Episode 10 continues to raise the bar for Star Wars as Dave Filoni finally delivers the duel we’ve all been waiting for. What were the best moments? How did the episode grade out?
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- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 7, Episode 2 Spoiler Review
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New episode, same Lucasfilm Limited production and The Clone Wars intro. Phantom Apprentice starts right off where episode nine had so beautifully ended. “We have several mutual friends,” says Maul to Ahsoka. “I wouldn’t put it that way” responds Ahsoka, clearing entailing her voluntary separation from the Jedi Council. The animation and dark shadows from Maul while contemplating Ahsoka’s presence was striking, a common theme of episode ten. Darth Maul quickly escapes but not before bringing up the one and only Darth Sidious.
Shortly after, Obi-Wan Kenobi requests to speak to Ahsoka alone. Kenobi reports that Anakin is on a special mission to observe the chancellor and report his findings to the council. More importantly, Obi-Wan reveals that Dooku is dead. “The council is not always right, which is why I am asking for you to help” says Kenobi. This speaks volumes to Ahsoka’s main story arc throughout season 7 and also tells us that the Jedi have been suspicious of the chancellor’s intentions.
Not your typical Jedi…
Ahsoka has made it very clear to distinguish herself from Obi-Wan’s old school methods. Kenobi admitting to Ahsoka Tano in regards to the frailty of the Jedi Council gave me chills. It is clear that the events that have transpired between episode 9 and 10 has quickly opened Obi-Wan’s eyes. Not all is what it seems. Everyone is flawed. There is something larger in the works beyond the Jedi. It also affirmed that events of Revenge of the Sith are very much in motion.
Darth Maul drops a bombshell during the following scene as we inch closer and closer to Order 66. “The only plan that matters” says Maul as he speaks to clone trooper Jesse. Darth Maul strangely requests further information on Ahsoka Tano. Similar to the action scenes from episode nine, Bo-Katan’s fight scene with Gar Saxon continued to set the bar for Star Wars action. It was yet another reminder that this is so much more than a TV series. This is pure cinema.
King Darth Maul sits on his throne while waiting for Ahsoka Tano…
“Is that any way to treat your rightful ruler?” says Maul to Bo-Katan who is waiting for Ahsoka Tano’s arrival. The animation really stood out during this scene. I’m not going to lie, Maul attempting to persuade Ahsoka to join his side while glass surrounded the environment brought tears to my eyes. This is Stars Wars at it’s finest. “Anakin is the key to everything” says Maul. “He’s long been groomed as my master’s new apprentice.”
Maul announces his plan, which was to orchestrate the current events to lure and kill Anakin Skywalker. Considering Maul’s hatred towards Obi-Wan, this was a fairly decent twist. I really loved the acting in this scene. This season has also given us a ton of growth from Ahsoka. More specifically, it has done a very good job of distinguishing her character with the Jedi Council. The fact that Ahsoka has more in common with Bo-Katan and Darth Maul than the Jedi is such an effective and interesting concept.
The fight scene we’ve all been waiting for delivered and then some…
Ahsoka and Maul’s fight scene, with the beautiful camera shots and drum score in the background, flat out gave me goosebumps. “We could have destroyed Sidious” says Maul while fighting Ahsoka during an incredible action set piece. I have to say these last two episodes have felt like one giant film rather than a TV series on Disney Plus. Even Maul’s fight choreography felt like it was ripped straight out of Episode One. In fact, Ray Parker, who played Maul in The Phantom Menace, returned to motion capture the fight sequence. Incredible.
The pacing, script and dialogue all shined this week. So much emotion, for me at least, has built up to this fight and it was incredibly satisfying. Ahsoka and Maul’s acting were also top notch. I’m a huge Ahsoka fan, but I’m also a bit shocked that Ahsoka was able to go toe-to-toe with Maul. Did Maul give Ahsoka everything he had? Was he just toying with her? I assume that the trauma of everything that went down over the previous years have clearly taken a toll on Maul’s fighting ability.
Ahsoka Tano defeats Darth Maul…
I’m going to call it like it is. Ahsoka Tano’s capture of Darth Maul will go down as one of my favorite moments of Star Wars. It was thrilling, entertaining and the payoff delivered. I’ll surely never forget Ahsoka’s arrival as Jedi Master. “You don’t know what you’re doing. We’re all going to die” screams Darth Maul as he’s being captured. Ahsoka shows clear concern as she stares at the stars and the credits hit.
What did Ahsoka’s stare at the broken glass mean? I think this was to show that the events in Phantom Apprentice were directly coinciding with the events from Revenge of the Sith. More specifically, the fight scene between Mace Windu and Darth Sidious. These two scenes clearly shared a connection, which continues to emphasize just how great and interconnected with the film franchise this episode was.
A fate worse than death…
Between Ahsoka and Maul, I’m not sure who was more afraid during this scene. I believe Ahsoka realized Maul’s fear of Darth Sidious at the very end of Phantom Apprentice. This is only enhanced by the animation and the high level of contrast shown throughout the episode. This was without question the darkest episode of season 7. Maul’s reaction to the fact that the events that transpire are worse than death speaks volumes.
If there was one negative of this week’s episode, it has to be that the darksaber was nowhere to be found. I thought for sure that this was the episode the darksaber made its return. I love Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber more than anyone, but is he keeping the darksaber in storage or something? What’s that about?
Final Thoughts & Grade
Order 66 is happening next week guys. That is a fact and I couldn’t be more excited. If I had to guess, the series finale will handle the aftermath from Order 66. Where does that leave Ahsoka? How does Captain Rex handle the order? Next week’s episode is surely going to be full of emotions. If there is one thing that comes out of these last couple of episodes it’s this: please allow Dave Filoni to mold the live-action Star Wars into the foreseeable future. I have spoken.