The Clone Wars, Season 2, Episode 13: Voyage of Temptation
This entry is part of a series. To start at the beginning, go here.
Welcome back to “Oh my God, Obi-Wan has a girllllfriend!” — the arc where we learn that there might be Crushing Remorse-related reasons why Obi-Wan just sort of let Anakin do whatever the hell he wanted, even if it included him actually marrying someone in secret.
When we left off, Obi-Wan had traveled to Mandalore, an insane planet full of unstable people because he’d heard that they — a neutral planet — were planning on Going Separatist and taking all the other pacifist hippie planets with them. Not so! However, he did uncover a shadowy conspiracy involving the Death Watch, a terrorist collective (that is not a shitty band, even though they totally sound like they would be,) who also wondrously have possession of the Darksaber, a weapon so ostentatious and Star Wars-y that I consider its existence a personal gift from the writing staff of this show. Actually, scratch that: this entire arc is their gift to me.
At the tail end of the last installment, Obi-Wan and Anakin were en route to Coruscant with the Duchess of Mandalore and some of her Senator pals. This episode is pretty easily in my top 3 TCW episodes ever, and this entry is by far one of the most popular I’ve ever published here on Snark Wars, so please: enjoy.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Wants To Bond With Obi-Wan Kenobi
So, after the requisite appearance of Voiceover Recap Guy, we see Obi-Wan giving the clones their marching orders, which are pretty much: “don’t let anything happen to my girlfriend, guys.”
Anakin is there standing around somewhat Vaderishly until he chimes in to remind them that the terrorists might be in league with the Separatists, so watch out, and asks Artoo to scan for Evil Robots in the vicinity.
Obi-Wan gets notified that the Duchess and her people are asking for him, so he agrees to head over to where they are, and oh man this part is gold — OK, there is a split second where Anakin looks at Obi-Wan, reads his reaction and overall Middle-School-First Date-levels of anxiety here, and is basically like: WHOA. Please enjoy this series of Anakin Skywalker Reaction Faces:
Fortunately for Anakin, they’re about to jump into an elevator together, which is where they spend all their most brotastic moments and talk about feelings and whatever.
Recurring Theme: Elevator Bromance
Anakin initiates a much less overt version of the “you’re sweating” conversation from the beginning of Attack of the Clones as they head to their destination:
This is preeeeeettty much the same conversation in these two shots (that is, a conversation that boils down to “ha ha, omg, you like-like a girl, that is hilarious”), but with the roles (and sour face) reversed. It’s kinda cute, frankly.
These two, I tell ya: sometimes knowing the way things are going to play out for them — what with the betrayal and the genocide and the dismemberment/immolation and the Symbolic Sacrifice on board something that is actually called The Death Star — it’s really very sad. At least they had some good times talking in elevators. And those couple of years where they both had amazing hair.
Next, we get our first real interior look at Satine’s ostentatious ship, the Coronet. The scene above is such a goldmine, so let’s dig in. I have so many questions. First: WHY IS SHE LOUNGING LIKE THAT? She’s supposed to be this devoted leader who’s trying to keep her volatile warrior planet in a state of peace, but then she literally looks down, regally, on everyone in this scene — from a fancy pillow perch on a posh cruise ship, while wearing the most elaborate costume possible? Yeah, that’ll endear you to the commoners and your political peers, honey. I don’t know where you went wrong! She even has a martini glass for added flair.
Why does Mandalore, Historical Home World of Badasses, even own a luxury space liner like this? Was this whole room set up like this just so she could be especially glamorous and domineering while she conducts the latest in her series of Subtly Sexy Arguments with Obi-Wan? If so, damn: well played, Satine. This lady doesn’t half ass anything, be it décor or transportation or fancy hats or flirting with Kenobi. She is pretty much my hero.
Obi-Wan and the Duchess waste no time making a spectacle of themselves and their unresolved sexual tension by sniping at each other over which one of them is correct about the efficacy of violence again. And let me assure you that the pomposity involved here is completely and totally hilarious. Without simply dumping out a transcript of the dialogue, I will just say that it basically completes me and please make sure to watch it, because it is legitimately wonderful.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Shipping Fangirl
Eventually, after a while, everyone in the room is more or less just embarrassed for Obi-Wan and Satine and trying to leave. Everyone, that is, except Anakin, who unsurprisingly seems to be enjoying the hell out of this new information about Obi-Wan and watching him squirm.
Can I talk a little bit about Anakin’s face in this entire episode? Because it is the best. This guy: he is SO INTO THIS SHIT it is ridiculous. He is more into this THAN I AM, and I run this stupid recap website. Regular readers will know that Anakin is extremely into pretty much anything that involves Ahsoka or Obi-Wan having crushes on anybody, and this episode is really his ultimate showcase in this regard. He smirks, he widens his eyes, he prods for information. It gets so much better from here on out in this episode, too, but his face in this scene alone makes this entire ARC worth it.
I suppose, being the undisputed champion of getting under Obi-Wan’s skin, Anakin can recognize the gift in others when he sees it and/or he’s looking for some new material to piss Obi-Wan off with later.
Ghosts of Star Wars Future: From a Certain Point of View Edition
Satine thoughtfully throws a heads-up at some future Skywalkers who may or may not have been told their dad was dead:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, ALWAYS Killing Me Here
Finally, Obi-Wan’s had enough getting beat up on for a couple minutes and is like “hey check out this hot guy I brought with me! He’s an insane yelling person who I’m lowkey afraid of sometimes that I got stuck with for work — just like how I met you, love!” May I present…
Now, I’ve mentioned elsewhere and I will doubtless mention it another thousand times again, but there is something about either of these two handsome idiots trying to be proper or smooth that just kills me. Anakin:
Satine? Is like 800% not interested in even pretending to be pleased to meet Anakin, which is too bad, because if you like watching Obi-Wan get annoyed and flustered, as we know Satine does, she should be as into the dynamic between these two as any of the rest of us. Regrettably, she’s too annoyed to appreciate it, and instead is like OH so I guess YOU’RE some kind of soldier, too, HMM?!
Anakin is all like “we live to serve”:
Satine is like “PFFT, OK, whatever” and Obi-Wan is like “LEAVE MY BOY ALONE”:
We then hit some of the best lines in this arc, and the series at large, as Obi-Wan and Satine get into it AGAIN about pacifism because just hardcore making out in front of everyone would be slightly inappropriate:
With this, the crowd has finally decided it has decidedly HAD ENOUGH and Obi-Wan and Satine are politely, yet pointedly, told to shut the hell up and either drop it or take it to another room. All the while Anakin looks on at this hilarious and amazing spectacle, surely conjuring up the many ways he’s going to cover this on that blog he totally does not run:
Recurring Theme: The Kenobi-Skywalker Walk-and-Talk
After that hilarity is behind us, the boys are walking back to their room — a room which, I should note, is amazingly dark and depressing in spite of how fabulously decadent the rest of the ship is. I guess Satine got the memo that the Jedi are not allowed to sleep in anything remotely cheerful or bright or even totally furnished.
Here Anakin prompts Obi-Wan, not for the last time, for more information about the exact nature of his relationship with Satine. As they walk, and more of the backstory comes out (namely, that they spent quite a long time together on an extended mission, and that yes, he was totally into her as More Than Just Friends,) Anakin’s initial Spidey senses are validated. Oooooh! I love that these two are having a high school gossip session in the hallway right now.
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
Every once in a while, Star Wars decides it’s time to remind us that Obi-Wan, a pretty stand-up guy without whom the universe possibly would have fallen apart a few hundred times already, gets absolutely screwed in every way at virtually every turn. If he’s not being forced to watch helplessly as his father figure gets murdered in front of him, or having to attempt to destroy the ancient evil housed in what used to be his best friend, for example, he’s stuck doing stuff like this episode. Here, he’s forced to face the only woman he’s ever loved and the crushing remorse that comes with having chosen to leave her behind in order to stick to the righteous, but ultimately lonely path that his life’s work requires. Thank goodness Anakin’s there; I’m sure that’ll cheer him up! That guy usually spreads sunshine wherever he goes.
Regret of the Jedi
The boys continue this discussion once they arrive to their dim, cheerless quarters. I would like to note that A) this conversation picked up momentum in the elevator, because of course it did:
and B) when they arrive to the room where they have the rest of this discussion, Obi-Wan uses the Force to pull a chair over for himself, in what qualifies as one of the laziest and most unnecessary uses of the Force I have ever seen in Star Wars:
Anakin seems legitimately perplexed that Obi-Wan didn’t just stay on Mandalore indefinitely in the first place, since it’s obvious that he had Important Feelings for Satine, and asks him why he didn’t. Obi-Wan apparently resists the urge to be like, “Huh! I don’t know, genius, why do you think I didn’t just stay behind? Have you noticed that I’m a Jedi? You know, that thing you also are? Did you even read the handbook? JESUS CHRIST.” He gives him a much more polite version of this answer instead, which allows him a moment to sadly reflect on this latest tragic thing that the writers have decided to add to his backstory. Anakin’s like “Ohhhh, right, that whole attachments thing that is a central part of the code we live by. The whole Jedi thing. Riiight.”
Ultimately, this discussion kind of winds up being one big missed opportunity for these two that ends with them (and us) more depressed than when they started talking. Well, it sure as hell won’t be the last time.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan
As they conclude this latest trip down Depressing Memory Lane, Obi-Wan gets a message from the clones that R2-D2 is freaking out about something, and they’ve lost contact with two of their men. Obi-Wan is all set to leave to go help them when Anakin waves it away: he’ll go, so Obi-Wan can go to dinner with the Duchess, no big, man – and it’s more or less implied that Obi-Wan knows why Anakin’s doing this for him, and it’s actually REALLY sweet because Anakin loves him and then you remember where this is all headed for these two and damnit all to hell this saga is such a bummer sometimes. Anakin leaves, and Obi-Wan looks both touched AND sad about all of this, and I hate everything.
Side note: IS THAT HIS BED BACK THERE? THAT??? THAT IS WHAT SATINE GAVE OBI-WAN TO SLEEP IN?! COME ON, DUCHESS. Unless…giving him the worst, dirtiest, least-comfortable bed on this entire ship was somehow a clever way to try to drive him into her bedchambers, in which case I once again salute you, Your Highness.
So Obi-Wan goes off to have dinner with Satine and the other neutral politicians (who are no doubt really looking forward to more time with those two and their issues,) and Anakin and R2-D2 head out to investigate what evil lurks aboard the ship. It’s there that Anakin, Rex, Cody and the crew discover gigantic robotic spider assassin droids, which have taken out some of the men. Anakin lets Obi-Wan know what’s going on just in time for chaos to break out for both of them, culminating in the dining room getting trashed:
And both of them discovering that oh hey, these spiders can have babies:
Remember That Time We Almost Died? And That Other Time?
But hey! It’s not all bad. While Anakin takes care of things in the cargo area, and ultimately determines that the source of the nasty droids must have been a Senator because of Goofy Star Wars reasons where a Senator had to have signed for the package or some BS, Obi-Wan and Satine get to flirtatiously avoid death and reminisce about other times they almost died. Ah, sweet Star Wars Romance! We’re also treated to an intentionally hilarious moment where Obi-Wan attempts to remind her of yet another of his badass daring rescues, and she in turn reminds him that he dropped her and she has the scar to remember it by. I love it when they make him awkward, and I am SO SAD that Anakin missed this.
Recurring Theme: I’m Not Who You Think I Am
Anakin heads up to the dining room to share what he’s learned about who’s behind the assassin droid attack, and why he thinks it’s one of the Senators. Obi-Wan agrees with his assessment, and tells Anakin to let him take care of outing the traitor in their midst while Anakin heads back to get rid of any remaining assassin droids.
Obi-Wan decides to use a straggler baby spider droid to throw a spotlight on the turncoat (by demonstrating that it won’t attack the person who placed it on the ship in the first place,) which naturally gives him a chance to be Aggressive and for Satine to Have a Problem With This:
Obi-Wan makes his way around the table, and his conclusion that Senator Merrick is the Hidden Identity Character in this installment is correct:
…yes, Merrick is actually in league with the Death Watch, and this brings us to a dramatic peak of the episode arc as he takes Satine hostage as per Vizsla’s orders, and runs off.
Recurring Theme: Anakin and Rex Kick Some Robotic Ass
Obi-Wan comms over to Anakin to tell him what’s happened, but Anakin’s preoccupied at the moment:
He and Rex take out the last of the spider droids in a pretty badass sequence where Anakin throws his lightsaber in a loop to chop off its legs, and Rex blasts away at its body:
Recurring Theme: This Arc Is Amazing
Meanwhile Merrick, still holding onto Satine, kills off the ship’s crew — but not before we get another peek at the ship’s Dude in Charge, who is dressed as an old-timey ship captain, complete with hat. I LOVE STAR WARS SO MUCH. So: in addition to whoever wrote in “delusion of a dreamer” and a particularly fabulous line in the next episode, whoever wrote this into the arc is my hero as well:
Maybe Don’t Finish that Sentence
BONUS Recurring Theme: Darth Vader Wants to Know If You Guys Totally Did It
Obi-Wan and Anakin reconvene in the hallway after Anakin finishes dispatching with the rest of the droids. And what do you know: they’re in a fucking elevator again! What a new and exciting thing for these two.
I feel the need to discuss this particular Elevator Moment at length, because…ahem, well. So, they get in the elevator, and Anakin immediately decides now — while people are being taken hostage and there are possibly more robotic spiders milling around this ship and Obi-Wan is A LITTLE BUSY — now is the time to ask Obi-Wan a fumbling question that goes something like this:
So…excuse me, but is he asking…what I think he’s asking? He’s already established through his earlier badgering that they were close in a not-just-friends way, that Obi-Wan had deep feelings for her that he felt would have threatened his ability to remain a Jedi, that he feels genuine regret about not being able to stay with her…so what the hell else is left for Anakin to be asking about that would involve that lead-up?
Were they ever what, Anakin? Literally any plausible word after that is giving me hives of laughter: “…intimate?” (No, just…no.) “…tempted?” (You should see my face right now.) “…together?” (Agggh…) I keep feeling like no matter how much I try to ignore it, the word they were implying was “…lovers?” And it’s at this point in the arc that I have a true “what is even happening right now” moment, because…A) I didn’t even know people in Star Wars could talk about sex, B) I am going to walk right out of this recap this MINUTE, Filoni, if Darth Vader is going to drop the word “lovers”, because I will never ever be able to stop laughing, and C) this entire exchange is hilarious and wonderful and I am so glad it’s these two of all people in the Star Wars universe who are having this conversation.
I am also dying that it’s Obi-Wan, whom many of us were first introduced to as a mysterious, kind of sad old wizard who lives alone in the desert, who is apparently fielding a question, from Darth Vader, about his sexual history. Like, just for a moment picture where many of us started with these two, picture what you know they look like in 20 years, think of their characterization in Episode 4, and now make them have this same exchange in your head, right down to Obi-Wan’s flummoxed non-response, and tell me you are not at least smiling a little. God, these two and their ridiculous history are just my favorite. They really are. I love this goddamn show.
At any rate, Obi-Wan does get extremely flustered, stammering about how he fails to see what this has to do with ANYTHING OH MY STARS (as if this is the first time Obi-Wan’s ever seen a Jedi pry for gossip. I KNOW WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE ABOUT.) He then seems super sad, and mercifully shuts down this line of inquiry before I have to leave the room due to secondhand embarrassment for both of them. (So, that’s a “yes”, then, right Kenobes? I mean, we all know you guys hooked up so I’m just going to go ahead and take this as the confirmation it obviously is, and I know Anakin will as well.)
Team Handsome splits up as Anakin goes to take care of the latest round of Evil Droids that have shown up, and instructs Obi-Wan to:
…to which Obi-Wan COMPLETELY takes the bait and is like uhhh:
For real, Kenobi: just go save the day. Please. Oh my God.
I’m Married to My Job, Unless You’re Game
We get a few pretty significant character moments after this. First, we get a pair of true-love-confessions during the hostage standoff when it looks like Satine’s going to die, which are surprisingly touching, if overwrought and ridiculous, in their execution. She tells him she’s loved him since the first time they met, and, after initially being all awkward and Jedi-ish back at her and telling her that now isn’t the time to discuss this, he admits that if she had only said the word, he would have given up being a Jedi for her.
This particular moment definitely won’t have repercussions later on because, as previously noted, we all know the powers that be would never let anything bad happen to Obi-Wan or the people he cares about. Good people in the GFFA always get a happy ending, right?
So…that’s pretty huge, right? He’d have left the order for her? Who knew our little ginger had so much going on! Of course, this also helps to further frame up where the writers are ultimately going with that whole path-not-taken, mirror-image, yin-yang blahblahblah that we always get hit over the head with repeatedly as regards Obi-Wan and Anakin, and we will absolutely be seeing more of this later.
Satine breaks away from her captor by stomping sassily on his foot (and deploying a truly amazing line that includes the phrase “…and slugs are so often trod upon.” TROD UPON! God, I want to send a case of champagne to the writers.) She steals his gun…
…and then the three of them end up in a kiiiinda dopey standoff wherein Satine won’t kill the guy Because Principles, and Obi-Wan won’t do it either, Because Pacifist Ladyfriend, even though this guy has a bomb on him and could kill them all. He taunts them: so, which one of you is willing to be the cold-blooded killer and stop me, huh? (The first time we watched this episode years ago, my husband and I both immediately looked at each other and were like OH GEE I WONDER WHERE THIS IS GOING.)
Foreshadowing for Dummies
Hey! Good thing they know a guy who can help! Our friend Ol’ Murdery Anakin Skywalker rolls along at the crucial moment and saves their skins. What a surprise! He continues his jaunty journey into darkness (and seems pretty pleased about it, frankly,) with a conflict resolution so obvious we can see it coming from several universes away, taking out Merrick so that neither Obi-Wan nor Satine have to do it. Well, that was handy! Don’t say Vader never did you a solid, Kenobi. (Also, I love how Obi-Wan’s reaction to Anakin conveniently murdering someone for him is basically the same kind of chiding you’d give to someone who shoplifted a pack of gum or bought you beer with a fake ID. Oh, Anakin, you incorrigible scamp, you!)
Bonus points for the briefest of appearances from The Imperial March in the soundtrack for this scene. Guys, we get it. Like, I think even Anakin isn’t going to be surprised when The Turn happens by now, and at this point he’s probably already going to be sick of hearing the song.
Anakin’s intervention saves their lives here, but has the added impact of neutralizing Satine and Obi-Wan’s earlier Moment of Truth now that nobody’s literally seconds away from death anymore. Satine beats a hasty, awkward retreat out of there, leaving Obi-Wan, appropriately, with the saddest sad-sack line of the arc, spoken sotto voce as she walks away.
Recurring Theme: The Questionable Taste of the Ladies of Star Wars
As we head into the end of the second installment, we return to Coruscant, and Satine and Obi-Wan are doing a whole “no, you saved the day” wrap-up spiel. She takes a moment before heading into the Senate to give him some sass about his beard. Now, I feel that I must point out here that this is a woman who apparently fell in love with Obi-Wan back when he still had Jedi Trainee Hair. You will recall that said hair — assuming you have not understandably blocked it from your memory despite the fact that we all had to watch it be inflicted upon both Ewan McGregor AND Hayden Christensen — involves a short-style cut, PLUS a tiny, low ponytail in the back and a very, very long, braided rattail. Given this, I feel like she…may not be the best judge of Obi-Wan’s appearance.
I know, I know, it was an excuse to flirt with him, and I’m never going to disparage anyone for hitting it even with Jedi Trainee Hair, so I’ll allow it, but you are wrong here, sister. His overall look has been solid starting with the debut of Episode 2’s Amazing Ginger Wolfman look and has only improved since then. The beard is life, and he is wearing the hell out of it. Evaluate yourself.
Obi-Wan is the WORLD’S BIGGEST DORK here in response, and is clearly like “Oh my god someone is touching me and also it’s her” here and gets all blushy and awkward:
She then sticks the landing by throwing this at him as she saunters away and, you know what? I have to tip my fangirling hat to Padme and Satine. Those ladies knew how to get it done, whether it was yelling at people to be more principled, fighting for justice, picking out insane outfits, or just twisting a hot Jedi around their pinky finger:
Anakin watches this all go down (and probably feverishly taking notes for his Obitine fanfic he’s going to write later that evening), which leads us to a sequence of dialogue between Obi-Wan and Anakin that more or less ends with Anakin saying “Golly! What a woman!” as they watch her from a distance and we head into the iris-wipe.
Guys, again: you are killing me here. Please stop being huge dorks. (Yes, I’m still trying to get past the whole “lovers” thing.)
And with that, we’re queued up for Part 3 of this arc, which features a lot of hissy fits, a bunch of foreshadowing that no one will follow up on, and my absolute favorite line in the entirety of Star Wars.