Clone Wars Debriefing: Witches Of The Mist

Word gets back to Coruscant about the deaths of two Jedi (and several clones). Delta Squad, yes the guys Karen Traviss used to write about, gets a brief appearance at the beginning to bring the Jedi bodies to the Temple. Once Obi-Wan sees that the perpetrator is a Zabrak who resembles Darth Maul, there’s a bit of discussion that reveals Maulsy grew up on Dathomir while most of the males of the species live on Iridonia. I think Maul was supposed to be some kind of exile, so it makes sense.

Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to investigate and they head off to Dathomir, back to Maulsville. Then they are led back to the Nightsisters, when Anakin makes a funny crack about his popularity with the ladies and Obi-Wan replies, “Too popular.”

Meanwhile, Dooku trains Savage Opress in ways that recalls Yoda training Luke in TESB, only with more Force-lightning. Once Dooku figures Savage is ready for his first mission, Savage is sent to get the king of the Toydarians and bring him back alive.

After Mother Talzin is surprisingly candid in her “conversation” with Anakin and Obi-Wan, the two Jedi head off to Toydaria. A couple of minutes later, she tells Asajj Ventress she needs to get her revenge against Dooku ASAP. They know Savage isn’t “ready” and in fact, he’s a bit of a lunkhead, as we’ll see in a few minutes.

On Toydaria, Savage uses his fancy double-lightsaber moves to dispatch half the planet. Anakin and Obi-Wan show up and it’s like the TPM re-match. Only that Savage is all Hulk-Must-Smash in his style and that totally throws off our heroes. In the process, Savage accidentally (?) kills the king and he drags off the body, then destroys Anakin and Obi-Wan’s ride.

Savage shows up at Chez Dooku and tosses the deceased king on the floor like it’s a tuna he caught while fishing. Since Dooku wanted the Toydarian alive, Dooku determines Savage needs to be “let go” Sith style, i.e. execution. But then the door flies open and it’s Asajj Ventress! Ventress reminds Savage of his mission to kill Dooku and a crazy three-way lightsaber battle breaks out. Then things get even more interesting when Anakin and Obi-Wan show up to join the party. It’s seriously out-of-control, like a great movie bar brawl with lightsabers and battle droids. And it’s all just as good and as awe-inspiring as anything that’s in the actual Star Wars films.

Just as you think Savage is about to go down when he’s surrounded by battle droids and droidekas, he lives to fight another day. He staggers back into the Nightsisters’ lair, seriously injured, and Mother Talzin offers him a talisman and a shocking revelation. He has a “brother” somewhere out in the Outer Rim, a brother who looks a heck of a lot like…Darth Maul!!! Shades of Bobby Ewing!!

Was that really Maul? Is it a clone? Is it Maul’s half-brother Elliott? Is it just a distraction to get Savage out of the picture for a while? If it’s Maul himself, how did he ever survive the end of TPM? WTF?

What about Mother Talzin, who seems to have no loyalties to anyone? What’s her real agenda? What will become of Ventress now? Will she become a one-woman revenge machine or ally with somebody else?

Like the old Duran Duran song goes, “Witches” leaves you answered with a question mark.

Overall, the three-part arc has been fantastic and I loved the mind-melting conclusion. Kudos to the animators, director Giancarlo Volpe, writer Katie Lucas, and the performers. This has been to me some of, if not the best, Clone Wars to date. I love that they can take what’s already familiar and show they can still pull rabbits out of a hat.

Next week: Shocking revelations about the Force, Anakin’s role as the Chosen One, Ahsoka’s murky future, and LIAM FREAKIN’ NEESON!!

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