This review contains spoilers.4.6 Nomad Droids
Blimey, this is an odd one! If you’re familiar with the first Star Wars animated spin-off, Droids, then you’ll be reminded of the show’s rather wistful take on the George Lucas universe. Otherwise, you might be wondering just what the flippety-flip is going on.
You’ll also be reminded of Gulliver’s Travels and The Wizard of Oz as the titular droids, See Threepio and Artoo Detoo, go from one scrape to another, from one world to the next. Leading on directly from last week, the beloved metallic ones find themselves dragged reluctantly (well, Threepio is anyway) into more antics.
On the first world they crash land on, Patitite Pattuna, the astromech and protocol droid are discovered by the indigenous population, a bunch of tiny little guys who are under the control of someone they refer to as the ‘big Hay-Zu’. Like Gulliver, the droids are roped down, poked and prodded by their captors (after a slightly shocking scene where they’re electrocuted).
Thankfully, they are released, but in stopping Artoo from retaliating violently (who would’ve thunk it), Threepio inadvertently kills their leader. The flipside of this is that the diminutive populace seem quite happy with this turn of events. The shiny golden one leaves the world with democracy, letting them vote for their own leader.
But this only leads to further in fighting with the people of Patitite Pattuna. Just what are the makers of The Clone Wars trying to say? That democracy doesn’t work? Who would’ve thunk?
The next planet, Balnab, sees The Wizard of Oz element take over with a race under the rule of, yet another, ‘great leader’ – a projection made by, what look like, pit droids. After quickly sussing this particular mystery out we are then presented with a very heartfelt, and dare I say, emotional moment in the episode (and, indeed, for quite some time in the animated show).
Threepio and Artoo find their power is failing and we witness the two ‘die’ beside one another in a most tonally unusual moment. As the droids are running out of power, dying, Anakin Skywalker’s childhood robot project mourns to his chum, “I will be joining you soon.” Quite a powerful scene.
But there’s humour as well and, strangely, Amidala gets a giggle delivering this piece of advice to Threepio, “It’s a big universe out there beyond the few million planets you know.” Whilst he himself gets to boast, when fending off some attackers, that Artoo is “trained in 47 schools of self-defence.”
This is a bold move for The Clone Wars, using such broad strokes and, ultimately, being completely irrelevant (not to say irreverent) to the show’s mythology. It is, however, a wonderful character piece which highlights the lighter tones of the series and is a welcome diversion. Now, how about a Halloween special?