This review contains spoilers.
I was rather hoping that, after the downbeat and earnest tone of the past four episodes, the excellent Umbaran arc, that The Clone Wars would throw up a one-off full of laughs and japes.
This was not to be, as we dive headlong into another story arc which seems to be just as serious and thoughtful as the last. Before we get to the issues of Kidnapped, the story itself sees the core gang of Ahsoka, Anakin and Obi Wan travel to the planet Kiros. The inhabitants have created a society without weapons, filled with art and beauty, but Count Dooku and his Separatist Forces have invaded and made some changes of their own to the world.
Anni and the gang trump in a scene which rather mimics a toy ad; one ship spews out another which in turn reveals another, piloted by our heroes (with goggles for that rare variant look). Cynicism aside, it’s stylish as always, and Kiros is beautifully portrayed in the style of its people, the Togruta (a species whose most famous daughter is Jedi Master Shaak Ti).
It’s here where the real issues of the episode are raised, as Anakin reveals his disgust for the man in cahoots with Dooku, Darts D’Nar. His race, the Zygerrians, are keen Slavers, and this brings back many memories for little Anni.
His Padawan, Ahsoka, is unaware of his past and it’s fascinating to hear his back story from The Phantom Menace retold by Obi Wan. Skywalker’s bad-boy streak arises, but we also understand why. The notion of slavery is crucial to evil – as Yoda notes, it’s “a great tool for the rise of the Sith.”
Those who enslave harness the power of the Dark side, while those enslaved become weakened, susceptible to its lure. A hint of what’s to come (and what’s happened) for Anakin.
Kidnapped also sees Obi Wan on top form, riffing and joking, lifting the tone somewhat while also reminding us that Star Wars is often about fun. It’s another assured start for another sombre-looking story arc.
Read our review of last week’s episode here.