The Clone Wars finale wasn’t what I expected in the first half, but it was still pretty excellent. This is episode was ALL Darth Maul, and only a little bit of it being “crazy” Darth Maul. Witwer turned that character off to give us the cold and calculating Darth Maul who kept his rage in check for the most part… until his first confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi since the bisection he dealt out to the horned Sith Lord on Naboo.
The first half of the episode involved Savage taking his twisted, spider-legged brother Maul to see Mother Talzin on Dathomir in order to “fix” him. Not only does Talzin repair Maul’s damaged mind to help give him some focus but she also fashions him some new sturdy legs that are far superior to the rickety old spider ones he had. After appearing in about five episodes at this point, Talzin remains to be a mystery to me. She obviously wouldn’t mind seeing Dooku dead, could care less about the Jedi being killed, and she helps Ventress and the Maul/Savage siblings without either one being aware of it. So it remains to be seen just who’s side she is on. She’s obviously on her own side, but to what end is uncertain. It will be interesting to see next season what all of her plans finally culminate into.
It was very interesting to hear a couple of things that Maul had to say after his enlightenment by Mother Talzin. He stated that the Clone Wars had began without him, which makes it clear that the plan to use the clones was known to him through Sidious far in advance. Also involving Sidious was Maul’s statement that he was apprentice to the most powerful being in the galaxy once and that he had a greater destiny than the one that befell him on Naboo. That has me thinking that Maul not only has business with the Jedi, but perhaps with Dooku and Sidious as well. It makes me wonder what the future has in store for us. Possibly some sort of future confrontation between Sidious and Maul? Personally I’d like to see a clash between Maul and Dooku sometime also. I can’t wait if those things actually end up happening next season!
After Talzin departs we are treated to some mercilessness from Maul as he lands on a planet to lure Kenobi to him. I felt a little chilled as children gathered outside of their spaceship, under the impression that it was a routine supply ship and Maul calmly declared to his brother- “In a galaxy at war Savage, there is only one way to get the attention of the Jedi…. Slaughter of the innocent, mercilessly and without compromise.” After a decapitation by lightsaber ridden hologram message to the Jedi council, Obi-Wan is off to a date with destiny… and one pissed off half Sith Lord.
The four way lightsaber fight between Ventress and Obi-Wan v.s. Savage and Maul was pretty darn spectacular. It couldn’t top Dooku v.s. Ventress v.s. Savage, but to be able to see Kenobi and Maul throwdown was enough to put it damn close. I’m a huge fan of trash talk during lightsaber fights, as a Sith Lord tries to lure the Jedi into using the Dark Side. Maul tried accomplishing this by throwing Qui-Gon’s death in Obi-Wan’s face which had the Jedi more than a little angry. In the end it was curious to see how outgunned even Ventress and Obi-Wan were up against the brothers. Maybe if Obi-Wan could fight without having the tar beat out of him previously, then that might have tipped the scales in their favor.
As welcome a sight as it was seeing Obi-Wan and Ventress fighting side by side, I still don’t know how I feel about seeing Ventress as even a reluctant hero. And it’s not because this current path she is on screws up EU continuity. She has been an agent of Dooku and killer of many for far too long for me to accept her as anything more than a villain. True, they’ve done a lot with her character in this season and the last but that doesn’t mean she should be the redeemable bad guy at this point. But then again, if Anakin could be redeemed by the end of Return of the Jedi, then why not Ventress.
It was an interesting way to see the season end, with Maul and Savage being credible threats in store for season 5 and Ventress on a ship with Obi-Wan. Maul is not only anticipating Jedi coming after him and Savage, but he is actually wanting it to happen. I sense there might be more than a few Jedi deaths next season.
I knew after the first ten minutes that there wouldn’t be enough time to expand on the story as much, but the Clone Wars team did a great job with the time that they did have. I give the episode four out of five grizzlies and eagerly await the next season. Usually we get a preview of the next season via one of the comic conventions, so stay tuned!