The Clone Wars Rewatch: “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back”

Did you ever hear the tragedy of the Zillo Beast?

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.

30: “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back” (Season Two, Episode 19)

“The most dangerous beast is the beast within.”

Synopsis:

The Zillo Beast arrives on Coruscant and Chancellor Palpatine orders Dr. Sionver Boll to study and then kill the creature. Instead, the Zillo Beast escapes from the lab with devastating consequences for the city and its inhabitants.

Analysis:

In the shadow of the rampaging Zillo Beast, Chancellor Palpatine looks genuinely frightened, scrutinized by the glowing green glare of the animal he ordered sacrificed for his own gain.

A scene from "the Zillo Beast Strikes Back."

Every time I watch this episode, I feel worse and worse for the poor creature. Its quiet existence below ground disturbed by war, chained up and taken from its home planet against its will for cruel scientific testing, and ultimately killed in the defense of the millions of residents of Coruscant as it waged a terrified rampage against the one man who sought to harness its powers for himself.

A scene from "the Zillo Beast Strikes Back."

Padmé, true to form, sees the humanitarian plight in the midst of the chaos, showing a deeply empathetic view of the poor creature and offering to help stand up for the Zillo, which has no voice and has had no choice in the matter.

A scene from "the Zillo Beast Strikes Back."

But Palpatine thinks of the Zillo as “just an animal,” a scornful comment suggesting that this mammoth, invulnerable beast is somehow lesser than he. By performing experiments on the creature, Palpatine hopes for knowledge to lead him one step closer to the thing he craves most in life — unlimited power.

A scene from "the Zillo Beast Strikes Back."

Animals are intuitive, and from the start the Zillo Beast has a clear dislike for the chancellor. Perhaps the beast sees through Palpatine’s facade, divining his cruel intentions and evil machinations long before even the Jedi can suspect his double life as a Sith Lord. Sadly, in trying to escape, the Republic is forced to act on Palpatine’s wishes to exterminate the last of its kind in defense of the millions of innocent lives caught in its (unintentionally) destructive path.

A scene from "the Zillo Beast Strikes Back."

Technology cannot contain it, but poison can annihilate it. Still, the ever-calculating Palpatine has plans to bring the suddenly extinct species back to life through cloning experimentation.

Intel:

  • A billboard of Palpatine is repeating the same holographic address broadcast in another episode – “Lightsaber Lost.”

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 Padmé takes the lead on a mission to investigate her former flame Senator Rush Clovis in “Senate Spy.”

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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