If last week’s Clone Wars didn’t knock your socks off, then this week’s will. Anakin and Obi-Wan continue their search for the missing colonists from Kiros who are now slaves to the vicious Zygerrians. Remembering that Anakin was a slave prior to being freed by Qui-Gon Jinn, the tension runs high, especially for a so-called “kid’s show.”
Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Rex have a plan: they infiltrate the slavers’ planet wearing Zygerrian armor. In a great nod to Return of the Jedi, Anakin and Obi-Wan hide their lightsabers inside R2-D2. Ahsoka finally makes an appearance, disguised as a slave. The streets of Zygerrian are full of the galaxy’s scum: Neimoidians, Zygerrians, Moogans, and the like. Ahsoka’s horror at the treatment of a Twi’lek slave leads to a confrontation between her and a slaver. Thankfully, Anakin intervenes and gains an audience with the queen.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Rex find the governor of the people of Kiros hidden in a slave cell. They attempt a daring escape worthy of Star Wars on the back of a flying lizard. Just when things are starting to look up, a slaver is able to down Obi-Wan and the governor.
While speaking with the queen, a Twi’lek slave attempts to kill Anakin with a knife. Defeated, she kills herself by leaping off the ledge of a building. It’s hard to watch, but it’s a reminder of the need for independence and freedom. Anakin, Ahsoka, and the queen then go to the auction where Obi-Wan is to be tortured. Anakin, of course, refuses to participate, leading a valiant effort to free him. Despite R2’s participation in giving the Jedi the lightsabers, Ahsoka taking on the queen, and Rex joining the fray in the arena, they are captured and imprisoned.
When Anakin awakens, he grows furious with the queen, choking her and using the Dark Side. However, he releases her when she promises that if he serves her his friends will not be killed. Ahsoka ends up in a cage hanging over a cliff; Rex and Obi-Wan are taken to Kadavo where the colonists are being held. The warden greets them warmly by dropping a large group of colonists into a pit, sending them to their doom. He warns Obi-Wan that any attempts of rebellion will be met with in kind.
Interestingly, the episode ends with the queen doing her best to influence Anakin by accusing him of being a slave to commitment. It’s fascinating to see how easily Anakin is manipulated, setting a precedent for the time he will be influenced by Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith.
The Clone Wars continues to amaze with striking visuals and story lines far surpassing what would typically be thought of as just another children’s animated show. It continues to set the blocks in place to make Anakin’s fall from grace all the more tragic – and believable.