The Clone Wars Review: Front Runners

Season 5×03: Front Runners

Written by Chris Collins

Directed by Steward Lee

Fortune Cookie: “To seek something is to believe in its possibility.”



I’ll be frank: this episode bored me at times. I get that this a four-part story arc, and things need to build up over time, but right now it seems like the story could be condensed into three parts, or even two. I like that the series is now ambitious enough to tell longer stories, but have to question the focus of these longer story arcs. (I’ve had the same problem with other four-art story arcs from last season. To me, it seems like trilogies are the way to go.)

Still, the Onderon story is compelling enough. Taking off from where we left off last episode, the rebels have infiltrated the capital city of Iziz and are committing acts of violence against the battle droids. However, they realize that they need a bigger target, as well as to gain the support of the city’s residents. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Rex leave Ahsoka with the rebels, who develop a plan to disable the power plant, effectively “killing” the droids. They are successful, gain support of the other Onderonians, and the new king turns to Count Dooku for reinforcements.



Again, I like Anakin acting as a seasoned military commander. However, I wonder why he, Obi-Wan, and Rex didn’t stick around. Just a plot device to get Ahsoka on her own, perhaps?

Also, why did the new king not just kill the old king? Why does he want him alive? It makes me wonder if something else is going on here, especially if Dooku is involved.

I just realized that Rex’s new outfit is to keep him from standing out as a clone! (And yes, it takes me a while to think of these things.)

I really love Anakin lecturing Ahsoka about her feelings, hypocritical as it is. It shows that he has learned and matured after Geonosis. He knows when to do his job, but he’s also understanding of Ahsoka’s feelings. It shows he’s a good master. His attitude here makes me wonder what exactly happens to turn his back on that so horribly in Revenge of the Sith. Is it something that happens later on in the series?

Battle droids operate individually? I guess the Separatists learned their lesson. How does that jive with the rest of the Expanded Universe? I’m not well-versed in the prequel era EU, so somebody else will have to educate me here.

I think my main problem with this episode was that most of the focus was on the rebels.  I’m at the point in this series where I want more focus on the characters I already know. I’m sure lots of people disagree with me, but I really miss the core characters when they’re gone, and even the secondary characters. At least we got some nice action scenes with Ahsoka, and the Onderonians are interesting enough.

Although I miss the core characters (other than Ahsoka), I do enjoy what these episodes are trying to do with echoing the formation of the Rebel Alliance. It demonstrates how the Rebelion can come to be in 20 or so years. These small groups all over the galaxy will use that time to hone their skills and build up their ranks in order to fight the Empire and take back control of their planets. That makes much more sense than rebel groups springing up out of nowhere during the reign of a much more tyrannical Empire.

I also like the focus on the rebel group wanting to gain the support of the other Onderonians living in Iziz. Again, this is similar to what the Rebel Alliance has to do later on, and a nice contrast to the Empire, who suppresses all dissent.

I like that Dooku is involved in the ruling situation on Onderon. I mean, of course he’d put the new king in command in order to gain control of another planet. I wish, however, that he’d send Grievous in the next episode, instead of random new droid general (who I’m certain will be destroyed sometime in the next two episodes).

Getting back to the rebels, I’m glad Steela was put in charge. You can never have enough competent female characters on a show like TCW. However, did they really need a “he’s my brother” moment at the end of the show? That made me roll my eyes, big time. The episode could have focused on the Ahsoka/Lux relationship without jealousy or supposed romantic rivals. (I still hope nothing ever comes of “Luxsoka” other than googly eyes and a lesson on focus for Ahsoka.)