{Pop Culturally Insensitive will now be co-hosting (De)Constructing the Ion Canon, an ongoing blog surveying the entire official Star Wars canon according to its timeline. Check back every week for the next installment.}

Get caught up with the mission statementEpisode IEpisode IIthe Clone Wars moviethe first season of the showthe second, and the third.

Here we are, guys, Season 4. This season has the distinction of being the last full (re: 22 episodes) season of the show, and the penultimate season to air on Cartoon Network, and even if it hadn’t been likely been from the network untimely ripped due to Lucasfilm’s acquisition by the great and glorious Mouse, you can see why the network mightn’t have felt the show was suitable for their non-Adult Swim block for much longer. Sure, I’ve commented on the show’s darkness before, and this season matches it and pushes further, but hey, Samurai Jack could get dark. Hell, CN’s most popular show had its protagonist lose his hand and grapple with father issues. But this season wasn’t just dark, it actually got creepy. Like, scary creepy, in a way I’m sure probably disturbed some younger viewers. The season starts with adorable Mon Calamari fighting a villain straight out of Shark Tale, and by the end they’re watching an emaciated half-machine blood-red and horned creature cackle madly in an underground lair. Some of the imagery this season, while not likely to keep any adult up at night, are some of those childhood-scarring visages that linger forever in the back of the mind (a la Freddy Kreuger’s stretching armsthe exploding “dog” in The Thing, or whatever is lodged in your particular brain from your single-digit decade that still makes you shudder).

That said, from a storytelling perspective, the season starts out rocky, around the level Season 3 let us at, and hits a two-episode drag, but then promptly lifts off in a huge upswing to provide some of the most mature, stunning and entertaining stories of the whole season. I know for me, there’s a few stories this season I’ll be returning to time and time again, even sooner than I will the prequel films that proceeded the series. But before we get to any of that, let’s start off under the sea…

Remember how Season 1 gave us a string of standard cutesy cartoon storylines of little consequence to the overall saga of Star Wars? And remember how those storylines could have made fine one or two episode arcs, but were almost always stretched thin into three? Well, if you’ve become nostalgic for those days, they’re briefly back again with Water War, Gungan Attack and Prisoners. Basically, after the assassination of King Kolina of Mon Cala, the Mon Calamari and the Quarren are at odds over whether the King’s son, Prince Lee-Char, has enough experience to maintain the strenuous coexistence between the two races. The Republic and the Separatists both have a vested interest in who takes power, one sending Anakin and Padme (which is weird, right? It’s weird they keep putting a single Senator’s life on the line for diplomatic missions that could easily be carried out by…other diplomats? Or the many, many decoys she once had? That’s weird, right?) the other sending Riff Tamsen, a humanoid shark because it’s a water themed episode, get it? Tension grows, and over the course of three episodes, civil war breaks out. There are some really inconsequential twists and turns, Gungans arrive as back-up for Lee-Char, and a pre-Admiralty Akbar (for those following for the first time canonically, Admiral Akbar is perhaps the greatest absurd character in the original trilogy) supplies some good entertainment, but all in all, you know where this goes. Lee-Char learn to lead and unites the people against the obviously corrupt Tamsen, and the day is saved. We good? Ok, let’s move on.

Ok, so at its core, the episode deals with the Gungans, and particularly with Jar Jar dressing up as the king who he looks a great deal like. Jar Jar’s Prince & the Pauper, in a sense; and while I’ll agree that sounds awful, and I was bracing myself for crap, the above image of Grievous and his sabers in the rain and the episode title Shadow Warriors should instill a little faith in you.

Anakin and Padme seek out Jar Jar to confirm a rumor that Boss Lyone (I guess somewhere along the line Boss Nass bit the big one) plans to attack Theed. Once confirmed, they confront Lyone, who they discover has been possessed b y a magical necklace given to him by his new aide, Rish Loo. Anakin removes the necklace with the force, and Lyone goes to confront Loo, who’s working under the orders of Count Dooku, only to be stabbed by his one-time advisor. Panicked, Anakin and PAdme don’t know how to call off the attack until Jar Jar inadvertently inspires a plan; it seems Jar Jar strongly resembles Lyone (he puts on the Boss’ hat just to ease carrying his garments as the Boss undergoes treatment for his injuries). Anakin takes off after the fleeing Loo while Jar Jar must carry on the ruse of being Lyone under the scrutiny of General Grievous and his droid army, who intend to join the Gungans in the fight (when Jar Jar first sees Grievous, he’s frozen in fear, a moment they play for slapstick humor, and somehow it works. I laughed. I’ll say it, I like this character). Jar Jar stalls to the best of his abilities, while General Tarpals disables Grievous’ droid army as per Padme’s instructions. Eventually, though, Grievous becomes wise to the ruse, and Tarpals gives his life in order to get close enough to Grievous to disable him.

Darth Sidious, furious at the capture of Grievous, devises a plan to reclaim him by luring Anakin into a trap. When Anakin tracks Loo to a lair, he enters to find Count Dooku, who slays Loo and shocks Skywalker into unconsciousness. Offering a trade, one general for another, Padme is torn, but ultimately relents, and Grievous is returned to his side, Anakin returned to his, but at least planetary civil war has been avoided. Overall, Shadow Warriors is a much more engaging story than you’d think from the outset, and shows the potential the Gungan race has for captivating storylines. Now, on the opposite end of the “good story” spectrum…

This might have been the low point to the series. Yes, even lower than a Hutt baby named Stinky. Ho-ly hell. I mean, within the first few minutes, a trooper remarks “Great, it’s gonna be another one of those planets”, which serves as a meta-commentary for the tedium you experience over the course of a needlessly two-episode arc Mercy Mission and Nomad Droids. I feel bad speaking ill of an episode that was likely well intentioned, designed to entertain younger viewers with the bumbling, Hidden Fortress-esque antics of C-3PO and R2-D2, but at the end of the day its so ill-fitting with the rest of the series, and bereft of any sense of originality or purpose that its almost undeniably nothing but filler. The two droids fall down a hole at the start of the mission, and we’re treated to little more than “homages” to the Lilliputians of Gulliver’s Travels and the “man behind the curtain” from The Wizard of Oz, dragged out to a snail’s crawl of predicability and inconsequentiality that the only memorable moments are the points of recognition when you recall the better works these episodes are lifting from. Ultimately, the droids escape their predicament unscathed, unchanged, and ultimately the viewer is left unfazed. But if we didn’t lose you yet, strap in, cause its about to get ****ing amazing. I mean it.

For a series that tends to stretch stories out too far, this quadrilogy (Darkness on Umbara, The General, Plan of Dissent and Carnage of Krell) earn every ounce of their run time, by seemingly forgoing all the elements of the fantastic not inherent to the immediate story and casting aside all effort of “kid-friendly” in favor of telling a gritty, down to earth war story, pulling from dark explorations of human desperation and valor like Paths of GloryPlatoon and Apocalypse Now. Pretty hefty ambition for the series, and it pulls it off brilliantly.

The reason for the extended run time is in part to treat us to the most brilliantly realized battle sequences in the entire saga thus far, where lighting and camera angle are treated with attention and care, crafting a brilliant ambience, some amazing POV shots that drop you right in that action, and an impressive sound design that captures both the scope of the battle and the intimacy of a single soldier striving for survival. Battle sequences like this are scattered throughout the story arc, and I don’t intend to harp on them so each time one occurs, but so much care and detail went into these exquisitely cinematic sequences that I’d be remiss not to pay them their due attention.

Anakin is forced to return to Corruscant and a different Jedi, General Krell, is left in charge of the 501st. Krill, its clear, loathes clones, and feels them all inferior to himself. His arrogance, though, is masked in just enough authoritative reverence to by-the-book commanding that a fair amount of the troopers are willing to accept the change in leadership style and fall in, though Fives makes his trepidation clear from the start. Charged with taking the capital of Umbarra, Krell demands the troops attack in a full frontal assault from the main road, though Commander Rex suggest an alternate strategy more likely to succeed with far less casualties. Krill ignores Rex’s plea, and the troops follow orders, marching to their death until Rex finally orders a retreat, which earns him chastisement from Krell for his cowardice. Fives comes to Rex’s defense, and eventually Krell leaves the matter lie.

Obi-Wan contacts Krell and advises him to assault an airbase located close to the capital in order to put a strain on the Umbarran’s supplies, and while once again Rex suggests a strategy that would produce less casualties, Krell once again orders a full frontal assault, an order that this time divides the troops, with Fives the champion of the dissenters. Though they all follow orders initially, with three squads commanded by Rex, Fives and Hardcase (who also opposes Krell’s reckless strategies), after an almost undefinable wave of caterpillar and spider tanks, Rex concedes the endeavor hopeless and presents an alternate plan to Krell where Fives and Hardcase would sneak into the airbase and steal some of their ships. Krill rejects the plan, but Rex commands the two to do it anyway after Krell also refuses Rex any reinforcements or permission to retreat. Fives and Hardcase succeed in their mission, and utilize the ships to wipe out the forces opposing Rex’s squads. Krill confronts the trio about disobeying orders, and disregards the loss of life suffered as a casualty of victory, planting even deeper the seeds of dissension within the three.

The third episode is where the dramatic elements outweigh the action, the characters become even more three dimensional and honest, and the tension becomes more palpable than most animated shows can muster. After being informed that the Umbarrans are now receiving supplies from a heavily guarded ship orbiting the planet, Krell once more demands a full frontal assault. The troops argue amongst themselves, with a trepidatious Rex and a fiercely loyal to Krell Dogma arguing for the virtue of chain of command, while Fives and Jesse counter that whatever military acumen Krell possesses, its clouded by his own arrogance. Eventually, Fives proposes an alternate strategy, which Rex brings to Krells attention, ultimately for it to be shot down like the others. However, Fives, Jesse and Hardcase are determined to see it through, and plan to test their skill at piloting the Umbarran ships. Their plan is to fly the Umbarran ships to the orbiting supply craft, utilizing security codes in the crafts to bypass security and destroy the supply ship from the inside, but their “test flight” is so disastrous it alerts Rex to their plan, and the captain is forced to lie for Fives to prevent a curious Krell as to why the hanger in which the ships are help has been destroyed. Krill then orders the ships to be locked down as a “safety precaution”, but Fives is determined to see the plan through. Feeling he owes Rex the respect to come clean, Fives tells them of their plan, but rather than order them to stop, a hurt and torn Rex tells them “I can’t help you when you get caught” in a line delivery thats imbued with so much mixed emotion and conflict it stands out as the single best piece of acting thus far.

The group being their mission, but Dogma and Tup become wise to the plan and intend to tip off Krell. Rex intercepts them and prevents them from doing so, but Krell finds Rex and inquires as to why the ships that were meant to be locked down were launched, which Rex explains as a reconnaissance mission. Meanwhile, the group have successfully boarded the ship, but after being spotted by a battle droid, their initial plan falls apart, forcing Hardcase to improvise by carrying a missile by hand to the ship’s reactor, sacrificing himself for the sake of the mission. When they return, Rex is thrilled with their victory, but Krell demands to see the three of them. Rex immediately tries to take the fall for Fives and Jesse, and Fives endeavors to do the same, but Krell disregards them all, commanding that the two rogue troopers will be court-martialed, found guilty, and executed for their crimes.

Rex later tries to appeal the execution, but Krell declines, stating their rebellion could lead to more if not dealt with. Dogma stands the two convicted troopers before the firing squad, but Fives loudly makes an appeal to them, reminding them that as soldiers, they aren’t just expected to carry out orders but to think for themselves; and the clones demonstrate just that as they intentionally miss their ordered shots and refuse to fire anymore. Rex commands that the two be released, and before Krell can chastise him for disobeying orders, a call comes in warning of Umbarran forces who have donned clone armor, and Krell orders a preemptive strike. In a battle sequence thats as beautiful as the ones described above and as chaotic as the best D-Day scenes, its a slaughter on both sides until Rex finds an “enemy” corpse and discovers a clone inside. Frantically, he runs across the battlefield, commanding every trooper to take off their helmets; the “enemy”was really the 212th Attack Battalion, another clone force operating under the same orders, believing Rex’s company to be Umbarrans in disguise. Fed up, Rex decides they must arrest Krell under the charge of treachery, and we get a gorgeously lit and wordless sequence of ominous intensity: troopers, backlit in bluish-green, marching back towards the base with quiet rage. Fives and Jesse being handed blasters with but a nod, all understanding what must be done. Its so tense, so expertly crafted, you really do believe they might kill. That they might not just mutiny, but indeed massacre the reckless Jedi. Its as though whispers of “the horror, the horror” can be heard blended in the score. They confront Krell, who flees, and they give chase, stopped only by Dogma, armed with a blaster, calling the arresting troops traitors until he’s finally talked down and apprehended himself. After imprisoning Dogma, the group once more pursue Krell, eventually utilizing a local carnivorous plant to ensnare and stun him. Once imprisoned, the group discuss how to move forward after interrogation reveals Krell has abandoned his Jedi ways after foreseeing a new order overtaking the galaxy. Though Obi-Wan’s troops have overtaken the capital, it appears the rest of the Umbarrans are headed for the airbase, and the troops know they’re doomed if Krell gets loose, as he knows too much about the Republic and its strategies. Knowing what must be done, Rex returns with Fives to the prisoners, releasing Dogma and commanding Krell to face and wall on his knees (at which point we all go “Holy shit, are the good guys about to murder a man in cold blood execution style on the same channel that runs Bugs Bunny cartoons?”). Krill taunts him for his hesitation, before being cut off mid-sentence by a ****ing blaster shot through the back from Dogma, who stole Fives’ blaster, because yes, yes we did just see someone get murdered in cold blood execution style. because this show goes hard. Obi-Wan secures the remainder of the planet, and it seems everything is safe, but Fives and Rex seem shaken by the events, and are left questioning for what reason the war even started, and where their place in the world will be when it ends.

Brilliant writing, beautiful animation, and one of the most harrowing and honest stories about the horrors of war this show or any show has ever done.

Following that, we’re treated to another expansive arc, if admittedly perhaps an episode too long, that digs deep into the emotional well of our balance-bringing protagonist. Kidnapped, Slaves of the Republic and Escape from Kadavo finds Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka attempting to free a pacifist planet from the clutches of slavers. The episode’s storyline itself isn’t anything to write home about, but their are some great character and thematic moments, like when the slaver queen explains that Jedi are themselves a type of slave, since they’ve “forsaken their ideals in order to serve a corrupt Republic” (and she’s not wrong). It’s also peppered with Anakin’s smoldering rage, tipping ever closer to the dark side, as he force-chokes the Queen and fiercely battles Count Dooku armed only with a laser whip. In the end, everything resolves itself, like it always does, with the once-pacifist planning even considering joining the Republic. It’s a truly enjoyable arc that admittedly loses steam in its final act, but is worth watching if just for the little moments of character, especially seeing Anakin finally start to give in to his hate as we know he’s destined to do.

We’re then treated to a one-off, and a surprisingly endearing one at that. Ashoka accompanies Padme to a meeting between the Separatists and the Republic on the supposedly neutral planet of Mandalore (even though the Republic and the Jedi have intervened there a s**t ton, so I’m not sure how neutral it really is). This meeting is disrupted by Lux Bonteri, who Ahsoka first met in Season 3’s Heroes on Both Sides, and now finds him to be A Friend In Need (see what I did there?) when he declares his mother had been killed by Separatists, and is dragged away by security. Fearing for his safety, Padme grants Ahsoka permission to stealthily follow him (accompanied by R2-D2), and after Lux is sentenced to death for treason by a hologram Dooku, Ahsoka swoops in to rescue him. She offers to take him to safety on a Republic world, but Lux instead holds her at gunpoint and forces them both deliberately into the clutches of the nefarious Death Watch (one of whom is voiced by Katee “Starbuck” Sackhoff). Lux traced the coordinates of Dooku’s hologram, and intends to use the death Watch to kill him. Ahsoka knows the Death Watch are evil, and will turn on Lux, and she tries to get him to see the light, which he does eventually, in this case the light being a fire. Oh yeah, the Death Watch burn an entire village to the ground, and burn its citizens alive, simply for saying “Hey, could you maybe give us our daughters back instead of keeping them as vague implied sex slaves?”. You know, because re-introducing us to the Death Watch by showing them using droids are target practice while the droids scream “Why?” as they’re dismembered wasn’t disquieting enough. Those droids come into play again, though, as R2, being commissioned by the Death Watch to repair the droids so that they may be used for target practice again (and being crept upon by those droids calling out for healing like Luke 17:11, and by that I mean the biblical Luke, not the future son of the absent-from-this-episode Anakin), he instead gets them to unite against the Death Watch, giving Ahsoka, Lux and R2 enough time to flee. They get back to the ship and take off, but Lux runs to an escape pod, refusing once more to align with the Republic, because Lux refuses to join either side in the conflict, remaining independent but not neutral, assuring Ahsoka they will meet again (where, judging by his political stances, he’ll bore her with a diatribe about his “libertarian views” and how everyone else are just “sheeple”). She puts her hand to the glass as the escape pod flies off, and suddenly it dawns on you that Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka all have found love while in the Jedi order, and are made indeed more emotional being deprived of it than they would have been had they just pursued their desires. Man, the Jedi code is flawed. It’s as though Clone Warsexists just to go “Yeah, this whole Jedi Order and Republic thing…these needed to go”.

So, this next arc (Deception/Friends and Enemies/The Box/Crisis on Naboo) is awesome. There’s no other way of putting it. From a clever premise to brilliant set-pieces to their most obscure homage yet, it packs a hell of a punch, and I’ll provide simply a brief overview rather than dig into it and risk dissecting the magic. Right off the bat, Obi-Wan is shot and killed by a sniper. From there, we see Anakin grieving at this master’s funeral, as Mace Windu and Yoda conduct a private meeting with…Obi-Wan??!?! Who saw that coming? Ok, we all did, because we knew Obi-Wan had to live a long enough life to make Alec Guinness miserable. Turns out Obi-Wan is going to go undercover as the sniper who the Jedi Council themselves hired, utilizing a facial morph and a voice changer that both cause him such great discomfort you feel like its a Cronenberg movie, to uncover a plot to kill Chancellor Palpatine from within a prison. So, yeah, this is amazing already.

In disguise, Obi-Wan lands in jail under the pretense he “killed Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi”, and after besting the imprisoned Bosk in a fight because an also imprisoned Boba Fett claims he’d “stolen one of his bounties”, Moralo Eval (the laziest named scoundrel since Halle Burtoni) gets him as a cell mate. Obi-Wan is stunned, however, to discover their cell is a trio, as Cad Bane has also gotten himself deliberately caught in order to break Eval out of prison. Inciting a riot, the three flee, and after obtaining weapons and a ship, two acts of betrayal, and a scuffle with Anakin and Ahsoka, they make their way off the planet and assemble with several other bounty hunters for what Eval and Count Dooku decide are “tryouts”, by showing them The Box.

Brief time out here, since I’m about to go for a bit of a cinematic deep cut: I love Cube. I’m sure some younglings tuning into this episode would think its a vague reference to Saw or something (you know, cause kids love the Saw movies) but its based in something so much better, I assure you. Cube is a Canadian indie sci-fi/horror movie about a group of people trapped in a large cube, whose interior is a series of different cubes, identical save for their color, interconnected by portholes, and each containing a different trap. It’s not the most well acted, nor the most well written. It was made in 1997, and looks like it came out in 1981. But all that can’t drag it down. It’s spellbinding, and so is this episode, as it does very little alteration to its inspiration, merely adapting it to fit the characters and series tone. Eventually, Dooku and Eval became wary of the way Rako Hardeen (Obi-Wan’s disguise) keeps saving the other contenders and mastering the traps, and eventually, in the final challenge, Eval even tries to plunge Obi-Wan to his death, but Cad Bane catches him, snarling that Eval if he’s going to kill him “do it like a man”, because Cad Bane is insanely cool. Dock concurs, and Obi-Wan and Eval battle until Obi-Wan has a shot at a fatal blow, refusing because “he just wants his money” (reminder: he saved a bunch of bounty hunters this episode. Innocent people are most definitely going to die because of this). Dock, disappointed in Eval, makes Bane the leader of the operation.

The team on Corruscant, but Obi-Wan has been able to warn the Jedi and Republic and ensure Palpatine’s safety (even though there’s no stakes to this operation, we the viewer know, since Palpatine can’t be killed, considering his running both sides and likely ordering the operation himself). Bane and Eval get away with the unconscious Palpatine, knocked out from the missed shot, but Obi-Wan tracks them to the render-vouz point. The captors, however, are stunned to find Dooku absent. Obi-Wan prevents the other two from killing Palpatine, and the Jedi eventually arrive to arrest them and return him home. Its here that Anakin finally discovers his master is still alive, and argues with Obi-Wan that if the Jedi Council could lie about this, what else are they lying about. Palatine argues he no longer needs so great a security detail, that he’s fine with just Skywalker, and we soon see why: Anakin leads Palpatine to a meeting chamber only to find Dooku there. The two battle (and there’s a glorious shot of Palpatine grinning as he watches the two spar) before Obi-Wan intervenes and the two chase Dooku to his ship, which he leaps into and flees.

Overall, this arc was perhaps the best of the entire series, second maybe only to the Father/Son/Daughter one last season. The writing is sharp (Eval abandoning Obi-Wan with a flippant “And also, he despises you” is the most Star Wars-like piece of dialogue thus far in the series), the set pieces are brilliant (the myriad of traps in The Box are thrilling), the humor is strong (The Parwan’s reaction when Obi-Wan explains his expertise in Parwan anatomy is “I used to kill Parwans for a living” actually merited a full laugh), and we really get to see Anakin begin to turn his back on the Jedi order. This is definitely the highlight arc of the series, though what follows does give it a bit of a run for its money.

The final four episodes aren’t an arc so much as a series of stories connected by a single thread. Massacre features a return of the Nightsisters, to whom an alienated Asajj Ventress appeals for acceptance. They magically baptize her just in time for Genral Grievous to arrive at the instruction of Dooku, and a titanic battle between machine and magic occurs, with Talzin calling on the tribe elder, Daka, to revive every dead Nightsister on the planet, because zombies now exist in the Star Wars universe, and I’m so on board. Unfortunately, the battle ends in a titular massacre after Grievous slays Daka, ending the resurrection magic, and the droid army apparently wise out every Nightsister besides Ventress and Talzin, who appears to Ventress in a vision encouraging her to move on. It’s Ventress’ tragic tale we follow into the next episode (and for my part gladly, as her storyline is the most interesting of the series by far).

In Bounty, Ventress falls in with a group of bounty hunters led by Boba Fett (and containing a female bounty hunter named Latts Razzi who she has a palpable romantic tension with). They undertake a mission to deliver a piece of cargo to a wealthy crime lord after it has been stolen, but that cargo is revealed to be a young girl, intended to be a child-bride. Ventress has a bit of a dilemma on her hands, and realizes she’s no longer the wicked sith she had once been, so collects her bounty from the crime lord, but turns over a bound Boba Fett in the container meant to carry the child bride, and instead turns the girl over to her family. Though, just in case you thought she’d completely turned herself around, she collected a ransom from them as well.

The next time we see Ventress, in Brothers, she’s sitting in a bar with Razzi (meaning I wasn’t reading too deep into those glances last episode). A group of bounty hunters are checking out the list of open bounties, and they stop on an intriguing offer, which Ventress says she’ll undertake personally. The name? Savage Opress.

Opress is on his mission from Mother Talzin, arriving on Lotho Minor in search of his brother, Darth Maul. The planet’s design is something to behold, complete with Mad Max-esque masked figures, metal fire breathing dragons, and a snake-like guide who functions as the sinister mirror image of The Worm from Labyrinth. The snake eventually leads Savage into a trap, claiming when his master has devoured Opress, he’ll be back to eat the leftovers. Savage makes his way through the underground tunnels, haunted by the clinking of metal on stone until the creature stalking him reveals itself. Savage battles what appear to be a large mechanical spider until he lures the creature into the light, and he sees, as we see, the most disturbing image in the entire series: an atrophied and incongruously rambling Maul torso atop mechanical spider legs. Press finally gets Maul to reveal his deep desire for revenge against the Jedi who nearly killed him, and Opress offers to help his kin seek revenge. All of this creates a great disturbance in the force, one sense by Anakin, Asajj and Yoda, the last of which decides he must reveal to Obi-Wan that the slayer of his master has returned.

In the series finale, Revenge, Savage and Maul return to Dathomir to seek out Mother Talzin, who uses her magic to create new robotic legs for Maul and fix his mind, restoring his sanity. The two then head for the planet of Raydonia, finding a group of children. When Opress asks why, Maul tells him the only way to get the Jedi’s attention is a slaughter. They send a filmed message of their mass execution, demanding Obi-Wan come to them alone or more will die, and despite Mace Windu’s insistence of reinforcements, Obi-Wan complies. Meanwhile, Asajj decides to pursue the bounty, leading both her and the Jedi to Raydonia. When Obi-Wan arrives, he’s immediately set upon by the brothers, and knocked unconscious, but before they can torture him, Asajj distracts them and runs off, forcing the two to give chase. Asajj outruns them and returns to Obi-Wan reviving him and giving him one of her sabers, and the two engage in such brilliantly Beatrice and Benedict dialogue that you almost wish they called the episode “It Happened One Night In A Galaxy Far, Far Away”. There’s an amazing four person, all red lightsaber duel, and feeling outmatched, they ditch the cockpit of the ship they’re on board, stranding the brothers in space and barely escaping with their lives. Maul, however, is undeterred, assured that he will encounter the jedi and echoing his sentiment from Episode I that at last, he will have revenge.

So, overall, setting aside a slow opening, Season 4: Battle Lines is well worth watching, even if the subtitle doesn’t make as much sense as the last two did. Next week, we’re taking on the last episode to air on cable television, The Clone Wars Season 5. Check back then, and in the mean time, feel free to weigh in in the comments.

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