Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Episode 111

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Separatist leader and Sith Lord Count Dooku may have been largely underutilized in the prequel films, but if episodes of The Clone Wars like “Dooku Captured” are any indication, he may become one of the most interesting, multi-tiered villains in the Star Wars universe as this series progresses. While more than proficient with a lightsaber, Dooku’s true strength lies in his ability to slip through the Jedi’s fingers time and again. As evidenced in this installment, however, the former Jedi is also remarkably human, lacking the intimidating menace of Darth Vader or the sheer ferocity of Darth Maul or General Grievous. He's powerful, but he has some obvious limits. Or, at least, he wants people to think he does.  

At the beginning of this episode, we join Obi-Wan Kenobi as he sneaks onto a Separatist ship to rescue Anakin Skywalker from enemy clutches. At this early point in the episode, viewers may get the impression that they’ve missed a fairly major Clone Wars plot point, but Anakin actually let himself get captured on purpose in order to confirm Dooku’s location. The two Jedi chase the Sith to the planet Vanqor, where both they and Dooku crash-land their ships. After luring the Jedi into a cave and collapsing the entrance with the Force, Dooku thinks he’s in the clear until he finds himself face-to-face with a rather nasty band of Weequay pirates. The pirates kidnap the Sith Lord, knowing that they’ll be handsomely rewarded if they turn him in to the Republic.

Now, one could argue that Dooku could have in no way been captured so easily by a group of hard-drinking pirates, but the Weequays nevertheless add a refreshing shade of gray to the series’ otherwise black-and-white battle between good and evil. Good or bad, they’re just in it for the money, and don’t care who they have to backstab in order to get it. In today’s flagging economy, it’s hard not to relate to these opportunistic cutthroats at least a little bit. In typical pirate fashion, their leader even has a parrot-like Kowakian monkey-lizard perched atop his shoulder, which should delight fans of Jabba the Hutt’s cackling sidekick Salacious Crumb from Return of the Jedi.

Another nice nod to the films comes in the form of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s battle with a gundark, an aggressive predator mentioned twice in the series but never seen. Trapped in the creature's nesting place by Dooku, the two must  defeat the creature without the aid of their lightsabers, which they accomplish with a combination of the Force, a few well-placed boulders and some teamwork. Not only does this victory teach the show’s younger viewers about the importance of cooperation, but it also highlights the evolution of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship. No longer a teacher and a student, the two are becoming more and more like brothers, making Anakin’s eventual betrayal all the more tragic.

A fun episode with some surprisingly subtle humor and well-paced action, “Dooku Captured” doesn’t disappoint.

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