The Clone Wars Rewatch: “The Zillo Beast” Awakens

An untested electro proton bomb provokes an ancient threat long thought to be extinct.

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.

29: “The Zillo Beast” (Season Two, Episode 18)

“Choose what is right, not what is easy.”

A scene from "The Zillo Beast."

Synopsis:

On Malastare, Chancellor Palpatine orders troops to drop the Republic’s newest superweapon — an untested electro proton bomb — in the hopes of disabling the Separatist droid army to win a strategic alliance with the Dugs. Instead, the bomb’s blast awakens the ancient Zillo Beast, a monster of legendary size and ferocity.

Analysis:

We have a bad feeling about this.

A scene from "The Zillo Beast."

The Republic’s doomsday bomb obliterated one problem, that being the approaching droid army, but it was replaced by two more, the massive crater that swallowed many clone troopers and the beast the emerged from the depths.

A scene from "The Zillo Beast." A scene from "The Zillo Beast."

Like other radioactive and radically invulnerable monsters that have dominated legendary tales, the Zillo Beast serves as a warning about disrupting the natural order of things. A lightsaber does nothing to penetrate its ancient scales, a startling revelation for Anakin Skywalker. Although the planet’s natural fuel resources are thought deadly to the beast, dousing it seems to only provoke an enraged attack, inspiring the beast to climb out of the crater where it had been cornered.

A scene from "The Zillo Beast."

Mace Windu would see the creature saved, not out of any soft-hearted concern for adorable noodle-armed beasts, but because he’s a man of high morals. “It isn’t the creature, it’s the principle,” he says. “Allowing the Dugs to kill it violates what we stand for as Jedi.”

A scene from "The Zillo Beast." A scene from "The Zillo Beast."

However, defending the creature jeopardizes a valuable political treaty with the Dugs. Ultimately, Palpatine and the Republic instead hatch a scheme to seemingly satisfy both outcomes. The creature is neutralized and removed from the planet, its limp body taken away to be studied, and the Dugs have their freedom from the last of the beasts that once devoured their ancestors.

But how often can you really please two opposing groups? Even if this is your first time watching, you can see where this is going. An incapacitated, indestructible ancient beast transported to the very heart and capital of the galaxy. What could go wrong?

A scene from "The Zillo Beast."

Intel:

  • Supervising director Dave Filoni snuck in quite a few homages to the Godzilla films in this arc, including tiny nods on the helmets of Clone troopers Goji and Rod.

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 Zillo Beast Strikes Back.”

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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