Review: Star Wars: Clone Wars “R2 Come Home” and “Lethal Trackdown” Episodes 2.21 & 2.22

“R2 Come Home”

Adversity is friendship’s truest test.

Friday night’s Clone Wars episodes were amazing!! In “R2 Come Home,” Mace and Anakin return to the crashed Venator Class Republic Cruiser on Vanqor. They are attempting to rescue Adm. Killian, but their search of the ship is fruitless. They find the bodies of the clone crew, all executed. In the bridge of the ship, Anakin spots a Mandalorian style helmet. Mace realizes that it is silver and blue, like the one Jango Fett wore. Unfortunately, Anakin does not hear his warning before lifting the helmet and causing a bomb to explode.

In the distance, a group of bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, watch as the bridge of the crumbling ship blows up. Castas, a bounty hunter, assumes that any one in the bridge must have been destroyed. However, Boba wants to make sure he gets his vengeance. Aurra Sing backs him up because returning with the heads of two Jedi to the Separatists will fetch a heavy price. Bossk is tasked with staying with their prisoners, Admiral Killian and couple of troopers.

The interior of the Endurance is a death trap, of course, R2 adds to the danger whenever possible. He knocks crates and spare parts down the hallways the bounty hunters are trying to climb up and closes a blast door, blocking their path. On their third attempt, he tosses a grenade down the hallway, rocking the entire ship, threatening the lives of everyone on board. The bounty hunters decide that it is too dangerous to search the bridge and opt to blow up the entire ship instead. R2 hears this and flees the ship to seek rescue for Anakin and Mace. Unfortunately, the bounty hunters jam his communications and then destroy them, forcing him to pilot Mace’s starfighter. The bounty hunters recognize the starfighter as Mace’s and believe he has survived. They follow R2 in Slave I and attempt to destroy the craft.

As R2 nears the hyperspace rings, Boba is faced with a choice. He must determine which ring R2 is headed for, so that he can destroy it and trap him there. Boba mistakenly blows up the yellow ring, and R2 safely escapes in the red hypersapce ring. On Coruscant, R2 races through the hallways of the Jedi Temple and arrives in a room where Master Plo Koon is speaking with Ahsoka. R2 tumbles down the stairs into the room, demanding to play the message. Plo Koon obliges him, and R2 plays a hologram of Anakin trapped beneath rubble, pleading for help. Ahsoka and Plo Koon waste no time getting to Vanqor. On Vanqor, they steady the bridge with the Force, while several clone troopers climb aboard and free Anakin and Mace from the rubble. As the Jedi and Clones fly away, the bridge breaks off from the rest of the ship and crashes down into the lower part of the ship, causing a huge explosion. Mace and Anakin have a few burns but nothing a night in the bacta tank won’t fix.

This episode lead well into the next.

“Lethal Trackdown”

Despite being a bounty hunter, Boba is very compassionate towards their prisoners. To Aurra’s displeasure, he offers them water and speaks kindly to them. They try to appeal to Boba to help them, but he is focused on revenge. Boba and Aurra transmit a message to the Jedi Temple, demanding that Mace Windu come to meet them or the hostages will be killed. At the end of the message, Aurra orders Boba to kill a clone trooper, but he can’t do it, so she does it (more evidence of Boba’s compassion).

Mace has just finished telling Anakin that he will not go after Boba because he will not behave as a child does and because vengeance is not the Jedi way when Plo Koon and Ahsoka come in announcing that there is a message from the bounty hunters. After they play the message for Mace, he refuses to go. Plo Koon agrees, but not because he agrees morally, rather he believes Mace is not yet well enough to face the bounty hunters. He states that he and Ahsoka will go instead.

Ahsoka and Plo Koon head to the lower levels of Coruscant. In a bar, Plo Koon begins a discussion with the bartender, while Ahsoka tries to listen as Plo Koon has taught her, instead of acting rash like Anakin. She overhears a conversation about a man Aurra Sing murdered on Florrum. Although she is discovered, she and Plo Koon make a hasty escape from the bar and head for Florrum. When they arrive on Florrum, they meet Hondo. Plo Koon asks, “Can I assume that I am being lead into a trap?” Hondo responds affirmatively, but tells him that he wanted him to know that he was not involved. (THIS conversation is one of the details that I love that the writers throw in. It’s great. It gives away a lot about Hondo’s identity as a smuggler/pirate. He doesn’t want to get involved. It’s a really sleek line that makes clear his motives and provides a quick description of his entire society – think Han Solo in A New Hope, anyway back to the recap)

Plo Koon mets Aurra who is disappointed that Mace refused to face them. Boba is standing behind Plo Koon menacingly, but Plo Koon doesn’t seem to mind. (Perhaps, he remembers that Boba couldn’t kill the clone in the message they transmitted). The Jedi out maneuver the bounty hunters and capture Boba Fett, but Aurra gets away on a speeder. Ahsoka pursues her while Plo Koon interrogates Boba about the prisoners. Hondo aids him by offering Boba some fatherly advice that he should reveal where the kidnapped prisoners are because it will be better in the long term. Boba obviously agrees, and Plo Koon contacts Ahsoka. He tells her that Aurra has been leading her away from the prisoners, so Ahsoka turns back. Aurra arrives to the site where the prisoners are being held shortly after Ahsoka, but manages to nimbly board Slave I before Ahsoka can capture her. Ahsoka jumps aboard one of the wings and cuts it off. At this point, Aurra attempts to fly away or land (it’s not clear which) and crashes the ship. The last we see of Boba Fett is when he is being escorted away by clone troopers.

I really enjoyed all the face time Plo Koon got. He is great! I love him. Really well designed and very badass. However, Mace Windu’s lines were HORRIBLE. Half the time he looked like a douchebag (for example, calling Boba Fett a “problem,” if he knew he orphaned him, shouldn’t he have done something? or at least not called him a problem? he’s a benevolent Jedi and left a 12 year old kid alone in the galaxy. good job.) and the other half of the time he was spouting those nonsense lines that Obi-Wan usually has to say that spell out everything. I really like the role Hondo played. He’s a great ambiguous character, just as smugglers are meant to be. He plays both sides gradefully and, at one point, gives advice to Boba in a fatherly way, encouraging good thinking, rather than the rash action of Aurra. Additionally, he’s just a well designed character. He’s got that great coat that makes him look like a pirate (which he is). In contrast to Mace, he is has great lines that make him seem on the edge, but specifically trying to maintain a balance. Just a normal guy trying to make it in a universe at war. I think he was a my favorite part of this season. He was a good reoccurring character with great voicework. I hope we see more of him next season. I was going to give this episode a 4/5 until i realized that something doesn’t quite fit right with the canon of the universe. Aurra crashes Slave I in a fiery death ball that the viewer see from a distance. This indicated to me that the ship was destoryed and Aurra dead. However, wookiepedia states that Slave I was “heavily damaged.” This of course fits with the rest of the Canon because Boba Fett pilots Slave I in Empire Strikes Back. If it was “heavily damaged,” then this is a poor depiction of what happened for a couple of reasons: 1) they should have shown the ship being heavily damaged, not a giant fireball, so that it is clear what happened. 2) Does Boba return YEARS later to get his ship? Seems unlikely, but he was being escorted away last we saw and, although i don’t know the full legal code of the Republic, I assume he is going to jail. 3) What about Aurra? Villain or not, if the ship is only “heavily damaged” she could still be alive, but who exactly is going to help her? Bossk? He is going to jail with Boba for kidnapping I would assume. That leaves Hondo who didn’t seem particularly pleased to see her on Florrum since she’s his ex anyway. This shoddy meshing with the canon has caused me to reconsider my initial assessment. Despite the good action sequences, this story leaves me a little confused which it shouldn’t. Ideally, a season finale should leave you waiting for the next season eagerly. I still am, but now I’m gonna have to go a lot of reading on wookiepedia. 3.5/5 lightsabers. Average 3.5/5 for the season (but with it leaning toward 4 because there were a lot I really enjoyed like the Zillo Beast and 7 Samurai episodes).

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