The Clone Wars on Netflix finishes its first arc in Galactic Hunter Video Theater with Orders. We get to leave the dreary blah grey of Kamino for an action-packed tour de Force in Coruscant, complete with tons of aliens, night clubs, and wild chases through the streets. Sure, we've been here before, but it's fun! Read on.
So last time, we saw Tup die - foreshadowing? Yes. Fives returns to Coruscant to be framed so the whole Order 66 thing can be put to rest and hidden from the Jedi, but not until we see Sidious make a couple of moves which almost feel like a rookie mistake for such a master manipulator. During a one-on-one (plus some Shocktroopers), we see Fives take down Palpatine's guard and make a run for things - this was no doubt part of the plan - but still, what if he was wrong? This probably shows us just how confident Sidious is in his abilities, which is why we know he wins in Episode III. Unfortunately we know he loses in Episode VI since 1983, so this kind of characterization really isn't all that necessary.
While Fives previously went into hiding by donning a shiny suit of normal Clone's armor, when he goes on the run this time he hides by wearing... a hat. When the hat comes off he gets discovered, of course, but it still means that the highest levels of technology in this galaxy can fall prey to the kind of thing Justin Bieber might wear. It's a nice look for Fives, though, particularly with the beard - anyone not knowing his backstory might just assume he's the evil clone.
I was delighted to see a bunch of Clones at a bar, and I think it was effective to put many of them in Officer outfits instead of armor to drive home the divide the show really needs to forge between our friendly, now dying Clones and the faceless hordes that helped to execute Order 66. I assume there's a solid reason most of those guys don't get a lot of face time in the cartoon, mostly because we might be a lot more upset of Bly was a good friend of ours rather than a cameo.
Like many of these four-parters, you can see where it's going before the episode even starts. Fives has to die because he's the only character that can, so Rex and Anakin chasing him down shows that while they do care for their comrade, clearly there's a divide in the ranks that allows for a tragic event like Order 66 to take place. The Sith did a great job of making sure they had agents to clean up any possible messes, although the fact that a mess even got out in the first place shows that they were more than a little sloppy.
I realize there's not a lot of depth to this arc of reviews, but I think there's a good reason for that - it's another chase and mistaken identity storyline, and we just had one with Ahsoka rounding out season 5 a year ago. Hers was a little more gutsy, and had an absolutely perfect ending. Fives' story serves as a reminder of that the Jedi are afforded more luxuries, namely nobody is going to kill a Jedi for being a deserter, or executed for being "defective" with nobody bothering to say that he's not a product - he's a person.
The one thing this episode touched on well was brought up earlier in some extent - are the clones good soldiers, or slaves? This arc confirms that they are in fact property of the Republic and can be disposed of like a bad battery. "Orders" is another one of those stories that could prove valuable to future students of film because much like Star Trek's Data, the clones do represent a potential disposable working class. While Data was afforded a great education and the choice to do as he pleased with his existence, the Clones are squirted out in a factory with one purpose: to kill, to die, and to come back for more. And I bet there aren't any decent dental benefits, either.
Adding some sort of human rights issues to the story certainly complicates how we feel about these guys on subsequent viewings of the entire saga. We've been caught up in a unique race of men - as there are no women - living shortened lives without choice, and even the best of the best could be killed or removed from duty without a fair trial. The way this arc painted this sort of thing as par for the course is chilling, and it's a shame this wasn't explored further as some sort of mass clone uprising or birth of their own unique and separate culture. It's certainly a dreary ending to see Fives go, and I can't help but think this would have been the perfect story upon which to end the season. What's left for us to see? I hear the final arc of this season is superb, I can't wait to get to it.
Takeaway from this week:
Were those red Shocktroopers on the shuttle rather than the grey?
So all of the Clones from "Rookies" had to die? I'm sad.
Has anyone written some long treatise on how the Separatists may value life more as they don't make people to die for them and generally let the robots do the combat? No? Eh.
We need more cab drivers in the Star Wars mythos. I'm enamored with the boring, day-to-day stuff..
Next time: Let's move on, to "An Old Friend" starring... Padme?!? Dammit. See you next mission!