“Strength in character can defeat strength in numbers.”
Revival opens our trio of episodes this week, coming where it should chronologically within the Clone Wars timeline, but after it was produced it was used to open the fifth season on 29 September, 2012.
Written by Chris Collins, the story follows the united Maul (Sam Witwer) and his brother Savage Opress (Clancy Brown) as they set out to bring together an army, even as Maul takes Savage as his apprentice.
Their recruitment among Hondo Ohnaka (Jim Cummings) and his pirates is interrupted by the arrival of Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) and Adi Gallia (Angelique Perrin).
This is also the last time Ian Abercrombie was able to lend his voice to the role of Palpatine, having recorded some of his dialogue during the previous season. He passed away between seasons, and Tim Curry was brought in to take over the role, who recorded one line for the episode.
Watching the episode, it’s easy to see why it was moved to the fore of the season, it continues the Maul/Opress arc, and has some epic battles, including some fierce lightsaber sequences.
Maul’s plan doesn’t work, and it comes with a price for both sides, Gallia falls to Oppress, and Kenobi has to fight both brothers at the same time – and this duel is up there amongst the best of them I’m sure.
When the plan goes south, Maul and Oppress flee, but not without paying some of their flesh and steel first – Maul loses one of his mechanical legs, and his brother loses an arm to Kenobi’s lightsaber.
It’s a pretty awesome episode!
“One vision can have many interpretations.”
Collins also wrote the next episode in the Maul/Opress story, Eminence, which first aired on 19 January, 2013 and sees the two brothers joining forces with the Mandalore based Death Watch.
The pair are still interested in amassing an army, and consequently becoming crime lords at the same time, and using Death Watch they begin to recruit from the Black Sun organisation, as well as some of the Hutt families.
Jon Favreau returns to lend his voice to the leader of Death Watch, Pre Vizsla, and Katee Sackhoff returns as his lieutenant, Bo-Katan.
The brothers wreak havoc in the underworld, massing their army, but Vizsla has his own plans for Mandalore, and is using Maul to get his way, as he is ordered to select a target on Mandalore, one that will draw the attention of the Jedi, and allow this new crime organisation, the Shadow Collective, to cement its base.
Lots going on in this episode, and this arc is proving to be so good, and damned entertaining!
“Alliances can stall true intentions.”
Collins gives us one more episode this week, Shades of Reason, which first aired on 26 January, 2013.
Vizsla’s plan is to have the Shadow Collective attack Mandalore, and have it appear as if Death Watch defeats them, raising his popularity amongst the people, and allowing him to assume leadership and oust Duchess Satine (Anna Graves).
But those plans aren’t going to go the way Vizsla wants, and it will cost him, as Maul decides to set up camp on Mandalore, assume control of the government, and put in together a plan to draw out Obi-Wan.
So far this arc has been fantastic, smart, well-written and you almost forget to take into account that Maul was sliced in half, and should in fact be dead. But hey, what do we really know about Zabrak biology?
The battle continues next week as I explore more of that galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
May the Force be with you.