Season 1, Episode 16
Date of airing: February 6, 2009 (Cartoon Network)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.512 million viewers
And so we have arrived at the episode that plays right before the series-opening feature film. Does it mean George Lucas had the next few episodes cut together, because he realized he liked them so much he wanted to get a little more money out of them before premiering the show? I don’t even mind, because I am one of the few people who liked the film, but it seems a bit weird that sixteen episodes after the premiere of the feature film, the show brings the episode that is the prequel to it. Not that the Star Wars franchise is very hot in creating a linear narrative, but it does tend to show that the writers weren’t really interested in creating a linear narrative and have previous episodes impact current ones. At the end of the day, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS is nothing more than an anthology show reusing the same characters.
The episode was good enough. I was wondering when one of the Clones would go rogue, and as it stands it happened even before the feature film. One can only hope it will be a story again, since Slick had a proper argument when he said that he just wanted to open everyone’s eyes on how the Clones were used as slaves for the Republic and the Jedi Order. It’s a story the writers could bring once or twice a season, as it’s essentially a series about the Clone Wars and in those wars the Clone troopers fight for the good side. I always found it curious that the Clones kew about their heritage and mission and that nothing was being kept a secret from, but every once in a while there has to be a free-thinking Clone who was not satisfied with the way he is being used by his superiors. Slick shouldn’t be the first one to have this opinion in the show, and I certainly hope he isn’t the last one.
The Clones’ hunt on the spy looked interesting. There was a sense of a Whodunit crime mystery, and behind every scene there was potential that either one of the Clones could have been the spy. While they were investigating, one of them could have easily been the spy already, leading the investigation into a dead end, but I guess with each episode carrying its own story arc, it had to end after 20 minutes. Now I would like to know how weird it must have been for Dee Bradley Baker to voice multiple characters in the show, in the same episode even, hell, even in the same scene, where he had to voice more than two characters. Did Dave Feloni ever think about giving the Clone troopers different voices? Some Clone troopers with an accident, some with a broken voice, some a notch higher or lower in their pitches…
In the meantime, Anakin and Obi-Wan were on their way to a trap and it turned out to be the least interesting story of the episode. The fight against Ventress, as pretty as it might have looked like while they were falling down, was a bit boring, but since it was the lead to the feature film episodes, I can understand that the animators decided to take it slow with the action in this episode, before ramping it up in the next episode, which would turn out to be the first act of the film. There wasn’t a lot of excitement in Ventress’s short battle with the two Jedis and I was happy that it was only the B plot.
Best part of the episode: That hand-to-hand combat scene between Slick and the Clones looked impressive. Consider me pleasantly surprised that the writers and animators even decided to bring in a fist fight into an animated show in the first place.
Worst part of the episode: I’m starting to get annoyed by the banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan, especially this time around when they were talking about all the eyes that were watching them and how they believed they were going straight into a trap. Can they never talk about something that isn’t just related to the plot? Can’t they talk about their feeling for a second, or how it’s annoying for them to be fighting in a galaxy-wide war instead of enjoying the fruits of life?
Weirdest part of the episode: For a major city on a major planet that could be confused for Coruscant, there was surprisingly no action on the planet itself. Was it already evacuated due to the war?