Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Episode 219

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At the end of the last episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine decided that it might be a good idea to bring the Zillo Beast—a massive, seemingly indestructible and supposedly extinct creature—to the Republic capital of Coruscant for further study. Given the creature’s impenetrable armor, Palpatine reasoned that if it can be synthesized somehow, he could strengthen his clone troopers’ armor and ships to give the Republic a leg up on the Separatists. They must not have monster movies in that galaxy far, far away, because apparently no one anticipated the creature breaking out of confinement and running amok in the city in this latest episode, “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back.”

For the record, Star Wars fans have loved things striking back since 1980. I just wanted to throw that out there. 

If you’ve seen King Kong or any of the classic Godzilla films, you pretty much know what to expect from this episode. The monster breaks loose and our heroes scramble to prevent as much property damage and loss of life as possible before being forced to kill the creature for the greater good. In the end, the ordeal serves as a reminder that some things are better left alone, and that we—society—are often the architects of our own despair. But as an audience, we’re probably too preoccupied with the cool visuals and large-scale destruction to overthink the moral of the story, and that’s probably okay too. The Clone Wars team didn’t skimp on the chaotic eye candy when they were putting “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back” together, and it’s a joy to watch. The societal lesson is a neat bonus.

While this episode features just about every major player in the Clone Wars era, including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Mace Windu, Padmé Amidala, C-3PO and R2-D2, the Zillo Beast itself is arguably the main character here. It’s brought to Coruscant in chains, and when Palpatine learns that its indestructibility is working against his research plans, he orders the creature to be destroyed. After it wreaks havoc, the Zillo Beast is eventually brought down and carted away, but we can’t help but feel sorry for it.

At the end of the episode, Palpatine says the creature must be cloned to ensure its death is not in vain. We don’t see any Zillo Beasts in the Star Wars films, so we can only assume this potential army of Zillo Beasts is dealt with in the timeline of the animated series. I hope so: Seeing an army of Zillo Beasts take to the battlefield would be something Star Wars fans just haven’t seen before, which is exactly the type of thing this series does best.

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