Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2011) – Darkness On Umbara, The General, and Plan of Dissent

“The first step toward loyalty is trust.”

Matt Michnovetz penned the first episode up this week, Darkness on Umbara, which first aired on 28 October, 2011.

When Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) is called back to Coruscant, Jedi Master Krell (Dave Fennoy) assumes his command, and his assignment, on the planet of Umbara alongside the 501st.

Unfortunately for the clones (Dee Bradley Baker) of the 501st, Krell has a very low opinion of them, and seems to have little regard for their lives.

The opening sequence, which features Skywalker still in command, shows a fantastic battle taking place on the shadowed world, that shows the different command styles of Skywalker and Krell, and how they lead, and care (or not) for the clones who serve under them.

Krell refers to them by their numbers, never their names, discounts their advice or assistance, and doesn’t seem to be the most calm of Jedi either. He sounds angry in all of his interactions with the clones and that bothers me. How did this being become a Jedi, a guardian of peace and justice?

We also get a look at a new-to-us world, and the dangerous lifeforms that inhabit it even as the war wages on.

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“The path of ignorance is guided by fear.”

The General was also penned by Michnovetz and first aired on 4 November, 2011. It continues Krell’s story, and the assault on Umbara.

Krell sends Rex and his troopers on what may be an impossible mission. They are told to conquer a heavily fortified base, a task that could claim all of their lives.

This episode layers out the dilemma a little more because as temperamental as Krell is, the entire campaign is resting on his actions, and those of the 501st, which needs to take this fortification.

If they fail, so does the entire assault.

Krell’s plans are reckless, he tends to lead from the rear, and is unafraid of spending countless lives to achieve victory.

Rex and the others come up with a plan of their own to take out the base, which is in direct violation of the full frontal assault that Krell orders. It saves lives, and still achieves the mission’s goals, but Krell is less than impressed.

There is growing dissent among the troopers, and between each other over Krell’s leadership, and events are going to come to a head.

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“The wise man leads, the strong man follows.”

Michnovetz pens this episode as well that continues the Krell/Rex/501st story. It first debuted on 11 November, 2011.

Fives, one of the ARC troopers of the 501st disagrees with one of Krell’s plans, and devises his own to capture some Umbaran starfighters.

There’s a nice little nod to dialogue from A New Hope which makes for a light moment among some of the darker themes that are going on in this episode; just following orders, question orders that seem unjust or unethical, loyalty to a cause or a person, and the sacrificing of lives because of it.

All of this plays out in an action-packed space opera that is the Star Wars signature.

The mission is a success, but Fives victory is short-lived as the episode comes to a close with his arrest and Krell demands that they be court-martialed, found guilty and summarily executed. But we’ll have to wait until next time to see how that plays out.

See this show wasn’t just aimed at younger viewers. There’s a lot going on in these stories for Star Wars fans of all ages.

The Krell storyline continues next week, as do The Clone Wars, as I continue to journey through the fourth season.

May the Force be with you…

Always.

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