Tonight’s episode of Clone Wars was the kick-off of the three part season finale, The Ryloth Trilogy. This first episode in the cycle Storm Over Ryloth began with the announcer explaining that Ryloth was a critical system to the war effort but that it had been overrun by the Separatist army and the Twi’lek’s have been enslaved by Wat Tambor of the Techno Union Army (who was my favorite Separatist in Attack of the Clones.)
As soon as the plot is set up, we get right into a fairly breathtaking space battle, following Ahsoka and her squad mainly. Unfortunately, the blockade Captain, a brilliant Nemoidian named Mar Tuuk, has set a trap for the Jedi and the assault is routed. Taking a page out of Anakin’s playbook, Ahsoka refuses orders to pull back and continues her assault on the Droid Control Ship… By the time she acknowledges her orders, she’s lost the better part of her squadron and by the time she finally reaches the hangar bay, they’re all gone.
The fleet under Anakin’s command flees in hyperspace to regroup and Ahsoka is left to deal with the guilt and grief of losing so many men as a direct result of her Skywalker-like recklessness.
While Ahsoka deals with the loss, Anakin is left to formulate a plan to regain the ground they lost and smash the blockade before Obi-Wan arrives. His plan is simple. He evacuates the damaged Capital ship and jumps back to Ryloth and offers his surrender, all the while setting the Star Destroyer on a collision course with the Droid Control ship.
This episode was a highlight of the series, to be sure. It dealt with the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka in a really weird way and you really see how dysfunctional he is as a teacher. He has no idea how to help Ahsoka deal with loss because it’s something even he never learns to deal with. And he sends her so many mixed signals, to take risks, to not take risks, to take them, to not…
When I realized what Anakin’s improvised plan was after the rendezvous in defeat, I started to laugh giddily. It’s exactly the sort of thing I like to see in this Anakin.
And the Nemoidian in this episode was a stunning commander. He reminded me of a greasy, Nemoidian version of Grand Admiral Thrawn. And he knew when to get into an escape pod, which is something bad guys in Star Wars often have a hard time doing. I hope we’ll be seeing more of him.
The next episode looks to belong to Obi-Wan and his invasion fleet landing on Ryloth and the season finale looks to be Mace Windu’s part in the tale.
If these three episodes build up together and get better and better, we’re in for a fantastic treat in the next two weeks.