Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review - Season 2, Episode 18: "The Zillo Beast"
(Image via StarWars.com)
By Chris "HothIcePlanet" Smith
Original Air Date:April 9, 2010
Key Players:Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, R2-D2, Doge Urus, Dr. Sionver Boll, and Chancellor Palpatine
Tagline:“Choose what is right, not what is easy.”
Newsreel:Desperate times call for desperate measures! In one of the longest and fiercest battles of the war, Separatist forces are on the verge of claiming the planet of Malastare. If the Republic loses this planet it will cost them vital fuel resources necessary for maintaining their armies. In a final effort to turn the tide of this battle, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has authorized the use of the Republic’s newest weapon: the ELECTRO-PROTON BOMB. Now, at the Imperial palace of Doge Urus, the leader of the Dugs, the Jedi count down the minutes until the detonation of their doomsday device…
The Story:On the surface of Malastare a clone army prepares for an attack from the Separatists. Clone Captain Rex looks through his binoculars and sees a massive army of battle droids and tanks marching their way toward the Republic army.
Dug leader Doge Urus, Dr. Sionver Boll, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker and a hologram of Chancellor Palpatine watch from a balcony of the Malastarian palace. They are preparing to drop an electro-proton bomb to stop the Separatists. Created by Dr. Boll, the bomb is designed to affect anything mechanical yet be harmless to organic objects. Doge Urus is concerned for his people and doesn’t want them become Separatists slaves. Dr. Boll assures him the bomb will work. Malastare supplies the Republic with the fuel they need, so the Jedi are there to help protect the fuel as the Republic tries to sign a treaty with the Dugs.
The Separatist army attacks, firing upon the clone forces on the ground. Captain Rex reminds his troops that they only need to hold them off until the bombs drop. As the massive battle begins we see Separatist hyena bombers, spider droids, battle droids and tanks against the AT-TE’s, clone repulsor guns and Dugs riding insectomorphs.
Meanwhile, Y-Wing bombers take off carrying the proton bomb, escorted by ARC-170 fighters. The Y-Wing bombers fly in over the battle and drop the electro-proton bomb right on target in the middle of the droid army. Upon impact, a huge cloud of smoke and dust moves outward destroying the droids nearby. The cloud then discharges a huge electro static ball which proceeds to radiate outward over everything for a huge distance and shut down everything mechanical. Back at the palace the transmission with Palpatine is lost. Anakin grabs his mechanical right forearm in pain as electricity washes over it. The bomb worked, but as soon as the dust settles a giant sinkhole begins to collapse where the bomb was dropped. The clone army begins to retreat, but helpless clones stuck in non-functioning AT-TE’s and gunships fall into the sinkhole.
Back in the palace control room, Mace Windu, Anakin, Rex, Dr. Boll and Doge Urus have contacted Palpatine via hologram again to update their progress. Chancellor Palpatine seems only to be concerned about getting the treaty signed so the Republic can continue to get the fuel they need. Doge Urus informs them the treaty is being passed to the Malastarian council, and they will decide to sign it or not. Captain Rex receives a communication that they have lost contact with the rescue team. Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker fly aboard a gunship to the sinkhole location. Upon arrival, Anakin stays behind to deal with the Dug leaders as Mace proceeds down into the sinkhole to aide in the search. Once inside the sinkhole Mace and the clones split up to search for survivors. They quickly find a few clones alive and realize they are not down here alone. Mace takes clone Commander Ponds and troopers Hawkeye and Trapper with him to search for whatever is down here with them. Mace contacts Anakin and asks him to come down for help. Then the “ground” beneath them starts to move, and Mace realizes that they’re walking right on top of a giant beast as it wakes up!
The giant Zillo beast has been awakened by the bomb and attacks them. Anakin comes in aboard his Jedi starfighter and flies right at the beast while Mace and the clones escape. The beast swats and hits Anakin’s fighter causing it to crash. Trapped, Anakin quickly jumps out and helps R2-D2 out as the droid activates his rocket jets and flies the both of them out of the way as the Zillo beast crushes Anakin’s starfighter. They land nearby and Anakin tells R2 to get out of here. As R2 rockets off, Anakin ignites his lightsaber and attacks the beast but quickly realizes it has no effect on the beast. Anakin then proceeds to climb up the beast until he reaches its head and jumps off as R22 catches him in mid-air and flies them to safety. Back on the surface Doge Urus explains to the Jedi that the Dugs had discovered Zillo beasts when they started harvesting fuel, but to their knowledge they had killed off all of them. Now they realize they were wrong and feel they need to destroy it. At the edge of the sinkhole the Dugs have set up machines that drop explosives down onto the beast.
Mace doesn’t like what the Dugs are doing and feels this last creature of its kind must be allowed to live per the Jedi code. Doge Urus says the Jedi must help them kill this beast or they will not sign the treaty.
Back in the control room Mace and Dr. Boll again contact Chancellor Palpatine via hologram and tell him about the beast. Palpatine doesn’t understand why the Jedi won’t help destroy this beast and feels it is of no importance to the Republic. Dr. Boll states that they can learn a lot from this creature’s impenetrable armor and feels it would be invaluable to the military.
Anakin comes up with a plan to fool the Dugs into thinking they have killed the Zillo beast, and then the Republic can transport the creature elsewhere and get the treaty signed. While fighting the beast earlier, he noticed small gaps between its armor and scales and feels they may be able to stun it into submission. They decide this may be the only option.
Republic tanks line up along the sinkhole edge to find the Dugs have opened up several valves and have begun dumping toxic fuel down onto the beast in an attempt to kill it. Mace warns them to stop, but the beast proceeds to climb out of the sinkhole and attack. Once the beast reaches the surface it destroys everything in his path as if they were toys. The Republic starts firing their stun lasers from their tanks at the beast. The beast gradually starts to slow down and finally collapses, appearing to be dead to the Dugs… but the Jedi know better.
The Dugs sign the treaty with the Republic. The clone forces begin to load the Zillo beast onto a transport where they were planning on moving him to an uninhabited Outer Rim world, but Chancellor Palpatine has decided on a change of plans. Palpatine’s scientific advisers feel the beast should be studied under more controlled conditions and will transport the beast to Coruscant instead.
The Dish:The show creators clearly had a good time playing on the Godzilla angle in this episode. While I’m not too big (pun intended) of a Godzilla fan, this episode must have been a blast to those who are. But considering last week’s episode was a “Seven Samurai” homage, I feel the writers are taking the “easy way out” with back-to-back send-offs on the tail end of season two.
Despite my quibble, this episode is still very well constructed and once again delivers some excellent battle scenes between the clone and droid armies. It allows us to get a look into Anakin and Mace Windu’s relationship. Before now the only real interaction between them is in Episode III when Anakin reports that Palpatine is a Sith. So this was a great opportunity to explore this relationship further, and it’s interesting to see Mace treating Anakin with respect and working so closely with him.
In my humble opinion the “electro-proton bomb” was just too close to the real world and jolted me out of the episode. I did however love the little touch of Anakin’s mechanical hand being affected by the electro bomb. It’s awesome any time we get a reminder of the “Vader” within Anakin.
Another of the “little touches” that make these episodes so cool was the use of the X-wing sounds effects from the original trilogy for the Y-wing bombers and ARC-170 fighters. Just hearing those signature sounds made me feel like a kid again and had me bouncing in my chair. And feeling like a kid again, if just for a moment, is one of the main reasons why Star Wars is so great!
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