Jedi Master Even Piell has been captured and is being held in a stronghold known as The Citadel. It was originally created to hold Jedi and is reknowned for having the best defenses of any prison. Obi-Wan and Anakin lead a team to break Master Piell out of the prison.
In order to get into the system without being detected, Artoo Detoo has reprogrammed a group of Battle Droids to pilot a stolen Seperatist shuttle and frozen the team in carbonite to evade any life scanners on the planet. From here the episode plays out like a thrilling combination of the Endor strike in Return of the Jedi and The Guns of Navarone. They even have to scale a rock wall, just like in Navarone, but instead of having to destroy a gun, it's a rescue mission.
In fact, as soon as I saw the rock wall I was counting the seconds before a member of the team fell to his death or broke a leg (as Anthony Quayle did in Navarone.) When it happened, it brought a smile to my face.
I was smiling a lot through this episode. It was very fun and felt like a Saturday afternoon matinee adventure. It was lighthearted, there was plenty at stake and the action was tremendous. And it ended on a brilliant cliffhanger.
I'm sure you've all noticed that "Captain" Tarkin is featured in this episode, and he's important since he holds half of the code the Seperatists are trying to torture out of Even Piell, but when Piell is rescued, he insists they need to rescue Tarkin as well. You'll remember Tarkin as Peter Cushing's character from Episode IV - A New Hope (and briefly in Episode III) and he's the only Imperial Officer we saw Vader take any orders from.
He also blew up Alderaan. Bastard.
But we see the introduction of these two characters and I'm excited to see the seeds of their relationship grow in the coming episodes in this arc and to see the evolution of it. It's a secret I've ALWAYS been curious about, and I think it really is going to be revealed.
It feels as though they've pulled out all the stops on this half of The Clone Wars and I'm dying to see what they've got cooking for the rest of it. Can the animation and writing get better? I wonder. This episode had one of the coolest fight sequences on the show, where a squad of Commando Droids face off against four Jedi and a group of Clones in a magnetized hallway.
And seriously, the Commando Droids are so fun to watch, I hope they use them on the show more. Same with C-3P0. It was great to see him back on the show and I think they use him more, too.
The lighting in this episode has taken a step forward as well. There was a moment in particular where Ahsoka is coming out of a vent and looking down a hallway that struck me as very impressive.
I do have one gripe about this episode, though I think I've already come up with a rationale to ignore it.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Lando is pretty concerned about Vader putting anyone in carbon freeze. "We use this facility for carbon freezing, you put him in there it might kill him."
And Vader shares that concern and doesn't want Skywalker damaged, so he orders it be tested on Captain Solo.
There's a very real threat that Han Solo won't survive the freezing process, but this episode had none of that worry here. For the life of me I'm trying to figure out why. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the Cloud City facility isn't designed for freezing life forms and the ones the Jedi use are designed for such a procedure.
In any case, this was a very fun episode and I can't wait to see how they get out of the prison. My only disappointment is that we have to wait two weeks for any resolution.