The 5 Best Episodes From Star Wars: The Clone Wars
As you may have heard, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is heading to Netflix next month, which means that one of my favourite Star Wars properties is going to be available for some serious binge-watching. In honor of this momentous occasion, let's take a look at some of our favourite moments from 5 seasons of animated Star Wars action.
This may not be the most popular choice on the list, but 'Rookies' was the first episode to give us an in-depth look at the inner workings of the Clone Troopers that would become the stars of this show. In the movies we are never exposed to the various personalities of Clone Troopers and Stormtroopers, and why should we be? After all, they are just faceless henchman who possess an ineptitude with firearms, but 'Rookies' really changed that notion. Following a group of new recruits tasked with manning a remote outpost, Rookies gives us a look at the social dynamics that exist in within the ranks of these 'faceless' clones. There's also a buttload of suspense and action when the outpost is attacked by a squad of prototype droids who look certain to wipe out the inexperienced cadets, that is until the veteran Commander Cody and Captain Rex step in.
Boba Fett and Mace Windu are two Star Wars characters who have become legendary despite a limited amount of screentime, and 'Lethal Trackdown' pits these two Star Wars badasses against each other, delivering one of the most action-packed episodes in the show's history. Of course, Boba is still just a kid, but the events of Lethal Trackdown really seem to be the making of him, thanks in no small part to the brutal bounty hunter 'Aurra Sing' who helps take some high-profile hostages in an effort to create a showdown between Boba and his father's killer, Mace Windu. It's not often that a feature length season finale is as satisfying as you hope it would be, but this hour-long episode pretty much has it all.
The lawless is arguably the most popular episode in The Clone Wars series, most likely because of the sheer level of eventfulness it contains. However, despite being bookended by two incredible battle scenes, The Lawless actually displays a lot of emotion. With Satine being held on Mandalore, this is the closest we come to seeing Obi Wan in emotional turmoil. Not since the death of of Qui Gon has Obi Wan had so much on his emotional plate and you feel as though the events in this episode are in many ways, the making of the man. But of course, the star of the show is the action. The Lawless is our first look at Darth Sidious in the flesh and never has a character's power been introduced in such a telling way. With the Deathwatch battle opening it and struggles in the Sith ranks closing it, The Lawless is on of those episodes that leaves you breathless from its first minute, right through to its last.
In my opinion, Nightsisters was the episode that shook Clone Wars from a potentially fatal lull. When Sidious fears Ventress is becoming too powerful, he orders Tyrannus to take her out. However Ventress escapes and returns to Dathomir in a move that kicks off a great 3 episode arc that will echo throughout the rest of the show. Yes, Nightsisters sees the introduction of Mother Talzin and sets up the introduction of Savage Opress, but it also starts a transformation in Ventress that plays a big part in future arcs. When Ventress and some of Talzin's Nightsisters go to take down Dooku, we finally get an idea of the man's power. I wouldn't go as far as saying Nightsisters was a defining episode, but it was definitely one of the most important as far as the show's future was concerned.
Ok, let's just agree to put aside the flimsy explanation for Darth Maul's return, because if you can get past it 'Revenge' is just perfect end to season 4. Revenge sees Maul gain a shiny new set of legs, but it's the new attitude to life (and death) that really makes this episode great. Revenge is probably one of the most complete episodes the show ever had. It has emotion, it has some pretty great one-liners and in the showdown between Maul, Obi Wan and his unexpected ally, there is a suitable amount of action. Of course, pitting these titans of good and bad against each other again is enough to make any episode great, but the imagery used in the Season 4 finale was simply mind-blowing. From the get go, seeing the rebuilding of Darth Maul right through to his slow transition into the epitome of evil, everything about this episode was powerful. Darth Maul was the one shining light of Phantom Menace and Season 4's Maul, which is more akin to the one found in the Star Wars comic, elevated Clone Wars to a whole new level.