The Clone Wars Review: Crisis on Naboo

Only two of us will be reviewing this one, but it’s an in-depth review nonetheless!

What did you think of the plot?
Brickdoctor: This four-part arc comes to its end with an action-packed episode. (though that’s not really a plus, since it’d just be a really bad episode if it was anything other than action-packed) The reason behind the whole thing remains unknown, though. We know Dooku was behind the attempt, but we’re never told why. (and, as I said in an earlier review, it doesn’t make any sense for Dooku to try in the first place) The first fight when the bounty hunters kidnap Palpy was pretty good, though I thought the ‘shadow holograms’ were a little…wierd. Holograms don’t appear and disappear in the form of rotating square tiles. And Senate troopers get beaten up all the time in this show – how hard could it possibly be to take a couple real suits of armor? (and Bane really didn’t have to be a Neimodian – he could have done the job just as well as a trooper) Also, clones usually communicate through their private in-helmet comlinks. The bounty hunters shouldn’t have been able to communicate with anyone without raising suspicion. The second fight when Mace and Anakin come to rescue Palpy was rather lackluster. The supposedly badass Cad Bane was disabled pretty much without a hard fight by Obi-Wan, and Eval was not only weak, he was whiny, too. The third fight between Dooku and Anakin was pretty good – Dooku once again demonstrated his superior swordsmanship, but we do start to see hints of Anakin’s advantage in physical strength through Form V that was one of the reasons for his success in Sith, so that was good.
Well, this is it. The conclusion of the Undercover Jedi story arc. The Obi-Wan and the bounty hunters make their move to kidnap the chancellor, and guess what, the whole thing takes place on Naboo. For a planet that is known to be peaceful, there sure are a lot of crises going on there. Anyway, the episode starts out good as the bounty hunters do what they do best, hunting and killing a bumch of mechanics. Embo even used his frisbee hat! Yay! Then Cad Bane reveals each crew member’s role in the plan. I’m still a bit confused about what Obi-Wan’s role was supposed to be. Was he meant to provide cover fire? If so, why the heck did they give him a sniper rifle with only one shot in it? Whatever it was, it didn’t seem too important since the others pulled the plan off without his help. They used a new device called a holographic disguise matrix in order to infiltrate the ceremony and smuggle the chancellor out. The reason why they used that instead of real disguises was so that they could switch costumes instantly. Star Wars fans who are against new technology being introduced in this show will probably argue “Why haven’t I seen this in Episodes III – VI?”. Well, the answer is quite simple: this technology has obviously not been perfected yet. The disguises kept flickering, exposing the person inside the hologram, and since the guy who invented it died in the last episode, it will never get the bugs worked out of it. It’s actually mind-boggling that nobody in the whole ceremony, not even the Jedi, noticed this flickering (which was obviously added so that the viewer could keep track of who is who, and I’m grateful for that). And when Obi-Wan told them who the bounty hunters were, the Jedi did too little too late in order to stop the chancellor from getting kidnapped. But to be fair, the Eval’s plan was pretty good, and he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling Jedi and their undercover agent. And it actually did include most of the challenges from the Box, so I guess that episode wasn’t as silly as it seemed. In the end, the bounty hunters were caught and arrested, so all’s well that ends well. Or is it? Well, turns out that Dooku was listening in on everything Obi-Wan told Mace, so he knew that the Jedi would ruin his plan, so he sets up a trap for the chancellor and ends up dueling Anakin once again. It was a decent duel which ended in Anakin almost choking Dooku to death, much to the delight of Palpatine. In fact, it was Palpatine’s creepy smile that confirmed my suspicions that Palpatine had arranged this whole thing in order to lure Anakin to the dark side, just like he did in Sith. After all, how else would Dooku have known that Palpatine would go into that room and be only guarded by Anakin. However, Dooku gets away after Obi-Wan and a handful of Naboo guards come to retrieve the chancellor in the last minute. I don’t get why they didn’t try to stop him though. The Jedi just stood there and watched him fly away and didn’t even bother to order the guards to shoot at his ship. Very disappointing.
I would have given this episode an average rating until I read the following in the trivia gallery on “The outcome of this episode illuminates the intent and reality of “The Box.” Dooku’s plan was never about getting bounty hunters to successfully kidnap the Chancellor. It was about diverting the Jedi from his real kidnapping attempt. That means Dooku suspected a Jedi would infiltrate his conspiracy, and the Box exercise was about flushing that Jedi out, which is why Dooku took such interest in Rako Hardeen’s actions and abilities.” This is quite an eye-opener since this wasn’t so clear from the episode, but it explains Dooku’s behavior in these episodes, so it makes sense. It does seem a bit far-fetched that Dooku was able to predict that the Jedi Council’s plan, considering that they have never done anything like this before, but his plan would have worked either way, so I can’t really complain.

What are your thoughts on the characters?
Doc: I didn’t think it was possible for a character to be more whiny than Anakin was, but Eval might very well have done that. I said in the last review that he ran like a toddler. Well, he acts like one, too. The development of Anakin and his distrust of the Jedi continues nicely, though.
The bounty hunters were better here than in the previous episode, except for Eval who continues to be an annoying weakling, even though his plan worked out for the most part. The Jedi demonstrated a somewhat lackluster performance in trying to protect the chancellor though. The fact that they just let Dooku escape in the end almost made it seem like they didn’t really care and were just doing their job to protect the chancellor. Anakin was his cocky old self now that he knew that his master is alive, but soon reverted back to his angry self when Dooku showed up. Dooku proved his superiority over Anakin once again, and Palpatine was his usual sneaky self. So, overall, the characters showed their usual traits, which was nice, but nothing special.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Doc: I was really surprised at the sheer amount of military might present at the end of the episode. Seriously, they were loading an Acclamator with AT-TEs. That’s no security detail. I think it’s around the strength of a battalion. And where was all of that when Palpy was getting kidnapped? Naboo was portrayed well, I think, though the Festival of Lights was just a holographic display (knowing the Naboo, I was expecting something with fire in it – lots of candles and a fireworks display, mostly).
Nothing new here, although the Flash Speeder made its Clone Wars debut, so perhaps it’s time for a remake of that Lego set. Naboo was nice as usual, and the fireworks were pretty neat as they acknowledged some of the EU history of Naboo. Perhaps Filoni and his team finally realized that introducing new toys into the show doesn’t make it any better, but good plots do.

Doc’s Rating: 2/5 – If you’re going to make an action-packed finale, at least make all that action make sense. This arc started with a plot that had motives that made no sense or weren’t explained, and it ends the same way. The only significant new character was the worst addition to the Star Wars saga since Jar-Jar was introduced in Menace. The only thing that brings this episode up to a Below Average rating is the fact that I like the direction CW is going with Anakin’s character development.
Oky’s Rating: 4.5/5 This episode had some nice action and was a satisfactory end to a pretty solid story arc. The revelation about Dooku’s secret plan completely caught me by surprise and adds a lot more depth to this story arc. I would love to see this kind of subtle storytelling in future episodes, but I would appreciate it if they left Moralo Eval out of them. ALL of them. Seriously, this pathetic whimp makes even Jar Jar look good. Also, the Jedi were kinda lame in this episode. There were other nice subtle details though, such as Anakin using his right arm to protect himself since it is mechanical and doesn’t hurt when pierced with sharp objects. The episode also played on themes from the movies, such as Anakin being outcast from the council, Palpatine using this in his favor, Anakin becoming his life-long protector, the Jedi Council not knowing “all the truth”, and Palpatine slyly emphasizing the importance of the Jedi for the galaxy. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that either.
The idea that this arc was the first failed attempt by Palpatine to get Anakin to join him by having Dooku kidnap him raises the question: “How did he pull it off the second time? Didn’t the Jedi learn their lesson?” Well, the answer is it was Palpatine who learned his lesson. The second kidnapping was a large-scale surprise attack which didn’t give the Jedi any time to prepare for or even think about whether there was an ulterior motive behind the attack on Coruscant. It all makes sense to me.


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