The Clone Wars kicks off a new three-part story arc with a bang this weekend. After the well-received “Umbara” arc, this new story is actually based on a comic book Slaves of the Republic, and delivers a fast-paced episode worthy of your viewing.
The planet Kiros fosters a group of peace-loving Togrutan colonists, determined to stay out of the war even if they must deal with Count Dooku. Despite Yoda’s assurance of Republic support, the Togrutan people seek Count Dooku for safety. Dooku’s “sanctuary” for the people includes rounding up the citizens and forcing a mass exodus.
Ten days later, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and padawan Ahsoka Tano arrive on the planet. The city appears empty, so the three Jedi along with clone Captain Rex take speeder bikes to seek out the missing colonists. Commando droids attack, leading to a beautiful fight which includes Ahsoka using her two lightsabers. After defeating the droids and finding the command center, the Separatist leader Darts D’Nar asks Obi-Wan to join him to discuss his surrender.
Anakin shows a violent reaction to the Zygerrian, a race known for being slavers. In a tender moment, Ahsoka learns from Obi-Wan about Anakin’s tortured past, his being a slave to the Hutts. Ahsoka says that Anakin has never discussed his past with her, an interesting touch to the mythology of the series. Meanwhile, Anakin directs Admiral Yularin to sweep the planet for lifeforms while Obi-Wan goes to discuss the surrender.
Unfortunately for Obi-Wan, D’Nar has no intention of surrendering. Instead, he claims he will enact his revenge against all the Jedi for destroying the slave empire of the Zygerrian many years ago. D’Nar has placed bombs throughout the city and intends on killing the Republic forces.
Obi-Wan alerts Anakin and Ahsoka to the plan, and they jump to the rescue. R2-D2 sends them the coordinates of the bombs and they traverse the city in search of them. Obi-Wan goads D’Nar into fighting him in hand to hand combat. One lucky punch notwithstanding, Obi-Wan is no match for the ferocious Zygerrian.
As Anakin and Ahsoka prepare to disarm the final bomb, they are attacked by new battle droids Ahsoka calls “snipers” (they look just like droidekas but with a large gun and metal shields). Using a combined tactic, Anakin and Ahsoka destroy the snipers and disarm the bombs.
D’Nar is alerted that the bombs have been disarmed and angrily escapes by using his tactical droid as a final bomb, and departs on a ship which looks remarkably similar to Serenity. Because all slavers also enjoy exotic pets, D’Nar has crates filled with animals including a particularly nasty octopus/crab hybrid.
Anakin and Ahsoka enter the ship after disabling one of the engines and are attacked by the octopus. Anakin finally kills the beast while Ahsoka defeats D’Nar. Anakin enters and in a rage almost slices off D’Nar’s head. Ahsoka is shocked, but Anakin is able to withdraw from the dark side. D’Nar refuses to reveal the location of the colonists.
Later, in the Jedi Council, Obi-Wan and Anakin report from Kiros. Yoda delivers an ominous warning – that slavery is an integral part of the rise of the Sith.
Again, the team behind The Clone Wars continues to astound with beautiful animation and excellent writing. For starting with such humble beginnings, the show has continued to take off with high ratings. If you haven’t been watching, now’s a great time to start.
Episode 12, “Slaves of the Republic,” will air Friday December 2 @ 9pm on Cartoon Network