The Clone Wars, Season 5, Episode 17: Sabotage
This is the first episode from this arc.
[deep breath] Oh…kay…people. I have had a draft for this episode started for ages and ages and I’m finally gonna do it. Here we go. Get your tissues and your emotional support systems ready for this arc.
Here comes Voiceover Recap Guy, and he’s uncharacteristically succinct this time, probably because he knows what a shitshow awaits us: all he’s really got is that Cato Neimoidia is under Separatist attack, and Anakin and Ahsoka are heading into battle in a scene totally not deliberately reminiscent of the opening of Revenge of the Sith
. Oh, good
. This means this arc’s SURE to be uplifting! (Spoiler: IT IS NOT.)
Recurring Theme: Buzz Droid Attack!
So here they are on the approach to Cato Neimoidia and just kill me now you guys because if Episode 3 is the part of Star Wars where my still-beating heart gets flayed in my chest (and it is
), this is at least
the part where Star Wars begins sharpening the blade while staring me down murderously.
Snips and Skyguy, BFFs for Life Because What Could Tear Them Apart That Would Be Insane Like If Obi-Wan and Anakin Ever Tried To Kill Each Other, are on approach in their twin Jedi Interceptors and this time it’s Anakin who’s besieged with buzz droids. He’s his usual smug ass self as he Forces them all away:
…er, except for the one that drills through the floor of his ship, causing a fire:
Recurring Theme: I’m Not Leaving Without You, Master
Ahsoka is like “hellooooo? You OK over there, dude?” and shortly after this, Anakin loses consciousness. Artoo gives Ahsoka the bad news that Anakin’s not exactly awake at the moment, and also there’s something majorly wrong with his ship’s engines.
Ahsoka asks to get a better look, and sees that the underside of Anakin’s ship is completely covered in buzz droids:
Recurring Theme: Slide Into The Finish
BONUS Recurring Theme: We Are Still Officially Out of New Dialogue
…and, uh, YEAH, that might be a problem.
Ahsoka, it should go without saying, is amazing and heroic here, beginning the sequence with some Certified 100% Recycled Star Wars Dialogue™
from the Leia Organa Badass Collection as she tells R7 to pilot her ship for her:
…and wrapping things up with a slide finish and Anakin’s ship, minus Anakin, going over a cliff. Man, I have to tell you: everyone
in Star Wars must be CONSTANTLY experiencing deja vu given how often one thing that happens to them parallels something else. (“Wait, did I do this scene already? Oh no, that was with Ahsoka…or Luke…er, someone. It’s all kind of running together now.”)
Ahsoka fears the worst for Artoo, but not to worry: he’s all right!
Recurring Theme: Have I Missed Something?
Anakin comes to, lightly recycles some modified dialogue himself from the Obi-Wan Kenobi Collection, and appears to be OK. But wait — the day is saved! How can that be if his ship is gone and he was out cold? OH WAIT it’s because Ahsoka knows how to get shit done, Skywalker.
Just then, Yoda pings Anakin on holo-Skype and tells him that LOL, sorry you JUST FUCKING GOT HERE and ALMOST DIED doing it, but the Jedi Temple’s been bombed and so we need you haul ass back to Coruscant.
Anakin hangs up the holo-Skype call, and it’s hilarious only because he seriously has the face and demeanor of a man who is thinking “like I need more of this bullshit FML” which is really a look Obi-Wan wears far more often. Those two could have made great weary old men together if he had just leaned into his misery instead of trying to fix it.
Recurring Theme: …Who?
Ohh GOOD, we’re in the goddamn Council room. I had missed it during my brief trip to the Rebels timeline recently. Anyways, you’ll be glad to know it’s daylight hours and Anakin and Ahsoka are here, getting the skinny on the Temple bombing from the usual crew.
Ahsoka is shocked: how could someone have done this? And who
? Yoda’s like, one thing’s for sure:
Yep, this is going to be One of Those Episode Arcs.
Clearly, the group has some grim possibilities to contend with, because theoretically, a Jedi could have done this. Ahsoka is like “hey audience, get ready to cry,” as she delivers her next line:
…yep, you just keep on avoiding eye contact with all of us, Anakin. WE SEE YOU.
As a result, Anakin and Ahsoka are getting assigned to solve the case because they were gone at the time of the bombing, so they are much less likely have been involved, plus we know Anakin would never ever ever ever ever attack the Jedi Temple. But as for everyone else? EVERYONE’S a suspect!
Yoda cautions them:
Anakin is his usual Super Confident Big Deal:
…and with that, Snips and Skyguy are on the case!
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Dramatic Irony Incarnate
At the site of the bombing — which is still smoking, so, I guess Anakin and Ahsoka really did
haul ass back home, huh? — Anakin muses:
OK, OK, Mr. Chosen One, we know. You feel their pain and also everything else more than anyone ever has ever.
Ahsoka is unable to believe it. DOES ANYONE BELIEVE…
Yeah, Tano, how could such a horrible
thing happen OMG that would seriously be the worst thing ever and honestly writers JUST GIVE IT A REST. MUST YOU PILE ON TO MY PAIN.
Of course, the writers aren’t done with us yet, so Anakin is like Hey, you just never know…
COME ON GUYS MY HEART IS FRAGILE
, TCW writers, I sure hope nobody from this show who we all like goes down that
Dark Path or anything! And that this arc isn’t just another item in their “List of Reasons Why They Turned”!
Recurring Theme: Helper Droid
The writers finally decide to back off for 3 minutes so we can advance the plot instead of just wallowing in the Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker a little more. They meet up with a Crime-Solving Robot named Russo:
He tells them he’d like to interview the witnesses alone, because:
Anakin is like that is Some Grade A Bullshit. You are way exaggerating. Jedi died in that blast too you know! Fine, fine: take Ahsoka. I’ll stay here and pout and try to think of some more Obvious Foreshadowing I can do. Like, maybe I’ll swing by Obi-Wan’s to tell him he’s my best friend and that I can’t imagine anything ever turning us against each other, before writing Palpatine a letter about what an honest man he is.
I see…a happy ending! Because why wouldn’t I?
Recurring Theme: Law and Order: Coruscant
Oh, hahahaha, silly me, to think we might get a reprieve. We start out with Ahsoka and the droid interview injured people in a medical bay. The first dude they talk to is like COULD A JEDI REALLY HAVE DONE THIS OMG, and then it gets thrown out there:
Hey whaddya know? Ahsoka and I are making the same face at the writers here. LET US LIVE YOU GUYS.
Finally, some dude pipes up that he has some information that doesn’t even have anything to do with indirectly mentioning Anakin’s Turn to the Dark Side, thank GOD:
The man identifies the attacker as a dude named Jackar Bowmani:
This seems to be a solid lead for them, but he also can’t tell them much beyond that:
Anakin Skywalker, Maker of Faces
Anakin arrives to get an update on the 5 whole minutes of interviewing Ahsoka has done, and I die because he walks in and makes an angry bitchface at nothing for absolutely no clear reason. I like to believe that by this point in the timeline he just has random passing mini-Dark Side attacks.
He gets the news that they have a lead, but that they haven’t been able to find the guy yet (though how long, really, could they have been looking at this point?) Anakin says:
You’re right, Anakin. People don’t just disappear. Except for that time that Anakin Skywalker did. Aaaand here we are in the Sad Place again. He says he’ll look into helping find this guy.
War Is Over (If Palpatine Wants It)
At the Temple, there’s a protest underway on the steps outside the entrance and I’m sorry, but this is not the last time I’ll be pointing out the INCREDIBLE ostentaciousness of the Jedi. LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THOSE STATUES. Holy crap. Real humble, you guys!
Anakin shows up here to talk to Cin Drallig, who is standing guard during the protest:
As he displays the image, a woman in the crowd pipes up:
Anakin’s in charge of security here, m’lady, so he tells her:
She looks somewhat reluctant, but agrees to follow him.
Anakin Skywalker, Cross-Examiner
Anakin starts in by asking her if she thinks Jackar could be involved and she flips out at him:
He doesn’t get very far with her, and clearly feels bad for dumping on a grieving widow and/or wife of a guy who turned evil (don’t worry Anakin, this is like not even close to the worst thing you’ll do to someone who fits THAT description.) He backs off, and leaves to find out what progress Ahsoka and Russo have made.
Ahsoka is at the scene again, this time enhanced by a full-blown futuristic CSI setup that allows her to determine the source of the blast and a whole bunch of other stuff. Eventually they hit on a key element of the explosion:
So, their job just got a bit harder. And Jackar could still be at large, planning further attacks. One thing’s for certain:
They Totally Did Other Stuff Today Guys
Back in the Council Room, I summon all of my willpower to avoid mentioning the fact that the Council ARE ALL STILL JUST SITTING THERE WHILE IT GETS DARKER OUTSIDE, and yet fail to stop myself.
Mace Windu tells Anakin and Ahsoka that the Senate kind of wants to horn in on their investigation here, because civilians and clones died in the blast, too, and:
Just as Anakin sets in on complaining about this, his comm goes off and he’s informed by Russo that they found Jackar. A breakthrough — yes! OK:
Spoiler alert: this is going to be REALLY unnecessary.
The Council exchanges their patented Glances of Worry — my second-favorite of their wordless exchanges, after That Face They All Make When Qui-Gon Tells Them His Crazy Theories in Episode 1.
Promise me you guys will at least light an emergency path along the floor after nightfall, OK?
Recurring Theme: Separation of Arm and Its Owner
Anakin and Ahsoka go to find Jackar and when they do, they’re a little…disappointed. His hand is available for questioning, but, uh…
Well, THAT’S going to make getting his side of the story a little bit harder — it turns out Jackar wasn’t ONLY
He had nano-droids in his bloodstream, that then caused the explosion that tore up the hangar at the Temple. Now the question for our Jedi Investigation Squad is:
DUN DUN DUUUUUUN
! It’s off to Jackar’s apartment to seek The Truth!
Recurring Theme: The Depressing Dwellings of Almost Everyone In This Series
They arrive at the address, and Ahsoka takes note of how grim this place is AS THOUGH THE TEMPLE IS SO MUCH CHEERIER:
Anakin then PICKS THE LOCK OF THIS PLACE WITH THE FORCE TO BREAK IN, and wow: that…kind of sucks? So the Jedi can just pull B&Es whenever they feel like it, technically? Good thing they’re “forbidden” from possessing anything, I guess. Since we all know they all totally follow that rule all the time. Coruscanti: you might wanna add some Jedi-proofing to your security systems. On the plus side, when this whole Jedi thing implodes, at least those few stragglers who survive the apocalypse will have a marketable skill in locksmithing available to them. Maybe that’s how Kenobi afforded his posh desert hut.
The two of them set off in search of clues, tiptoeing their way around the place, and please enjoy these couple of screenshots of Anakin and Ahsoka being Sneeeeeeeeaky:
It’s Ahsoka who spots the Key Clue in the kitchen’s garbage disposal:
Anakin poses the next Big Question:
Recurring Theme: Not Who You Think I Am
Just then, Letta arrives:
After some increasingly tense Q&A about the nano-droids, she agrees to go with them for more questioning…
This is, of course, immediately followed by Letta making a break for it as soon as they get outside:
Letta goes on the defensive: my husband is DEAD, you guys!
Anakin smartly counters:
Ooooooh he’s got you now, lady!
And Ahsoka is NOT feeling good about this, either, and she lays into Letta as well:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Yeller of Things
Anakin dips into his Dark Side Foreshadow Bucket again AND recycles some of his OWN dialogue here as he prods for more information:
Recurring Theme: Someone Attempts to Point Out The Invisible Hand
Letta relents: yes, she did indeed feed the nano-droids to her husband. But you guys don’t get it, you stupid dopey Jedi! This thing is bigger than all of us! The Big Bad Reveal hasn’t even happened
Anakin and Ahsoka take her into custody and tell her that she can do all kinds of explaining back at Jedi HQ.
Recurring Theme: Probably This Conversation Won’t Come Back To Haunt Us
It’s time once again for the Episode Wrap-Up, and with Letta in jail, Anakin and Ahsoka are relieved that the bomber turned out not to be a Jedi because a Jedi destroying the Jedi Temple is the worst possible thing that could ever happen ever. And, as a bonus, they haven’t found any nano-droids elsewhere so the Temple is safe probably forever now.
Mace Windu tells Anakin and Ahsoka that sure, it wasn’t a Jedi – this time, which, morbid LOLs all around, then. Again: really, thanks,
writers. I had forgotten for like 12 whole seconds that Anakin falls to the Dark Side. Mace continues that the war’s unpopular and there’s no telling how many enemies, internal and external, the Jedi have amassed:
He leaves, and Anakin and Ahsoka, Jedi Detectives are left to have some final Ironic Conversation.
Anakin really should have mouthed “I’m sorry” to me through the fourth wall before moving ahead with his reply because for crying out LOUD, we have multiple episodes left in this arc and I’ve already suffered enough:
Gee, I feel sorry for whoever that is.
You know, Snips: like you. And Obi-Wan. And my own secret kid. Because I AM GOING TO FUCK EVERYTHING UP SO HARD.
And with that, we are one-quarter of the way through the pain of this arc. Tune in next time, as Ultimate Evil begins to move forward with the most important part of Project Let’s Turn Anakin Skywalker Evil
: sever his ties with everyone he loves and sow mistrust and discord all around, and make me throw various objects at the screen in anguish. Sounds fun; see you then!