Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review - Season 2, Episode 12: The Mandalore Plot
(Image via StarWars.com)
By Chris "HothIcePlanet" Smith
Original Air Date:January 29, 2010
Key Players:Obi-Wan Kenobi, Duchess Satine Kryze and Governor Pre Vizsla
Key Locations::Mandalore and Concordia
Tagline:“If you ignore the past, you jeopardize your future.”
Newsreel:Diplomacy or deception? The Council of Neutral Systems speaks for over 1,500 worlds who want to stay out of the war. But rumors have reached the Republic Senate suggesting that the Council’s new leader—Duchess Satine of Mandalore—is secretly building her own army to fight for the Separatist cause!
Now, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has been sent to Mandalore to discover the truth behind these claims…
The Story:Obi-Wan pops out of hyperspace in his Jedi Starfighter above Mandalore. He detaches from his ring and flies on into the Mandalore city of Sundari. He lands and jumps on a transport that takes him to see the Duchess Satine. He enters the palace of the Duchess, where he is met by Mandalorian Prime Minister Almec. Almec tries to convey to Obi-Wan that the rumors of the Mandalorians joining the Separatists are just rumors. He also insists that Mandalore’s violent past is indeed in the past and that Duchess Satine is strictly for peace. Almec states that all of their warriors were exiled to their planet moon Concordia and have all died off. Obi-Wan tells Almec of his run in with Jango Fett, but Almec rather angrily says Jango Fett is just a rogue bounty hunter. Duchess Satine arrives and joins the conversation. Satine claims Obi-Wan is accusing her of treachery, but Obi-Wan says he would never accuse her of any wrong doing. Obi-Wan pulls out a small device and shows them a recent hologram of a Mandalorian warrior who took his own life to avoid capture. Duchess Satine exclaims that none of her people would do this and blames the Senate for the investigation. Obi-Wan explains that this is a Jedi investigation and not the Senate’s. Satine asks Obi-Wan to join her on a walk through the city.
At a park on Mandalore, Obi-Wan and Satine walk and discuss her peaceful views, but Satine also brings up a renegade squad called the Death Watch who idolizes violence. She tells Obi-Wan these renegades, who reside on the moon of Concordia, are nothing more than hoodlums, and that they must be behind this trouble.
Meanwhile, inside a military camp a Mandalorian in full armor is talking with a hologram of Count Dooku. Count Dooku promises his support of the group called Death Watch in their efforts to overthrow Duchess Satine and the government.
Back at the park, Obi-Wan and Satine are still discussing her peace keeping plans, when an explosion pulverizes a memorial shrine nearby, injuring several bystanders. Obi-Wan points out a hologram of a Death Watch symbol, realizing this is a political statement and not the work of a bunch of hoodlums. Obi-Wan tells one of the guards no one is to leave the scene. He wants to interview everyone before they leave. One of the bystanders flees, proving he is guilty of this. Obi-Wan follows him to a balcony, which is a dead end. Having nowhere to go, the man pulls out his blaster and fires on Obi-Wan, who uses his lightsaber to deflect the bolt back at him – jarring the blaster from the perpetrator’s hand. Cornered, the man decides to jump off the balcony to the ground below to kill himself. The man whispers some last words to the Duchess in a dialect from the moon of Concordia. Obi-Wan feels he now must go there, but Satine says she must escort him.
Obi-Wan and Satine take a shuttle to Concordia, and Satine explains that the moon is finally growing its forest back after many, many years of strip mining. They land at a government building and are met by governor Vizsla. Obi-Wan explains he is only there searching for the truth and that he has brought the body of the bomber with him. The governor says he must attend to deceased first and then they can meet for dinner. Obi-Wan asks Satine to cover for him as he searches for evidence he needs. He gives her a comm device and an earpiece for communications, then borrows a speeder and takes off. Satine meets with the governor and tells him Obi-Wan is meditating and will meet them shortly.
Obi-Wan arrives at what looks like a mine and goes in to investigate. Inside he finds conveyors lined with Mandalorian helmets and jet packs. He picks up a helmet to look at, and a Mandalorian jumps him from behind. As he starts to fight, Obi-Wan loses his lightsaber, and a second Mandalorian jumps in and kicks him in the head, knocking him out cold.
Meanwhile, Satine and Vizsla start dinner and discuss the plot at hand. Satine is certain the Separatists are behind the attacks.
Obi-Wan awakens to find himself hanging upside down in a containment field on a conveyor belt leading to a rock crusher. Obi-Wan contacts Satine by comm for her help, and the Duchess excuses herself for a moment to try to help him. She takes a speeder and follows the tracking device Obi-Wan gave her.
Satine arrives at the mine and asks Obi-Wan where he is. Obi-Wan’s response is to listen for the loud metallic clanging sound that is the machine about to smash him to bits! Satine sounds an alarm to distract the two Mandalorians on guard, while she tries to free Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan is quite panicked and brandishes his usual sarcastic wit. At the last possible second, Satine gets the machine shut off. At this point the Mandalorians return, but Obi-Wan quickly dispatches them, not realizing he doesn’t have his lightsaber. He and Satine proceed to use an elevator to come out on a cliff where they are attacked by several other Mandalorians. As the Mandalorians fire on them, they shoot the cable to the elevator, and it falls to the bottom of the shaft. Obi-Wan, not having his lightsaber, must use a blaster from one of the fallen Mandalorians to shoots down one of the attackers. Obi-Wan then uses a jet pack from one of them, tosses it in the air and destroys it with blaster fire to take down two more Mandalorians.
At this point, the lead Mandalorian commands the troops to evacuate and claims he will deal with this situation himself. He takes three Mandalorians with him to finish of Obi-Wan and Satine. As he walks toward them, he executes one of the downed Mandalorians stating, “Failure.” The lead Mandalorian removes his helmet and reveals that he is governor Vizsla! He tosses Obi-Wan his lightsaber and pulls out an ancient lightsaber stolen from the Jedi Temple by his ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic. He claims many Jedi have died upon its blade.
Vizsla attacks Obi-Wan and manages a decent fight for someone who has no Force abilities. Obi-Wan still vanquishes him, and Vizsla commands his remaining troops to finish him. The three troops fire their rockets from their back packs toward Obi-Wan, who grabs Satine and jumps down the elevator shaft – narrowly escaping.
The following morning, Obi-Wan and Satine arrive at a Mandalore spaceport, where Satine is ready to depart for Coruscant. Obi-Wan feels the Separatist are supporting the Death Watch, and Satine disagrees. She wants no part of this war and is going to Coruscant to plead her case. In the final moments, Anakin arrives with Captain Rex and Commander Cody to meet with Obi-Wan.
The Dish:Overall, this episode is a very solid addition to the season and the series. It will certainly be remembered as the episode where we finally get to see Mandalorian warriors participate in some serious action sequences – something all Star Wars fans have longed for since Boba Fett first stepped on the screen! The series does what it does best by exploring the Mandalorians’ past and expanding the depth of the Star Wars galaxy. It comes as no surprise to any Star Wars fan that despite the Duchess’ plea for peace, a violent faction of Mandalorians called the Death Watch exists and is on the warpath – proving that their violent past is not truly behind them. Clearly this episode is merely setting the scene the upcoming story arc and begs for further exploration of the Death Watch in the upcoming episodes.
Also, the episode delivers a somewhat surprising twist in Obi-Wan’s past. It appears as if he and Duchess Satine have a past of some kind – quite possible a romantic past! Surely this will get fleshed out in the next few episodes. This revelation certainly makes Obi-Wan seem much more human – something that his character in the prequel era lacked.
The episode also gives us a glimpse at the planet of Mandalore and the domed city of Sundari. It’s great to have a new location to explore in the Star Wars universe. When Obi-Wan and Satine are walking and talking in the park, it was amazing to see how the surface they walked on is part glass. If you look closely, you can actually see people walking around below them! What an excellent job of executing a conceptual design by the production team.
Finally, the episode has some wonderful small touches as well. For instance, Governor Vizsla shows us an ancient lightsaber which is unlike any we have seen before. This one has a longer black handle than normal, and the blade is solid black with a highlighted yellow edge. This was a really cool and different look for this legendary weapon, and we hope the series keeps these types of “cool” moments coming!
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