Star Wars: The Clone Wars 6.01: “The Unknown” Review

Order 66 is Finally Revealed

A TV Review by Akash Singh

NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!

Order 66 first appeared in Revenge of the Sith as the explanation of what happened to the Jedi. On screen, it doesn’t receive much exposition. It works on an emotional level, but with little precursor to it, it feels like a plot point and not much more. Various books and other Star Wars properties have filled in pieces here and there of what the Order truly meant and how it actually came about. The Order 66 arc, comprised of the first four episodes of what is a truncated Season 6, is the first official canonical story of what the Order is, how it came about, and how close the Jedi were to the actual truth of their own demise. It’s a tragic arc and one of the most brutal stories the show has ever done. Clone Wars as a show began with a film that would have been better if it had been separate episodes and many Star Wars fans felt the series was too childish. Certainly Season 1 had its fair share of less dark story lines and occasionally throughout its 121-episode there is material that is aimed at a younger audience. But for the most part, the series is a triumph and evocative of many things the prequel trilogy should have imbued, this particular storyline included.

The episode begins with a space battle above Ringo Vinda, a not-that-creatively titled planet that is surrounded by a space station circled like a ring. As usual with this show, the animation is simply stunning and beautiful in high-def. The proportions are a bit off with the station, so you’re not exactly sure how big it is and where what fits, but that’s a small quibble? The music is bombastic and the action truly erupts when the hangar doors open and the Republic troops face a massive garrison of CIS forces in a open hangar. But Tup isn’t feeling that well. “Good soldiers follow orders” he quips and with a masterful turn of the camera, director Bosco Ng closes up on Jedi Master Tiplar’s face right before Tup’s gun goes off and she falls to the ground, much to her sister Jedi Master Tiplee’s horror. Just fantastic camerawork all around in that scene. Although Ringo Vinda, Tiplar, and Tiplee? What’s with the naming this episode?

As the Republic troops pull back, the camera zooms upwards to the amazingly still alive Admiral Trench. This is a problem with Clone Wars and Star Wars in general. A cool characters gets created and killed off before fan reaction and then he or she will be brought back and completely negate their original impact. Trench as a Separatist admiral was a great, great character for Cat and Mouse and a shrewd antagonist. But he died at the end of that episode and while he is brought back as a semi-cyborg, it’s annoying he was killed off in the first place. Trench is intrigued by Tup killing Tiplar and understandably so. He reports back to Count Dooku about the mysterious development. The Count listens, and backs out, leaving a troubled Admiral Trench in his wake.

Darth Sidious is greatly troubled by the news of a clone who had executed his order early (pun completely intended). If the Jedi got to the root of the matter, then his entire world domination plan would go straight down the drain. Excuse me, galaxy domination. Dooku is on it. As the Republic shuttle is departing a curiously calm Ringo Vinda (what happened to the battle minutes ago? Did the Separatists leave or are they on the other side of the planet?), it’s attacked by a CIS garrison. The droids brutally send the clones spiraling to their deaths in space, ripping apart the main gunship in a brutal scene that had some great zero-gravity shots. The interior coloration and motion is brilliant here and I’m going to have to stop myself now before I go on and on about the technical greatness of this show. Tup is captured and taken by the Separatists.

But not if Anakin has anything to say about it. Him, Rex, and Fives mount a rescue mission of their own, using some supremely impressive spacewalking to break into a Separatist ship, blast some droids, and retake Tup to Kamino for analysis. Rex and Anakin have a great back and forth where Rex requests that Anakin proceed with caution and Anakin compares Rex to Obi-Wan. It’s a great little moment. Though the scene is another example that those Super Tactical Droids aren’t really that super to begin with. There are a plethora of theories thrown around as to what truly was the cause behind Tup’s crack, the most interesting of which is brought about Master Tiplee. Apparently rumors of the Separatists developing an anti-clone virus have been spreading and that seems to be the smartest bet. A Sith Lord involved? Yeah, hmm, whatever. The episode ends with Tup being taken back to Kamino for observation, harkening more tragedy and doom for the unfortunate Jedi Order. A brilliant beginning to an excellent season, The Unknown took us into uncharted territory to uncover one of the heaviest mysteries of the saga and it did so with aplomb, mastering amazing action sequences and some of the most disturbing violence in the show’s history. What a tantalizing start.

Brilliant

9/10

Title: The Unknown

Writer: Katie Lucas

Director: Bosco Ng

Chronologically Episode #109

Image Courtesy: Star Wars OS, FanBros

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