Season 1, Episode 15
Date of airing: January 30, 2009 (Cartoon Network)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.625 million viewers
This episode might become mandatory viewing in political courses as to how not to act when facing a group of adversaries who could either be villainous or peaceful. Republicans probably will like this episode of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS very much, considering how pressed towards war the story has been, and how Chairman Cho wasn’t ready to listen to a single word either the Jedis or Senator Chuchi were saying. Cho was ready for war, he was hard for war, so he figured all he needed to do was being a villainous dick to the people of the icy moon. Flashbacks come back to me to one of the Republican debates during the 2016 presidential campaign, in which pretty much every Republican on stage talked about how they wanted to “carpet bomb” ISIS, and how ruthless they have become just to get the vote of any American who might be a little too much in love with their AR-15s at home. Cho was a terrible character, one who should have never been a ruler of people, and one who should have never been listened to. In this series universe, subordinates apparently can’t go against the orders of a Chairman, because that might be more of a crime than the Chairman attacking people who were only interested in peace.
In a way, this episode could be considered GENERATION KILL created by George Lucas. A superior person at the helm of either war and peace, and for some reason that person chose war, without knowing anything about what was actually happening here. Cho was not only having a hard-on for the war he wanted to lead himself, the Jedis and the Clone troopers in, but he also was misogynistic enough to talk down on Chuchi, to reject her opinion, just because she is younger and happens to be a woman. Cho presented what privilege looks like in the Star Wars universe and I couldn’t have hated more. It was obviously on purpose that Cho was written to be this terrible character, but damn, maybe the writers went a little too far here.
Other than that, I liked the setting of the episode. It’s intriguing that a show produced in 2008 could deliver solid-looking animation, even with a continuous snowfall. Maybe it was easier to get the snow planet depicted better with pretty much almost all of the characters behind masks. Hell, putting Anakin and Obi-Wan’s faces behind head coverage minimized the cost of and time of animating moving mouths of these two characters. But the setting might have killed all the momentum of a potentially great story that wasn’t just about how a war in the Star Wars universe started. There was pretty much no story at all — just an egomaniac for a Chairman, and a Senator who couldn’t even risk her own standing with the Senate by taking over and telling Cho how freaking useless he is as a Chairman right now. But I guess Chuchi and the Jedis following all kinds of established rules just show that sometimes you can’t do anything but follow orders. The thing is just, with Cho’s way of thinking, you had every opportunity in the world to defect from him and tell him how you really think. You didn’t need the Senate to tell you what you already knew. Sometimes there is absolutely no common sense with the characters.
The rest of the episode was okay. I kinda liked the image of Rex all by himself in the battle, being thrown huge darts at while trying to get Cho out of the crossfire. This Clone trooper is an action hero! And I also liked the final scene of peace, with Chuchi going somewhat emotional during her very short speech, which, yes, could have been a bigger speech. It could have been a speech with a meaning and message behind it, because after all, we still have egomaniacs in politics, who think that war is the only answer. Like Ted Cruz and Chris Christie were thinking during that aforementioned GOP presidential debate.
Best part of the episode: Sometimes animation can surprise me. The snow effects in FROZEN have always been impressive, and so were the water effects in MOANA. Consider the snow effects of this episode great, for a television show.
Worst part of the episode: As I have already mentioned, it’s Chairman Cho. It’s even worse when you know that people like Cho exist in real life, and they have enough power to lead a country into war. Like John Bolton
Weirdest part of the episode: How strong can you be as a leader and member of the Senate when you’re unable to speak up as a politician? Chuchi, were was your courage?