The Clone Wars, Season 4, Episode 22: Revenge
OK, I’m breaking a rule here today: with the exception of the comics, I generally recap episodes in arc order whenever possible. But I’ve got a million drafts in progress and I really, really wanted to make sure I got this one out the door well before this season of Rebels ends, for reasons that will be immediately apparent to those of you familiar with this episode.
You guys remember Darth Maul, right? The guy Obi-Wan cuts in half in The Phantom Menace, whom we watch fall into an abyss in what could only be interpreted as his unequivocal death? Yeah, that guy. I…how can I frame this up? OK: back when TCW was airing new episodes, I was always way behind due to a variety of reasons that can largely be categorized as “Adulting” (always such a detriment to my staying on top of important things like Star Wars cartoons. Protip: have a kid so that they’ll eventually be old enough that you can watch them together. That way you can combine your Parenting and your Star Warsing into one task. You’re welcome for that bit of Mature Adult Wisdom.)
Anyhow, what this meant was that I often found out what was going on in this show secondhand through the internet before I saw it myself. And what happened in this arc? WAS INSANE. Allow me to describe to you the series of emotions I experienced when I read a synopsis of the plot for the series of episodes today’s recap hails from:
- Oh my God that’s Maul
- he’s not even a ghost he’s real
- HOLY SHIT he is on robotic SPIDER LEGS this cannot be an accurate summary
- Why does he have antlers now
- This is so stupid help I’m dying
- LOL of COURSE they brought back Maul I forgot for 12 seconds about how much Star Wars hates Obi-Wan and also no one in Star Wars has ever stayed dead
- OK you know what? The balls it took to suggest, AND PRODUCE, this arc is legit impressive like I cannot believe they did this
- This is hilarious
- OK I kind of love this now
- Bless you, Star Wars, you’ve made me care deeply about something stupid again
With that, let us revisit this emotional journey, with all of the “are you kidding me” and “oh my God Obi-Wan stop hitting on everyone” that every truly good Clone Wars episode includes.
Voiceover Recap Guy tells us that Savage Oppress and his long-lost brother Darth Maul who it turns out was LOL NOT DEAD AFTER ALL are reunited and it feels so good! They’re going to go see Mother Talzin on Dathomir to help restore some of Maul’s memories because his brain has been fried from living in a garbage heap and writing “Mr. Darth Maul-Kenobi” in a notebook and then angrily crossing it out for over a decade! Maul is really really really fixated on Obi-Wan because Maul knows what’s up!
Recurring Theme: Darth Maul, In Need of Therapy
On board their ship, Savage is telling Maul to just hang in there a few more minutes because they’re JUST about to Dathomir…
…and Maul…wow. Maul is just sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth and mumbling to himself.
Funny story: his rantings have a common core element to them. You will never guess what it is:
They land, and the place is desolate because of the stuff that happened in this other Dathomir episode I recapped. Savage, leaving Maul behind on the ship to keep talking to himself, stands around kind of awkwardly until some green smoke starts swirling around and poof! There’s Mother Talzin, yet another person who should probably be dead but isn’t Because Star Wars Magic.
Recurring Theme: The Eternal Obsession
Talzin is like “nice! You’re back! So I figure you found your brother?”
Savage replies that well, yes, he did find Maul but he’s…not OK right now.
His memories are gone, and Talzin presses: he remembers SOMETHING, though, doesn’t he?
Savage replies that he only seems to know about one thing:
…I feel so close to Maul sometimes. Me, Maul and Vader, starting our own little Kenobi fanclub. Oh sure, they claim to want him dead but we all know Vader is full of it and I’m not entirely sure Maul is resistant to his charms, either.
So Talzin tells Savage to hold up, because she’s got a way to fix Maul and get him back to the being of horror we all know and love.
Star Wars: Celebrating 40 Years of Nonsense
They go to where Maul is basically curled up into a ball whimpering about Obi-Wan, and lure him out with A Magical Blob Of Darkside Whatever.
MAUL. Oh my great good Lord: like, just look at him.
WHO DID THIS AND WHY. Oh Star Wars. Also does the fact that he has antlers here imply that he has to routinely file down his horns and he just let his personal care routine go when he got, uh, cut in half and his brain broke? THE LEGS YOU GUYS. THE. LEGS. You know what? This is amazing. You’re right, Star Wars: when you’re pulling off something this brazen, you might as well go big or go home. I salute you.
Mother Talzin, Robotic Surgery Resident
Mother Talzin then gets him to lay down on a table by knocking him out, and, while he’s out, she starts doing some hilarious incantations…
…and drawing out Black Plumes of Dark Side from his head. So, he was TOO Darksider before? Or not enough? Getting cut in half made his head clog up with truck fumes? If you think about Obi-Wan too much is this what happens to you? If so, I am in trouble. I don’t have any Nightsisters handy to save me from myself when I eventually fall completely into my “jabbering mess of a person who can only say “Kenobi” phase.”
Somehow she also has the ability to remove his SPIDER BODY THAT HE HAD THIS WAS A REAL THING AND THIS SHOW IS CANON YOU GUYS and she replaces it with a new lower half that is still ridiculous but significantly less so. Alas. So long, Spider-Maul, we hardly knew ye.
Maul is awakened and he initially grabs at Savage like he’s gonna kill him, then backs off.
Savage asks him how he’s doing and he’s like “HOLY DAMN MY LIFE WAS NOT GOING WELL JUST NOW”:
Darth Maul, Jaded Ex
Maul goes TEARING off on his new legs and runs out into a clearing and literally just unleashes a primal scream:
He laments: I’ve missed so much! I feel so out of the loop and the Force…the Force feels off.
Savage confirms: yes, there is a conflict:
Maul almost looks hurt: they started without me! No fair! God it’s like I didn’t even EXIST!
Maul is furious: *I* was supposed to be Destined for Great Things! But I lost it all! And do you know WHY? HMM? DO YOU???
Savage is like “OK well then I guess it’s murder and mayhem, yes?”
Recurring Theme: Hey Everyone Check Out This Kids’ Show For Kids
Oh hey! It’s time ONCE AGAIN for Star Wars to be like “LOL this show is for kids! Just kidding it’s actually the darkest fucking thing ever masquerading as a children’s show!” Maul and Savage land on Raydonia, where their ship is welcomed, as it’s presumed to be a supply ship. Savage is puzzled: WTF are we doing here, bro? The Jedi aren’t gonna be out here…
As a small gang of happy children approaches, Maul reaches into the bag of “Wow I can’t believe Star Wars went here” yet again and says well there’s only one surefire way to get a Jedi’s attention: murdering innocent children!
So…was Anakin doing this just to get Obi-Wan’s attention, too? Holy hell. Guys, you know you can just message him on Facebook and stuff too, right?
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
Back at Jedi HQ, the gang is watching a holo-video greeting card from Maul to Obi-Wan, and it’s…unpleasant.
He’s slaughtering villagers and pretty much telling Obi-Wan it’s all his fault and Obi-Wan looks SO SAD and I hate everything and why do I keep going back for the Sad Kenobi is there a therapist I can discuss this with.
Good thing the war’s almost over so soon everything will be fine. Oh.
Obi-Wan is like “I guess this is that same guy again?” and please: how are you gonna forget DARTH MAUL, Kenobi? Obi-Wan opines he’s clearly in a bad way now, and since Obi-Wan’s the only one who’s faced him before, it should be him who faces Maul again — and he should do it alone.
Really? First off, dude, this video kind of proves that while you hobbled the guy for a while, you didn’t ENTIRELY defeat him, and also last time you fought him Qui-Gon wore him out for a while first. Like…why not take a second person JUST TO BE SAFE? Anyways, Mace is all It’s a Trap!:
…but Yoda agrees with Obi-Wan:
…and Obi-Wan leaves, looking depressed. My poor baby.
Recurring Theme: Let’s Only Send Kenobi
Mace, skeptically, asks Yoda if it isn’t KIND OF A BIG DAMN DEAL that they KNOW WHERE A SITH IS YOU KNOW THE ONE THAT KILLED A JEDI MASTER LAST TIME WE SAW HIM and that MAYBE shouldn’t they send at least ONE OTHER PERSON instead of just letting Kenobi go out there alone on YET ANOTHER Depressing Destiny Endeavor? Yoda closes his eyes and says that he’s not so sure Obi-Wan will be alone. He might find himself with an unlikely ally.
OK FINE, Yoda, but STILL: send some clones? *A* clone? Anakin because you know he’s going to be clinging to Obi-Wan’s leg all DON’T GO anyways? IS THERE NOT ANYONE ELSE YOU COULD SEND ALONG JUST TO BE SAFE? FFS.
Asajj Ventress, Dark Goddess
We’re now in some cantina and a group of bounty hunters are shuffling through postings for different bounties. They gasp when they get to Savage: he’s worth a million credits! Hoo boy! They start to debate who’s going to take this one, when they’re cut off by an icy voice at the bar:
YES GUYS IT’S VENTRESS and she is awesome. She declares that this one is HERS, and she heads out.
Recurring Theme: We Make Entrances In This Galaxy, Damn It
Obi-Wan arrives on Raydonia and He. Looks. Sad. He looks like he cannot believe Star Wars is doing this to him. UGH. Neither can I, sweetie.
He makes his way through a ruined village and comes face to face with Maul, who in the Grand Tradition of All Darksiders, is NOT phoning in the entry here:
…I don’t know, Vader: you and your fog machine are impressive, but Maul has a LITERAL WALL OF FLAME HERE. (All right, FINE: you have a Volcano Castle. But still! Credit where credit is due.)
You Oughta Know
Maul and Obi-Wan stare each other down and Obi-Wan’s like “Who are you?” which, WOW. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt, Maul.
…and Maul is all WELL I’M HERE! TO REMIND YOU! OF THE MESS YOU LEFT WHEN YOU WENT AWAAAAAY!
Obi-Wan finally snaps out of his Partial Denial here and is like “Welp, I guess we’re really doing Undead Maul as a story line here, aren’t we? OK.”
Maul continues with his Rant of 90s Breakup Song Angst: “IT’S NOT FAIR! TO DENY ME! OF THE CROSS I BEAR THAT YOU GAVE TO ME!“:
Anyways Kenobi has zero time for Maul’s rambling, or my references to old Alanis Morrisette songs, and instead just busts out his weapon and is like “welp, kicked your ass once; suppose I’ll just do it again”:
At this, Maul unveils his secret weapon: he’s got backup in the form of Savage Oppress! Newp. No need to bring a second person with you, right Kenobes?
Obi-Wan gets knocked out, and the scene ends.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Human Punching Bag
We now see Ventress arriving on Raydonia, and sneaking her way around in pursuit of Savage:
While at the same time, Obi-Wan is in some kind of a storage warehouse now, being hurled back and forth by Maul and Savage while Maul taunts him: you suck! You sucked then, you suck now! The only thing that’s improved is your hairstyle!
Speaking of Obi-Wan’s hair (that, my friends, is the ACTUAL motto for this blog,) you’d think he’d want to do something about that one chunk that always goes in his eyes when he’s getting his ass kicked. I mean, it would be less handsome, though, and we all know the Jedi are into maintaining a Look as much as anyone else in this universe, so.
Obi-Wan, never one to pass up a shitty dig at someone, sasses:
Maul takes this as his cue to dismiss Savage, who hilariously kicks Obi-Wan in the knee EVER SO SLIGHTLY before he leaves the room.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi Cannot Stop Himself
Savage starts to fly their ship off-planet. As the vessel departs, Ventress Force-jumps a zillion feet into the air, both blades alight, and hops on board.
Meanwhile, Maul is getting in Kenobi’s face: any last words?
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD KENOBI. Really?! Really. Oh my God. THIS MAN. I don’t even have coherent thoughts here. He wanted his last words to be sarcastic! And then his actual last action was that shit-eating smirk he throws at Vader! God, how I love this man.
Savage reenters the room and that’s when Ventress pretty much saunters in all but sarcastically clapping:
Asajj Ventress, Thinks You Suck
She asks Savage who this other guy is, and then basically LOLs at them: she wanted an ACTUAL challenge! As a bonus, she uses a “half a man” joke that Ahsoka more or less makes to Maul in the Ahsoka book, and I want to say there’s maybe another time someone goes back to this line of humor. I mean, it IS obvious and we all know how much everyone in this galaxy enjoys wordplay.
She slinks off into the shadows again, and the boys huddle quickly:
Maul slaps Obi-Wan hard across the face, knocking him out, and the brothers leave the room to go find her.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Needs to Get a Room With Every Damn Person On This Show
Obi-Wan is out cold and is alone now, when Ventress reappears to rouse him:
He comes to, and is all “HUH! You’re the good guy now! Weird!” and then immediately, MOMENTS AFTER AWAKENING FROM A CONCUSSION, starts flirting with her.
And the best part is that Ventress is from the category of Star Wars Characters Who Will Play Along With This so she gives as good as she gets. (Also, Ventress, this is a damn lie AND YOU KNOW IT, FRIEND.)
Savage and Maul return and are like OH ISN’T THAT CUTE:
Ventress hands him one of her blades and then hisses that she wants it back when they’re done. Obi-Wan:
Oh for God’s sake, Obi-Wan. Please just go fight. I don’t even have the energy to comment on the eyebrow here.
Recurring Theme: The Nerds Who Write This Show Just Wanted To See It
The four of them now get into a battle and, with Obi-Wan borrowing his weapon from Ventress, all of them are using red blades. The geeks who write this stuff are so transparent sometimes (“but like, what if VENTRESS helped him? And then they ALL got to use cool red lightsabers? Sweet.”)
Aaaaanyways, the battle looks predictably cool, and eventually Obi-Wan swipes his lightsaber back from Maul, and Maul and Obi-Wan get into a face-to-face moment, and Maul spends ALL OF IT riling Obi-Wan up: I killed Qui-Gon nyah nyah nyah! DIDN’T IT MAKE YOU MAD?! You were so helpless it was HILARIOUS:
FFS, MAUL: Obi-Wan taking an eensy weensy hit of the Dark Side is WHAT MAYBE HELPED HIM CUT YOU IN FUCKING HALF BEFORE. Is there a REASON you keep trying to make him angry?
Ultimately Obi-Wan returns to Ventress and declares that this is a battle they can’t win. Ventress asks:
…Obi-Wan, a man with zero control over this aspect of his personality:
OH MY GOD STOP SNARKING AND GET GOING YOU GUYS. They decide to head for the cockpit and make their escape by breaking from the rest of the ship.
Recurring Theme: Let’s Get The Fuck Outta Here a Sith is Trying to Break Down the Door
This brings us to a scene reminiscent of the now-infamous Vader Hallway from Rogue One, as Ventress and Obi-Wan desperately try to make their escape as Ultimate Evil attempts to break down the door to kill them. Obi-Wan, furious at the ship’s lack of cooperation, pounds his fist into the controls and, as with many fussy electronic devices, hitting it makes it work somehow:
They jettison themselves away, and Maul and Savage watch them go.
You’ll Be Back, Soon You’ll See, You’ll Remember You Belong To Me
Obi-Wan, darkly, notes that this whole Maul thing is far from over and TELL ME ABOUT IT, KENOBES. I am still waiting for Maul Closure. In the time since Obi-Wan and Maul FIRST fought each other in The Phantom Menace, I have:
- Graduated from high school
- Graduated from college
- Gotten married
- Gotten a job
- Purchased a car and a home
- Given birth to multiple children
…and this thing IS STILL NOT OVER. At this rate I’m wondering if I should just assume Maul’s not going to die until I get my AARP card in the mail or I’m looking into Grandmother of the Bride dresses or something. It’ll be a lovely gift Lucasfilm can give me for my 90th birthday.
ANYHOW Obi-Wan continues that Maul and Savage will be looking for both of them now.
You’ll Be Back, Like Before, I Will Fight the Fight and Win The War
Savage asks Maul what the next order of business is: should they chase them down? Maul advises patience:
Savage is surprised: but the Jedi know you’re definitely and hilariously alive now! They’ll be gunning for you!
And that, my friends, is The Story of The Second Time Obi-Wan and Maul Fought Each Other After Darth Maul Came Back On Robotic Spider Legs And Then Got New Robo-Legs Through The Power of Darksider Magic. I’ll see you this spring for the thrilling conclusion of this story line. Maybe. Probably. (Dave, please. Really.)