Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2012) – A War On Two Fronts, Front Runners, and The Soft War

“Fear is a malleable weapon.”

Season Five of The Clone Wars got underway with Revival, which actually comes later in the chronology, so first up for us is A War on Two Fronts. Written by Chris Collins, this episode launched on 6 October, 2012.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) travel to Onderon to help train a group of rebels to take back their city from an invading Separatist force.

The story features the first in-story appearance of Saw Gerrera (Andrew Kishino) who would later appear in Rebels and the movie Rogue One. His appearance here is unlike those in the aforementioned series and film because he is just starting his fight, and hasn’t paid the price, mentally or physically, for his life’s work.

We also get to see out Jedi heroes in cloaks, something the series doesn’t do a lot.

Caught up in the battle for Onderon is Ahsoka’s old friend Lux Bonteri (Jason Spisak), who seems to have some feelings for her.  Something she may reciprocate, but he is also drawn to his rebel ally, Steela (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), Saw’s sister.

The episode draws to a close, with the rebels, aided by the Jedi, infiltrating the city of Iziz.

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“To seek something is to believe in its possibility.”

Collins pens the follow-up episode, Front Runners, which first aired on 13 October, 2012. Kenobi, Skywalker and Rex return to Coruscant, leaving Commander Tano to work as liaison with the Onderon rebels as they prepare for their strike against the Separatists.

There are lots of action beats in this episode as the training for the rebels starts to pay off, and Ahsoka, Steela, Saw and Lux definitely seem to be causing some problems for the Separatists.

But things aren’t going to be easy, as a leader needs to be decided, and the Separatist forces ask for better reinforcements from Count Dooku (Corey Burton).

It’s a solid tale, building nicely off what has come before it, not only through the rest of the series, as we watch Ahsoka continue to grow, but also from the events of the previous episode.

Things are going to come to a head pretty quickly, and will the leadership struggle lead to dissension in the ranks? And will they be able to free Onderon from the clutches of the Separatists and reinstate the rightful rulers?

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“Struggles often begin and end with the truth.”

Collins pens the third episode in the fifth season’s opening arc, as the Onderon rebels fight to free their rightful king, Dendup (Barry Dennen) before his execution by the Separatists who have installed their own regal representative, Sanjay Rash (Kirk Thornton).

This episode first debuted on 20 October, 2012.

Ahsoka’s actions in assisting the rebels in their training, and in their fight is revealed to the Separatist during the rescue of Dendup, and a captured Saw, and that will elevate the battle to a whole new level as the Onderon battle wages on.

Through the course of the episode, Ahsoka learns to set aside her feelings for Lux, but still chooses to fight by his side when needed. Ahsoka’s arc still tends to be one of the most interesting aspects of the series, and is conveyed wonderfully through the story, and Eckstein’s  performance.

There are plenty of action beats in this collection of episodes, but also an important story, and one that sets lots of ground work for characters and events that we know occur later on in the timeline.

The clone wars continue next Saturday in a galaxy far, far away. Until then, may the Force be with you.

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