The Clone Wars has historically done rather poorly with continuity. The galaxy-shaking ramifications of the Mortis sequence were dismissed almost like a dream, and never mentioned again. Those episodes aired in self-contained arcs in order to utilize all the members of a very large cast, which made character development, while not impossible, difficult.
Episode 10 of the Lost Missions, “The Lost One,” overseen by supervising director Dave Filoni , directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell, and written by Christian Taylor, immediately establishes that it will be different. Well-organized exposition by the Jedi Council establishes that the Jedi are searching for Master Sifo-Dyas, the original commissioner of the clone army, who was mentioned briefly by name in Attack of the Clones. “The Lost One” continues to tie in to the movies with an appearance from Chancellor Valorum, the largely forgotten leader of the free galaxy during part of The Phantom Menace. It was pleasantly surreal to see him on the small screen.
One of my favorite moments in this episode involved The Clone Wars being a bit sneakier than usual: the soundtrack turns malevolent when Jocasta Nu tells Mace Windu that Palpatine sealed the records of Sifo-Dyas’ last mission, but Mace’s reply is a calm, almost cheery “Thank you.” He has no clue, and the scene quietly shows that, while still cueing the viewer to remember that Palpatine is the hidden Sith Lord.
“The Lost One” even has visual continuity, with the camera panning up the blade of Sifo-Dyas’ lightsaber held by Plo Koon and then the scene transitioning to the tower of the Jedi Temple. The visuals throughout are impressive, with a thick sandstorm obscuring a crashed ship in a desert. The Pykes (a group of bounty hunters scooped up by Darth Maul in his attempt at underworld leadership but never fully explored) appear under the command of a smooth-voiced, sharp-toothed leader. Their planet has a dramatic and consistent color scheme, with black and neon colors contrasting while most of the inhabitants look drab in the darkness.
Still, this isn’t perfect a perfect episode. I wish it addressed the fact that two accomplished Jedi can’t sense someone sneaking up and using the Force from a few steps behind them, and the fate of Sifo-Dyas’ assistant Silman is saddening but not unique. Tim Curry plays a Palpatine who strikes the right balance between warmth and creaky maliciousness, while never sounding either like Ian McDiarmid or Ian Abercrombie.
The dialoguebrings up interesting questions about the Jedi Council’s blindness under the “pall of the dark side” mentioned in the films, with Yoda realizing that “our enemy created an army for us” and that there is no right path to walk. I loved the ambiguity this brought to the Jedi Council. All in all it’s an unsettling, efficient, meaty episode that really felt like a continuation and exploration of the Star Wars story.