I’m starting to grow a little bit concerned that these posts are just going to get longer and longer as I get deeper into them. It’s why I’m glad I’ve got a little bit of a breather for this one with only two episodes to talk about rather than three. It all just depends on how these multi-part storylines play out.
This time I’m talking about episodes 11 and 12 of the first series, dealing with a great “enemy of my enemy” type situation. Before we get into that though, if you want to go back and catch up with the episodes I’ve covered so far, then here is the archive of what I’ve already covered.
Season 1, Episode 11: Dooku Captured
This episode starts off fast, with Obi Wan breaking Anakin out of a containment cell after being captured by Separatist forces. Part of a sting operation for them to capture Count Dooku.
And right away, I’m reminded of some of the things I liked the least about the movie that kicked this series off. Anakin and Obi Wan’s banter throughout the early parts of this episode is grating to say the least. In fact, throughout this entire series so far, I’m yet to hear the pair have a genuine conversation. It’s all either been naff banter or Obi Wan berating Anakin for something or other.
I could just blame the writing style, but it occurs to me that maybe; that’s just all there is to their relationship. Hinting that the two never really saw eye to eye or genuinely opened up to one another all their time as master and Padawan. Lines about being “your brother Anakin” notwithstanding. It makes me wonder if this could be part of the reason Anakin eventually falls to the dark side.
Like, the pair could never really forge that connection, and thus there was always some amount of distance between them. Which is part of the reason Anakin was so attracted to Palpatine as a mentor/father figure, because he had no alternative. But maybe I’m reading far too much into this. I’d like to think the series will expand on this idea as it goes on though.
As much as I like Obi Wan Kenobi, he’s contributed very little to the series so far outside of “witty banter”. Speaking of which, no amount of snarky one liners can break Dooku out of his utterly unflappable composure. It’s commendable.
After a game of cat and mouse and a crash landing, the Jedi find themselves trapped in a cave and Dooku is accosted by a group of Weequay pirates, who execute the most civil kidnapping I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty funny to see Dooku getting taken for a ride by these pirates and getting himself ransomed off to the Republic.
Even funnier is seeing Palpatine have to deal with both sides of this entire situation; playing the part of the leader of the Republic who wants to end the war as civilly as possible, but also as the secret leader of the Separatists who could potentially lose the most important piece on his game board. All over some half drunken pirates. Fantastic.
Anakin and Obi Wan are rescued from the cave and are immediately sent back to confirm the pirates have captured Dooku. There’s a fun scene in there that mirrors the one from Attack of the Clones, where Obi Wan is captured while on Geonsis. They throw some more witty banter his way before confirming that the deal looks good.
It seems like everything is going to end well, except that these are a band of scoundrels and miscreants they’re dealing with. And despite the fact that they have a ton of the easiest credits they’ve probably ever made coming their way, they decide to get greedy and try to capture and ransom the Jedi too. Despite doing so will probably mess up their initial trade of Dooku in the first place.
But this is a fantasy story, and if the villains all acted logically and rationally, there would be no story.
The episode ends with Anakin and Obi Wan well aware that they’re in trouble and swapping their drinks out to stop them from being drugged.
Season 1, Episode 12: The Gungan General
The episode begins with Anakin and Obi Wan waking up in a cell after being drugged. Wait, what?
I don’t get this one at all. Why have them be aware of the double-cross and make moves to prevent it only to have them drugged anyway by the next episode. It kind of feels like someone in the writing room lost a page somewhere.
I’m not too annoyed by the result through, as the two Jedi find themselves tethered to one another, and their new cell mate: one Count Dooku. It’s a cool little situation the writers have created, with the enemies forced to work together for a time in order to escape and get back to trying to kill one another. Although why Dooku didn’t simply murder the pair while they slept is beyond me.
I guess all of this is a homage to the Pirates of the Caribbean series in which pirates, no matter how much they have a situation in their own hands, will let their greed and infighting ruin it all for them. As seen by the double-crossing of Hondo Ohnaka by his first mate when he goes to shoot down the Republic drop ship filled with the Spice they’d demanded as payment for the trade of Count Dooku.
The whole plan makes no sense though if you really think about it, Palpatine knows exactly where Dooku is, why not just send Grievous or Ventress to break him out through either sheer force or a stealth mission? Again, it doesn’t matter. The point is of the episode it seeing the uneasy alliance between the Jedi and Dooku, so I’m not going to rag on it any more given the stuff we do get is pretty fun.
I mentioned a drop ship earlier, whelp, you know who they’ve sent to oversee the prisoner trade? The Gran Senator; Kharrus… who dies and leaves the job up to Jar Jar Binks.
It’s not been long since we’ve had a Jar Jar focused episode. One thing I do appreciate though is that his trait of understanding animals on a deeper level than everyone around him, as introduced in episode 8 is still retained here. Allowing him and the surviving clone troopers to avoid the pirate ambush and hide in a geyser. One thing I like less is that his goofy blundering is directly responsible for cutting off power to the base and allowing Anakin and Obi Wan to escape.
I don’t mind random happenstance being the cause of getting heroes into trouble, but using it as an avenue to solve a problem isn’t writing I’m a fan of. It’s like come unexplained superpower. Then again, a lot of logical liberties had to be taken with the events of these two episodes.
In the end, everyone escapes and the Jedi basically allow the pirates to just go along with their lives with no hard feelings. Because they’re Jedi I guess. Although they warn them that Dooku will not be quite so forgiving. Y’know, considering the expense and the trials these pirates put both the Republic and the Jedi through during this whole farce, I’d have thought they’d face some kind of repercussions.
But this the time the Jedi decide to act like Jedi and not military generals for a change.
Overall, I could give or take these two episodes. While it was fun seeing Dooku forced to work with our heroes in their multiple escape attempts, there were so many times I had to leave my brain outside the room in terms of the pirate’s actions and Jar Jar’s impact on events that even that wasn’t really worth it.
Overall, if you find yourself in the weird place of reading these without watching the series, then these are a pair that can be skipped entirely for me. The most interesting thing about it was that it caused me to go off on a thought exercise regarding the deeper relationship between Anakin and Obi Wan. While in actual practice it was kind of grating hearing their weak-ass banter.
Back to doing three episodes next week; first off is the two-parter:
Season 1, Episode 13: Jedi Crash, and
Season 1, Episode 14: Defenders of Peace
And the after that the standalone episode:
Season 1, Episode 15: Trespass