servants, not warriors and killers. So for no good reason, I felt that R2 blowing enemy fighters out of the sky just didn't feel right.

Just after arriving on Patitite Pattuna, as they are approached by the inhabitants, 3P0 warns them that R2 knows 47 forms of self defence. Now I feel that this is a lie, as while R2 is more than capable of defending himself, I don't feel that he knows any forms of Self Defence. However if this is a lie I feel it grates slightly with 3P0 not being willing to lie about being a god in Return of the Jedi. I'm aware that he lies at various points in the movies, but this seems too flippant of a lie for 3P0.

So what do you really think ? : At first when watching the episode, and the droids end up on a world of tiny people, I thought they were just retelling Gullivers travels. So I fully expected the second planet to be filled with giants. However, the second planet instead was The Wizard of Oz, with a giant figure controlled from behind the scenes. While this could easily of been badly handled, and been an annoying rip off, it felt to me more skillfully handled and more of a homage to those older stories.

Final Words : This season of Clone Wars seems to be surprising me, I thought I could tell when a story wasn't complete and we were going to get a 2 or 3 parter story. However, I totally misjudged a couple of times, totally expecting another part to the invasion of Naboo, and not expecting the droids to be getting a two parter of their adventures. I approve wholeheartedly of this, and not showing me what I totally expected, and therefore surprising me, definitely gets a mark or two extra in my scores.

Score : 9/10

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