Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3 episode 18 review: The Citadel

There's lot of Star Wars nostalgia in the latest episode of the terrific Clone Wars. Here's Cameron's review...

This review contains spoilers.

3.18 The Citadel

Woah! Anyone who thought that the nerdgasms had finished for the time being, were oh so wrong. The latest instalment of television’s most exciting series sees some iconic Star Wars imagery reappropriated by its animated offspring. And a couple of familiar characters make their Clone Wars debut too.

Jedi general, and Yoda look-alike, Even Piell (last seen in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, factoid fans), has been taken and placed in the formidable stronghold known as The Citadel, an impenetrable prison that houses captured Jedi. So, the ‘simple’ task facing Obi Wan & Co. is to go on in and get the bat-eared little guy out.

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But just how are the Jedi and their Clones going to enter the titular structure?

Cue yet another flabbergastingly breathtaking image from the small screen spin-off. To make sure they are undetected, the gang undergo carbon-freezing. The sight of Kenobi, Anakin and the clones being placed into carbonite is stunning, and the scene is all too short. One would have liked to drink in the sight of the process, accompanied by another first for The Clone Wars, an Ugnaught!

Sure, it’s pure Empire Strikes Back nostalgia, but it’s far from gratuitous. As Heath Ledger’s Joker would say, “It’s part of the plan.” With the attack force now “wall decorations” (10 points go to the writer for that gag), it’s up to Artoo and his servant Battle Droids to enter the Citadel. The astromech gets some lovely comedy, especially as his BFF, See Threepio, can hardly believe his dustbin-like chum’s lofty position.

The smash and grab nature of the story is also reminiscent of Star Wars (yes, I just call it Star Wars. You can call it Episode IV: A New Hope all you like), were Leia was rescued from the Death Star. The citadel building itself is also a reminder (or a foreshadowing) of the Empire’s choice of planet-destroying super-weapon.

Curiously, helming this prison is a new addition to the Star Wars galaxy, Osi Sobeck; an alien who will evoke a certain Christopher Walken, due to the erratic mode of speech he delivers. Some might enjoy it, others may flinch at the OTT nature of the performance. (Personally, I lurved it.)

But the plan doesn’t go to, erm, plan, but the Jedi are good when up against it, most notably when they’re up against some very nasty and agile suped-up Battle Droids, who give them more than a run for their Republic credits. But another surprise is waiting for the viewer. Captured along with Even Piell, is a certain Captain Tarkin, a chap who’ll go on to become Governor and help the Death Star get up to all sorts of neat tricks. There’s some very interesting interaction with Skywalker here, especially considering their future partnership.

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The Citadel is a much more action-based episode than we’ve witnessed in previous weeks, which is no bad thing. It’s a fun episode that marvels in the spectacular and boasts impressive set pieces and the mind-blowingly awesome visuals, a weekly occurrence now in The Clone Wars.

Read our review of episode 17, Ghosts Of Mortis, here.

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