Star Wars: The Clone Wars: “Rising Malevolence” review

With excitement building over the coming release of a seventh season of The Clone Wars in 2019, we’re taking a look back at each episode of the first six seasons – doing so in chronological order.  Today, we’re looking at the sixth episode chronologically, the second episode of season one, titled “Rising Malevolence.”

SUMMARY:

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Plo Koon is in search of a new Separatist mystery weapon, one that has destroyed fleets and left no survivors.  They find it in the Abregado System, a massive ship with an ion canon capable of wiping out all systems of a fleet.  On board this ship, the Malevolence, General Grievous and Count Dooku order it to fire upon Koon’s ship, rendering it useless.  Koon orders his men into escape pods right before the ship is destroyed.  That leaves the survivors floating in the pods in space, hoping desperately to be rescued but knowing it’s unlikely.  Meanwhile, the Jedi Council knows of Koon’s discovery but presumes him dead, though Ahsoka Tano refuses to believe it.  She wants to go save him, but the Council and Anakin make it clear that they must stick to their own mission.  After the meeting, however, Anakin sends his fleet with Admiral Yularen on the mission while taking a small ship with Ahsoka and R2 and going to search for survivors in the Abregado System.  They pick up a weak signal, but can’t seem to find anyone.

Plo Koon and three clone troopers, including Commander Wolffe, watch from their escape pod as they find one with dead clones – leading Koon to remark that, “we’re not alone out here.”  They pick up a distress signal from another pod, but by the time they get there they see the droids open up the pod to send the clones to their deaths in space.  The droids then notice Koon’s pod, and the Jedi General tells his clones that it’s time to leave.  The droids prepare to crush this escape pod like the others, but are surprised when Plo Koon and two clone troopers appear outside the pod and begin fighting.  The other clone is inside the pod, trying to keep the signal alive for Ahsoka.  They repel the droids, but that alerts the Malevolence that some survivors are putting up a fight.  Having found nothing, Anakin prepares to return to his fleet at the Chancellor’s urging, but Ahsoka senses Plo Koon and grabs the controls, leading them to the survivors.  They bring Koon and his men on board, but they soon see the Malevolence.  They shut down all energy sources, but forget about the medical droid.  Having thus been discovered, Skywalker narrowly escapes the debris field and into hyperspace before the Malevolence can render their ship powerless.

REVIEW:

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Plo Koon is awesome, and so an episode focusing on him is very welcome.  It’s not the most exciting episode there is, as much of it is spent with Koon and his men in an escape pod waiting to be rescued, but even through that it presents the opportunity for Koon to remind his men that they aren’t just numbers to him.  They matter.

The best part of the episode is probably the fight outside the escape pod, as it’s great to have a fight take place in space – and it allows Plo Koon to use the Force to turn the tide of the encounter.  He sends one of the clones flying through space with the Force, allowing the clone to get behind the droids and wipe them out.  Koon then slices the legs of the droid transport with his lightsaber, freeing their escape pod.  It’s a pretty cool sequence.

I also like that this episode gave a bit of backstory to Ahsoka too, as we learn that it was Plo Koon who first discovered her and brought her to the Jedi Temple.  That’s why she is so reluctant to simply let Plo die, and it gives her another relationship within the Jedi Order besides just Anakin and Obi-Wan.

Overall, this episode stands alone fine, but the story of the Malevolence continues in the next two episodes.

My grade: 7.8/10

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