This review contains spoilers.
4.18 Crisis On Naboo
Blimey, Naboo ain’t the luckiest of planets, is it?
Padme’s home world finds itself the location for a celebration and a visit from Chancellor Palpatine (accompanied by a plethora of guards and a barrage of Jedi). Of course, the last three episodes have been building to this moment – an attempt will be made to kidnap the future Emperor.
Count Dooku has assembled his team of Bounty Hunters to carry out the daring plan; a gang that include, amongst others, fan favourite Cad Bane (who’s not averse to blasting a man in the back as he lays on the ground) and Obi Wan Kenobi undercover as assassin Rako Hardeen.
The plot involves even more subterfuge with the bounty hunters posing as other characters (though this time it’s technical wizardry as opposed to the painful medical process the aforementioned Jedi went through). However, all does not go to plan.
Or does it?
One of the most intriguing revelations about the Undercover Obi Wan arc unfolds in this gripping denouement. It would appear that Dooku had another plan up his sleeve. The initial plot was a ploy to deflect the attention of Jedi, by luring them, whilst the Sith executes the kidnap of Palpatine by himself.
The episode is full of surprises and just when you think, “That ended pretty quickly!”, another twist comes around. It’s this deceptive behaviour that renders Crisis On Naboo such a riveting watch. Dooku’s deceptions against his own handpicked team are fascinating on their own (and belie the ‘child’ friendly form of the animated medium) but there’s also Palpatine to take into consideration
You may remember – his ‘other’ self, Darth Sidious, is in league with Dooku.
This was no simple rouse to test the Jedi. The duplicitous Chancellor lays further doubt, so very subtly it has to be said, in Anakin’s mind regarding the Jedi and his allegiances. One small scene between the two demonstrates this beautifully and it’s hugely gratifying to see The Clone Wars tackle this so expertly and in such a thoughtful and engaging fashion.
Elsewhere, the animation continues to impress, particularly on the human characters (and a big hello to newcomer to the series, Sio Invasion Bibble) and their movement. Stunning. None more so notable than in the breathtaking duel between Skywalker and Dooku (just after a moment mimicking Leia and Han’s unexpected meeting with Vader and Boba Fett over the dinner table in Cloud City). The direction and lighting combine with fine computer-generated artistry to create a memorable and thrilling set piece that rivals any big screen lightsabre battle.
As a final note, this four-part arc has really pushed the boundaries of what The Clone Wars is capable of and sits proudly at the top along with the best of the Star Wars spin off series, such as the Nightsisters and Mortis trilogies. Crisis On Naboo is an immensely dramatic finale to the arc that will leave you pleasantly breathless but, crucially, will leave you with some eyebrow-raising questions, brain-scratching quandaries and hugely entertained.
Read our review of the last episode, here.
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