In the run up to the new season of Clone Wars, I am going to finally finish my rewatch of the series, of course finish my reviews.
For the rest of the available episodes I am changing the format slightly, I will now focus on arcs as a whole rather than what I had been doing before.
In this post I will be looking at the ‘The Shadow Collective Arc’.
The Shadow Collective Arc
This arc has three episodes, ‘Eminence’, ‘Shades of Reason’ and They Lawless’.
Maul and Savage are found, near death in the hold of their ship from the first episode of this season. Their saviours, Death Watch.
Maul’s leg is repaired and Savage fitted with a cybernetic arm. Pre Vizla speaks to them and they strike up a deal, which will, in time give them both insane amounts of power.
Maul sets up a plan to start a vast criminal army and they visit The Black Sun Syndicate, The Pike Syndicate and The Hutts, forming The Shadow Collective. Vizla starts to loose his position of power with Maul but backs down when the former Sith says to.
Maul devises a plan to allow Vizla and Death Watch to take control of Mandalore and has his armies attack Mandalore, causing dissent and making Duchess Satine appear weak. Vizla arrives and proclaims to the people that Death Watch will vanquish the criminals and in a series of staged attacks, Death Watch become heroes.
Vizla is nominated the Prime Minister and Satine is imprisoned and in a surprising move, Vizla has Maul arrested and imprisoned with Savage.
Maul and Savage come up with a plan to install a puppet Prime Minister and escape their cell and come across Satine whose cell is next by former Prime Miniseter Almec.
They free him and Maul challenges Vizla to single combat, the winner leads Death Watch. Their fight is flashy but Maul manages to beat Vizla and, using the Darksaber, beheads the leader of Death Watch. Maul claims the leadership of Death Watch, but a few, led by Bo Kayan refuse to join and escape.
Almec speaks to the people about his return, claiming Satine killed Vizla, he returns to the Throne Room where Maul sits on the throne, plotting his next move.
During a rescue attempt for Satine, led by her nephew Corki and Bo Katan, Sabine manages to get a message to Obi-Wan before being captured again.
Whilst the Jedi Council and Republic won’t interfere with an internal matter on a neutral planet, Obi-Wan goes to Mandalore alone. He steals the armour from one of Maul’s soldiers and makes his way to the prison, rescuing Satine and escaping. They get back to the ship but are attacked, the ship is damaged and Satine and Kenobi barely escape.
Through the smoke, Maul appears to Obi-Wan and has the two captives taken to the throne room, where Maul taunts Obi-Wan before brutally nurseling Satine rush hit in front of Obi-Wan.
Broken, he allows himself to be taken away but they are followed by Bo Katan and he is rescued by her and her soldiers. They embark on a dangerous escape and when they finally arrive on the landing pad, Bo Katan gets Kenobi onto a ship so that he can inform the Senate, knowing that it would result in a Republic occupation of e planet, it’s a compromise they are willing to make to get rid of Maul. Obi-Wan realises that Bo Katan was Satine’s sister before leaving.
Meanwhile, Palpatine senses Maul’s growing strength and travels to Mandalore. Once there he challenges Maul and Savage and the three engage in an epic lightsaber battle, in which Savage is slain and Maul is tortured by Force Lightning, with Palpatine offering no mercy, refuses to take Maul back as his apprentice but does claim he has work for his former apprentice.
When I think of ‘The Clone Wars’, I always think of a handful of episodes/arcs and this arc is always right at the top of my list of best stories.
Maul is built up, growing a seat of power, consolidating numerous gangs under one banner as well as taking over a planet. He’s on top of the world (so to speak) and it gets better for him when he is able to exact revenge on the man that destroyed his life, Kenobi. But of course, like Sisyphus, once he reaches the top it all come crumbling down. You’d feel sorry for him if you didn’t want to hate him for what he does to Obi-Wan in this arc.
The effects in the final episode are some of the best we have ever seen in ‘The Clone Wars’, with beautifully dynamic camera angles of Mandalorians flying to the iconic image of the doors opening in front of Obi-Wan to reveal a full scale battle between the two Mandalorian factions.
The reveal of Bo Katan and Satine being sisters doesn’t feel like much of a surprise, but given Obi-Wan and Satine’s history, surely he would have known who Bo Katan was? Or am I overthinking that one?
It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the next part of Maul’s story in the series, but we are able to read it in the graphic novel ‘Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir’ which is a pretty decent follow-on to this arc with more Mandalore greatness.
Definitely one of my favourite arcs, it’s one I have gone back to countless times and every single time I have loved it.
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