Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Lawless" Review: Big Hellos, Big Goodbyes

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Feb 02, 2013

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S05E16: "The Lawless"

When this arc started, I must admit that this development wasn't what I expected. Given that Maul had been operating and interacting with the Jedi for a bit before he was about to die in space, it was easy enough to forget about Palpatine's place in the Dathomirian-Zabraki’s life.

But in a delightful little twist, Palpatine arrived on Mandalore to throw down with his old apprentice. Normally, I’d like a little more character interaction between the fighters before the big event, but the animators and Sam Witwer provided all that was needed for that when Maul sensed Palpatine approach. The fear and anxiety expressed in the contortions of Maul’s face and Witwer’s voice said everything about Palpatine’s arrival in the throne room.

The duel, of course, didn’t go well for the Sith brothers, but how could it? Savage was killed and Maul was drafted into whatever short-term plan Palpatine has in store for the series (you know, before Revenge of the Sith starts). Maul as a crimelord never really worked for me (even if his plan was sort of crafty), and so his forced return to Palpatine’s fold is a welcomed development for that character.

And remember when the plan two episodes ago was to lure Kenobi out to the open so he could be killed? Yeah, well, that finally came to fruition here as Satine was allowed to send off a distress message in a failed rescue attempt. Of course, given that Satine had positioned Mandalore as neutral and the CIS wasn’t involved, the Jedi Council wasn’t willing to act without Senate approval, and so Obi-Wan decided to do an unsanctioned solo rescue. Because those always go so well.

While there was never any doubt about Obi-Wan ever going to the dark side, Satine’s death, along with her confession of affection for the Jedi Master, seemed like as good a test as any for Kenobi’s moral certitude. And while I do think he was sad about it, it was also nothing that could penetrate his Jedi shell. Say what you will about the emotionless code of the Jedi at this time in the Star Wars canon, or how Anakin’s refusal to adhere to it contributed to his eventual downfall, there’s still something very tragic about Obi-Wan’s inability to express his anger and sadness about Satine’s murder.


Notes & Quotes


So, hey, where’d the animation round-up go?! I miss it, too, but it just wasn’t bringing the eyeballs. We’re trying out Clone Wars as a standalone review since it seemed like the most popular, comment-wise. Wrap-up posts for shows like Green Lantern and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will likely happen, too.

– I liked Maul’s recoloring of the Mandalorian armor. Even the horns on the helmet of who I assume was his top enforcer were a nice touch.

– “Maul must really want you dead.”

– Satine and Bo-Katan being sisters was sort of cool, though it doesn’t add a great deal of depth to either.


What'd you think of this week's episode?

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  • Taknakhan Feb 05, 2013

    When Palpatine switched off his sabers and started just dodging Maul's blows, I knew the Clone Wars team had finally strapped their boots back up. These last few eps have been FAN-TASTIC,

  • lady_catseyes Feb 05, 2013

    Well thank goodness someone somewhere came to their senses and returned this show to the reason I started watching in the first place. I do hope the craptacular one-shot-wonders are behind us.

  • ToddMurray Feb 04, 2013

    After the five-episode droid mission, I almost wrote this series off as going ultra kiddie. The Maul-Kenobi-Mandalore arc over the past three episodes, however, has reminded me of how awesome this series can be when it wants. The story was great, the lightsaber/vibroblade battles were simply stunning, and the pacing was excellent and heart-pounding! Some of the best episodes ever for The Clone Wars. Also loved the artwork - some of the backgrounds and armor looked hand-painted, which is pretty impressive for computerized graphics.

  • WindUpRobot Feb 04, 2013

    Also: The droid arc was four episodes, not five. Perhaps you need some ultra kiddie educational programming to help with counting.

  • ToddMurray Feb 04, 2013

    Well it was so awful, I guess it felt like five.

  • WindUpRobot Feb 04, 2013

    THAT we can agree on.

  • WindUpRobot Feb 04, 2013

    Because there's nothing kids love more than 20-minutes of droids wandering around a barren wasteland! WOOO-HOOOO

  • damnfo0l Feb 03, 2013

    Great episode - I loved it, such an unexpected end with Palpy doing the deed and offing the Maul brothers.

    It did demonstrate that there really is a multi-tiered ranking in terms of Force users ability. Savage pretty much destroyed the Jedi & his apprentice when Dooku was training him, he and Maul were more than a match for Obi Wan & Ventress and yet when faced with Palpy they were effectively useless.

    Loved it.

  • OdumC Feb 03, 2013

    This is by far (in my opinion) THE Must see episode of the Clone Wars. amazing action all around, from the Mandalorian civil war to the 3 way Sith fight at the end. Sidious slamming Maul and Savage against the wall as he flicks his wrist and sabers drop from his sleeves into his hands was great. the fight was amazing, and using Force lightning on Maul at the end of the fight was pure Palpatine. loved it. they made up for that horribly bad droid arc in a big way with this. 10/10

  • klotensen Feb 04, 2013

    Thought the same. The chancellor/emperor's entry was fantastic, this was SWTCW at its best.

  • OdumC Feb 04, 2013

    Yeah when his shuttle was landing A. I was hoping it was Palpatine and B. I was hoping he'd do the slow walk down the ramp decked out in the Sidious robes. then he did and when he killed the 2 Mandalorian guards and was on a speeder halfway down the access tube before their bodies even hit the ground.. I was just grinning thinking "Ok this is gonna be GOOD" and it didn't disappoint.

  • mcepin3 Feb 03, 2013

    I got my full geek on from this episode:D Gonna miss you Ian Abercrombie!
    Palpatine is badass and this is how Jedi and Sith should be handled. As I was watching Palpatine,Sith code came to my mind:
    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.

    If CW don't get season 6,they should really start thinking about, either doing Yoda or Darth Sidious anime.

    This is arc is the best and....oh my, I can't get Palpatine out of my head:D

    *force lighting* "pppp....poowwaah...UNLIMITED POWWWAAAAHHHH!!!!!" :P *MASSIVE force lighting* :D

    "Anakin,this is the last time, I borrow a ship from you."

    This episode is in top 3 on my list. Loved every scene and even Maul wielding that darksaber,it didn't bothered me much. I was rooting for Palpatine anway:D

  • Demonstrable Feb 03, 2013

    This would be the perfect episode to show to someone who is a Star Wars fan but might have avoided this show because it is a "cartoon".

    Did you think that Darth Maul was the best part of Episode 1? - Check

    Are you a fan of the uniquely styled lightsabers? - Check

    How about ones with awesome colors? - Check

    Did you think Boba Fett and Jango Fett were awesome but you always wanted to see them fly around and fight more? - Check

    Did you want to see Palpatine show why he is a badass without all of the CGI mess? - Check

    Force lightning? - Check

    Have you ever wondered what a female wearing Mandalorian armor would look like? - Check

    How about a Jedi in Mandalorian armor? - Check

    Did you want to see more character development for Obi-Wan? - Check


    Also episodes like this make me kind of annoyed that 4 episodes were wasted on that droid story arc.

    I can only imagine how much more awesome this show could be if it were made for the 18-49 demographic.

  • Shauny89 Feb 03, 2013

    The best fight scene in Star Wars without a doubt, the joy on Palpatines face, the shifting tides of Maul, it was brilliantly done and easily overshadowed the entire part of Kenobi's interference. Tbh I think this one could have been split a little better into a two-parter to make sure Kenobi's involvement didn't seem like a tragic side-show as Satine and he probably deserved a little more screen time, which could have given Savage a little more to say before his departure.

  • antdude Feb 03, 2013

    Very dark in this arc! I love the references to the episode 4/IV movie too! :D

  • ultra-humanite Feb 02, 2013

    Am I the only one who had memory flashbacks of Moulin Rouge? See, there's this character named Satine and she has a tragic relationship with the character played by Ewan McGregor ...

    But the flashy red lightsabers were great, too. Were we meant to think that smiling Sidious was mostly playing around with his opponents? Every once in a while it was as if he just thought, "Bored now," and switched to Force pushes.

  • BobbyK12 Feb 03, 2013

    I was going to make the same comment.

    Note to people named Satine: stay away from Ewan McGregor... it ends badly.

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