Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Episode 110

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One of the major flaws in the Star Wars prequel films—and, in turn, the Clone Wars animated series—is that the noble Jedi often come off as downright foolish. They are deceived into fighting a war orchestrated by their own political leader, and by the time Revenge of the Sith rolls around, they are betrayed and slaughtered by their own soldiers. While they should be revered as heroes in the grand scheme of the Star Wars saga, they are tricked far too easily and too often.

In the tenth episode of The Clone Wars, titled “Lair of Grievous,” Jedi Master Kit Fisto tracks escaped Separatist Nute Gunray to the planet Vassek, where he reunites with his former apprentice Nahdar Vebb. The two Jedi, however, soon learn that the villainous Count Dooku has lured them into a trap…and the home of the sadistic General Grievous. Having doubts about Grievous’ leadership abilities, Dooku forces his droid general to do battle with the intrusive Jedi and their small squad of clone troopers.

Master Fisto, like countless other ancillary Star Wars characters before him, has achieved something of a cult following despite only appearing in the live-action films for a few seconds. While he met his end at the hands of then-Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith, “Lair of Grievous” gives fans the opportunity to get to know the tentacled green Jedi a little better. Fisto is characterized here as a warmer and more easygoing Jedi compared to most of his peers, an attitude emphasized by his breezy Jamaican accent (courtesy of Phil LaMarr).  He’s also not bad in a fight, and is able to hold his own not only against Grievous, but also his hulking, ferocious pet, appropriately named Gor.

Fisto’s headstrong former Padawan, however, fares less favorably in battle this episode, and meets his end when Grievous secretly shoots the young Jedi with a concealed blaster during a lightsaber duel. While lacking in emotional weight, his death nicely accentuates the episode’s central idea that true power is obtained only through self control. Vebb’s death also highlights a growing concern in the Jedi order—more and more young Jedi are becoming increasingly reckless as the war rages on.

As for Grievous, this episode subtly sheds more light on the droid general’s backstory and, more importantly, reveals his insecurities. His lair is littered with booby traps and bodyguards despite his apparent ability to defend himself, while his many statues of his pre-mechanical form showcase his vanity and, perhaps, a longing for his flesh-and-blood days.

“Lair of Grievous” is an above-average episode of The Clone Wars, but it’s unfortunately largely predictable and lacks the genuine thrills found in previous installments such as “Destroy Malevolence,” “Rookies” or Cloak of Darkness.” You won’t be blown away, but this is a fun, worthwhile Star Wars adventure that retains the 1930s sci-fi serial feel upon which the saga is based.

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