Sunday, February 10, 2013

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Sabotage" (Episode 5.17)


It looks like The Clone Wars went back to school when it comes to criminal procedure and if Lt. Tan Divo starring Season Two's "Senate Murders" was CrimPro I than this week's episode "Sabotage" is definitely CrimPro II.

"Sometimes even the smallest doubt can shake the greatest belief."
Anakin and Ahsoka investigate a deadly bombing at the Jedi Temple.

Written by Clone Wars newcomer Charles Murray (@ChiefRocka77), this episode presents a great version of Anakin and Ahsoka's relationship and some very cool parallels to Episode III.

We join the action mid-battle after the newsreel as Ahsoka and Anakin are piloting their "New" Jedi Starfighters on Cato Neimoidia. The Starfighter opening and buzz-droid attack was a nice call back to Episode III's opening and presents an interesting parallel in terms of relationships between Ahsoka/Anakin now and Anakin/Obi-Wan in episode III.

While Ahsoka may still technically be Anakin's padawan, she is on the cusp of knighthood and her ability to not only save her own skin but also Anakin's points to a self-assured and capable young woman.  This is a relationship that is entering a peer stage, much like Anakin and Obi-Wan do in Episode III.  One can only hope that the ultimate dissolution of Anakin and Ahsoka's relationship will not be as heart wrenching as Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship. 

This week's episode also showed some very well done animation.  Upgraded character models for Captain Rex, new Jedi Starfighters, very good facial animation on Anakin in particular and and incredible fully immersive hologram of the terrorist explosion.

I gotta say that director Brian Kalin O'Connell and writer Charles Murray took this week's episode in an interesting direction. If we didn't know any better you would assume this is a stand alone episode, because other than the ultimate trial and conviction of Letta Turmond it seems like the immediate issues presented in the episode are wrapped up rather nicely with a bow.

This episode also brings up an issue that has been dealt with in various ways in the EU as well as in Episode III. How exactly does Palpatine turn public opinion against the Jedi? The fall of the Republic was so skillfully crafted by George Lucas in his storytelling that Palpatine even though he is absolutely evil, is also a completely compelling character.  The Sith Grand Plan is both incredibly intricate and complex and incredibly simple.  Palpatine uses the Jedi sense of duty and devotion to the Republic to get them to stray from their core ideals and debase themselves in a seemingly endless war.  The reward for the Jedi for their effort is that the public disdain for war falls upon their laps and the populace's frustration and fear is easily transferred to this group that represents the "other" strange mysterious mystics who possess powers that the ordinary folk do not and a cannot and that seem to be above the law and society of the common man. 

This issue of the public opinion of the Jedi will come back again in this arc I am sure.  This issue will recur  with the Clone's views of the Jedi leading up to Order 66, as well and ultimately of Palpatine's selling to the public of the ultimate lie about the Jedi coup.

The bulk of the episode focuses on Anakin, Ahsoka and Jedi Crime Scene Analysis Droid RUSSO-ICS as they investigate the explosion in the Jedi Temple hanger that resulted in the death of Jedi, Clones and civilians.  The investigation ultimately leads to Letta Turmond, who's husband was a worker in the hanger.  Letta turned her husband into a walking bomb through the use of unstable nano-droids which she had him consume with his food.  

It is interesting to see the influence of Hitchcock's Sabotage on this episode. In Hitchcock's film the focus of the story is on an investigation of a terrorist plot in London.  The prime suspect is a movie theater owner names Karl Verloc, who has a young wife. The wife also has a little brother (Stevie) that is part of the couple household.  The Scotland Yard detective in the film works undercover at a grocery store and ingratiates himself with the brother and sister in an attempt to learn if the husband is guilty.  Ultimately Karl has a bomb hidden inside a film canister, which he has the young boy transport unknowingly to Piccadilly Circus. Karl is very clear that the boy must deliver the package by a certain time because he doesn't want the boy to be killed.  Ultimately the kid is delayed and the bomb goes off killing the kid and a bus full of passengers.  Karl is then murdered by his wife when she finds out what happened.  

In this episode Letta appears to be playing the role of Verloc, with her husband Jackar Bowmani playing the role of Stevie as well as a the film canister.  In Hitchcock's film Verloc is murdered, it also revealed in a description of next week's episode that Letta will be killed and Ahsoka will be blamed for it.  We know that Letta is in custody in a Jedi holding cell below the Temple and that theoretically it would be nearly impossible for anyone but the Jedi to have access to her.  This fact makes the red herring of a Jedi being involved in the terrorist plot in this week's episode to be not so subtle foreshadowing about what is to be coming in the rest of the arc.  I will again wonder if the issue of a Dark Jedi or Jedi double-agent will result in the appearance of a character like Sora Bulq in The Clone Wars.  

I eagerly look forward next week to see what kind of emotional havoc The Clone Wars teams visits upon Ahsoka in this arc.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE OF SABOTAGE:

THE CLONE WARS DOWNLOAD: The Cost of The Clone Wars


Next Week on The Clone Wars:

Episode 5.18: "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"

After meeting with Letta Turmond, Letta turns up dead and Ahsoka is arrested.


SOURCE: StarWars.com

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