Review: The Clone Wars – 1.13 “Jedi Crash”

A long time ago, in a galaxy that was made up of the United Nations.  In “The Lair of General Grievous” we were introduced to Kit Fisto and his Jamaican accent.  In “Jedi Crash” we’re introduced to Aayla Secura, a Twi’lek with a French accent, and the chief elder of the Lurmen, a small white bearded creature who slips in an out of a cute Irish brogue.  It’s not that these voices are distracting, in fact I’m pleased as punch that they’ve chosen a large number of proven voice actors.  I’m not sure why I find it unsettling that these beings from thousands of different worlds seem to have very Earthen dialects.

That aside, “Jedi Crash” is a good and typical Star Wars installment.  The big bad galactic war has come to a peaceful planet full of miniature fuzzy people and they will somehow turn the tide of the battle and win the day.

Anakin and his command of battle cruisers are rushing to save Aayla’s ship from the punishing barrage of Separatist firepower.  Her cruiser damaged and sinking into the atmosphere, she awaits Anakin’s gunships to take out the rocket packed assault droids.  After his gunship is hit and crashes into her cruiser, Anakin, along with Ahsoka and a few clone troops, help rid the Republic ship of droids.  The Separatists redouble their attack and as the Jedi and clones are fleeing the lost ship, Anakin uses the force to save them from an explosion.  The results are severe and Anakin is wounded and the rescuing Republic cruiser is damaged and flings itself into hyperspace.  After avoiding a collision with a star, the cruiser crashes on a grassy world.  The clones and Jedi survive, but have to leave an unconscious Anakin behind to find help.  Aayla and Ahsoka are attacked en route by a giant beaked beast – a griffen with no wings – but finally make it to a small village of pods occupied by the lemur like Lurmen.  (As an aside, we have fish people named Calamari and lemur people named Lurmen.  It’s almost like seven year-olds are naming the aliens.)

The Lurmen cheif refuses to help because his people escaped the war and will have nothing to do with the Jedi.  However, Ahsoka’s pleas softens his cutesy-woostey little heart and he sends his son, the village healer, to go bring Anakin back.  Back at the crash site, Rex fights off another beastie.  The group arrives in time for another beastie attack but this time, the healer Lurmen (Lurman?) is able to hogtie the creature, thus avoiding any bloodshed and shaming the quick-to-slice Jedi.  They bring Anakin back, the Lurmen cheif seems oddly overcome by his son’s generosity.  Aayla and Ahsoka talk about the dangers of falling in love with your Master.

The talk Ahsoka has with Aayla about her feelings for Anakin are not uncommon according to the elder Jedi.  She tells Ahsoka that her Master was like a father to her, but you have to know when to separate and let go.  It’s forbidden for Jedi to develop such relationships, but they are also taught to be compassionate. “Jedi Crash” can be seen as both the ship falling from the sky and the moment Ahsoka reveals that she’s falling for her teacher.  Anakin may have years of experience on her, but the actual age difference isn’t that much – she’s 16 and he’s 21.  What’s different is the stigma associated with master and apprentice and how a relationship in addition to that can cloud one’s mind.  It’s a complex bit of story telling, one younger audiences may not at first appreciate but one I feel should be addressed.  Ahsoka is, after all, the identifiable character in the show.  Like it or not, girls may go through the same things with their fathers or teachers or other close male acquaintances.  For the writers to address that shows some courage, though not enough to explore it momentarily and in such a short time frame.

It touches back too to all the deaths we’ve seen, albeit clones, that have been carefully overlooked until this show.  To my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve heard a clone say one of his commrades is dead.  Add to that the unmistakable pacifist tones of the Lurmen and “Jedi Crash” seems more adult that is normal, and all without having to be dark and gritty and full of laser battles.

It just so happens there were a lot of cool laser battles to start.  I’m also excited to see next week’s continuation where a wounded Anakin takes on a bazillion droids.

Four and a half green lightsabers.

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