The Clone Wars, Season 4, Episode 18: “Crisis on Naboo”
This is the fourth part of a four-part arc. To start at the first installment, go here.
At long last, we come to the end of yet another crazy Clone Wars arc, one that as my title suggests is dripping with so much irony it’s notable EVEN in the context of the rest of the Star Wars canon, which is saying something.
At the end of our last installment, Undercover Not-Dead Obi-Wan was teaming up with Cad Bane and a bunch of other bounty hunters to go kidnap Evil Uncle Palpatine, in what is more or less just another round of Sidious screwing with absolutely everyone in the Galaxy. As we start up this episode, we learn Palps will soon be on his way to Naboo to preside over the Festival of Light, where this alleged kidnapping is going to go down, and the Jedi are figuring out how to keep him safe.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Yeller of Things
Mace Windu is showing the gang the map of the chancellor’s route on Naboo, and notes that he’d hoped that with Obi-Wan on the inside, they’d have more information — but they haven’t heard from Obi-Wan in days. Anakin doesn’t like people shit-talking his boyfriend or suggesting that something bad might have happened to him, so he immediately scowls and snarls that Obi-Wan will do his job, so they’d all better do theirs.
Then he storms out of the room because he’s not emotional or anything, and the following series of wordless side-eyes takes place:
The bounty hunter collective is on Naboo with Count Dooku, getting ready to execute their Evil Plan. Dooku carves out some time to recycle some dialogue about how everything will go according to plan, before handing things off to Cad Bane, who starts handing out assignments to each of the bounty hunters. Obi-Wan finds out he’s going to be the sniper, which he does not look especially excited about.
Recurring Theme: Convenient Tech
So then Bane busts out their “disguises”, which are guard uniforms that they’ll use to get past security. They’re holograms that you can step into, and I love when technology that could have come in handy at about 600 additional points in the storyline just randomly appears for the first time ever.
As the team breaks to launch the plan into action, Dooku warns Bane about Fake Rako Hardeen:
Palps, Mas Amedda, Mace Windu, Anakin and Ahsoka all arrive on Naboo and greet the queen and Padme as they land basically ON TOP of wandering villagers. Like, maybe clear the area first, guys? OK.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Own Biggest Fan
Mace and Palpatine have an ironic exchange about how important it is to keep Palpatine safe, and Anakin assigns Ahsoka to be Padme’s bodyguard. Where’s Anakin off to, you ask? He tells them that he’ll be “where he always is”, and damnit Ahsoka I love you:
Obi-Wan gets in touch with Mace Windu at last and fills him in on the plot, and LOL that as he’s chatting he puts Mace in the crosshairs of his sniper rifle. They wrap up their conversation, the day turns into evening, and it’s time for Palps’ Big Moment at the Festival of Light.
Good grief, even the damn fireworks are ironic in this episode:
I Love Democracy; I Love The Republic And Whatever
Palpatine gives a speech blathering on about the Republic whilst under a gigantic ray shield bubble, and as he’s doing it Obi-Wan is filling Mace in on what he can see from his vantage point.
Then, even though they all literally knew nearly every thing about the plot, including that there was a Parwan bounty hunter who can pass through ray shields, they STILL fail to stop the guy from doing so, and soon he’s disabling the shield around Palpatine et al. Anakin takes off after the guy and gets his ass electrocuted like whoa:
Obi-Wan tells Mace that Anakin’s down, and that he can’t find Cad Bane anywhere. Mace runs off to go find him, and in the meantime ends up unknowingly leaving Palpatine wide open to be kidnapped and FOR FORCE’S SAKE sometimes these guys are kind of terrible at their jobs.
I Think We Might Be On To Something Here
So anyways, Anakin and Mace realize too late that the bounty hunters have played the old switcheroo on them, as Moralo Eval rolls up with his getaway vehicle and Cad Bane packs Palpatine off into it. Obi-Wan takes off after them in a speeder and meets up with them at their rendezvous point.
There’s some back and forth between Obi-Wan and Cad Bane which allows us Yet Another Moment of Ironic Observation:
…and ends up leading to a fist fight/blaster fight/part where Cad Bane turns on his actual jet boots, which are endlessly amusing.
And, once again, Kenobi is a badass, and he emerges victorious as Anakin and Mace Windu arrive to back him up and help him arrest Eval and Bane:
The bad guys are getting taken into custody when someone actually tells Obi-Wan he did a good job at something for the first time in the history of the galaxy (!!!!):
Cad Bane is pissed when he finds out he got duped by Obi-Wan, and I laugh:
Obi-Wan wonders aloud if all this bullshit he just went through was worth it, and Mace is like “hey we saved the Chancellor, which is obviously a good thing how could it not be HA HA he’s totally not going to kill us all someday!”
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Chosen One/Complete Dork
The gang get together to wrap things up on Naboo, and Padme tells them that they’re all in their debt. Anakin says the following because he is a gigantic awkward dork, and Padme rewards this by making Junior High Crush Eyes at him in return:
Palpatine sends the security detail back to Coruscant, which Mace objects to, and Palpatine creepily says that Anakin is all the security he needs. Ew.
Recurring Theme: A Love Like Ours Is Doomed Beyond All Comprehension
OK, this scene really needs to be watched in its entirety instead of just recapped, but basically Anakin totally tears into Obi-Wan now that they’re able to talk to each other again:
And this scene ends like this:
…and maybe I’m just in a vulnerable place because I just watched Revenge of the Sith again, but I honestly didn’t need any of this, OK? Anakin storms off and Obi-Wan is sad, two things that never happen in Star Wars.
In the next scene, Mace and Obi-Wan are chatting, and Mace hilariously says that Obi-Wan should transform back, because everyone’s tired…
Recurring Theme: …What If? Nah.
Mace notes that something is still bothering Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan drops this:
Obi-Wan speculates that maybe they DON’T know the whole truth and for fuck’s sake how many damn times are they all going to dance like RIGHT UP to reality and then back away why are you like this Star Wars aaaggghhh.
Obi-Wan opts to stay in Unhandsome Form for a bit longer to check something. He inspects the case his sniper rifle came in, and discovers that Dooku had a listening device inside it:
Gasp! Why this means the good Count must be around here somewhere…
Recurring Theme: Bonding Time With My Evil Son
Meanwhile, in the dark (…oh my God, maybe the entire Galaxy lacks full electricity,) Palpatine and Anakin are having some good old fashioned Evil Brainwashing Bonding Time. Sometimes in these scenes I realize I’m looking at those two old dudes from Death Star II, and it strikes me as both sad and also terribly funny, for some reason.
Aaaanyways, Palps first works on damaging Anakin’s relationship with his wife, by pretending there’s a banquet he’s totally going to with Padme that Anakin’s not invited to oh but don’t worry Anakin I bet she was gonna tell you:
And then getting back to focusing on ruining Anakin’s relationship with his boyfriend by asking if the idea to disguise Obi-Wan was Anakin’s idea. Surely it was, right? The Jedi totally wouldn’t have kept that a secret from him! Nope, Anakin says:
Irony, Thy Name is Star Wars
So they walk into this dining hall, the music becomes amusingly melodramatic, and Dooku is sitting at the head of the table looking Eeeevil:
Palpatine says this in like, the MOST phony “oh my stars” kind of voice:
Anakin gets electrocuted AGAIN, and he and Dooku throw down. Plates and forks and chairs are flying everywhere, Anakin channels his inner rageaholic, and Palpatine just takes it all in like DANCE, PUPPETS, DANCE, smirking his ass off the entire time.
Obi-Wan comes running down the hallway as Anakin gets electrocuted a THIRD TIME, and the wonder twins take off after Dooku together.
Obi-Wan saves Palpatine as Dooku heads off on his ship, taking a minute to get a burn in on Anakin as he leaves:
And finally, Obi-Wan claims another spe-ci-al-ity…
…Anakin makes a promise to Palpatine that he can’t keep…
…and Palpatine replies with this and like honestly, Star Wars, just stop it. This is not OK:
Palps wraps things up by wondering where the galaxy would be without the Jedi (har har), and as we finally iris-wipe out of this arc, he leads Padme, Anakin and Obi-Wan — three people whose lives he is going to completely and utterly destroy in every conceivable way — back into the palace.