Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Clone Wars: Revenge

Andrew Leon and I are watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Every Tuesday, we will be featuring an episode from the series which began in 2008.

Episode: "Revenge"
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 4, Episode 22
Original Air Date: March 14, 2012
via Wookieepedia
Now that Darth Maul has resurfaced, he is out for revenge.  Obi-Wan Kenobi must pay for slicing him in half back in the day.  Fortunately, Obi-Wan has an unexpected ally.  As I wrote last week, I'm not happy about this story line at all and this episode - Season Four's last - has done nothing to improve my outlook.  So let's talk about something else: ghosts!

The implication of a meaningful existence beyond death has been part of the Star Wars saga from the beginning.  In A New Hope, during his duel with Darth Vader, Obi-Wan says "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."  Let's be honest, we never truly learn the extent of what he means.  Perhaps he is alluding to the impact of his martyrdom.  Perhaps there's more to the Force than anyone, even the filmmakers, fully understands by the end of the first movie.

Here's what we do learn: while Obi-Wan technically dies, he doesn't leave the story.  He reappears in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as a Force ghost, doing his best to steer young Luke to the right path.  Yoda and Vader/Anakin also appear to Luke as ghosts.  Apparently, it's part of the Jedi contract.

Ghost Ben can't really do much, though.  He speaks and he certainly has no trouble getting around but otherwise seems unable to impact the physical universe.  So, what power does he have beyond guiding Luke?  Is that all he means?  Is that all he needs?  Or is there more to it?


"Revenge" is directed by Brian Kalin O'Connell.  O'Connell attended Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.  He has been working within George Lucas's empire since 1995, first for Industrial Light & Magic, then Lucasfilm Alimation.  He has big screen art and visual effects credits for The Mummy, Unbreakable, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Wild.  In total, he directed 20 Clone Wars episodes.

Next week: "Revival." This Thursday, we'll be recapping Season Four.


  1. The whole force ghost thing was, initially, an accident. Obi-Wan wasn't meant to die; that was a change that happened during filming. That said, I think it is arguable that the ability to speak from beyond death is a power greater than Vader had.

    And, as I've said, not being able to remember where this all goes, I'm still uneasy with the return of Maul. However, I fully enjoyed Kenobi and Ventress together.

    1. Yes, I really like Ventress and Opress (hmm, just noted the shared suffix in the names). They both render Maul unnecessary.

  2. I didn't know that Obi- Wan wasn't meant to die. That is a very interesting
    idea to wrap our mind around.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Yeah, Lucas realized that after the Death Star, Obi-Wan had no other purpose, and he didn't want the character to go into a weird limbo. He also didn't believe there would be a second movie.
      So he had Obi-Wan die...

      Which is what led to the creation of Yoda, because Obi-Wan had been intended to be Luke's Master.
      Which, in effect, was what led to Qui-Gon, because when they went to make Ep. I, the technology wasn't at a place where they could use Yoda as Obi-Wan's Master, so they had to create another new character.

    2. Necessity is the mother of invention. I think the adding of new characters is ultimately a good thing - flesh out the universe.