Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Clone Wars -- "Overlords" (Ep. 3.15)

-- Balance is found in the one who faces his guilt.

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Other than that the Force exists, Star Wars doesn't often stray into the realm of metaphysics, even when dealing with Jedi training. There are moments, as with Yoda's speech in The Empire Strikes Back:
For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here. Between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere! Yes, even between the land and the ship.
Then Yoda lifts Luke's x-wing out of the swamp to prove his point. But, on the whole, the show tends to take a much more Han Solo view of the Force.

"Overlords," though, firmly steps into the realm of metaphysics and deals very directly with aspects of the Force that we've never seen before. And, other than this story arc, may never see again. Considering that The Clone Wars is canon, it makes me wonder how the events here relate to what's going on in The Force Awakens, because it almost has to relate. [Except for the fact that Abrams probably didn't see these episodes or do any research into what he was talking about or what he meant when Snoke said, "There has been an awakening in the Force." We just have to hope that other people who know more about what's going on were paying attention and keeping things on track.]

This episode also directly addresses what it means that Anakin is "the chosen one." Hopefully, without giving anything away, or at least too much away, the idea here deals with potential. Not only must Anakin have the potential to be the chosen one, but he has to choose it. So many stories deal with this idea in terms of absolutes. "You are the chosen one, so are the chose one. It is your destiny, your fate, and there is nothing you can do about it." I like very much the idea that Anakin must make a choice to be "the chosen one."

More than any other story arc in The Clone Wars, I think this one is a must see. Whether you enjoy the story or not, if you're a fan of Star Wars, this is essential viewing.
Personally, this is my favorite arc from the whole series. I wish they had delved more into this story and these characters.


  1. There is so much to like about this story. As I wrote in my post, I feel it is the essential moral dilemma of the franchise played out in miniature.

    Darth Vader is one of the greatest villains in the history of cinema. One can look upon the prequels as simply his origin story. There is a heavy Greek tragedy flavor with the making of prophecy followed by the disastrous and perhaps inevitable fulfillment of prophecy. In Revenge of the Sith - easily lapping the field as best of the trilogy - one can see Anakin as being the victim of manipulation. But there are moments of choice. There are sacrifices and compromises he could have made. In his own confrontation with the emperor, Luke makes them.

    This story arc extracts the dilemma from the narrative context for isolated examination, the sort of high concept opportunity available to a TV series whereas there wouldn't be enough time in the films. I agree with your assessment: this would be essential viewing for the initiate.

    1. TAS: There are choices, and, at any moment, Anakin could make other, different choices. Like, he -chose- to exterminate the Tuskan Raiders who kidnapped his mother, which was part of a larger manipulation, but he could have made a different choice, a choice to not give in to his anger. Anakin almost always makes the selfish choice. [You can look again at the difference in choices he and Obi-Wan made in connection to the women they loved.]