TCW, Season 4, Episode 14: Why Is Lux Bonteri Here?

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The Clone Wars, Season 4, Episode 14: A Friend In Need 

Welcome to another fun and exciting and rant-filled Clone Wars recap! I chose today’s episode for several important, highly scientific reasons:

  • I wanted to do a (somewhat) standalone episode
  • I needed something to break up the oncoming sadness of the Season 5 Ahsoka Arc, so I thought we could all use an episode where Ahsoka calls Lux Bonteri an idiot like 68 times
  • This one has a lot of great snarkable moments
  • My Mandalorian wife is in it
  • There’s a whole bunch of goofy villain drama
  • It’s my blog and I felt like it

How’s that for a preamble? Now it’s over to Voiceover Recap Guy to set us up and send us on our way!

Mr. VRG informs us that something big is in the offing: the very first talks between the Separatists and the Republic (not counting any time Palpatine talks to himself, of course.) Padme is, naturally, involved with these talks since she’s all about Justice and Peace and I’m sorry to start laughing already, but would you like to guess where this momentous Talk of PEACEFULNESS and PACIFISM is to be held? HMM?

Yes, we’re going to Mandalore again. I certainly know I would choose a planet with a long tradition of being governed, taken over, or otherwise threatened by hostile warrior people for my peace talks. Let me guess, Amidala: you and Satine already had a girls’ weekend planned (agenda: ridiculous headpiece shopping, loudly discussing politics over sangria, dragging Obi-Wan and Anakin so much that they actually sense it through the Force,) and so this peace talk thing just sort of…worked its way into the plans so that you guys can hit the wine bar right after and get an early start. DON’T TELL ME I’M WRONG I NEED THIS TO BE REAL OK LA LA LA IT’S CANON EVERYONE JUST LET ME HAVE THIS.

Everyone’s all tense about the upcoming talks because these people are familiar with Star Wars and know that everything is probably going to end up being horrible eventually no matter what anyone does. We arrive on Mandalore and once again I am overwhelmed by what a weirdass place this is:
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There’ll Be Coffee and Baked Goods in the Basement After Today’s Services
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I feel like I know who I am again, because here we are at the First Church of Mandalore Throne Room, where Satine has kindly set out some chairs for the Republic and Separatist representatives to hash things out. I am in love with the fact that Satine herself is sitting way the hell in the back, ON HER THRONE, just sort of regally observing everything in all her Neutral Glory. Star Wars needs more of her for every single reason and I will not be persuaded otherwise so don’t even try.

Padme is getting things underway, and Ahsoka is with her standing guard and do you guys REALIZE that this means I got an episode with Padme AND Satine AND Ahsoka in it (albeit WAY too briefly)? Why was this not like 50% of the series? I mean, I like watching Obi-Wan and Anakin be heroes and hit on each other as much as — no, MORE than — the next person, but come on. These ladies got shit DONE and they were all smart and amazing and HOLY SHIT they all did not deserve the endings they got, especially considering that several of the major male principals who have died have ended up coming back as ghosts anyways. No fair.

Oh God, this is shaping up to be one of those recaps again. I’m only like 45 seconds into the actual show. I apologize in advance, but then I also presume that if you’re reading this you’re at least kind of into reading really long rants about Star Wars (… you nerd.)

Recurring Theme: Dramatic Entrance of Someone No One Wants Here

So Padme gets things started and is like “we can’t change the past, so let’s move forward.” In response, she is asked by one of the Separatists to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Separatist state. Padme hesitates because That Is Something She Cannot Do, and Ahsoka looks sad and uncomfortable.

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Then, suddenly, we ALL look sad and uncomfortable because guess who’s here? It’s Lux Bonteri. Oh, THANK GOD.
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Yes, Lux is in this one. You may remember him from That Time He Almost Got Himself Killed, That Other Time He Almost Got Himself Killed, or That Love Triangle Storyline With Ahsoka That Exactly Zero People Asked For. Goodie.

Everyone is just as annoyed as I am that he’s here, including someone who utters the phrase “Why is Lux Bonteri here?” which, LOLs all around — good question:

He then dorkily bows to Satine, who makes a great face of almost total disinterest in response:

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Yeah OK whatever.

So then Lux takes the podium that they have there for readings of the New Age Mandalorian Gospel or Sunday School or Best Man speeches or whatever the hell else this room is usually used for, and first makes a big awkward show of extended eye contact with Ahsoka and just…no, Star Wars. I want to get out a spray bottle and spritz the writing staff in the face for this.
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Finally, Lux throws out to the group that Count Dooku is the one who murdered his mom, and a big ol’ ruckus gets underway because the Separatists are SHOCKED BY THESE SHOCKING ACCUSATIONS!

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Look at this badass bitch God I love her

Satine is like OK everybody calm the crap down, and Lux gets taken away (sidebar: does Satine know that they’re hauling this guy away to kill him, basically? Because I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume that She Is Against That. I mean, she plays that whole pacifist thing close the vest and all, but…) Ahsoka is upset about this because it looks like Lux is about to (yes) almost get himself killed (again), and Padme gives her permission to go after him…discreetly.

Count Dooku Doesn’t Even Know You

While Lux is in custody, there’s some back and forth between a hologram of Count Dooku and Lux. Dooku is a total withering bitch here who’s like “I don’t even really know who you or your mom ARE, kid, so who knows, maybe I did kill her”:
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…eventually Dooku just gets tired of talking to him and is like “OK, I have somewhere real to be now, so, you know, enjoy your death or whatever byeeee.”

Just when it looks like the end for Lux, Ahsoka shows up to save his life:
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Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Shipping Fangirl

They jump back into Ahsoka’s ship, and Anakin holo-Skypes her to find out WTF is going on, because Padme’s just told him that back in the First Church of Mandalore Throne Room, the situation has evidently deteriorated, and also they probably had to clear out for a wedding rehearsal or choir practice or something.
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Lux apologizes for causing trouble, and Ahsoka, too hastily, is all “oh NO Lux it was no trouble at all.” Again: as annoying as I find this whole Lux thing, Anakin partially redeems this scene, as he briefly looks entertained because ANAKIN SKYWALKER IS SO INTO EVERYONE HOOKING UP IT’S HILARIOUS.

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I’m going to presume this is because he doesn’t want to be the ONLY Jedi who Feels Special Ways For Someone, but holy crap, he is definitely invested in, and amused by, the idea of Ahsoka and Obi-Wan having crushes on people and it cracks me UP. This guy totally has a Star Wars tumblr.

See also: The Half-Smile he made during pretty much ALL of Voyage of Temptation while peppering Obi-Wan with questions about whether or not Obi-Wan like-likes Satine. Anakin was basically one of those high school girls from the “Summer Nights” sequence in Grease in that episode:

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Tell me more, tell me more, was it love at first sight?

Ahsoka says they’re on their way to Coruscant, and Anakin says they’ll start working towards granting him asylum so that Lux and Ahsoka can totally get married and go on double dates with him and Padme. Fear not, Lux:
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Recurring Theme: Lux Bonteri, Total Load

Lux is all pissed off after this call because OMG he doesn’t waaaannna go to Coruscant! He’s a total badass now, Ahsoka, and he’s got these cool new friends who are going to help him kill Count Dooku to avenge his mother’s death! His new friends aren’t Separatists OR part of the Republic and they totally do not have a grudge against Obi-Wan! The dude then ACTUALLY TRIES TO PULL A GUN ON AHSOKA TANO, which, OMG, what a fool. She grabs it away from him immediately:
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Ahsoka is like bitch, please, your idiotic plan sucks:
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Lux solves his Ahsoka-telling-him-uncomfortable-truths problem by tasering her and knocking her out. What a guy.
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Well At Least I’ll Look Cute

Ahsoka awakens on a strange, snowy planet, and immediately knows Bad Things are afoot:
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She tells Artoo to look for her lightsabers, and in the meantime:
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Ahsoka steps outside, and OK: where the hell did she get that awesome parka? I mean, I guess it’s likely that she keeps clothes for all seasons stashed on the ship just in case, but still. (Also, cuuuuute! I cannot even begin to tell you all how much I love everyone’s winter attire in this show and the greatest tragedy ever is that I never got to see live-action Obi-Wan and Anakin in their little furry hoods because they would have been adorable. Alas!)
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She marches over to Lux and is like LISTEN HERE ASSHOLE and he tells her she should have stayed with the ship, because his cool friends are here.
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The Death Watch is Not a Shitty Band

Oh, WONDERFUL. It turns out Lux’s awesome, unaffiliated freelancing Bad Guy Friends are, in fact, the GODDAMN FUCKING DEATH WATCH. For the love of God, Bonteri, you are such a pain in my ass.
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Ahsoka evidently knows who they are, which I presume is just because she is an educated Jedi or because Obi-Wan rants about them in his sleep while they’re out on missions or something, but is now making me wonder if I forgot some part where she actually saw these guys before.
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Bo-Katan Kryze, Satine’s sister (and only sibling? She must not be, because otherwise Satine’s Mystery Nephew’s already-flimsy backstory is looking even more suspicious, Kenobi,) is here. She tells Lux he’s late, and asks if he’s brought whatever it is he promised them he’d bring.

The Kryze Girls Do Not Care About Offending People, I’ll Give Them That

Bo demands to know who the hell this other person with Lux is, and Ahsoka awkwardly introduces herself thusly:
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In response, Bo wonders aloud if Ahsoka’s too “skinny” and WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? First of all, Bo, I’m not sure calling anyone out for being thin should be an activity you engage in, for one thing. And also, what the hell is this even supposed to imply? That she’s weak? Does AHSOKA look “fragile and waifish” to ANYONE? She then slaps Ahsoka on the ass (yes, this is a real thing that happened) to punctuate this lovely exchange. Lux grossly says that Ahsoka “serves her purpose” and just EWW what the fuck is happening right now Star Wars. Can we end this? Thanks.

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wut

All right then. So Artoo rolls up, and he’s got Ahsoka’s lightsabers, which she hastily motions to him to hide. Ahsoka attempts to stay with the ship while Lux goes off to try and get himself killed yet again, but in the end she, Lux, and Artoo all get packed up and hustled off to Bad Guy HQ.

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Yeah, I feel you, Ahsoka.

Recurring Theme: Welcome to My Evil Lair

 

They arrive at Camp Death Watch, where a bunch of Mandalorian terrorists are tormenting a bunch of helpless droids who are begging for mercy:
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Artoo is unsurprisingly not OK with this:
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Bo-Katan brings Ahsoka and Lux inside a tent, and once they’re alone, Lux begs Ahsoka not to ruin his brilliant plan that he has 100% thought through:

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The head honcho arrives and in order to stop Ahsoka from saying anymore, Lux traps her in an awkward kiss.

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OK, I do love the closed captioning here.

Mr. Big Bad removes his helmet and it’s Pre Vizsla, who tells Lux to:
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Truthfully, I thought I’d reached a peak of wanting to kick people in the balls earlier in this episode but, nope: as usual, Star Wars always has more to give. God, I hate this guy.

Lux hands over the Dooku Deets to Vizsla, who smarmily declares it to be party time! Let us celebrate our terrible alliance!
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Ashoka, having been kicked out of Pre Vizsla and Stupid Lux’s Brotime, gets ushered into a tent full of somber villager women. They tell Ahsoka:

R2-D2, Droid Mechanic
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Artoo, meanwhile, is taken to a tent where droids that have been damaged by target practice are sitting in a scrap heap. He is ordered to repair them — so that they can be used as target practice again. He is overwhelmed as the broken droids swarm him.
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Recurring Theme: My Dinner With Pre Vizsla

Ahsoka is helping the enslaved women serve dinner to the Death Watch and their new BFF Stupid Dumb Lux Bonteri, and as she hands him his bowl of space soup she says this and I telepathically high-five her:
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They dine, and the chief of the village that the Death Watch kidnapped people from arrives to Have Words, which are basically: hey Vizsla, you suck, get the fuck out of my town.

Vizsla, saturating every word with his usual TOTAL DISHONESTY, is like “oh yeeeeeaah, friend, suuuuuuure, we’ll leeeeeeeave, first thing tomorrow.” The ladies before were not kidding about them being a trusting people, because the chief buys this…

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FFS Bonteri

…and so does Lux — but that’s not because he’s too trusting, it’s because he is an idiot.

Recurring Theme: The Duchess of Mandalore is Right About Everything, As Usual

It’s the next morning, and the Death Watch crew shows up in the village square to meet with the chief. He’s thankful to Vizsla for keeping his word, but that won’t last:
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Now, you regular readers know: I am totally committed to remaining impartial in these recaps, and you can absolutely never tell who my favorite characters are in this series or anything (I also enjoy telling OBVIOUS LIES in these recaps, evidently.) That said, I will side with the Duchess of Mandalore on this one forever because the Death Watch FUCKING SUCKS. Vizsla hands over the chief’s granddaughter just in time to Darksaber her right in front of him:

Recurring Theme: Stand and Watch It Burn

As she dies, the Death Watch moves into Phase II, which is burning the whole village to the ground and setting people on fire. “Kids’ Show for Kids”, am I right?
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Lux is astonished because in case I didn’t mention this yet, he is a dope: why are they doing this?
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Recurring Theme: Holy Shit Ahsoka

Ahsoka collects herself and OK: I know, I know, I say this all the time, but OH MY GOD — Ahsoka! She flips forward, grabs a spear, and IMPALES A GUY from a distance, before throwing off her parka and hurling herself fully into the fracas.
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Unfortunately, the Death Watch’s snares prove too numerous for Ahsoka to ward off, and Vizsla is delighted to realize that oh HEY, they’ve done caught themselves a Jedi!

R2-D2, Leader of The Droid Rebellion

Artoo has finished repairing his droidly comrades and is asked how they can repay him. At that moment, he sees Ahsoka being dragged into the camp, and He Has An Idea. He rallies the other robots to his cause and sets out to save his girl.

I Love Almost Everyone’s Dialogue in Star Wars, Part 12,765 of ??

Pre Vizsla is grandstanding and God help me, I love it when this guy goes off on a rant about Honor and Revenge and just…I tell you all, the people who disparage Classic Clunky Star Wars Dialogue are the kind of people who have completely failed to understand why this franchise is so delightful. I feel sorry for them, because they are missing out. Ah well. At least some of us are having fun.

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Lux begs him to let Ahsoka go, and he’s all NEWP, she’s a Jedi and she’ll pay…
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“Crimes” such as what? Not letting you kill them? Having a way better hair game than you? Sleeping with the Duchess of Mandalore? Vizsla, look here: if Obi-Wan having sex with someone counts as a crime to you, well, then you are lost. You can’t hold that against him (or Satine, really. What choice did she have? LOOK AT HIM. Don’t act like he couldn’t seduce you, too.)

Ah. I appear to have veered off into a tangent where I talk about people sleeping with Obi-Wan again, haven’t I? Sorry about that. It’s a reflex, really.

 Recurring Theme: Hero Droid
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All right, so Artoo shows up in the tent where Ahsoka’s being held, and moments before she’s about to be Darksabered to pay for all of the Jedi’s apparent crimes, Artoo starts firing off smoke and causing a distraction. This gives Lux time to bolt away while telling Ahsoka to make a break for it (oh, BIG HELP, Bonteri,) and Artoo delivers Ahsoka’s blades back to her.

It is at this point that Star Wars treats us to the sight of a TEENAGE GIRL beheading FOUR ADULT PEOPLE AT ONCE. This show is so hardcore sometimes:

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HOLY SHIT

Ahsoka and Vizsla get into it:
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Recurring Theme: The Space Family Gets It Done

Eventually she’s joined by Artoo’s Merry Band of Repaired Droids, who back her up as she kicks Vizsla’s ass:
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She slices into his jet pack, and he makes a smartass comment about how she’s not bad…to which she, in her infinite AMAZINGNESS, says:
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He realizes the implications of this statement just in time to rip off his jetpack before it explodes, and I would like to take this moment to point out that Ashoka Tano, just like her Ginger Space Dad, handed both Pre Vizsla and Darth Maul their own asses on at least one occasion. Again: you do not fuck with the Space Family.

As Vizsla collects himself, Lux pulls up in a speeder and Ahsoka hops aboard. Vizsla is incensed:
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He sends a few Death Watchers out after them, including Bo-Katan, who gives Ahsoka a bit of a challenge:

Ahsoka and Artoo prove to be too much for the baddies this time, though, and they make it back to their ship safely.

Why

OK, so as Ahsoka is wrapping things up with Artoo, he tells her something:
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Uh oh. Who could have done that, I wonder?

She goes to speak to Lux and they have this goofy, overwrought exchange where they make all kinds of meaningful eye contact and…well, here, enjoy:

And…all right, here’s the thing: I don’t mean to be sour about this. I guess more than anything I just don’t know that Ahsoka NEEDED a Tragic Love story. For one thing, we are already DROWNING in Tragic Love Stories in this series. For another thing, I’m not really buying any chemistry between these two, for ANOTHER thing, Lux is kind of a dumbass, and for ANOTHER ANOTHER thing, I just…I don’t know! I can’t even fully put it into words.  Just leave the whining and the romantic pathos and the should-haves and longing to the Space Dads. Ahsoka doesn’t have time for this shit right now. We need at least ONE person in the Space Family to not be emotionally compromised by their Secret Drama or whatever; God.
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I digress — with that, Ahsoka heads off to go back to Coruscant, and Lux heads off to Places To Be Covered in Season 5. We hit the iris-wipe, and that’s a wrap! Thanks for reading; ’til next time!