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.
“Arrogance diminishes wisdom.”
Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate the disappearance of a clone security force stationed on a remote outpost on the desolate ice world of Orto Plutonia, accompanied by Senator Riyo Chuchi and Chairman Chi Cho of the nearby moon of Pantora. When they discover the outpost was attacked by a tribe of fierce warrior natives known as the Talz, an attempt at peaceful negotiations ends in battle.
It doesn’t take a droid fluent in over 6 million forms of communication to know that Chairman Cho does not come in peace. He exudes pomposity, with the swagger of someone far more arrogant than he is wise, a blustering fool who believes himself and his people to be far more important than the natives of Orto Plutonia.
Up against the Talz people in the frozen wasteland, Cho equates fighting and dying with bravery, and he does both with aplomb. But Senator Riyo Chuchi’s actions toward a peaceful resolution, continuing the efforts of the Jedi, are braver still.
Mortally wounded, Cho uses his last moments not to ask for forgiveness or seek a brighter future, but to demand to be avenged in battle. Greedy to the last, Cho believes his life experience and perceived superiority make him the authority over the Talz people. What Chuchi lacks in experience she makes up for in respect, patience, and compassion. As she says, to die for one’s people is a great sacrifice, but to live for one’s people is an even greater one.
Chairman Cho has no respect for the natives. He’s a confrontational provocateur who behaves like a self-important sleemo. The Talz chieftain, Thi-Sen, is prepared to offer peace after a meeting with the Jedi, and Cho throws it away with no thought for diplomacy, no concern for anything more than exerting his power over what he sees as a lesser group of individuals.
Those left in charge don’t always have everyone’s best interests in mind. Cho is blinded by his pride and his inadequacy has started a war he cannot win. He treats Pantora’s senator like she is less than his equal based on her youth and political standing, and he dies still somehow feeling that he’s in the right, despite all evidence to the contrary. So set in his ways, such an immovable object.
Chuchi, in contrast, rises to the occasion. Seeing that Cho is doing more harm than good, she asserts the senate’s power and forges a peaceful resolution. Perhaps most importantly, she recognizes the Talz for what they are — a society in their own right, with their own customs and choices and agency, free and equal but separate from her nearby homeworld and its people. She does not seek dominance over the Talz, and they, in exchange, do not obliterate the survivors of Cho’s war.
Cho called them savages. But who is more savage, the natives with their crude weapons and unrefined ways or the man who believes them to be nothing more than primitive beasts, unworthy of respect or even basic compassion as other living creatures.
- The designs of the cold weather clone armor and the ice planet of Orto Plutonia both draw generously from early The Empire Strikes Back concept art by the likes of Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and John Mollo.
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 Clone Wars Rewatch moves to a new weekly schedule and the Republic discovers a Separatist bio-weapon lab hidden on Naboo in “Blue Shadow Virus.”
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.