Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Episode 207

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“Legacy of Terror” is one of the darkest  installments of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and not only because most of it takes place underground. Taking cues from George A. Romero’s Living Dead films and James Cameron’s Aliens, this episode is genuinely creepy, claustrophobic and a whole lot of fun.

Following the successful destruction of a Separatist droid foundry in “Weapons Factory,” evil Geonosian leader Poggle the Lesser is on the run. Jedi Master Luminara Unduli tracks him to an ancient temple, but when she gets there she is overtaken and captured. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi must infiltrate the temple and face the horrors that dwell within it to rescue their kidnapped comrade.

In traversing the pitch-black catacombs of the Geonosian temple, Anakin and Obi-Wan soon learn that it is home to the rumored-but-yet-unseen Geonosian queen, who is protected by an army of undead drones. Sure, the clones and their Jedi generals have had no problem in dealing with Geonosian soldiers in the past, but they are far less prepared to deal with zombies.

This isn’t the first time zombies have plagued that galaxy far, far away. In October, Del Rey Books released Death Troopers, a Star Wars horror novel revolving around a zombie contagion. In “Legacy of Terror,” the undead are dealt with a bit differently. The Geonosian queen uses wriggling worm-like creatures that enter the body and grant her control of their thoughts, whether they are living or dead.

Not only are these undead Geonosians pretty cool (who doesn’t love zombies?), but they also represent a credible threat to the Jedi. Deep underground, outnumbered and losing troops fast, Anakin and Obi-Wan are placed in a seemingly unwinnable scenario. They eventually come face-to-face with the Geonosian queen, whom Anakin immediately wants to destroy. Obi-Wan, on the other hand is curious. Why haven’t the Geonosians killed Luminara yet? He begins a conversation with the queen to learn more.

The queen is apparently pretty upset that the Republic has invaded Geonosis and killed so many of her subjects. But, she doesn’t want to destroy them: she’d rather control them. At this point, a zombie Geonosian comes forward with a small egg, out of which emerges one of the queen’s mind-control worms. Before the worm is able to enter Luminara’s body, Obi-Wan orders Commander Cody and the rest of the clones to turn on their helmet lamps and temporarily blind the Geonosians, giving our heroes a chance to rescue Luminara, capture Poggle and collapse the queen’s chamber, burying her inside.

This episode features some amusingly dark humor to complement its violent moments, most of which stems from the playful banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan. While Obi-Wan is fascinated by the Geonosian queen and her undead followers, Anakin couldn’t care less. When the pair gets their first glimpse of the queen, Anakin says to Obi-Wan, “Oh no, you don’t actually want to talk to it, do you?” Later on, when Obi-Wan chastises him for crushing one of the queen’s worms before he’s had a chance to study it, Anakin quips, “Study the bottom of my boot.” These moments bring to mind the subtle humor of the classic Star Wars trilogy, particularly The Empire Strikes Back.

“Legacy of Terror” is a uniquely entertaining episode of The Clone Wars, blending traditional Star Wars storytelling with horror movie intensity.

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