REVIEW – Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Episode 5.17 “Sabotage” **SPOILERS**

This week, we start the last arc of the season. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Anakin and Ahoska are called back from a battle on Cato Neimodia to investigate a bombing in the Jedi Temple. As they weren’t present for the bombing, they are not under suspicion, which is good as the Jedi Council thinks a Jedi may have been involved. They team up with a droid named Russo-ISC and their investigation leads them to suspecting a civilian munitions expert who was employed by the Jedi. Eventually, they discover that the munitions expert actually was the bomb thanks to an infection of nano-droids that were fed to him by his wife. Why she did it, they aren’t sure, but they intend to find out…

Initially, I was confused by the battle at Cato Neimodia. “Isn’t that a Separatist planet?” I thought. It seemed a bit odd to me that the Republic would be attacking a Separatist planet as opposed to a Separatist-controlled planet, but then I remembered that in Revenge of the Sith, Plo Koon is in Cato Neimodia, so I shrugged it off.

Other nice Revenge of the Sith nods included Obi-Wan being on the Jedi Council, and Anakin using the Force to clear his ship of buzz droids in the Cato Neimodia air battle (which I’ve always thought he and Obi-Wan should have done in Episode III when it happened to them, so it was nice finally seeing it).

For the most part, this particular episode felt like a well put together, standalone story, except that we know it’s not, being the first in a four part arc. I actually think that bodes well for the rest of this storyline as it didn’t come across as filler, which was how the first episode of the Onderon arc and pretty much all of the D-Squad hijinks felt. I was entertained from start to finish, and it didn’t feel like there was a wasted moment here.

It’s becoming clear that we’re getting much closer to Episode III and not just with the nods to that movie but in some ways this episode mirrors it as well. As it opens, Anakin and Ahsoka are flying in their new Jedi interceptors in a similar manner to how Anakin flew with his own master during the battle over Coruscant in the films, and they even run into a similar problem with the buzz droids. And when Anakin gets in trouble, Ahsoka handily saves the day, proving herself to be quite the Jedi. Gone is the brash and reckless youth looking to prove herself at the series’ beginning, replaced by a confident and capable young woman. It was enough to make me wonder, “Will we actually see her achieve knighthood before she meets her fate?” and I’m kind of hoping we do. At this point, I’d kind of like to see her become a Jedi, be sent off on her own mission, and then have the series finale actually take place during and after Revenge of the Sith, with Ahsoka having to face Darth Vader himself.

The rest of the episode was pretty decent. Russo-ISC is clearly inspired by CSI‘s David Caruso, even flipping a visor up and down on his face in place of sunglasses. That annoyed me slightly, as does anything that tends to break the fantasy world I’m watching to remind me of the real world. It wasn’t too bad though, and I was able to get past it.

Also of interest was that we got more insight into Jedi operations, finding out that they employ civilians for a number of jobs, that it’s difficult to get those jobs, and that those jobs don’t pay well despite being prestigious. Just that little bit of information helped flesh out the world some more, as did the anti-Clone Wars protest that took place outside the Jedi Temple.

Speaking of outside the Jedi Temple, Jedi Master Cin Drallig made an appearance, providing security with some clone troopers and what looked to be some sort of Jedi guardians. I’m not entirely sure what’s up with them, but they make more than a few appearances in the new trailer, so I’m eager to find out more (and hopefully get action figures, Hasbro).

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When all was said and done, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. It wasn’t mind-numbingly awesome like the Darth Maul arc, but I feel pretty confident in placing it among this season’s best, and I can’t wait to find out how this story unfolds further.