Clone Wars S1 E4: Destroy Malevolence
Grievous in retreat! Before the battleship Malevolence could destroy an Outer Rim clone medical base, a Republic strike force, under the command of Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, crippled the warship, disabling its dreaded ion cannon.
Now the Jedi relentlessly pursue the Malevolence….
A plan is only as good as those who see it through.
Destroy Malevolence picks up directly after Shadow of Malevolence, with the Separatist ship on the brink of destruction. With the Malevolence’s hyperdrive damaged it looks like the end for General Grievous – at least until Count Dooku alerts the General of a hostage coming his way…
Acting on intelligence from Chancellor Palpatine, Padme Amidala and C-3PO come out of hyperspace right on top of the battle. The two are drawn into the Malevolence’s tractor beam, but not before getting a message to the lead Republic Cruiser – and Anakin. The Republic breaks off the attack and so begins a Jedi rescue mission…
That may already sound like a lot, especially given the slow build of the previous episodes, but it’s only the opening eight minutes. As you may have guessed, Clone Wars S1 E4: Destroy Malevolence packs a lot into its run time.
It’s the first Anakin and Obi-Wan adventure of the series and it’s a lot of fun, from their impromptu planning session to the different roles they take in the rescue of Padme. The performances and writing are on point – this feels like Anakin and Obi-Wan.
Yet while the Jedi rush to rescue Padme, she shows how capable she is at looking after herself. Following an explosive escape from the hanger, Amidala and Threepio manage to hide from Grievous and the Battle Droids long enough to arrange a rendezvous with Anakin.
An early scene shows Grievous using an internal railway system to traverse the ship, which makes sense for getting around something so big. At first, I thought it was a nice touch of world-building detail. However, the rail intersection plays a dramatic role in the middle of the episode as Anakin and Padme reunite… while Obi-Wan loses C-3PO!
James Arnold Taylor earned widespread fan acclaim for his role voicing Kenobi, and even at this early point in the series it’s easy to see why. His delivery is spot on, and perfectly in keeping with the Obi-Wan we grew to know and love through the Prequels.
The writing underscores this. Kenobi faces both a high-speed duel with Grievous and near-certain death at the hands of Grievous and his droids, yet rides out every situation without breaking a sweat. This doesn’t diminish the threat of the Separatists; it just shows how cool Kenobi is. The perfect Jedi, indeed.
While Kenobi escapes, Anakin and Padme take the opportunity to sabotage the Malevolence’s hyperdrive – with cataclysmic results.
The group reunites at the Mynock (including Threepio, thanks to R2-D2). As they fight their escape (with Kenobi noticing how well Padme knows her way around the ship), it gives us our first hero shot of the main Prequel cast. It’s a simple thing, but it’s so good to see.
My final takeaway from the episode was Grievous’ cowardice. As the General witnesses the destruction of the Malevolence from aboard his fighter, Count Dooku contacts him for a progress report. Rather than respond, Grievous simply closes the communication and makes his escape. I hope this is a dynamic that gets explored more in future episodes.
For years now, fans have said that the Clone Wars redeems the Prequels. With this episode – just the fourth in the series – I’m starting to think that this may be the case.
Clone Wars S1 E4: Destroy Malevolence is an action-packed thrill ride of an episode. There’s enough combat, world-building, and character moments here for any Star Wars adventure.
Dave Filoni and crew have stepped up a gear, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Clone Wars S1 E4: Destroy Malevolence
Director: Brian Kalin O’Connell
Writer: Steven Melching
Story Editor: Henry Gilroy
Producer: Catherine Winder
Supervising Director: Dave Filoni
Executive Producer: George Lucas