The Clone Wars Rewatch: The Price of “Liberty on Ryloth”

Cham Syndulla must make a difficult choice to ensure the safety of his people.

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.

24: “Liberty on Ryloth” (Season One, Episode 21)

“Compromise is a virtue to be cultivated, not a weakness to be despised.”

A scene from "Liberty on Ryloth."

Synopsis:

The battle for the Twi’lek homeworld of Ryloth rages as the Republic attempts to drive off the occupying droid army led by Separatist Leader, Wat Tambor. With his forces stretched thin, Mace Windu must convince Twi’lek freedom fighter, General Cham Syndulla, to help him save the capital city.

A scene from "Liberty on Ryloth."

Analysis:

Cham Syndulla has every reason not to trust the Jedi, so-called peacekeepers, who have brought destruction and suffering to his planet with their costly war against the Separatists. Or perhaps, it’s the Separatists who have brought havoc to Ryloth, from a certain point of view.

No matter who’s to blame, his people have been caught in the crossfire and made to suffer. They’ve been used as living shields and left starving, their villages targeted and bombed in the night.

A scene from "Liberty on Ryloth."

He doesn’t trust the Republic to act as their saviors. “Another armed occupation is not a free Ryloth,” he says ominously. “How long before I am fighting you, Master Jedi?”

But ultimately he has little recourse; he must choose a side and he chooses the lesser of two evils.

He and Senator Orn Free Taa, old political rivals, come to an understanding, a compromise that at least in words promises a future Ryloth free of clones and droid troops. And the Jedi and the Republic get the boots on the ground that they need to win this battle.

Intel:

  • Cham Syndulla was originally envisioned as a devious character, working with the Separatists and lying to keep his people under occupation for his own personal benefit. Ultimately he was recast as the freedom fighter we now know.

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 Cad Bane infiltrates the Jedi Temple in “Holocron Heist.”

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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