The Essential Clone Wars: “The Lawless”

***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.”

Satine death, Star Wars the Clone Wars, The LawlessSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
S5:E16 – “The Lawless”
James Arnold Taylor, Anna Graves, Sam Witwer, Ian Abercrombie, Katee Sackhoff
Chris Collins
Brian Kalin O’Connell
February 2, 2013
Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to save Satine from Maul’s forces.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Wait, Satine has a nephew named Korkie? Why is that funny to me?

So now we have not only have Mandalorians with red armor, but Mandalorians whose helmets have horns like Darth Maul. You just know the artists and designers had fun with that one.

Having received Duchess Satine’s desperate transmission for help, Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to save her. Question: Did Yoda and the Jedi Council know about him going to Mandalore, or did Obi-Wan do it on his own? If so, does he face any consequences for that? Just asking…

After they are captured by Mandalorian forces, Obi-Wan is forced to watch as Satine is executed by Maul. Needless to say, this makes their feud even more personal than it already was. I wasn’t necessarily surprised to see Satine die. But I was surprised to see her simply executed the way she was. She didn’t go out in a blaze of glory or anything. They just got everybody in a room, and Maul killed her. Simple as that.

Sensing what’s happening, Darth Sidious personally travels to Mandalore to confront Maul. And again I have to ask, does anyone know where he went? He is the chancellor of the Republic, and they are in the middle of a war. He can’t just go off without telling anybody, can he?

I understand these kinds of details aren’t necessarily important in the context of telling the story. The important thing is that Obi-Wan and Palpatine ultimately end up on Mandalore. But it’s fair question, isn’t it?

I noticed that just before the two-on one duel starts with Sidious, Maul, and Savage Opress, Maul does the “Obi-Wan pose” (shown below). I can only assume that was intentional. The Obi-Wan pose wasn’t as much of a thing yet. But the show had done it before. And of course, we’d see it in Revenge of the Sith.

Ian Abercrombie, who voices Palpatine/Sidious, has the character’s evil laugh down pat. That makes his fight sequence with Maul and Opress that much more effective.

There are a lot of “echoes” in this episode. You’ve got Obi-Wan luring that Mandalorian on to his ship and stealing his uniform, much like they did in A New Hope. Then, seconds before he sees Palpatine, Maul says he senses a presence he hasn’t felt since… Again, like in A New Hope. Then, after it’s revealed that Bo-Katan is Satine’s sister, Obi-Wan says “I’m so sorry,” much like he says to Padme in Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars does love it’s callbacks, doesn’t it?

To Maul’s shock and horror, Sidious kills Savage Opress. Thus, possibly my least favorite character in all of Star Wars is put down. Whatever shall we do without him?

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A Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Part VI” Review

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi poster, Owen LarsSERIES: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
“Part VI”
Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Hayden Christensen, James Earl Jones (voice), Joel Edgerton
Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton, Stuart Beattie, Hossein Amini
Deborah Chow
June 22, 2022
Obi-Wan must face Darth Vader once again.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We got a lot of callbacks in this episode. We got some Empire Strikes Back with the ship being chased by a Star Destroyer, Vader on the bridge, and the musical callback to John Williams’ score. We got another later in the episode with Luke’s line, “I’m not afraid.”

We had some more more verbal callbacks with Ewan’s lines, “I will do what I must,” (Revenge of the Sith) and “Then my friend is truly dead” (Return of the Jedi). Palpatine (more on him in a bit) had one about Vader’s thoughts being “clear.” One can even make an argument for Reva’s hunting of Luke in the dark being a nod to Return of the Jedi.

All…interesting choices. I’m not sure I would have gone quite that heavy. But there it is.

Ha! After Obi-Wan says, “I will do what I must,” he does what I’ll call the “Obi-Wan pose” (shown below), with the lightsaber in one hand and his other extended outward. Great little touch.

The second fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader was about what it should have been. Obi-Wan had a little bit of his mojo back, but was still doing a lot of evading.

That broken Vader helmet thing was done on Rebels. So there is a certain cheapness to doing it again. But I’d argue this was more effective, by virtue of us having the involvement of both Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones, as well as Ewan McGregor.

This episode gave us what I thought was the show’s only major misstep: Obi-Wan knowingly leaving Vader alive. That’s an objectively stupid move. At least in Revenge of the Sith, he thought Anakin was dead when he left Mustafar. But here there’s no excuse. Obi-Wan has accepted the notion that the Anakin he knew is gone. He’s standing in front of Darth Vader, who has slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands of people. The right thing to do would have been to finish the job.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part VI, pose

What boggles my mind is that they could have easily had the Grand Inquisitor fly in with a squad of TIE Fighters and attack Obi-Wan, prompting a hasty retreat. Or something like that. But to just leave the evil dictator alive when you’ve got him right where you want him? Nope. Fail. So is Obi-Wan now culpable in every life Vader takes from here on out?

Reva’s redemption obviously opens the door to more stories with her. Supposedly she has her own series in the works. I can’t say I’m dying to see her story continue. But who am I kidding? I’d watch. If nothing else it would be poetic justice for all the racist crap Moses Ingram got.

Great to see a Palpatine cameo from Ian McDiarmid. He’s always great. Poor guy had to lie about it at Star Wars Celebration.

There’s been a lot of talk about Leia’s outfits in this show being reminiscent of stuff she wore in the original trilogy. But I’d argue her final outfit in this episode, and the series itself, was very similar to what Luke wears on Tatooine. That’s fitting, for obvious reasons.

So…Obi-Wan just stopped by Alderaan for a quick visit? That’s a little weird. They couldn’t have done that via the holo-communicator?

I can already here the crybabies out there calling foul over Obi-Wan meeting Luke. But Luke did know who “Old Ben”was in A New Hope. There was nothing there to directly contradict him meeting Leia, and there’s even less to indicate that he hadn’t met Luke at least once. Maybe even two or three times. Cool your thrusters, fanboys…

Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part VI

Aaaaaaand of course Liam Neeson made a cameo as Qui-Gon. I called it. They couldn’t not pay that off after Obi-Wan spoke to him multiple times over the course of the show. I’m happy Liam Neeson is back in the Star Wars fold. I enjoy the Qui-Gon Jinn character. Quite a bit, actually.

There was a time period where Star Wars really harped on hope. Especially in Rogue One and The Last Jedi. But in its own way, Obi-Wan Kenobi was about hope too. Specifically, Obi-Wan regaining the hope he lost so many years ago after Anakin’s fall. Thankfully, this series didn’t point at it the way those movies did.

Obi-Wan Kenobi went by fast, didn’t it? But the show, despite its critics, delivered. I’d still argue The Mandalorian is better. But not by much. Obi-Wan Kenobi has been, and perhaps should be, judged by very different standards. People came in with much higher expectations. But I honestly don’t see what more the show could have done to appeal to fans new and old. For that, I tip my hat to it.

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