This four-part arc comes to a stunning conclusion with “Carnage of Krell.” We knew the clones were going to lose it with Krell. We knew at some point Krell was going to get what’s coming to him. But how? What was motivating Krell all along?
One of the odd things about these episodes was there was no discussion among the clones about contacting Republic forces about Krell’s behavior. Couldn’t Rex have gone to Obi-Wan? Or contacted Anakin on Coruscant? Why not? Is it because the clones knew no one under the circumstances would have their backs? All they’re supposed to do is whatever their superiors tell them? If that’s the case, it’s pretty sad and it explains in part why the clones did not hesitate to obey Order 66.
At the beginning of the episode, Krell orders Rex to execute Fives and Jesse for disobeying him even though the mission was a success. Fives and Jesse are marched outside in front of a clone firing squad. But when the time comes, the clones refuse to shoot Fives and Jesse. Rex says it’s because they all know if they kill clones for succeeding in a mission, they could all very well be next. The one brown noser left among them, Dogma, grrs and grimaces about it. Krell is annoyed but he tells Rex the base is going to be attacked by Umbarans disguising themselves as clones.
This sets up the most gut-wrenching scene ever in Clone Wars history. The 501st shoots at the oncoming men in armor and many die before they figure out the “enemy” are in fact other clones. Krell set them up. Worst of all, one of the casualties is none other than Waxer. As in Waxer and Boil, the two clone troopers who befriended the cute Twi’lek girl in Season One. In case you don’t remember, Waxer’s helmet has a drawing of the little girl on it.
Millions of fans yell at their t.v.s, “WAXER’S DEAD?!! I’VE HAD IT! KILL THAT MO-FO KRELL!”
Rex and his boys attempt to arrest Krell for treason to the Republic. The scene where the 501st march on the air base tower is reminiscent of Anakin marching with the 501st on the Jedi Temple in ROTS, yet when they confront Krell, it’s just like the Jedi confronting Palpatine in the same film. Krell even says, “It’s treason, then” before whipping out the lightsabers.
Krell proves remarkably difficult to kill, what with his multiple arms, his double-bladed lightsabers, and abilities with the Force. He kills many clones and just as you think they’ve set things up for Krell to be eaten by a giant Venus fly trap, Krell narrowly escapes that easy demise. He’s stunned and put in the brig along with Dogma, who is imprisoned for being a brown noser.
In true Evil Overlord fashion, Krell spills the beans on his plans. He was deliberately sabotaging Republic war efforts in the hopes he’d get recruited by Count Dooku. He says the Republic’s days are numbered. Rex is about to have him executed as a traitor but Dogma, ticked off that he’d been used, shoots Krell in the back just as Krell is blathering away about Rex’s conflict. It looks like at the end Dogma is going to take the fall for what happened to Krell. Krell is out of the picture, but will Dogma suffer yet another injustice?
Wow, are we sure Karen Traviss didn’t write these episodes?
Now let’s think back on this a second. Krell aspires to help Dooku. Palpatine recalls Anakin so Krell can be put in his place. Could it be Palpatine is aware of Krell’s ambitions and is testing him to see if he could be useful in his plans? Remember that Palpatine is manipulating both sides of the war and everyone who is working directly for him. Krell doesn’t live long enough to achieve his goals but could it be he served some purpose for Palpatine anyway? The seeds of mistrust, dissension, and the ability to turn on Jedi generals have already been sown. Even if the clones had developed friendships with the Jedi, they’ve seen now the other side of the Order, even if Krell wasn’t exactly representative of it. No Jedi helped these clones when they needed it. And if the 501st knows it, then they’ll all know it eventually.
Next time: The CW3 (Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan) return!