Rather than write about The Clone Wars episodes individually or by story-arc, I have decided to review it by disc as they are in the Blu-Ray Box Set releases.
In this post the episodes I will be reviewing are ‘Corruption’, ‘The Academy’ and ‘Assassin’.
The neutral planet of Mandalore is in turmoil as the nearby trade routes have been shut due to the war and supplies are getting low, leading to a reliance on black market goods. To try to find a way to put a stop to the corruption, Dutchess Satine brings Padmé to help find a way to get help to the system.
What they find is a corrupt group who are importing goods and ‘watering’ them down with a substance that can be poisonous if taken in the wrong dose.
Many local children are taken to the hospitals with poisoning symptoms, leading Padmé and Satine to investigate. They find the the Commerce Guild are supplying the black market goods and the dock crews are taking bribes. They soon find the facility they are using that helps process the goods and shut it down.
Satine asks for Padmé to recommend a Jedi, who could work undercover to help get to the bottom of the corruption before it destroys her planet.
This episode heralds a welcome return to Mandalore, and whilst the planet is relatively peaceful it is still facing troubling times and as an audience we get to see the strains that the Clone Wars are putting on the people of the Galaxy.
This episode feels quite refreshing in a way that there are no Jedi and whilst the events in the episode are not vastly important on a grand, Galaxy-wide scale we realise how important the simple things in life can become a luxury during times of hardship.
Having Padmé being the main character here is also refreshing, it’s good that we are getting more of her this season and operating away from Anakin’s watchful eye.
The episode nicely sets up a larger story arc and allows us to get to know a different side of Mandalore than we got in Season 2, under attack from Death Watch and having Dutchess Satine take centre stage here gives her character a time to shine for the audience.
Anakin leaves Ahsoka on Mandalore under the pretence of teaching a class at ‘The Academy’ on corruption within the Galaxy, with a focus on the Senate and other political bodies.
Some of her students, led by Satine’s nephew, Korkie, during a food shortage decide to investigate the issue of low supplies and visit the docks where they find large supplies of food and a secret meeting between a Government Official and some Mandalore Police.
After being chased by the corrupt soldiers, the students visit Satine who takes onboard their information but doesn’t act. Disheartened, they contact Prime Minister Almec who agrees to meet them but sets them up and sends soldiers to arrest them. They are saved by Ahsoka who helps discover the identity of the mysterious Government Official, Almec.
They come up with a plan which has the students be imprisoned after Ahsoka turns them in. Shebthe. Uses a Jedi Mind Trick to have guards lead her to Satine’s cell after Almec has her arrested. Once there, Almec springs a trap which has Satine, Ahsoka and the Cadets brought together.
The six of them manage to overpower Almec and his thugs and Almec is arrested for his corrupt methods.
This is the first episode of the season I have little interest in. I’ve always felt the outcome was inevitable. Almec has always seemed pretty shady so his actions are not a surprise. I wasn’t a fan of the Cadets either, probably because other than Korkie, they are very one-dimensional and uninteresting, and Korkie isn’t much better. And what kind of a name is Korkie? Even for Star Wars it’s pretty bad.
If anything this episode feels like a filler episode meant to finish of the Mandalore story from the previous episode, but I wonder, had it had another pass on the script, some of my issues would be alleviated and we’d have had better character development for the Cadets.
When Anakin is sent on a mission by the Jedi Council, Ahsoka is left on Coruscant and she begins to have visions of Aurra Sing and Padmé. She turns to Master Yoda before visiting Padmé and decides to join the Senator on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan.
On Alderaan, Ahsoka’s visions become clearer but she is too late and Sing manages to fire on Padmé, luckily Ahsoka managed to nudge the assassin, causing the blast to cause nothing more than a flesh wound.
Padmé still intends on addressing the visitors to Alderaan, but sends a disguised Protocol Droid in her place and she says her speech through a communicator.
Sing discovers the ruse and goes to attack Padmé in her room, luckily Ahsoka gets there in time. After the playful banter, Sing gives Ahsoka a flesh wound but is distracted long enough for Padmé to stun her, but not before Sing tells them that the person who hired her wanted to “get even with Senator Amidala”.
Later, Ahsoka goes through her visions and comes up with some defining traits of the one who hired Aurra Sing. Large, purple, a strange laugh… none other than Ziro the Hutt.
The series is back on form with this episode, I like seeing Ahsoka acting with more independence from Anakin and Obi-Wan and given the right environment she can really shine and this episode does just that.
Her interactions with Padmé are really good, they have a greater familiarity with one another given Anakin is close to both of them and we get to see Ahsoka develop her skills and we get to see more about Force Visions/Premonitions, which given the recent release of ‘Master and Apprentice’ that deals with that specific subject it’s all the more fitting I watched it now.
The second half of Disc One is a mixed bag, a pair of decent episodes around one that just feels lacking, but still worth a watch in the long run as it’s all canon and even a disappointing episode on Mandalore still gives us some more Mandalore content.
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