Clone Wars S1 E2: Rising Malevolence

Clone Wars S1 E2: Rising Malevolence

09/05/2020 0 By JoeB1

The clone star fleet is under siege! Dozens of Republic warships have been destroyed in merciless surprise attacks that leave no survivors. Rumors spread of a terrible new Separatist weapon.

In the face of growing fear, the Jedi Council sends Master Plo Koon to hunt down the menace before it strikes again…

***

Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction.

Following a failed attack on the Separatist’s new warship, The Malevolence, Jedi Master Plo Koon and three clone troopers find themselves stranded in an escape pod. Floating in the debris filed, it looks like certain death awaits at the hands of General Grievous and his battle droids.

The only ones who can save them are Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano – but that’s only if they can get there in time…

Plo Koon, Commander Wolffe | Green Card Back

Following on from Ambush we get another episode which opens with a Jedi master and three clones in an escape pod. Yet unlike the first episode, Rising Malevolence ratchets up the tension and the terror in a surprisingly dark way.

Plo Koon sees his men off of their under-fire cruiser and into escape pods before escaping himself with three clones – Sinker, Boost, and Commander Wolffe.

From the bridge of the Malevolence, Grievous despatches Hunter Battle Droids after the stranded escape pods. Koon and company can only watch as their compatriots are torn out into space – knowing that the same fate awaits them.

Like I said – surprisingly dark.

Anakin Skywalker & Ahsoka Tano - Clone Wars S1 E2: Rising Malevolence | Green Card Back

The subplot of the episode builds Anakin and Ahsoka’s relationship. Once Koon’s plight becomes known, Ahsoka is ready to disobey her masters and launch a rescue mission due to her friendship with the Jedi Master. Anakin’s initial reluctance seems out of character, but it’s just a subterfuge. Skywalker comes through and shows Ahsoka that there is a knack to disobeying the Jedi Council.

It’s good to see the early dynamic between Anakin and Ahsoka, and he is already beginning to prove himself by teaching her an unexpected lesson. Ahsoka is also helped by her pre-existing relationship with Master Koon. It’s not over-sold, and it helps to integrate her more into the Jedi Order.

The climax of the episode maintains the tension as the Jedi and Clone Troopers barely escape from The Malevolence’s ion blast. Do you remember the escape from Jedha in Rogue One? It’s like that, but if anything it’s even more intense.

Twilight Races the Ion Blast | Green Card Back

Rising Malevolence does not shy away from violence and death, and nor should it – this is Clone Wars, after all. But the fact that it manages to do this while still maintaining a healthy message about heroism is impressive. This isn’t just a kids’ show – it’s genuinely for all ages.

While the episode is a little jumpy at the start, it quickly settles down to tell a compelling story. However, much like the first episode, what really worked for me was the attention paid to in-universe integrity. From hyperspace taking time to calculate to the appearance of a 2-1B medical droid, this is recognisably Star Wars.

After recent years it’s refreshing to watch something that takes care to treat the established universe with respect. Even just two episodes in, it looks at this early stage like Clone Wars might be must-watch Star Wars content.

Clone Wars S1 E2: Rising Malevolence

Director: Dave Filoni
Writer: Steven Melching
Story Editor: Henry Gilroy
Supervising Director: Dave Filoni
Executive Producer: George Lucas

Clone Wars Reviews: Series One | Green Card Back


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