Star Wars Celebration VII

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review - Season 2, Episode 8: Brain Invaders

Ahsoka Tano and Barriss Offee
(Image via StarWars.com)

By Chris "HothIcePlanet" Smith  Twitter logo  Facebook logo
Original Air Date:
December 4th, 2009

Key Players:
Ahsoka Tano, Barriss Offee, Anakin Skywalker, Poggle the Lesser, Kit Fisto & Clone Trooper Company Tango

Tagline:
“Attachment is not compassion”

Newsreel:
Victory on Geonosis! After a massive assault, the Republic has finally recaptured the Separatist planet and shut down its droid factories of doom. An investigation by Luminara Unduli led to the discovery of Queen Karina the Great, whose hive-mind could reanimate dead Geonosian soldiers.

During the destruction of the Queen’s temple, the Jedi apprehended her advisor Poggle the Lesser, and now prepare to deliver the villain to Coruscant for trial…

Story:
With Anakin, Obi-Wan, Luminara and Ki Adi Mundi pre-occupied with handling the transfer of Poggle the Lesser to Coruscant, they decide to let Ahsoka and Barriss Offee handle the shipment of medical supplies to Ord Cestus for Master Windu and his troops.  Meanwhile, on the planet of Geonosis, a Geonosian brain worm egg hatches and finds its way into a sleeping clone trooper named Scythe, in turn taking control of him. Carrying a backpack full of the brain worm eggs, Scythe boards the medical frigate TB-73 with Ahsoka and Barriss.

Once TB-73 takes off, Scythe releases the brain worm eggs and proceeds to take over the ship. After they are attacked by several infected clones, Ahsoka and Barriss covertly maneuver through the ship’s ducts and hallways, ultimately uncovering the reason for the betrayal of their clones.  But unfortunately, they cannot quell the threat before Barriss is infected.

After being out of communications with the Jedi Masters for some time, Ahsoka finally gets in touch with Master Skywalker to report the situation. Realizing the life of his Padawan is at stake, Anakin interrogates Poggle the Lesser for some answers on how to stop these worms.  Using Vader-esque brute force to get the information he needs, he contacts Ahsoka back with the solution to her problem; she must rupture the cooling system to freeze the worms.

Ahsoka follows Anakin’s instructions and ruptures the cooling system.  But after she does so, she’s confronted by an infected Barriss and must fight her off.  During the fight in sub-zero temps, Barriss partially comes back to her normal self and asks Ahsoka to kill her.  Ahsoka refuses.  After Master Fisto and his troops finally get the medical frigate docked, Master Fisto finds Ahsoka on the bridge shivering on the floor and holding an unconscious Barriss.

Later Ahsoka awakens in the infirmary and sees Anakin watching over her. After her Master delivers some sage advice, she notices Barriss resting in another bed beside her.

The Dish:
I really enjoyed everything about this episode from start to finish, especially how it centered on the so-called “simple” mission of two Padawans delivering medical supplies. Unburdened by plot complexity, we get to really see deeper into the characters of Ahsoka and Barriss Offee and peel back the layers to catch a glimpse of just how difficult it is to become a Jedi.

After Barriss is infected by the brain worm, Ahsoka is truly by herself and must take full control of this seemingly lost mission.  More importantly, Ahsoka must confront the very real nightmare and emotional complexities of having to possibly kill one of her closest peers!  We see Ahsoka grow up a little right in front of our eyes.

Also noteworthy is the brief glimpse of Darth Vader we get to see in this episode.  While we of course don’t see Vader in physical form (the mask, the armor, the cape), this episode delivers a stark reminder of the darkness looming inside Anakin Skywalker.  Poggle the Lesser falls victim to that anger as Anakin taps into his feelings rage when confronted with the loss of Ahsoka.

The tone of the episode is that of a textbook thriller, although it does have some nice lighter moments.  I loved the mealtime conversation between the two Padawans about the differences between their Masters.

This is also an action packed episode full of Jedi and clone trooper fights.  The Clone Wars never seems to fail to deliver on that front.

Finishing Touches:
  • Having the Republic logo on the pillowcases of Ahsoka’s bed
  • The medical frigate TB-73 looks a lot like an earlier model of the Blockade Runner from “Star Wars”
  • When Anakin roughly interrogates Poggle the Lesser we hear the very soft, but menacing Darth Vader music in the background
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