In this second part of the Onderon arc, a good chunk of “Front Runners” is devoted to action as the Jedi/Republic-advised rebels make their first big splash in the capital city of Isis.
Their attacks are a success, taking out several battle droids and their weapons. The insurgence proves to be serious, which is a good thing but also opens many other cans of worms. For one thing, it now has the attention of the Separatist-allied king, a mustache twirler who apparently is fine with a 0% approval rating. And it also gets the attention of an unhappy Count Dooku.
Another problem is figuring out where Onderon’s population stands with the rebels. It seems like anyone who disrupts the “status quo” is going to be viewed as threatening at first, but on the other hand the Separatist-allied monarchy doesn’t seem to be too popular either. After a while, some civilians start to openly support the rebels.
And yet another issue is the jostling for power within the rebellion. Obi-Wan notes that the rebel group needs a leader and it seems as though the frontrunners are not only embroiled in personal drama but also have differences in figuring out what the insurgency has to do in order to win broader support.
Obi-Wan, Rex, and Anakin leave Ahsoka behind with all of this to handle. With the action out of the way, it’s back to the love rectangle that turns out to be a triangle. I didn’t pick up the last episode that Saw is Steela’s brother and I’m guessing that Steela’s revelation at the end is meant to be a surprise. Anakin nudges Ahsoka again about staying focused and even drops a big hint when he says he understands her feelings (weirdly enough he does this while everybody is on a holo conference call…he didn’t think anybody would be paying attention I suppose). This surprises Ahsoka, but Anakin goes on with the “we all have to do our duty” spiel. Sure, whatever you say, Anakin.
At the end, the rebels choose Steela as their leader, which makes Saw angry, figuring he was the de facto leader anyway. It makes it clear why Saw was so annoyed with Lux in the first place: not only was Lux putting the moves on Saw’s sister, as the son of the former senator, Saw viewed Lux as a power rival. He probably didn’t think of Steela as a potential rival. Was the woman who suggested Steela as a leader a mole sent in to sow discord in the ranks or was she sincere? I thought it was a little odd the camera kind of stuck on her for a few beats before she said anything.
The animation was again spectacular, especially for the city background. Ahsoka is given yet another chance to advance her character, having to deal with new feelings and with the dynamics of this rebel group. I’m sure she will find a way to get everybody on the same page and put her feelings for Lux aside. It’s Clone Wars after all.
Two more parts to go with this arc. I’m sure the Separatists will be back and in greater numbers…
Tags: Clone Wars