I feel like I split these parts up the wrong way. I had much more to say about these three episodes than I did the first two parts of this five part story line. I’m not going to ramble on too much more here because I feel like this post itself is going to end up being a long one.
Season 2, Episode 06: Weapons Factory
With the destruction of the shield, the assault on the droid foundry itself can begin in earnest. Assisting Anakin and Ahsoka is the returning Luminara Unduli and the introduction of her Padawan Barriss Offee.
Right away we get a sense for the core of this episode, we see Anakin and Ahsoka bickering as the two Mirialan Jedi approach. The parallel between the relationships of master and apprentice is a big focus in this episode. It’s a strange relationship when looking at it from the outside, Anakin and Ahsoka argue, compete with one another and ultimately work to push one another to get better.
Like most things involving Anakin, it’s an atypical dynamic between Jedi. As opposed to the relationship between Luminara and Barriss, which is about as traditional a coupling as you could possibly imagine. As I mentioned in a previous part, Luminara is a traditional Jedi almost to a fault; calm, composed and authoritative. Barriss, who we’re meeting for the first time is, consequently, the ideal Padawan.
She’s polite, respectful and eager to please. Within the episode, Luminara makes the plan to split the Jedi with their apprentices, sending the Padawan’s down below to infiltrate the foundry and plant a bomb to destroy it from the inside. While the elder Jedi and the clones cause a distraction up top.
A plan Anakin takes exception to, seemingly not trusting Ahsoka to do the job. Which I find laughable considering it directly contradicts the events of Storm over Ryloth, in which Anakin basically entrusts his very life to an Ahsoka going through some major self-confidence issues. It ultimately doesn’t matter though as it’s here to further reinforce how the episode ends.
As the episode episode goes on, we’re introduced to a new weapon; a Separatist Supertank. The highly shielded artillery proves an issue for both the Jedi up top and the Padawans down below. An issue that causes Ahsoka and Barriss to lose their explosives and are forced to come up with another solution to destroy the base.
The only obvious one being to hijack the tank, use it to destroy the generator and ultimately find themselves unable to escape the foundry in time. Making the sacrifice play to get the job done for the greater good. Where it gets interesting are both Anakin and Luminara’s reactions to potentially losing their Padawans.
While Anakin is understandably upset, refusing to give up on his Padawan and ordering clone to begin a search right away, Luminara has seemingly come to terms with her Padawan’s death, mere moments after it’s happened. While I like to point out Anakin’s issues with attachment quite a lot in this series, there is something subtly more unsettling about how immediately detached from the situation Luminara has become.
One of the subtle, ongoing narratives of the Star Wars lore is that the Jedi as they exist during the days of the Clone Wars were becoming stagnant, overly rigid and stuck in their ways. While there are certainly reasons behind all of the rules and regulations the Jedi follow as part of their ethics, it doesn’t stop there being something inherently off-putting by Luminara’s very sudden acceptance of her Padawan’s death.
She doesn’t even attempt to search for her student, who is very much alive under the rubble below them.
In the end, Ahsoka uses a trick she picked up from Anakin to draw attention to herself and help the others rescue them. Showing that, despite their bickering and Anakin’s seeming lack of trust in her before, he truly does have all the faith and trust in his Padawan. The episode ends with Anakin chiding Luminara for losing faith too quickly, while she retorts by saying she is prepared to let go of her Padawan when the time is right, but is Anakin?
I might be reading too much into this, but in this case I feel like we’re meant to agree with Anakin more than Luminara. There is an inherent lack of humanity and empathy to her approach to her apprentice, one that has been turning the Jedi into mere puppets of the council and the senate.
The more dogmatic the Jedi become, the less able they are to relate and connect with the people they’re supposed to be helping. Man, I ended up talking about this episode a lot didn’t I…
Season 2, Episode 07: Legacy of Terror
Okay, so we’re in the cleanup stages of the invasion of Geonosis. While the Foundry is destroyed, the Geonosian leader, Poggle the Lesser has yet to be apprehended. A healed Obi Wan and Ki Adi Mundu return and team up with Anakin and Luminara to track down and arrest Poggle.
During a sandstorm, contact is lost with a strangely obsessed Luminara, who had tracked Poggle down to dilapidated ruin. Upon investigation, Anakin and Obi Wan find her lightsaber and dive into the depths of the crypt to search her out. Good thing they weren’t suddenly resigned to her being dead and just left eh? Sorry, I couldn’t resist that little dig.
During the search, the Jedi and their Clones encounter zombified Geonosians, enemies that take blaster bolts to the head and the severing of their limbs without so much as slowing down. It’s creepy, and something Obi Wan suggests is the doing of the rumoured Geonosian Queen.
Which is exactly what it turns out to be when they stumble upon a large expanse containing the Queen, Poggle and a captured Luminara. The Queen is gross, I’m getting Aliens (As in the James Cameron movie) vibes from her whole design, laying eggs that contain little worms. Worms that infect and possess the bodies of those they enter, be them dead or alive.
The Geonosians have some kind of Hive mind with the Queen, one that other species can connect with once the worms enter their noses. It reminds of the Killiks, another insectoid race that possess a hive mind that can extend to other races. Although, unlike the Killiks, the Geonosisians aren’t peaceful and pacifistic. Also, I’m pretty sure the Killiks aren’t canon anymore.
Thanks to some Obi Wan verbal Kung Fu, he buys enough time for everyone to break Luminara out, grab Poggle and escape the crypt, caving it in in the process, either killing the queen or trapping her deep underground where she can’t cause anywhere near as much trouble. Or so they hoped anyway.
Season 2, Episode 08: Brain Invaders
Following the events of the previous episode, the team on Geonosis are all due to return to Coruscant with Poggle, order to interrogate him. However, orders from above tell them they need to escort a medical frigate with supplies to a medical space station. The decision is made to allow Ahsoka and Barriss to escort the frigate while the other Jedi take Poggle back to the capital world.
This episode is great. The whole thing is framed, lit, scored and shot like a horror movie. One of the clones who boards the frigate with the Padawans gets infected with one of the Queen’s brain worms, grabbing a ton of eggs and bringing them aboard the ship with him. Slowly but surely, the Clones are all infected with the worms, and the two Padawans find themselves on the run and trying to figure out what the hell is going on around them.
During a scene in the mess, Ahsoka and Barriss have a pretty interesting conversation about the role of the Jedi in the galaxy. Something, no doubt, all young Padawns talk about as they find their place in the order. Especially what their role is going to be after the war is over. During which Ahsoka utters the ominous line about Anakin: “He’ll do what needs to be done.”
Shortly thereafter, they’re attacked by the clones. At this point, the music and the visual approach to this episode is fantastic. The entire thing is shot up close, making it feel claustrophobic, making use of all the classic horror style camera shots of focusing on space behind the character making you expect something to show up there.
With the Clones planning to infect the Jedi and the entire population of the Medical Station, we get another ominous line from one of them. “If there’s one thing us clones know; it’s how to stop a Jedi.” The Padawans split up and Ahsoka manages to warn Master Kit Fisto aboard the Medical Station and her own master aboard the cruiser transporting Poggle.
With his apprentice once again in danger, Anakin approaches Poggle, looking real angry. It’s cool, made all the better by the few beats of the Imperial March heard as he does so. This is the first real brush with the Dark Side we’ve seen from Anakin in the series, going as far as to force choke Poggle and lift him from the ground. It’s great both visually and musically, this whole episode is.
In the end, Anakin’s torture allows him to tell Ahsoka that the extreme cold will stop the infected. With that information, Ahsoka runs into a now infected Barriss. After a brief game of cat and mouse, Barriss pleads with Ahsoka to kill her as the cold starts to break the hive mind’s control over her. Something Ahsoka can’t bring herself to do. Although they all eventually hold out till the cold stops all of the worms.
In the end Ahsoka, now recovering with Anakin by her side asks her master if her inability to kill Barriss was the wrong thing to do, because it was a form of attachment. Anakin giving her advice on this matter is pretty rich all things considered.
I enjoyed the hell out of these three episodes. Overall the episode of the five-parter were very detached from one another, as many of the multi-part storylines in the Clone Wars tends to be. Weapons Factory was a great action filled episode that poses some interesting situations about the basic humanity of Jedi and their ability to empathise. Although I may be reading too much into that one.
The following two felt like the writing team flexing their creative muscles a little more and focusing on new visual styles. Both of them contain different horror movie elements, with Brain Invaders going deep into the horror elements with an Invasion of the Body Snatchers style story.
I’d highly recommend these three episodes, especially Brain Invaders. The series being able to do new and unusual things with the format is one of the things I enjoy the most about the Clone Wars, and that episode is a great example of it.
On the next part, I’ll be looking at a stand alone episode and a two-parter that follows. It looks like General Grievous is back, it’s been a while:
- Season 2, Episode 09: Grievous Intrigue
- Season 2, Episode 10: The Deserter
- Season 2, Episode 11: Lightsaber Lost