Having initially disliked the cinematic ‘film’ of the CG Clone Wars and sporadically watched the first season of the show, I thought that this incarnation of Star Wars was doomed to failure before it started.
However, towards the end of season one, when the writing and darker stories began to kick in and the stories began interlinking, it seemed the show found its pixelated feet, with a good combination of intrigue, action and characters. And while Anakin is still really still quite unlikable, and there is the slight irritation of having to occasionally endure various Hutts and teen Padawan, overall the first season worked out pretty well.
With the shift into the second series the writers introduced probably the most iconic bad guys since Boba Fett in the Lee Van Cleef-like Cade Bane. Cunning, cool and instantly likeable (in a baddie sort of way) his presence as the main protagonist in the first episode has lifted the show and given the story somebody who is a great foil to the Jedi.
With the story so far being that Bane has been hired to infiltrate the Jedi temple and steal the Holocron, a sort of database of all Jedi staff, knowledge and, more importantly, ‘force sensitive’ children, we join episode two with Bane’s successful escape both with the artefact and an old Jedi Master hostage. (Well, at least the Jedi didn’t leave this important data on a train or lost on a USB drive or anything.)
So on with the episode… (cue yellow scrawl)
With Cade Bane now having the ‘Greedo’-looking Rodian Jedi master Ropal and the Holocron in his possession, the cunning bounty hunter is all ready to make his escape. However, Anakin and Ahsoka are already in position, clone troopers and hulking transport ship in hand to try and stop him.
The Jedi’s mission is twofold, although far from simple. It’s made even more difficult as the Clone Transport the Jedi have been assigned to has no attack ships, making an attack on Bane’s escape freighter near impossible.
However, with a bit of cunning planning from Anakin, viewers are treated to a ‘wow, that’s so cool’ moment as we see the daredevil Jedi commandeer a set of Mark 1 AT-ATs, which he then launches from the clone transport straight at Bane’s ship.
Chock full of troopers, the AT-ATs, using magnetic feet, storm Bane’s ship, slowly lumbering across its surface with heavy guns blasting away numerous irritating droids.
Once through the ship, Anakin finds and tries to retrieve both of his objectives, finding the Jedi Master first who, through Bane’s torture, has passed away. With the Clones and Jedi swarming the ship, Bane sets his own ship alight, as well as destroying the engines, causing the ship to slowly collapse.
Controlling the remains of the ship’s systems from his wrist data console, Bane tilts, shifts and twists the ship, all with the intent of stopping the Jedi.
With control of the doors and, more importantly, the gravity on the vessel, Bane uses every weapon at his disposal to stop his pursuers. In a superb scene we are treated to a great zero–G fight with droid troopers, Bane and the Jedi beautifully floating around battling away in a superbly choreographed battle with explosives and lasers going off in every direction.
Trying to salvage what’s left of the disastrous rescue mission, Anakin endangers his Padawan as the battle turns and both objectives look to be lost. Showing how headstrong and, once again, dumb he is, it’s up to Ahsoka to calm things down, getting them through the labyrinth of corridors in Bane’s ship to the rescue party with the awaiting Clones and escape ship.
Seeing his ship and, more importantly, his money disappearing Bane takes a page or two from Luke and Han’s book with the disguise to escape his Jedi pursuers and his disintegrating ship leaving (thankfully) several hundred irritating droids to get blown up.
We end the episode with Anakin professing the entire mission a ‘win’ showing us once again echoes of the future with the force being used for personal achievement and selfishness (the path to the dark side), while, in reality, neither the Jedi master or the Holocron were retrieved, with the situation being worse than when they arrived. After all, Bane now has the Holocron open thanks to Anakin’s reckless behaviour.
With the imposing idea that Darth Sidious now has access to all the force sensitive children in the universe courtesy of Bane, we find that it is his intent to create ‘test subjects’ for the dark side. More on that, we suspect, next episode…
Read our review of episode 1 here.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is showing every Saturday on Sky Movies Premiere and Sky Movies Premiere HD.