This review contains spoilers.
3.20 Citadel Rescue
Bringing the third consecutive mini-trilogy to an end, this latest episode continues with the wonderful set pieces and eye-pleasing imagery, whilst also questioning the nature of the Jedi. It also manages to kill off a rather important character, too, but more of that later.
It’s no great surprise that the gang escape the Citadel. That’s a given. But it’s the journey they take that provides the entertainment. The Jedi find themselves in a number of tight situations fighting off the fantastic Crab Droids as they make their way to the rendezvous point to be picked up and lifted off the planet.
The action is grand and beautifully realised with some cracking, and just a bit violent, battles between droids and clones, Jedi and anoobas, fierce dog-like creatures who rip apart everything in their way. It’s a brutal five minutes or so and, as I intimated earlier, a death occurs.
Even Piell, the Yoda-like Jedi at the centre of this trilogy, falls at the hands, or gaping maw, rather, of one of these anoobas. Again, like many episodes previously, the death is graphic. There’s no shying away from the violence of death and his passing is as affecting as it is meaningful.
Now, certain scholars (or nerdoids as they’re sometimes known) may raise a Wampa-sized eyebrow about this detail, as Piell has already been killed off in the ‘Expanded Universe’ of Star Wars in the Coruscant Nights book series. Debate has begun regarding this ‘controversy’ (and I use the word quite wrongly), but I’m sure the twelve people who care about such matters will get over it soon enough.
One of the most fascinating points about Citadel Rescue is the ongoing man-love between Tarkin and Anakin. Previously, they found themselves in agreement over the failure of the Jedi and their beliefs in the war, and now they find they have a chum in common, Palpatine.
Now firm buddies, Skywalker relays his thoughts to both Kenobi and Ahsoka, again citing the fact that the Jedi are not soldiers, but peacekeepers. This clearly irks Obi Wan, who believes that honour, regardless of the outcome, is more important. “Without honor, victory is hollow,” is the opening line for this episode, and the split between the need for both is becoming ever apparent. Ideas that the film trilogies didn’t get round to addressing.
If there were faults with the Citadel trilogy, I would suggest that the villain of the piece, Osi Sobeck, was a little one-dimensional and certainly veered towards the comical at times (not always a bad thing). His death, too, was rather abrupt, and a little bit grim, though not many will mourn the passing of the Christopher Walken-seque character.
But that aside, Citadel Rescue not only successfully rounds up the story (which was just a simple rescue mission), but also stands alone as yet another bountiful episode full of memorable set pieces, wonderful character development and a fundamental discussion of the very notion of the Jedi. A treat for both the eye and the brain.
Read our review of episode 19, Counterattack, here.
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