This review is SPOILER HEAVY guys
Clone Wars: Season 4 Episode 22: Revenge
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Savage and Maul, now reunited, pursue Obi-Wan Kenobi in search of revenge, and the Jedi Knight finds himself forced to unite with a surprising ally to defend against the deadly siblings.
Ever since the end of Season 3 when Savage Oppress was told his brother, Darth Maul, was still alive we waited for this. To see Maul, sliced in two by Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, return to seek revenge for what was done to him… but we feared t couldn’t be done in a plausible way. Hey, I know this is Star Wars but there is a certain sense of reality.
We need not have worried. Although his real return was last week in a disappointingly time wasting episode (‘Brother’) wherein Savage finally found Maul on a junk planet, broken, insane and moving around in a classic movie monster way… on giant spider legs, to replace the ones taken from him by Obi-Wan all those years before.
As ‘Revenge’ opens, Savage is taking his brother to the leader of the nightsisters, Mother Talzin in the hope that she can fix him. On arrival he is shocked to see that the sisters are all dead with Talzin the only one remaining – except for Aasaj Ventress who at the same moment, light years away, is embracing a new destiny and accepting a bounty on Savage himself, thus entangling their fates.
In what stretches our imaginations just a little too far, Mother Talzin removes Maul’s madness like a black shroud and then lifts the remains of a super battle droid and uses her magic (Force abilities?) to forge the legs to Maul’s severed torso, moulding them, burning them into new, stronger limbs. When Maul awakens he is back to his old self. Calm, controlled, full of caged rage and when Savage gives him back the remaining half of his double-bladed saber (recovered from Naboo presumably) Maul is focused on one thing… finding Obi-Wan Kenobi and making him pay.
So he flies to an outer-rim world – peaceful by the looks of it – and slaughters innocents in a bloodcurdling throwback to Revenge of the Sith, sending the message to the Jedi with the ultimatum that they send Kenobi alone or the whole planet burns.
Of course the trap is sprung and Kenobi walks into it willingly, much to the disliking of Yoda and Mace, but Yoda is confident Kenobi will have a surprising ally in his battle: ‘Trust in the Force we must’.
It is at this point the episode really kicks off, the confrontation between Obi-Wan and Maul is superbly handled, Maul’s rage bubbling over as Kenobi’s calm and humour stay on top of it, at least until Savage appears and, like an animal, hammers Obi-Wan into submission, leaving him at the mercy of the evil brothers… when he comes to, Maul beats him and Savage flings him around onboard their ship’s cargo hold like a rag doll. Little do they know that Ventress arrived just before take off and is standing watching everything in the shadows…
The episode is classic Star Wars. The struggle of good over evil, the themes of redemption, revenge, destiny and fate – all Lucas staples – shine through as Ventress’ future seems to be on a whole new path after her betrayal by Dooku and the murder of her family by him, she’s lost all faith in the dark side and this development is responsible for making her possibly the best character in the show now, ‘When did you become the good guy?’ Obi-Wan asks, ‘Don’t flatter yourself,’ she teases, reigniting the flirting that always went on between the two in previous episodes, even as they fought to kill each other; if we didn’t know better (and sadly we do) it may just seem there is an affair on the cards here.
Another interesting aspect of the story is, as the battle – Savage & Maul VS Obi-Wan & Ventress – rages, Maul taunts Kenobi about the death of his master Qui-Gon and, for the first time in the whole saga, we see Obi-Wan give into anger and instead of making him powerful, as Maul tells him, it throws him off balance and Maul capitalises quickly. The interesting juxtaposition here being that as he falls towards the darkness, Ventress – merely feet away – is falling back into the light in the same fight.
By the end of the episode, and the season, Kenobi and Ventress are left no choice but to run and Savage and Maul drift off into space patiently waiting for the time to come for revenge, while Obi-Wan and Ventress discuss how they are now on the brothers’ radar and will have to ultimately fight or fly.
Over-all the episode did justice to the idea of Maul being a threat again, indeed he and Savage together have the potential to be a force of change in the series from here on in. But the union of Obi-Wan and Ventress was a joy on every possible level and I really hope that in Season 5 it is explored more – is Ventress a force for good now? Or will she go back and lead the nightsisters and leave the war altogether? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, Season four had highs and more than a few lows, but it went out with a bang and although we Star Wars fans are used to long waits, I cannot wait to see what happens next!