Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lost Missions Review Part 1 (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions have arrived. Now the choice, for some, is to watch them one at a time. This way, they can be savored and enjoyed. The other option is to binge watch them all at once, thus getting answers to all those questions we thought we would never have. I decided to break the final 13 episodes into 2 parts. I would watch episodes 1 through 6 as one film and the final 7 as another. This was a good choice and a perfect place to split up the final adventures between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
When last we left the Jedi, they were watching Ahsoka Tano walk away from the Jedi order. However, the first episode of “The Lost Missions” does not begin here. In fact, we are knee deep in a battle on a giant space ship. Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) and fellow Jedi Knights Tiplar and Tiplee (both voiced by Anna Graves) are making a huge offensive push to turn the tide. All is going well until Clone Cadet Tup (Dee Bradley Baker) starts to see the Jedi as the enemy and executes Tiplar on the battlefield. The momentum is lost and the Clones are forced to retreat.
Th episode and this particular moment have been teased since the announcement of Star Wars: The Clone Wars going off the air. That moment is a precursor to Order 66, which features heavily into Revenge of the Sith. That order is given by Sidious/ Palpatine to the Clones to take down the Jedi. It is the turning point in his control over the galaxy. Here, in what is an undisclosed amount of time before the events of Revenge of the Sith, Cadet Tup’s Order 66 has launched prematurely. Captain Rex and Arch Trooper Fives (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) return Tup to Kamino to better understand why he has no memory of killing Tiplar and see if there is something darker at work here.
This four episode arc is incredibly satisfying and well worth the wait. This is a story that all Star Wars fans wanted to see. Do the Clones have a choice? Are they individuals? Did they know all along about Order 66? Are all the Clones infected? The story really takes hold when Arch Trooper Fives and a medical droid AZI-3 (Ben Diskin) discover that there is an organic chip, implemented early on, that holds the key to Tup’s divergent behavior. The kicker to story is that the Clone’s creators, the Kaminoans, are directly involved with Order 66. This was a fact we all assumed, just never had clarified in the films.
The best parts of what Dave Filoni and his team did with Star Wars: The Clone Wars is never more prevalent than in these first 4 episodes. The Jedi are reduced to supporting characters and Fives becomes our hero. Not only does it become a mission impossible scenario for Fives, but his very life is on the line. Here, this soldier faces the possibility that he is a piece of military hardware with multiple factions claiming ownership. He struggles with how the rest of the universe sees his kind, as well as the fact that he has no control in his own destiny. The character of Fives has appeared in 14 episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and rose through the ranks as a fan favorite. He was developed for the series and had no appearance in any film. That alone gave him a unique attachment to the fans, making his fate something we cared about. So when Fives questions what is going on, the audience has a stake in it. This isn’t Anakin or Yoda, this is a lonely clone trooper trying to do the right thing. It’s brilliantly executed in this storyline.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars dove deep into the characters and exploited the medium of television to tell different stories. The series could have easily been 100% about the Clones and the Jedi. Thankfully, it wasn’t and dared to tell other stories with our beloved characters outside the battlefield. The next 3 episodes comprise their own arc and deal with Clovis (Robin Atkins Downes) and Padme (Catherine Taber) on Scipio. The Banking Clan is up to no good as they are robbing both the Republic and the Trade Federation. To add a slice of tension to the precedings, Clovis, who is an ex-suitor of Padme, has his sights set on her again, all with the promise that he has changed his ways. Oh, did I mention the bounty hunter Embo is trying kill Padme, too?
At first, all the political intrigue and shady dealings had little interest for me on this series. I gave it a chance and learned a valuable lesson. It is here where Padme and Anakin have to live with their lie. Yes, he can be her protector openly, but husband too? The scene from Attack of the Clones where Padme tells Anakin they would be living a lie comes back here in the second episode (“Rise of Clovis”) of this 3 part story with a vengeance. It is the moment where you see how Anakin feels about Padme and the consequences of their actions.
Revenge of the Sith never gave you enough of the relationship between Anakin and Padme. It was not enough to show you the weight the lie, the war, and Anakin’s insecurities had taken on them. What made it even stranger was that Obi-Wan never really acknowledged their relationship. If the Jedi are so in-tuned to one another, why didn’t he see it? A brilliant stroke to these “Lost Missions” is delivering that scene where Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor) tries to relate to Anakin about what he is going through. That small scene alone brings so many things into place for the whole Star Wars mythology.
The first 4 episodes of The Lost Missions were a piece of the overall puzzle to the conspiracy behind the Clones and Order 66. The first two episodes of the Clovis arc are something much more. Here we have the fall of Anakin that we needed to see. We also have Padme’s love for him start to wane. How will it all end? To be continued...
Look for Robert’s upcoming reviews of episodes 7 through 13 here on Mania.com.
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Mania Grade: A+
Episode: Episodes 1 to 6 of The Lost Missions
Starring: Matt Lanter, Tim Curry, Dee Bradley Baker, Corey Burton, Matthew Wood, Tom Kane, Catherine Taber, Robin Atkin Downes, James Arnold Taylor
Written By: Based on characters created by George Lucas
Directed By: Supervising Director Dave Filoni
Studio: Lucasfilm Ltd.