“All warfare is based on deception.”
The lack of Obi-Wan this season was starting to take its toll on my fragile mind. Don’t believe me? Read some of my previous reviews from this season, and you’ll notice almost all of them mention the lack of Kenobi. Though I knew Filoni would never steer us wrong and with the reassuring words from the man himself, James Arnold Taylor, the wait is over and the first of a four-part arc has begun. It’s Obi-Wan’s time to shine and it’s not at all how I expected it. And, that’s a good thing…
So, where do I even begin on this one? Death, prison riots, corpses, alcohol? I am watching Star Wars, right? This is what I want my friends to sit down and watch and show them The Clone Wars is not just “some kids’ show.” All those things I mentioned seem very adult, but Filoni and crew manage to handle the situations perfectly. It’s no secret the show has been getting progressively darker, especially this season with the Umbara arc and now the Star Wars take on Face/Off.
Yes, I am comparing Star Wars to Face/Off, which is almost painful to say, but it works! While it was hard to take in at first, Obi-Wan faking his own death seemed a bit extreme to me. I understand the need to make it as real as possible so Anakin’s reaction is genuine, but Anakin is unstable enough as it is. Witnessing his own Master getting shot and killed is probably the last thing this poor (Sky)guy needs. But, I, for one, am not about to question the methods of the Jedi Council.
Fake death aside, I now have even more questions about Jedi/Sith disappearing or being burned upon death. But, that’s for another time.
Clean shaven Obi-Wan was something I never thought I would see and came off as a pretty funny visual. Less funny was his painful facial reconstruction into the form of the bounty hunter who killed him, Rako Hardeen. Under the guise of Hardeen, Obi-Wan can now go undercover in prison to gain information on an assassination attempt of the Chancellor that will happen in the near future.
The scene involving Anakin arresting “Hardeen” shocked me at first, with Kenobi acting intoxicated and Anakin pointing out that “he’s drunk!” We’ve seen bars and cantinas and the like in Star Wars, and we always just assume they are drinking some sort of alcoholic (space) beverages, but I think this is the first time we’ve actually heard someone referred to as “drunk.” Honestly, wasn’t expecting that…and it was awesome.
Obi-Wan seems to be having a bit of fun in the role of the bad guy. After being threatened by a fellow inmate in the dining hall, Kenobi stabs a fork through his hand, pinning him to the table! His Hardeen deadpan delivery is pitch perfect, and I’m sure James Arnold Taylor had a blast doing the voice. That’s right, James Arnold Taylor also voiced the Hardeen role, as well. I’ve followed JAT’s work for a long time now, and the dude seriously never ceases to amaze me. Where the Umbara arc was Dee Bradley Baker’s shining moment, this arc belongs to JAT! Hardeen sounds drastically different from Kenobi and hearing the actual transformation between voices was pretty slick to hear!
Is this the first time we’ve heard Kenobi refer to himself as “Ben?” I didn’t think much of it at first until a friend pointed it out, but that’s the name he uses when he first reports in to Yoda and Mace.
And, look who else is joining him in prison but our good friends Boba Fett and Bossk! Last we left those guys, they were being hauled off to a Republic prison at the end of Season 2. Nice to see them again. Boba, now a little taller with a buzz cut and looking a heck of a lot more like his “brothers.” I enjoyed the fact that Cad Bane had paid off Boba to create a diversion, instead of Boba picking a fight with “Hardeen” because he was a brat. The resulting prison riot was entertaining, with Bossk kicking some major ass and fellow inmates taking out the Clone guards with their own blasters.
Using the riot to their advantage helps Kenobi escape with Cad Bane and Moralo Eval. Kenobi having to hide in a casket already occupied by the dead body of a Rodian was a bit unsettling but added to the seriousness of the situation. As I was about to question how Obi-Wan was going to get away with this impersonation without killing anyone, he aims a blaster right at a guard and hesitates, leaving Cad Bane to shoot the man dead in cold blood. Blaming his blaster for jamming up on him was a nice save, but you can tell Bane is already suspicious of Hardeen and this didn’t help.
All in all, I really dug this episode. The preview gives us glimpses of Anakin and Ahsoka in pursuit of the escaped bounty hunters, so I’m sure we’re going to get to see some confrontation between the Jedi and Kenobi in disguise.
Great to see James Arnold Taylor back doing what he does best!