Hondo Caravan: The Wrong Jedi Indeed

The Lost Missions aka Season Six of the Clone Wars is out on Netflix today so it’s only fitting that I wrap up planned version of the Hondo Caravan today.  And yes, I watched the entirety of Season Five in one week.  But let’s be honest: this is not the craziest thing I’ve done for the blog.

Shades of Reason (DC)
On the surface, Maul’s plan to cause pockets of chaos throughout Mandalore and then have Deathwatch come in and arrest the criminals seems like a good one but I have to agree with Bo Katan: you can’t trust Maul.  Actually, in a situation like this, no one should be trusting anyone.  And honestly, doesn’t this plan run the risk of the criminal class squealing about how they’re all working together once they figure out they’ve been deemed the sacrificial lambs?

On a completely different note, Satine’s new outfit is pretty fabulous looking.  It says serious and regal all at the same time.

I wouldn’t say that the Mandalorians were ever necessarily known for being the brightest crayons in the box but they (as a planet) seem to be kind of stupid right now.  Did they really fall for Maul’s plan this easily?  And we wonder why no one saw through Palpatine’s façade…

And now Vizsla is Prime Minister.  That is a title that a) never sat well with me for a Mandalorian and b) sounds even more wrong on the shoulders of a member of Death Watch.  First of all, he’s not even close to being subtle enough to be a leader.  Immediately betraying Maul was probably not in his best interest.

I love the look on Bo Katan’s face as she tosses Maul his lightsaber.  That’s the look of a woman who knows it’s going to be Prizsla’s funeral.  And then the ladies can rule once they kill each other.  Oh look.  It is his funeral or rather his beheading.  Actually, I’m seriously surprised that they showed this on a kids’ show.

Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it.  Forget this Fett tradition, forget Satine, forget the black market Prime Minister, forget Maul.  Bo Katan for Mandalore.  Accept no substitute.

The Lawless
Awww guys.  You had the chance for Satine to say “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.  You’re my only hope.” and you let it slide by.  I am so disappointed.

I already love a lot of things about this episode.  I love that Korkie and Bo Katan worked together to break Satine out of prison even if it didn’t last very long.  I also love that Obi-Wan said screw it to the council and went to rescue Satine on his own.

Okay, now lack of a line echo is just painful because this episode also gave us Obi-Wan luring someone on to a ship to steal his armor and him infiltrating the prison and rescuring the noble lady in said armor.  YOU HAD ONE JOB, FILONI.

Wow okay I give up.  I AM 300% WITH THIS SERIES.  WHY DID YOU HAVE TO KILL SATINE?  Does Obi-Wan have some giant sign on his back that says ‘Kill all my blonde girlfriends in front of me?’  Does he?  I THINK HE MIGHT.  He and Bo-Katan had best declare war on freaking everyone for this.

I take back what I just said.  I’m no longer done with this episode because Palpatine—I mean Darth Sidious just arrived on Mandalore, presumably to deal with Maul.  (Okay sidebar: they just did the thing where Maul said the Vader line.  I LOVE IT.)   This lightsaber battle is amazing.  Sidious versus Maul and Savage is positively brilliant.  It’s cool to watch him fighting with double sabers against two skilled combatants with double-bladed sabers.  And when you throw in Maul fighting with his saber and Vizsla’s sword?  That just looks COOL.

The one problem I have with this episode is that Palaptine didn’t kill Maul at the end.  Yes, he’s broken him and yes, Maul could be useful but hasn’t everyone learned their lesson already?  To me, Maul’s death here would have nicely wrapped up this entire plotline, both in regards to Mandalore and to Maul’s resurrection.  Oh well.  I guess there’s nothing to do but wait and see what his arc in Season Six is.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this episode.  Actually, I’ve got a bad feeling about the rest of the rest of this season.  I REMEMBER THE INTERNET WHEN THESE EPISODES AIRED.

So for those not in the know, someone bombed the Jedi Temple’s hanger.  The Jedi Council suspect that it could have been an inside job and Yoda has recalled Anakin and Ahsoka to investigate since they were not present and can provide an impartial point of view.

As far as mysteries go, this is actually a pretty good one.  It has the right amount of intrigue and a good number of twists and turns.  It turns out that the suspect, a man who worked in the hanger bay, was the bomb thanks to being fed nanodroids by his wife.  Yeah, that is exactly as messed up as it sounds regardless of the wife saying that there was something happening that Anakin and Ahsoka couldn’t possibly understand.

Ugh.  I know how this story ends and that makes Anakin and Ahsoka’s conversation about how she’s uneasy with the idea that a Jedi could have possibly been behind this even worse.

The Jedi Who Knew Too Much
That bad feeling from before?  Yeah.  It’s intensifying.

I will still never get over how Barriss defers to Anakin in this show.  They are supposed to be the same age.

So someone is going through a lot of effort to set up Ahsoka for the death of the wife of the bomber.  This was after the woman told Ahsoka that a Jedi was behind it.   She was strangled with the Force.  The clones arrest Ahsoka and Admiral Tarkin supports the order and then refuses to let Anakin in to see his padawan.  And now someone is setting up an escape route for Ahsoka.  Honestly, does no one see how bad this is going to go?

Look: Basically the entire episode is Ahsoka running away from the clones (and Anakin) chasing her.  And me being angry that she’s in this situation.

All of this could have been avoided if the Star Wars universe had just had a Sassy Gay Friend.  No wait, that’s not right.  You know something is wrong when Anakin is sounding like the sane voice of reason.  Ahsoka really needed to listen to him.  Running away is not helping her case.  Clearly Anakin does have her back here and I think we’ve already seen that he’d move planets for his padawan.

Can I just stop watching now?  Please?

To Catch a Jedi

Using that gif just made me realize something.  Have we seen Padmé all season?  I don’t think we have and that’s a damn shame.

Everyone is making very horrible decisions right now and I am not okay with it.

I’m really not sure how to feel about Ahsoka trusting Barriss over her own Master or even Obi-Wan or Plo Koon, especially knowing how this ends.  This all just feels very wrong.

I just found something redeeming about this arc: Asajj Ventress just came into play with the intention of collecting the bounty on Ahsoka’s head.  Plus, she’s sporting a super cool looking new costume.  It’s reminiscent of leaves and a bug and I mean that in the most positive way possible.  I love the idea of Asajj and Ahsoka working together.  The whole enemy-of-my-enemy trope is an oldie but a goodie.

Ugh.  Ahsoka.  Can’t you see that you’re being set up?

Here’s what I don’t get about this fight scene: faking a lightsaber style isn’t easy.  Most Jedi don’t use two lightsabers for a good reason.  It’s a lot harder to control the two blades and it takes practice and a shift in style to do so accurately.  I think it’s safe to say that even though I do know who took Asajj’s mask that this person shouldn’t be nearly as proficient with her sabers given the style and their more specialized grip.  Given how many times Ahsoka and Asajj have fought, I’d think that she in particular would know that it wasn’t her former enemy that she was crossing blades with.

The real bomber’s plan just keeps going deeper.  They’ve continued to plant more and more evidence again Ahsoka who has now been recaptured by the Jedi.

The Wrong Jedi
Okay, usually I write these little bits on each episode while I watch but I waited until the very end this time because I knew I was going to need to gather all my thoughts after seeing the episode as a whole first.  So let’s talk about how this episode went down.

As an arc and as an episode, it works.  While I see a few logic gaps, it is well thought-out and overall well done.  The final scene between Ahsoka and Anakin is absolutely beautiful, from their emotional conversation to the gorgeous shot her walking away.  This would have been an amazing series finale and I think that using this as the finale would have been a great bookend to the series starting with Ahsoka becoming Anakin’s padawan.

Before we get to the elephant in the room, let’s go over the things that I liked about this episode and to be honest, there were quite a lot.  I love that they brought in Padmé to be Ahsoka’s defender in Court.  I also appreciate how the Jedi Council acted here.  I don’t agree with them but it does fit with the Jedi Council making faulty decisions.  They’re not necessarily known for thinking things through all the way all the time.  It also makes sense that not all of the Council agreed with the decision to expel her from the Jedi Order.  It’s unlikely that Obi-Wan or Plo Koon would have thought ill of her.   I even like that they had Tarkin being the driving force behind Ahsoka’s trial.  And above all else, I love that Anakin never gave up on his padawan.  He believed in her and he did everything he could to prove her innocence including finding the true guilty party.

Coincidentally enough, that brings us to my problem with the arc.

My problem with the episode comes down to Barriss Offee and how she was used in the episode.  Quite simply, I don’t think it fit with her character, in terms of either how she was portrayed in the Expanded Universe books or how she was portrayed in the show.  (And trust me: I’ve put a lot of thought into Barriss Offee over the years.  As those of you who tuned into the Waru Express might remember, she’s one of my favorite characters.)  In the books, Barriss is a healer.  She’s a devoted member of the Jedi Order who isn’t always sure of herself and her abilities.  It is something that she works through during her time with the surgical team on Drongar which serves as her Jedi Trials.  It was character development at its core.  To be fair, this isn’t something that the show could really build upon once they made the decision to use her as they did.  However, I don’t think her core characterization ever really changed between the two mediums.  That is until we get to the last episodes of Season Five.

I know the show runners said they wanted the Jedi to be someone Ahsoka was close with so the betrayal would hurt more but even then it just doesn’t make sense.  We haven’t seen Barriss since what?  Season Two?  That doesn’t scream “close friends” to me.  Barriss could have been replaced with almost any other Jedi and the level of betrayal would’ve felt similar.  It didn’t need to be her.  It shouldn’t have been her.

All of that said, I don’t think that Barriss’s thought process here was completely wrong from both a character and a personal perspective.  To quote from the show:

“I did it. Because I’ve come to realize what many people in the Republic have come to realize, that the Jedi are the ones responsible for this War. That we’ve so lost our way that we have become villains in this conflict, that we are the ones that should be put on trial, all of us! And my attack on the Temple was an attack on what the Jedi have become: an army fighting for the dark side, fallen from the Light that we once held so dear. This Republic is failing! It’s only a matter of time.”

It’s a little bit difficult for me to detangle my personal opinions here but I’ll do my best.  You know what?  She’s right.  From a certain point of view.  I disagree that the Jedi were truly responsible for the war and that they are the true villains but I do agree that they’ve lost their way.  Clearly the Republic is also falling.  As for Barriss, I can see how she could interpret the Jedi’s actions in the war as falling from the Light.  After all, the Jedi were supposed to be Peacekeepers, not Generals.  Nanci’s mentioned before that she thought this would all make more sense if it turned out that Palpatine had been manipulating Barriss into carrying out the bombing because again, she’s right.  The Jedi are now an army fighting for the dark side given that the Supreme Chancellor is the Dark Lord of the Sith.

The problem for me here is that I don’t think bombing a hanger full of relatively innocent people and then framing a friend for the deed is something that Barriss is even capable of considering much less carrying out.  This is a woman whose first resort was never violence and who was a healer.  Someone on Twitter described her actions here as heroic.  I couldn’t disagree more.  There’s nothing heroic about setting off a bomb and killing innocent people and then framing your friend in order to make a political statement.  There’s no sacrifice made for the greater good there.  You’re simply killing people and that’s wrong and that’s something that Barriss Offee would never do.  If you’re still not convinced, consider this: if Anakin hadn’t had such strong faith in Ahsoka and figured out that Barriss was guilty, she wouldn’t have ended up making that speech to the Court and no one would’ve known her reasoning behind it.  What’s the point of a political statement (even a violent one) if you don’t actually end up saying anything?

It’s a shame honestly because I would’ve enjoyed this story arc much more as a whole if they’d simply picked or created another Jedi.  This simply just did not fit for Barriss.

All of that said, I do need to reiterate how beautifully done the final scene was.  In between my shouts of rage, there were almost tears over how abandoned Ahsoka felt by the Jedi Order.  Her decision to leave was absolutely heartbreaking and I don’t think I could pick my favorite part even if I tried.  (Although I’ll admit that Anakin’s confession about considering leaving himself and Ahsoka’s reassurance that she knew is probably one of the top contenders.)

So yeah.  This was a well-done arc and episode overall with simply the wrong choice of character to be the bad guy.

And hey!  That’s it for Season Five of the Clone Wars!  I’m excited to announce that I finished my watch through just in time for Season Six that will be going live on Netflix in approximately four hours as I write this and will already be live when you read it.  No need to fear: the Hondo Caravan isn’t done quite yet as I’ll be doing more in-depth reviews of the Lost Missions bonus arcs in the week(s) to come.