The Clone Wars Rewatch: “The Mandalore Plot”

The Duchess Satine faces the harsh reality of war.

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.

39: “The Mandalore Plot” (Season Two, Episode 12)

“If you ignore the past, you jeopardize your future.”

Synopsis:

Alarming rumors about the peace-abiding Duchess Satine of Mandalore prompt Obi-Wan to investigate the secluded planet. Satine wants to keep Mandalore neutral in the Clone Wars, but the actions of a violent splinter group — Death Watch — threaten to push the planet towards war.

Analysis:

A Jedi is forbidden from becoming too attached, but there’s clearly some kind of history between Duchess Satine and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The exact nature of it remains unclear, but their relationship now is strained by competing ideals and beliefs.

Satine is insistent on keeping Mandalore out of the conflict and remaining neutral. As a sworn keeper of the peace, shouldn’t Obi-Wan understand this commitment to impartiality to keep her people safe from the ravages of war?

But Obi-Wan knows that the time to be indifferent and stay out of the battle has passed the Republic by. He doesn’t have to agree with the war or the politics of the bloody confrontation to understand its necessity. Refusing to fight would essentially invite a Separatist victory.

On Mandalore, we see a microcosm of this greater conflict. The Duchess hopes to maintain the peace, but Death Watch, a small sect of extremists on the moon of Concordia, wants to return Mandalore to the ways of their warrior ancestors. To make their point, the renegades release an explosive device at a memorial shrine and show they are willing to die rather than undergo questioning. There can be no reasoning with that mindset.

Meanwhile, there’s a rumor that Satine is leading her people into an alliance with the Separatists, when the truth is that the Separatists are backing Death Watch and their secret leader Pre Vizsla, armed with the legendary darksaber.

Over the course of the mission, Satine and Obi-Wan challenge each other and prove to be stronger working together. Satine saves the Jedi’s life when his recon mission goes awry, and he returns the favor in kind, leaping to safety with Satine when an explosive device whizzes above their heads.

Their banter also shows a more vulnerable side to Obi-Wan, one he works hard to keep hidden. When Satine admonishes him to be patient, we see that the young Jedi Knight is still struggling with the ways of the order. Ironically, she uses the same directive Obi-Wan will utter so far in the future to young Luke Skywalker.

Intel:

  • The cubist-style painting in Pre Vizsla‘s meeting room is an homage to “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.

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 Duchess Satine heads to Coruscant on a diplomatic mission in “The Voyage of Temptation.”

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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