Clone Wars: A War on Two Fronts Review (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Monday, October 08, 2012
Onderon is now in the hands of the Separatists, due to their new king. The Rebels of Onderon have taken refuge in the jungles of their planet with hope to retake the planet’s capital, Iziz. Since their flight, the Rebels have reached out to the Jedi Council for help.
What amazed me in this week’s episode was the division between Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor) and Anakin (Matt Lanter) over helping the Rebels. When asked by the Rebels for help, Obi-Wan points out that the planet, itself, has aligned with the Separatists. In helping them, the Jedi are, in fact, aiding terrorists. It is Anakin who sees them as a tool to undermine the Separatists’ foot-hold on the planet. It’s a dangerous line the Jedi are walking and, even among their ranks, the confusion between warriors and peacekeepers is getting blurred.
This part of the episode is quickly decided upon by Yoda (Tom Kane). Anakin and Obi-Wan are to train and observe, not become a part of the struggle. Yet any fan of Star Wars is immediately reminded of Qui-Gon Jinn telling Queen Amidala that he can only protect her, but he can’t fight a war for her. It is a line Obi-Wan repeats back to Anakin later in this episode. Are the Jedi too far gone at this point? Each is referred to as a General, now, and even Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) is called “Commander”, not “Jedi Knight”. There is a slight pause in Anakin’s voice when he introduces her to Rebels. It’s as if he doesn’t even know what to call her anymore.
The brilliance of The Clone Wars is that we are getting details on why the Jedi fell. We see mistakes and missteps on a weekly basis. From 1977 to 1999, our imaginations ran wild with what an army of Jedi Knights could do. Here, we see that even with all that great power, they are still capable of making mistakes. The opening act of “A War on Two Fronts” may have been short and resolved quickly, but it lingers like the phantom menace.
This episode is a build up to a bigger adventure that will continue next week in “Front Runners”. The grand scale of the Jedi’s involvement with these Rebels takes a back seat to a love triangle between Ahsoka, and two Rebels named Steela Gerrera and Lux Bonteri (Jason Spisak). Asoka has a history with Lux and the two have what could be considered an infatuation (see “Heroes on Both Sides” and “A Friend in Need”). This creates a tension between Ahsoka and Steela, the Rebel’s Sniper. Why is this in the episode? The answer to that is easy. We have to have something to fight for. The Rebels winning back their planet matters very little to the overall Star Wars Universe. Whether or not Onderon falls to the Separatists won’t change Anakin from becoming Lord Vader. Yet, it matters whether or not Ahsoka learns a lesson in love, loses this boy to Steela, or if he dies. The mystery and wonder of The Clone Wars, over the past few seasons, is Ahsoka’s fate. Will she fall to the Dark Side? What effect will she have on Anakin? Unless this series starts to drag its feet (it might; it’s pretty popular) Ahsoka’s time is coming to a close. A little thing, like a crush on a boy can and will affect this young Jedi. We all know what it did to one Dark Lord of the Sith and that changed the universe.
Opening Tag Line: “Fear is a malleable weapon.”
Classic Star Wars Moment: Anakin’s dialogue, “Impressive, most impressive”
The Star Wars Figure We Cannot Wait to Own: Captain Rex in Rebel Guise
Mania Grade: A-
Episode: A War on Two Fronts
Starring: James Arnold Taylor, Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter, Matthew Wood, Ashley Eckstein, Jason Spisak
Written By: George Lucas (creator)
Directed By: Steward Lee
Network: Cartoon Network