April 24, 2024

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The Clone Wars “Rising Malevolence”

The Separatists have a new weapon, one that no Republic witnesses have yet seen.

I mentioned previously that The Clone Wars often did multi-episode storyarcs, but the first episode was a stand-alone.

This is the second episode, so that means, yes, we have a multi-episode storyarc!

The Separatists have a new weapon, one that the Republic doesn’t know anything about.  All they know is that some ships go out to a region of space and are never seen again.  Since this is a Jedi-led war, the Council dispatches three more ships under the command of Jedi Master Plo Koon, who may have one of the coolest looks of any Jedi on the show.  As it is, the Separatists have a new ship called the Malevolence, one personally commanded by Count Dooku and General Grievous from the looks of things.

And yes, it does have a secret weapon: an ion cannon, a special weapon that shuts down all electonics on a target, effectively leaving even the mightiest battleships dead in space, with the handful of escape pods that get away easily taken care of thanks to the Malevolence‘s regular guns and droid deployments if necessary.  Plo Koon and a few of his clones do manage to get away in a pod, and while they had sent a message to the Republic before Grievous had their comms jammed,  he may be in a lot of trouble.

If the first episode is a basic adventure, this one gets into some much-needed character work since Anikin and Ahsoka (plus R2) are all on another mission close enough to maybe do something.  Yes, the Council and Chancellor Palpatine want them to stay put on escort duty, but Ahsoka, ignoring instructions to stay silent, insists on a rescue.  As it is, Anikin was going to do so anyway.  He was just going to play a little game of semantics to get around his explicit orders and lead a two-person and one droid rescue mission.  Ahsoka has a special concern since Plo Koon is the Jedi who first found her, and Anikin, well, he’s actually looking like he may not be the worst teacher out there at this rate.

Plo Koon, meanwhile, does some Jedi badassery, attacking droid fighters in the vacuum of space while also showing concern for his clones, a repeat of the same sort of message that Yoda gave in the first episode that even clone lives matter to the Jedi.

And there’s a hint that the Separatists are getting inside information…almost immediately followed by a scene where Jedi were openly discussing things with Palpatine.  And then there’s the issue of, after Anikin and Ahsoka successfully find Plo Koon and and his clones, the need to shut down all their electronics, including R2, but forget about the medical droid treating the clones in the back before they have to fly very quickly to outrun an ion blast, something they barely do by hitting light speed at the exact last minute.

So, the Republic knows this weapon exists, but that doesn’t mean they can do anything about it just yet.