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

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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