The Clone Wars Rewatch: The Shroud of the Dark Side and the “Cloak of Darkness”

Neither enemies nor allies are exactly what they seem and Ahsoka must trust her instincts.

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.

13: “Cloak of Darkness” (Season One, Episode 9)

“Ignore your instincts at your peril.”

Master Luminara as seen in "Cloak of Darkness."

Synopsis:

While Jedi Master Luminara and Ahsoka escort their captive Nute Gunray to Coruscant to stand trial for his crimes, their mission is interrupted by a Separatist intervention to take back the prisoner.

Captain Argyus as seen in "Cloak of Darkness."

Analysis:

As Captain Argyus says, “Sometimes being a good soldier means doing what you think is right.”

Ahsoka threatens Gunray as seen in "Cloak of Darkness."

The Jedi follow a strict code of rules, and Ahsoka is in danger of violating quite a few of the tenets judging by her interrogation of Nute Gunray. She is quick to anger and overconfident, smugly taunting Gunray and threatening him with the blade of her lightsaber.

In her mind, perhaps she’s just practicing aggressive negotiations. If she gets the information the Republic is seeking, does it really matter what tactics she employs as long as no one really gets hurt?

Master Luminara as seen in "Cloak of Darkness."

Jedi Master Luminara would probably argue that it does. By contrast, Luminara is calm and measured, using the Force as her guide and admonishing that “terror is not a weapon the Jedi use.”

But both Master and Padawan are on the cusp of learning that not everything is as it seems.

When Ahsoka disobeys a direct order from Luminara, she’s taking a great risk. Having already been admonished once on the mission, her recklessness could land her in serious trouble. But the alternative is ignoring what she believes and leaving Luminara at risk.

Ventress battles Luminara as seen in "Cloak of Darkness."

Ahsoka listens to her gut instinct, her intuition that Ventress — the hairless harpy — is no typical assassin, and ends up saving Luminara’s life in the process. And though Ahsoka may not need saving, she certainly needs the help of the more skillful Jedi to hold her own in the fray.

There are two takeaways here, both of vital importance.

We all have something to learn from one another. Even a Jedi Master like Luminara is not infallible. She may be wise in the ways of the Force and the Jedi code, but by underestimating Ventress, she almost meets her end and she is smart enough to express her humility and gratitude to Ahsoka for coming to her aid.

Ventress kills Captain Argyus as seen in "Cloak of Darkness."

And one cannot put too much stock in appearances or the rules. It’s comforting to think that Captain Argyus is a dedicated protector of the Republic simply by the armor he wears and his dashing good looks. (I mean, come on, he looks like he just walked off a Republic propaganda poster.) And he seems to sneer with contempt at the traitor Gunray. But he can be bought and unfortunately for him, he puts his faith in the wrong side, or at least the side that would sooner impale him with a lightsaber than pay him any credits.

He fights only for his own life and, in turn, it is worth nothing.

Intel:

  • If the boarding craft look familiar, it’s because the ships utilize the same basic design previously built for the podhunters in “Rising Malevolence” and the dropships in “Rookies.” The design was also inspired by a basic appliance you might find in your kitchen — the humble juicer.

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

Next up: Come back Tuesday when Jedi Master Kit Fisto pays a visit to the “Lair of Grievous.”

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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