Star Wars: The Clone Wars recap: Prepare to Get Mauled

Darth Maul lives! Getting cut in half isn't nearly as fatal as it used to be, though he's far creepier post-vivisection than you'd ever have imagined.
Ep. 21 | Aired Mar 9, 2012

Pity the mother who gave birth to these brothers.

Lucasfilm

“Peace is a lie. There is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.”
-The Sith Code, as taught by Darth Bane ca. 990 BBY

Only from the deepest, darkest mastery of the Force would this have been possible: the survival of Darth Maul. I know, I know. He was cut in half and should be dead, right? Wrong! If General Grievous can survive his entire body being annihilated in a shuttle crash and have his vital organs suspended in an aqueous sac inside a droid body, if Darth Vader can fall into a river of lava and be rebuilt, then surely anyone, let alone a Sith Lord, can survive a little matter of being cut in half, right? As we all know, the Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be…unnatural.

The only thing that was really unnatural about the storytelling behind “Brothers,” last night’s canon-redefining installment of The Clone Wars, was the fact that it wasn’t paired with its follow-up, next week’s “Revenge.” You mean after waiting 13 years since The Phantom Menace, 14 months since Savage Opress took off for the Outer Rim to find his brother, and five months since it was announced Darth Maul was returning, we now have to wait another week to see him in action rather than just muttering like a crazy person? Yes, I’m afraid. But for a return this anticipated, that actually does seem to represent a willingness by Lucasfilm to re-do an element of The Phantom Menace, I suppose the wait is justified. And, Sithspawn, if we don’t have a lot to cover just from last night’s episode as it is!

I don’t know about you but I usually get a kick out of The Clone Wars’ fortune cookie morals that open each episode. And of late I think they’ve been getting better and better, especially during that one-two punch of “Massacre” and “Bounty” that saw Ventress’ transformation from last-Nightsister-standing to badass bounty hunter. But, oh, last night how far they fell: “A fallen enemy may rise again, but the reconciled one is truly vanquished.” Huh? Can anyone please translate that for me? If you’re “reconciled” to your fate, doesn’t that mean that you’re in sympathetic alignment with the will of the Force? Shouldn’t that be a good thing, rather than a sign that you’re vanquished? I’m almost thinking a Sith Lord got ahold of The Clone Wars’ morality Pez dispenser and is now inserting some of his Dark Side propaganda.

Actually, maybe that is what we’re supposed to think! How else to explain how the very Clone Wars logo itself changed color from its typical auric glow to a bright Darth Maul red? My mind hasn’t been this blown by a logo change since the season 5 finale of Lost when Juliet’s detonation of the island’s nuclear bomb changed the LOST symbol from white text on a black background to black text on a white background. Wow, that really seemed to indicate we were in for a game change. Which I guess we were. But instead of some island-history-altering reset-button twist, Lost gave us the decidedly non-Alexander Payne-written “Sideways Universe.” Surely, the Clone Wars’ own logo change can only anticipate a more exciting creative future, right? Right?

NEXT: Savage lays waste to an Outer Rim diner. And Derrown makes an appearance?

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