Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review - Season 2, Episode 15: "Senate Murders"
(Image via StarWars.com)
By Chris "HothIcePlanet" Smith
Original Air Date:March 19, 2010
Key Players:Senator Padme Amidala, Senator Bail Organa, Senator Onaconda Farr, Senator Halle Burtoni, Senator Mon Mothma, Senator Lolo Purs, Senator Mee Deechi and Lieutenant Tan Divo
Tagline:“Searching for the truth is easy. Accepting the truth is hard.”
Newsreel:War on many fronts! While battles are fought by clones in the field, a different war is waged in the Galactic Senate. As heavy losses add up, a group of Senators led by Halle Burtoni of Kamino, propose an escalation of troop production. Senator Padme Amidala, recognizing that more troops will only prolong the fighting, works tirelessly with her allies to introduce a bill to cut military spending and stop the creation of more clone troopers…
The Story:In her office on Coruscant, Senator Amidala is preparing herself for a speech she will give before the Senate later. She is joined by Senator’s Onaconda Farr, Lolo Purs and Mon Mothma. Amidala and the other Senators believe that the production of more clones will not end the war but instead prolong it. Senator Onaconda Farr believes it is too late to make up for his mistakes in his political career to do any good now. Senator Bail Organa interrupts the meeting to inform Amidala the Senate is ready for her to speak.
Senator Amidala speaks before the Senate, stating her belief that the production of even more clones will only financially bankrupt the Republic and prolong the war. Her speech is received with applause from most but not all of the Senate. Senator Mee Deechi meets with Padme outside the Senate chamber and warns her not to make such unpatriotic speeches. Padme replies that the only thing she sees as unpatriotic is his war mongering and then walks away.
Back in her office, Padme joins the other Senators from before to share in a toast for her speech, but the group is interrupted by Senator Halle Burtoni. Being a Kaminoan, Burtoni of course wants to see the bill passed for the production of more clones and accuses the Senators of being Separatists for their efforts.
Senator Onaconda Farr cuts the conversation off and basically kicks Senator Burtoni out so they can get back to the business at hand. After the toast and a brief conversation, Senator Onaconda Farr collapses and dies.
Senator Farr’s body is honored on a loading platform and loaded aboard a starship to be taken back to Rodia. Padme is deeply saddened but determined to move forward with her favorite “uncle’s” mission and the bill. A Senate guard asks Padme and Lolo to come to a meeting in Chancellor Palpatine's chambers where they are met by Inspector Lieutenant Tan Divo. Lt. Divo reveals that a chemical was found in Senator Farr’s blood and that he was murdered. Divo proceeds to question the Senators and states he wants no help in this matter, but Padme is determined to find out the truth.
Out in the halls of the Senate, the Senators discuss delaying the bill until they can find out the truth about Senator Farr’s death. Padme wants to find out what happened to her “uncle”. She and Bail Organa begin their search by questioning Senators Deechi and Burtoni. Both Senators laugh at the thought of them killing Farr. Deechi claims he was having Senator Farr followed and that Farr had a secret meeting at the docks under the derrick major, but doesn’t say with whom.
That evening Bail and Padme lurk around the docks looking for clues. A cloaked assailant is watching them and suddenly releases a cargo container on top of them. Padme sees the container and pushes Bail out of the way at the last possible moment. The assailant starts firing at the Senators before taking off. Padme chases after the mystery assailant, who eludes her at every turn. Upon almost catching the assailant, the cloaked figure activates another container which almost hits Bail and causes him to fall off the ledge of the docks. But Bail manages to grab the edge before he falls to certain doom. The container falls, crashing to the streets below.
The police arrive, and Lt. Divo is highly annoyed that Padme is sticking her nose in his investigation. After chastising Padme, she says she doesn’t care about his rules because she wants to find out the truth for herself. With what happened here Amidala now believes that Senator Deechi is behind the whole thing and set her up by sending her to this location. Padme and Bail race to Senator Deechi’s office only to find him dead with a dagger stuck in his chest.
Later in Padme’s offices, Lt. Divo requests that everyone stay put until he can complete his investigation. Senator Lolo finds this ridiculous and leaves. Lt. Divo asks Padme who knew about her mission to the docks. Padme tells him Senator Burtoni was the only other one who knew about it.
Lt. Divo goes to Senator Burtoni’s office to find her missing and then returns to Padme’s office. Senator Lolo then comes running in stating Senator Burtoni attacked her in the East Wing corridor. Lt. Divo sends his guards to bring Burtoni back for questioning. The guards return with Burtoni, who professes her innocence. Lt. Divo receives the forensic evidence report, stating that the poison in Farr’s bloodstream was engineered by Kaminoan scientist and would only affect Rodians. Lt. Divo asks the guards to arrest her, but Padme speaks up in confusion. Padme claims that if the poison was in all of the drinks, that Lolo would have died too. While talking this out Padme realizes that Lolo didn’t drink during the toast. Lolo steps out and pulls a blaster on Padme and reveals that she murdered Farr because he brought war to her planet. Lolo felt Farr was weak and shouldn’t be the one to lead her people. Lt. Divo activates two police droids outside who enter and distract Lolo. Padme takes the opportunity to knock the blaster out of her hand and then punches her square in the face, knocking her out cold.
Later, the Senate votes the clone bill passed, ensuring that more clone troopers will continue to be created for the security of the Republic as told by Chancellor Palpatine.
The Dish:Lt. Divo’s character, which seemed modeled after a 1930’s character actor named Peter Lorre, was a joy to watch in this episode. His extremely sarcastic tone was a throwback to an era of detective literature and cinema that was certainly ripe for the plucking. He brought a unique flavor to the episode and was a fresh, new character to see in the Star Wars universe.
This is not an action packed episode like most we see, but this is a vital information episode. In this story we see what goes on behind the action in the Senate, and the differences and conflicts which make up the political landscape during the Clone Wars. The tremendous burden on leaders who are deciding to send soldiers albeit clones) into harm’s way is vividly portrayed – something that clearly has immense relevance in today’s world.
It was also important to get a “reintroduction” to Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, two founding members of the Rebellion, in this episode. We finally do get to see more of Bail, and we explore his relationship with Padme. Considering he will one day volunteer to become the adoptive father of Padme’s daughter, a bond between the two is crucial to see in this series if we’re to understand why Bail took on that responsibility.
One cool little touch that might get overlooked in this episode was Senator Farr’s casket. It was really cool how we see his body through a clear lid on the casket, and then it shuts off like a TV screen when they board him on the starship. Details like that are what make these episodes so rich.
Finally, the Coruscant police droids are becomes stars of the show! They’re always fun to see - this time on their speeders with the flashing police lights, which is just screaming for future toys!
Reference:Peter Lorre at IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000048
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