The Clone Wars Rewatch: The Legacy and “Carnage of Krell”

“You have to learn to make your own decisions.”

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

76: “Carnage of Krell” (Season Four, Episode 19)

“Our actions define our legacy.”

A scene from "Carnage of Krell."

Synopsis:

With two of his men facing execution for disobeying orders, Captain Rex must confront his overly aggressive commander, General Krell. Risking charges of mutiny, Rex must make a dark choice as the true face of the enemy emerges.

Analysis:

Like Count Dooku before him, and Anakin Skywalker in the near future, Pong Krell is a Jedi who has lost his way.

A new power is rising in the galaxy, and Krell intends to be on the winning side no matter the cost. Loyal only to himself, leading the clones to slaughter will hasten his plan to hand the Separatists a victory and curry favor with Dooku to become a Sith apprentice.

A scene from "Carnage of Krell."

But Krell’s corruption is only able to succeed on the backs of a legion of obedient clones, pawns in his game who he expects will blindly follow his orders and march toward death. And with an army of clones just like Dogma, Krell’s plan may have reached fruition.

A scene from "Carnage of Krell."

Aptly named for his fervent belief in protocol and unwavering loyalty to the Galactic Republic, Dogma is prepared to betray his brothers when they fail to follow orders, and blindly agree to an execution in lieu of an actual trial. Fortunately, despite being literal clones, the rest of the troopers don’t adhere to Dogma’s ideals. And even Dogma eventually redeems himself, delivering the fatal blaster shot to Krell’s turned back when Rex can’t quite bring himself to pull the trigger.

A scene from "Carnage of Krell."

It’s arguable that Krell was indeed too dangerous to be kept alive; the clones may follow the Jedi into battle but they don’t uphold the Jedi code. And for Dogma, being betrayed by his leader was too much to bear.

A scene from "Carnage of Krell."

As Captain Rex says, “You have to learn to make your own decisions.” When those in power are making a mistake, they need to be called out, not obeyed without question. And Krell, in the eyes of anyone who regards the clones as more than expendable creatures created to be dispatched to battle and disposed of by blaster, is making a mistake by turning brother against brother. After sowing seeds of discord, the final part to his nefarious plot is to lie to both sides and have the clones kill each other under the guise of fighting Umbarans in stolen armor. The revelation of this particular part of his treachery is like a gut punch.

A scene from "Carnage of Krell." A scene from "Carnage of Krell."

The senselessness of the battle, and the encroaching evil taking hold to turn brother against brother, leaves the survivors wondering: what’s the point? And when the war is won, what’s to become of the soldiers quite literally born to fight?

Intel:

  • Although the double-bladed lightsaber has been carried by others including Darth Maul, Pong Krell is the first Jedi to have a hinged double-ended lightsaber.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when the Jedi must go toe-to-toe with Zygerrian slavers in “Kidnapped.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

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