Star Wars: The Clone Wars recap: The Great Escape

Anakin shows the Queen of Zygerria she's just a pawn of Count Dooku, while an enslaved Obi-Wan toils in the hellish foundry of Kadavo.
Ep. 13 | Aired Jan 6, 2012

DUEL OF THE FATES Free at last, free at last, thank the Force almighty, Anakin...is not quite free at last until he outwits Count Dooku.

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And we’re back!

After a holiday hiatus, The Clone Wars returned to kick off the new year last night with a dark tale of slavery and retribution that ended with something akin to a cosmic joke on our poor, long suffering Governor Roshti. Let’s face it, when he hopefully declared that his people might also join the Republic—to be ruled by the very man, Darth Sidious, who had ordered their enslavement in the first place—it hammered home the admirable, though ultimately futile, heroism of Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan throughout this entire series. No matter how many lives they save, how many people they free from slavery, how many battles they win, ultimately they are going to lose this war. At least Obi-Wan, unlike Anakin, will actually understand that he’s lost.

“Escape from Kadavo” opened with Obi-Wan and Captain Rex wearing shock collars and shoveling fuel into furnaces in a hellish factory alongside the Kirosian colonists they had initially hoped to free. Queen Miraj nailed it when she said that despair would consume Obi-Wan when he finally realized that anything he tried to do to help the people around him would only bring them harm. Then his defiance would become compliance as he resigned himself to his fate. That was a beautifully animated montage, the infernal red light of the furnace contrasting with the cold blue of the slaves’ barracks--the perfect hellscape for breaking the will of a Jedi. In a sense, this was also a dress rehearsal for his 19 years of hiding out in the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, waiting for the son of his fallen disciple to be the savior he had hoped Anakin would be.

I don’t know, the spice mines of Kessel may be worse, but at least a prisoner there can have some hope of getting high on glitterstim every now and then. And if you’re employed to work the vertiginous assembly lines of the Baktoid Armor Workshop foundry on Geonosis, at least you can hope to take in a public execution by reek, acklay, or nexu at an open air colosseum. Bread and circuses, my friends. Bread and circuses. But on Kadavo, there's nothing. As Tom Kane pompously announced, “Even Obi-Wan Kenobi must come to terms with a  life in chains.”

Queen Miraj had little time to plan her seduction of Anakin and convince him to fight by her side. That’s because Count Dooku immediately showed up in solar-sail ship to arrange the execution of the Jedi who had been his nemeses for so long. As he approached, Darth Sidious holocommed in and said that “long have Sith Empires been built upon the backs of slaves.” If they were to carry on that tradition for their new order, they would need millions. Sorry, Mon Calamari newly freed from the oppression of Riff Tamson and the Separatists. Sorry, Chewbacca and other Wookiees enslaved by Trandoshan hunters on Wasskah. Savor your last couple years of freedom, because under the New Order your hides are going to belong to one Papa Palpatine.

NEXT: Anakin kills a guy by throwing him off a ledge. Also, he really needs to find a way to repel Force Lightning.

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