The Essential Clone Wars: “Shades of Reason”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
S5:E15 – “Shades of Reason”
Sam Witwer, Jon Favreau, Anna Graves, Julian Holloway, Clancy Brown
Chris Collins
Bosco Ng
January 26, 2013
Maul and Pre Vizsla each jockey for control of Mandalore.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Well of course the bad guys are secretly plotting against each other. It almost wouldn’t be Star Wars if they weren’t. In a way it’s kind of stupid. But it also makes sense. Star Wars shows us that greed and a lust for power, i.e. the dark side, are all-consuming. And once you start down that path, you can never have enough…

Pre Vizsla gets in front of the crowd and says that Death Watch is here to save them from the gangsters. The crowd buys into what he says very quickly, despite the group ominously having the word “death” in its name. Not exactly easy from a marketing standpoint, is it? You’d think the Empire would have run into the same thing with the Death Star.

One of the things that interests me about this episode is that none of our heroes are in it. There’s no Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, Yoda, etc. Not every show can pull that off. It’s a credit to the quality of the writing and the patience said writers have in crafting this story.

The animators did a great job with Satine’s face in this episode. You can feel her worry, despair, even pain at the situation she and her people find themselves in.

Pretty epic fight between Maul and Vizsla (shown above). Maybe my favorite one-on-one confrontation of the entire series thus far.

Ultimately, Maul decapitates Vizsla with the Darksaber and takes his spot as leader of Death Watch. The whole “he who holds the Darksaber rules Mandalore” thing is obviously what they’re preparing to invoke between Din Djarin and Bo-Katan as head toward season three of The Mandalorian. This was a handy episode to watch in that respect.

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