Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Premiere ‘Revival’ Overview
So it’s back: Star Wars The Clone War. And my my, Season 5 opens with a fantastic episode.
It begins with the recently upgraded Darth Maul, with his new fancy prosthetics, and his brother Savage Oppress raiding a bank. Savage is happy to see their violent slaughter of six security droids rewarded with millions of credits, but Maul has other plans. Bigger plans: a plan to destroy the Jedi! Though first he must assert his dominance over his brother, who believes they are equals, and so Maul takes on the mantel of Savage’s master. As any Star Wars fan knows, this could lead to confrontation with the current Dark Lord of the Sith who would be unhappy with the horn-headed usurpers. I imagine and assume from the released trailers that this is a well founded assumption.
Maul and Savage head to a distant planetary system. Obi Wan Kenobi and Adi Gallia, however, are tracking the blood-thirsty Sith and pick up their trail from the raided bank.
Maul and Savage in the meantime have arrived above the planet Florum, the home to the illusive and morally gray pirate Hondo, and managed to recruit a group of his men with the promise of power and wealth. As long as they bend their knees to the newly acclaimed Dark Lord Maul and his apprentice, of course. It will be interesting to see how this new dynamic between the Sith educated Maul and Savage, who was forced to serve Count Dooku, will play out. Will Savage eventually rebel against his brother from being treated as he was by Dooku? Perhaps.
Obi Wan and Adi follow Maul and Savage, who have started an all-out assault on Hando’s remaining forces. They arrive at the planet Florum and agree to come to Hando’s aid only when he understands that they will be dealing solely with the Sith, leaving the argument between the two pirates factions to Hando himself. Hando readily agrees and Obi Wan and Adi land on the planet to duel with the villainous Sith.
A fierce battle ensues between the light and the dark, but the first casualty in the heated battle is felt by the Jedi. Adi, while engaged with Savage, is stunted by his massive strength and for one moment her focus falters. Savage takes this advantage happily and rams his head horns in Adi’s gut, goring her. Before Obi Wan can react, Savage plunges his lightsaber into Adi’s prone figure.
This is a real first for the series: a character death. Perhaps not a major character but, I have a feeling that it wont be the last Jedi death in the series. I think perhaps Revival is setting the series up as one where main characters could possibly meet their end, which really shows how the show itself is looking to mature, which is good.
Now Adi’s death isn’t a surprise. Canonically, in the EU, she is killed by General Grievous in their first encounter with each other but, because they have already fought, it is unlikely she would fight him again and be surprised by his extra arms (as she is in the Canonical death). I believe now that this version of Adi’s demise will become the Canon version as the series is very much brainstormed and guided by the big G himself now.
So back to the episode. Obi Wan, overcome with rage at the sight of yet another fallen Jedi, lunges down on Savage, going for the killer blow only to be countered by Maul himself. Obi Wan grabs Adi’s lightsaber and falls back with Hondo as his forces are pushed back into the pirate’s complex.
Maul, Savage and their new pirate army rush into the complex as Hondo learns of Adi’s demise, fuming that even Kenobi and the Jedi aren’t powerful enough to stop the two Zabraks. Hondo shows his true pirate colours by readily accepting Obi Wan’s offer to distract the two brothers and face them alone. The writers have done a fantastic job of making the pirates morally grey and willing to flip sides depending on the odds against them. Their temporary alliances do not seem as forced as in the earlier episodes, but seem a rational choice according to the pirates’ logic.
As Obi Wan leads Maul and Savage away, Hondo manages to reconcile with his recently traitorous forces, while having them trapped between a rock and a hard place: their leaders aren’t interested in saving them, only in destroying Kenobi and the Jedi. Having reconciled with his men, they decide to go outside and raid Maul and Savage’s ship for the riches they had used to turn Hondo’s men against him.
Inside the complex Obi Wan struggles to fight the brothers in a fantastically animated fight sequence that doesn’t seem to have the same clunkiness of the usual lightsaber duels. Obi Wan dual-wields his own lightsaber and Adis’ to fight against the relentless onslaught of the brothers. When all hope seems lost and his back is pressed to the wall, Obi Wan pulls out a classic move and manages to cut Savage’s arm off. Savage holds the wound as a faint green mist streams from it, perhaps evidence of the Nightsisters’ nefarious power leaking away (though this is of course just speculation). Would losing this phantom of the Nightsisters’ evil ritual leave Savage weaker, like his old-self? Perhaps.
Maul and Savage are forced outside and are pursued by Hondo and his men who are determined to grab the vast wealth inside Maul and Savage’s cruiser. In the retreat, Maul loses one of his prosthetic legs from the blaster crossfire and the brothers only manage to get their ship in front of their pursuers by Maul throwing Obi Wan’s ship back at them.
However, as wounded brothers attempt to fly off, one of Hondo’s men cripple their ship with a rocket launcher and force them to abandon their ship (and the wealth) and use an escape pod to evade certain death.
Obi Wan returns to the Council to speak to the Chancellor with Yoda, Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker. The Chancellor advises to leave Maul and to continue to focus on the Clone Wars, but Obi Wan has reservations, believing the instability in the galaxy will only aid Maul in gaining new strength in the galaxy’s criminal underworld. An underworld left virtually unchecked by the Jedi who are focused on the war. Yoda advises Obi Wan to put his personal stake aside and wait for Maul to appear again and then they will deal with the problem swiftly.
There is a very odd moment when Chancellor Palpatine’s voice changes during one line, which was added with the new voice character. This was due to the a change in the episode schedule as Revival wasn’t originally planned to be released as the season premiere. So I imagine the voice actor ended their involvement in the series at the end of recording for this season, but other than that, no other major oddities stand out.
This opening episode is very strong and has me wanting more. More from Maul and to see where the brothers will exact their revenge, although there are heavy hints that revenge will be exacted on the planet of Mandalore, where Obi Wan’s self-confessed love is duchess. Will Obi Wan be forced to watch yet someone else be taken from him by the hand of Darth Maul? This series is already full of great potential and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it leads us and who we may be saying goodbye to next.