Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2010/2011) – Senate Murders, Nightsisters, and Monster

“Searching for the truth is easy. Accepting the truth is hard.”

Senate Murders opens up the trio of episodes this week. Originally airing in Season Two, the chronology of the Clone Wars places it squarely during the events of Season Three. Written by Drew Z. Greenberg, it originally aired on 5 March, 2010.

Tying in with the events in the senate from last week, Padme (Catherine Taber) and Bail Organa (Phil LaMarr) work together to solve the murder of a colleague, which they believe was precipitated by the bill they are supporting to minimise military spending and a cessation of clone creation.

Again, these are pretty important themes being brought into play in the series,while still holding to the Star Wars way of storytelling.

And while the murderer is discovered, all the hard work that Padme and Bail put into the bill is for nought when it is defeated, and the finances flow to help create more clones to let the war rage on.

Those are some big ideas to be floated in a ‘kids’ show, but obviously, the show was positioned not just for younger viewers but Star Wars fans of all ages, and stories like this, while not necessarily engaging to younger padawans, fill out the actual history of the Clone War tying it into the Saga.

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“The swiftest path to destruction is through vengeance.”

Nightsisters penned by Katie Lucas fills out more of Asajj Ventress’ (Nika Futterman) character in an multi-episode arc that launched on 7 January, 2011.

Count Dooku (Corey Burton) is ordered to do away with Ventress, as Darth Sidious (Ian Abercrombie) believes she is becoming too powerful. When she escapes the assassination attempt (during an epic space and lightsaber battle between Republic and Separatist forces), she returns to her home planet of Dathomir, home of the Nightsisters, and plans her revenge.

The episode gives us some great background on Ventress and her journey with the Force, as well as being a huge centrepiece for introducing Dathomir and those who live there.

Her revenge on Dooku does not come about, obviously, as the character is seen in Revenge of the Sith, but the episode does so many other things, including layering out the continually expanding universe that Star Wars exists in.

There are some great action beats, and character moments filling out this episode, showing, once again that the series rivals the cinematic series for its storytelling and worldbuilding.

The episode ends with Mother Talzin (Barbara Goodson) offering Dooku a new apprentice, a male this time. This is just an opening move in a gambit to seek revenge on the Sith Lord.

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“Evil is not born, it is taught.”

Katie Lucas penned the follow-up episode, Monster, which first aired on 14 January, 2011.

Dooku accepts Talzin’s offer, and a new apprentice from Maul’s tribe, will be delivered to him. But first Talzin and Ventress will make sure his loyalty is to them, and that he will be their weapon, not Dooku’s.

And so, a newly, deadlier acolyte is readied, Savage Opress (Clancy Brown – could it ever have been anyone else?).

Ventress makes her choice by pitting herself against a group of Zabrak in battle, and Savage is the survivor. And he will serve Ventress and Talzin well. And while Savage completes the beginning tasks Dooku lays out for him, this is just the beginning of not only a new recurring character, but a continuing storyline that isn’t confined to a trio of episode.

Savage Opress is going to be a huge threat to all sides as the Clone Wars continues next week in a galaxy far, far away…

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