Tragic It Will Be
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Oh Clovis, look at you. I’m so proud. In Season 2, you were outwitted by a Jedi in disguise and almost executed on Cato Neimoidia. And in Season 5, you’re becoming the head of the Banking Clan. Tears of pride, I tell you. The middle chapter of the Clovis trilogy sees the setting shifting to Coruscant for even more drama and one of the best scenes in the entire Star Wars saga, hands dow n. Once again, I’m pissed that the shadow of Episode III demands certain things to be mended in specific ways, but as an episode by itself The Rise of Clovis is in the uppermost pantheon of the Clone Wars’ 121-episode run.
The main focus thematically of the episode is of the rift that opens up in Anakin and Padmé’s relationship. Anakin is still peeved that she is working with Clovis, a known old flame of hers. “I won’t allow you to do this,” he thunders at her. “You won’t allow me?” she strikes back, furious at this breach of independence. She basically tells him to go to hell and it is one of the most satisfying moments between the two. Their relationship is not healthy at all and Padmé certainly begins to digest how strong-handed their relationship has really become.
Anakin and Obi-Wan have a touching scene between the two, where he clearly recognizes that Clovis’s presence is what is bothering Anakin to such a high degree. It’s a touching scene and it contrasts perfectly how alike and yet how different those two are. Obi-Wan clearly loved Satine very much, but he hasn’t dissolved himself in grief and hatred. The look of Anakin’s room was done very well and the poster of Sebulba and Ben Quadrinaros was very much appreciated.
The tour de force piece of the episode is Anakin beating the absolute **** out of Clovis, helped by his Force powers no doubt. It’s a scene of pure, raw power and it is awe-inspiring. Clovis covers for Anakin, however he is not completely off the hook. Padmé is rightfully furious at what she sees as his complete inability to truly trust her and she calls the relationship to a break. Anakin’s face crumples but he knows what he did was wrong. Clovis was coming on to Padmé, but his reaction was completely overblown. It’s a tense foreshadowing of what’s to come, but you can’t help latch onto the idea that if this was a permanent break, then the two might have survived the war and been incidentally much, much happier. And Padmé would be alive.
The episode concludes with Clovis’s promotion and the key relationship of the prequel era on its rocks. It’s a daring choice by the writers and one that ultimately makes a ton of sense. It’s not the most-packed of episodes (the next one will fill that lack), but it is one of the most dramatically satisfying chapters in the saga’s history.
P.S. The use of lighting was especially gorgeous this episode – Anakin and Padmé’s apartment looks simply devine. And the use of chiaroscuro, the division of light and dark, was apt considering the characters in play. Clever.
Title: The Rise of Clovis
Writer: Christian Taylor
Director: Danny Keller
Chronologically Episode #114
Image Courtesy: Star Wars OS