Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lawless Season 5 Episode 16 Review

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Laced with classic Star Wars references, this epic, emotional episode reminds us that at its best, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is what the prequels should have been.

Many major plotlines from the show’s past came to a head this week as characters met their destinies in shocking, and surprisingly depressing ways.

Mandalore is now owned by Darth Maul, Savage Opress, and his army made up of former Death Watch soliders and other criminals. Bo-Katan now leads Death Watch, after last week’s shocking death of Pre Vizsla, and she intends to fight for Mandalore until the battle takes her.

The Lawless opens with the members of this rebellion helping Duchess Satine escape to get a transmission out to the Jedi council. It echoes back to Princess Leia’s call for help in A New Hope, just one of the many taunting references scattered throughout this episode.

But as we know from the previous Mandalore arc back in season two, the Republic cannot interfere in neutral space. This causes Obi Wan to walk the thin line that his apprentice will eventually cross, choosing his emotions over his duties.

It’s compelling stuff to see Obi Wan as we’ve never seen him before. Especially since his ill-fated attempt to save Satine leads to her death, perhaps the saddest, most tragic yet the series has delivered to us.

But Bo-Katan comes to the Jedi’s rescue, before all out war breaks out on Mandalore. The action here is stunning as Obi Wan throws on a jet pack and the chase begins. Before he escapes, we find out Bo-Katan was Satine’s sister as she asks for Republic support. Even if this is never touched on again, what a clever addition to the mythology that actually makes me want to watch the whole arc again.

Meanwhile, in a bit of strategic interlacing of action sequences best seen at the end of Return of the Jedi, we see Darth Sidious for the first time ever on the show, and he’s here to bring the Sith number back down to two. Sidious vs. Maul and Opress is the best lightsaber duel we’ve gotten on the show and, were it live-action, would rank right up there with the end of Revenge of the Sith. Sidious is remarkable to watch in action. Once he kills Savage, we once again sympathize with Maul as he truly appears to care for his brother. What a complicated and emotional story these guys have out together! But Sidious couldn’t show up without a little force-lightning. What exactly are his plans for Maul? How could Count Dooku fit into all of this? So many questions!

This episode was so jam-packed with awesome that I failed to mention the call backs to the show’s past including Anakin’s ship and Obi Wan’s first disguise. Also, how about the several A New Hope references as Obi Wan stole Mandalorian armor and broke out Satine much like the Death Star raid. And how about that use of the Imperial March?

All around, The Lawless was an instant classic as the writers remembered every little detail we’ve been given up to this point and used them to their advantage. With more than a few well-placed Star Wars references, great action, and a surprisingly emotional story, The Lawless ranks up there among Clone Wars‘ best and serves as a healthy reminder that this show can live up to the original trilogy. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

2 Responses to Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lawless Season 5 Episode 16 Review

  1. watstha says:

    maul is one of the best characters on starwars and thanks to him, the clone wars has become one of the greatest and darkest shows

  2. JosephHolewski says:

    I’m itching to find out what happens Darth Maul. Besides getting new legs this poor guy can’t catch a break. Cannot wait for the next episode!

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