Season 1, Episode 17
Date of airing: February 13, 2009 (Cartoon Network)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.936 million viewers
I was not expecting a “mad scientist” episode within the Star Wars franchise, but in hindsight it was inevitable that such a story will exist at one point. The universe is so rich with characters and plots that a character with a German-sounding accent (who reminded me of Arnim Zola in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) trying to recreate a super virus to kill all of life in the galaxy sounds pretty logical. One can only hope that this wasn’t the only episode with Dr. Nuvo Vindi, because I really liked his stereotypical evil attitude. If I had seen the character in a show that takes itself serious most of the time, I would have laughed about Vindi, but in this episode of this show he worked quite well — utterly villainous, evil as far as the sun shines, and even freaking hilarious when he realized that all the bombs were deactivated. That was some animated comical stuff and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that.
The premise was solid. Consider me weirded out though that the premise is supposed to be set on Naboo, which I always thought of as the home planet for Padme Amidala, but here she is, being considered a weird species by Vindi. Maybe it has something to do with the make-up the Naboo queens wear, which makes them look less human and more like their own species, but in that case Vindi didn’t have a device that could scan over a life form and immediately tell you what species they are. You know, that thing the Star Force had in CAPTAIN MARVEL, when they freaked out about a Flerken being among them. It was nice to see more of Jar Jar’s race though, even if it was only through Peppi Bow, who thankfully did not turn into a romantic love interest for Jar Jar in this episode. It’s what I was expecting when she was attempting to remove Jar Jar’s helmet, but apparently Jar Jar was very much respectful to the situation and also busy not freaking out. Then again, I wouldn’t have to apologize believing he would develop an instant crush on Peppi, considering he developed an instant crush on eating that bug which was hiding in the droid intestines.
Meanwhile, the writers have no idea how to handle Padme as a character. Once more she is being kidnapped, and once more she has to be saved by her secret boyfriend Anakin. At one point she is going to need a holster with a gun in it, because then she can try to free herself and doesn’t have to wait until Anakin and his Padawan and Master arrive. It’s one of those premises that made a bit of a joke out of the idea of Anakin being in some sort of danger again, but it’s starting to do anything but impress me. She managed to win the upper hand while breaking out during “Bombad Jedi” — what happened between then and now that had her in absolute danger and in need of a rescue?
Also, plus points for Jar Jar not being this annoying an idiotic. One of his usual dumb antiques was once again used as a plot device to let Padme realize what is going on and where she needs to go next, but other than that Jar Jar behaved most of the time. Which I can probably attribute to the fact that Peppi was not made his love interest for the episode, or otherwise he would have been silly and annoying again.
Best part of the episode: Scared little rabbit droid with the bomb in its hands. Was this an allusion to Alice in Wonderland I didn’t get? Because the droid certainly didn’t lead Padme and Jar Jar down a rabbit hole, but its antiques were still funny. It was like a cute little pet you think you can take care of and love, but then it opens its mouth and shows its salivating teeth, threatening you to be eaten by it.
Worst part of the episode: A planet with a virus on it, and its inhabitants were nowhere to be found to be scared about what is happening here. Not even Peppi was sufficiently scared about the events, because she definitely had it in her to punch the hell out of Padme and Jar Jar.
Weirdest part of the episode: Why would Vindi blow up all the bombs with the Jedi when he needed them to distribute the virus all around the galaxy? That Vindi guy wasn’t really clever, was he?