This review contains spoilers.
3.21 Padawan Lost
There’s some rather exciting about having a world premiere in your front room, so full marks and a gold star to Sky for giving us the first part of this year’s finale before the rest of the world (by almost two weeks, one might add).
The story starts simply enough with the Jedi Plo Koon, Anakin and Ahsoka (the titular Padawan of the piece) dropping down with some Clones and other younglings on Felucia. As we’ve come to expect, but appreciate every time, the action scenes are nothing short of phenomenal with the planet’s realisation an absolute joy to behold.
Fans will remember Felucia’s brief appearance in the distressing, yet jaw-dropping Order 66 montage from Revenge Of The Sith and here it’s fleshed, or rather, planted out. The planet’s landscape is a delight on the eyes, with vegetation and life filling it out whilst the various battles take place.
Another treat for fans are a few references to the original trilogy including Anakin’s tittersome Han Solo quotes (urging his Jedi younglings to be “real quiet-like” and telling his Padawan, “Don’t get cocky!”), a Snivvian (Snaggletooth, as I’m sure you may remember, from the Cantina was one), and the sight of a Wampa and Wookiee pelts (foreshadowing next week’s return of Chewbacca).
Anyway, it’s a brief fight, but the outcome is inevitable as the title proclaims. Ahsoka falls at the hands of a Trandoshan, a lizard-like race who feature The Empire Strikes Back bounty hunter, Bossk, as one of their own. The young Jedi is taken to jungle planet Iwasskah where the Trandoshans take all their prey for hunting down, and killing.
Here she meets up with some other youngsters who chillingly claim, “We used to be Jedi younglings.” But this doesn’t quite cut it for our plucky young heroine as she brushes them up into fighting form against their captors.
Like Felucia, this planet is also magnificently portrayed with a real sense of the fairytale: moonlit scenes enhanced by small creatures dancing around the screen, drawing the eye to all parts of the frame.
The only disappointment in Padawan Lost are the aforementioned Trandoshans. Their look is how one would expect, but the voices on these ‘bad’ guys are a throwback to the more traditionally camp and stagy villains from the past. Lines like “She’ll die by my claw” and “I will kill her with my own hands” come off as laughable rather than malevolent. They may well be nasty, but only the very young will find fear in their form.
Otherwise, the penultimate episode, the first of a two-part finale, is another stunning instalment to The Clone Wars. Its eye-pleasing palate and rousing action will impress equally, and the sombre denouement will leave the heart aching to find out what happens next.
Read our review of episode 20, Citadel Rescue, here.
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