The Clone Wars Review: Deception

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What did you think of the plot?
Oky: This episode turned out a bit better than expected. It starts out with the Jedi being called to a meeting, and it was great to hear Anakin say what we were all thinking: “I can see it now; another long, boring debate.” But fortunately, the plot takes an unexpected turn and goes straight to the action when a bounty hunter starts shooting at them. What happens next is a bit predictable though if you read the episode description: Obi-Wan splits from the other two and gets himself shot by the bounty hunter, who then manages to get away. And of course, Anakin doesn’t like that one bit. During Kenobi’s funeral, he looks more like Episode III Anakin than ever, while Ahsoka expresses her worries about him to Plo Koon once again and a hint of the Imperial March plays in the background, which made for a great atmosphere. It was interesting to see how they bury deceased jedi, and the fact that Sadine also attended the funeral was a nice touch as well. Anyway, it turns out that – Surprise! – Obi-Wan isn’t actually dead and only faked his death in order to go undercover and find out the Separatist’s plan to kidnap Palpatine. Apparently he wore a blaster-proof vest, but how he survived the fall from atop of a building into a stack of metal crates is not explained. Maybe he used the force to break his fall or something. After all, Yoda was right when he said that Kenobi has survived worse. They say that they had to keep their plan a secret from Anakin because his reaction would sell the death of Obi-Wan, but just like Yoda, I’m not convinced this was a good idea. And sure enough, Anakin was close to killing the disguised Obi-Wan after he and Ahsoka found him in the bar where he switched places with the real Rako Hardeen, but luckily he didn’t. Instead, they put him in prison where Obi soon meets and cleverly befriends his target, Moralo Eval, who apparently has enough influence around the prison that he gets Obi assigned to his cell. He almost gets the kidnapping plan out of him, but Cad Bane interrupts them, and so Obi has to join them in their escape from prison which Bane organized. They start a riot and sneak out in the midst of the chaos. Bane doesn’t seem to trust Hardeen (Obi), but since he helped them escape, he allows him to tag along. In the end, the plot was basically just your typical undercover cop and jail break story.
COP: Overall, the plot was solid, without any holes, but at the same time I can’t say I was overly happy with it. Two things: firstly, I was surprised at how obviously they did the Obi-Wan transformation thing. I mean, I know that even the kids will know Obi is not really dead, but honestly, it would’ve been more interesting to just see this criminal show up and figure out that it was Obi-Wan, rather than them having a scene with Obi getting the transformation. Secondly, the entire point of Obi-Wan going undercover was never clear to me. They show that criminal getting arrested at the beginning, and make it sound so dire, but I’ve never even seen that guy before, nor do I know anything about him besides that he’s the same species as Osi Sobek. They keep talking about some plot he has or something, but never explain anything. It wasn’t any clearer to me by the end. There’s actually one more thing about the plot that I’ve been starting to notice in the CW more and more: the episodes are too linear. I rewatched a few Season 1 episodes recently, and there was a difference: they actually cut back and forth between two different things going on. This episode, like many others this season, just has one thing after the next after the next, making the episode extremely simple, and less intriguing than it could’ve been.
Doc: To be honest, I feel the bounty hunter subtheme of CW has been overused. I never really liked Cad Bane – he always seemed like an attempt to cross Star Wars with a Wild West gunslinger in Indiana Jones’ clothes to create a new Boba Fett, who, quite simply, cannot be replaced, no matter what CW turns him into. Bounty hunters also seem to do more jailbreaking than they do actual bounty hunting. (though that’s a fault not confined to CW – in Fate of the Jedi, Fett’s main job is break Daala out of GA prison) I don’t really want to see more bounty hunters in the show. The episode executed the idea well and had some good action in it, but I think the concept was already flawed at its roots. On the positive side, I did like the darker side of Anakin that continued to emerge in this episode.

What are your thoughts on the characters?
Oky: Obi-Wan Kenobi was pretty badass for a change. He acted very cleverly in prison, establishing himself as a crazy and tough criminal, thereby earning both the respect of the other inmates and the trust of the equally crazy Moralo Eval. He even cracked a joke about his own death, which was great, but it almost seemed a bit too cheery. It was kind of like he was saying “Look, kids! I’m unharmed!” Another notable bit was when he used the codename “Ben” for himself, which was one of the less obvious references to the original movies in this show. He also looked a bit like his Episode I self after he got shaved, which was neat. The fact that he couldn’t bring himself to kill one of the prison guards was a nice touch too, but since Cad Bane doesn’t buy his excuse for it, I’m afraid it might lead to problems down the road. I also really liked Cad Bane. I like his style; not trusting Hardeen, shooting people without mercy, and preferring to kill his targets face to face. But then again, see where that got him. Posted Image
Moralo Eval was pretty good too. He really seemed like the kind of creep who would murder his own mother out of boredom and be crazy enough to plan the capture of the chancellor. Ahsoka was alright since she didn’t really do anything, but I get the feeling that she might sense that Hardeen is really Obi-Wan in disguise. Anakin on the other hand is blinded by his hatred and you can really feel that he is on the verge to the dark side just like he was in Episode III, and I look forward to more of that as long as they don’t overdo it. And I think I speak on behalf of the entire Star Wars fandom that it was a blessing that he didn’t exclaim his favorite two-letter word when his master died.
COP: The characters were all pretty good. Obi-Wan was cool, and I always like Cad Bane. Anakin got pretty dark pretty fast, but I guess that’s understandable. Really, all the characters were solid this time around. I also liked seeing Duchess Satine at Obi-Wan’s ‘funeral;’ that was a nice little touch.
Doc: The main new characters are, obviously, Moralo and Rako. There wasn’t much background information provided, but it seems like Moralo is a small leader of a small criminal organization – like a mini Black Sun. If that’s the case, I don’t see why Moralo would want to kidnap Palpatine. I guess it could be a failed first attempt by Palpy to get himself captured, but I don’t see why the Separatists would risk having the Jedi on their guard after this attempt on the Chancellor when they have Palpatine on their side feeding them information which would allow Grievous to succeed in his kidnapping. I certainly don’t think Moralo is doing this just for his own pleasure. (not even Xizor dared to go against Palpatine, preferring to attempt to take Vader’s place instead) So what are Moralo’s reasons for wanting to kidnap the Chancellor? It doesn’t make sense.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: I love Coruscant, so I enjoyed the locations such as the bar with the Anacondan bartender and the prison. I like the Panopticon-style layout of the cells, and the resemblance of the prison’s corridors to the ones on the Death Star was another neat and subtle reference to the original trilogy. There weren’t any new vehicles in this episode, but I still like the Coruscant police speeder in which the prison mates escaped in since it looks like a two-seat A-Wing. The freighter (yes, another freighter flown by a Jedi) that they used to get off the planet isn’t worth mentioning since it’s pretty ugly and just a reuse of the Trandoshan slave ship from the Trandoshan Hunters arc.
COP: Nothing really to report on. The CW tends to do Coruscant well. But since I’m always extremely nit-picky, let me be so this time as well. Just one small animation issue: towards the beginning, when the Jedi are getting fired upon and then start running towards the building to jump up it, there’s a Quarren just walking by. The weird thing is, he’s basically in front of the Jedi, and yet he’s not startled at all. I guess if you live on Coruscant you see this kind of thing all the time (maybe), but if I was around Jedi with lightsabers and there was a sniper, I don’t think I’d just be walking around nonchalantly. I’m not really bothered by this little thing, but it would’ve been cooler if they’d animated some bystanders watching and not just walking around like they didn’t care.
Doc: There weren’t really any new vehicles in this episode, just an old pet peeve of mine that’s returned again: The instant take-off of the ship whenever it’s convenient. Though this was a little better, since we actually saw the pilots entering the cockpit and hitting a couple buttons. Don’t tell me this is another modified freighter able to pull off escapes just as quickly as the Falcon.

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Oky’s rating: 4.5/5 – This was a pretty good episode. For once, I couldn’t find any plot holes, and it featured some strong characters and great little details. Obi-Wan was back to being the smart, skillful, joke-cracking Jedi we know and love (even though he was disguised as a ruthless criminal most of the time), which was good to see after how badly he was treated in the previous story arc. The episode tied in nicely with the events of Revenge of the Sith, introducing the idea of kidnapping the chancellor, showing Anakin’s slip to the dark side, and proving how much the Jedi are under Palpatine’s control. Obi-Wan had to fake his own death, undergo a painful transformation, and steal the identity of a criminal, just so that the Chancellor doesn’t have to “show a sign of weakness”. It even explained how Boba Fett and Bossk escaped from prison after they were arrested in Lethal Trackdown. The only problem with the episode was that it was a bit too predictable and that it was yet another episode which didn’t have anything directly to do with the war, and it was a bit strange seeing a Jedi doing the work of a spy, although it makes sense why he had to do it. Still, it was a good episode, and I look forward to the next, assuming that Anakin wont do anything stupid to screw everything up, rendering Obi-Wan’s efforts useless.
CoP’s Rating: 3.5/5 – This episode was done well for what it was doing, but what it was doing wasn’t all that spectacular. The Obi-Wan undercover thing was cool, but it seemed unmotivated to me throughout the episode, which is kind of a big problem. I’d like to see plots that are a teensy bit more complex (like they used to be), or at the very least that are well-explained. Maybe next time.
Doc’s Rating: 3/5 – I was going to give this episode a Below Average rating based on its plot and characters, but the action was good and Anakin’s transitioning nicely to his Sith attitude, so this episode gets an Average rating from me.

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