Star Wars: The Clone Wars: “Duel of the Droids” 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 tenth eleventh chronologically, the seventh episode of season one, titled “Duel of the Droids.”

SUMMARY:

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With R2-D2 captured by a pirate, Anakin Skywalker is still on the search for his trusty droid.  R2, meanwhile, is taken to a secret Separatist listening post, where General Grievous awaits to learn of the droid’s information.  R2, however, is able to transmit the coordinates to Skywalker, who decides to act instead of waiting for reinforcements.  Anakin takes Ahsoka, Rex, R3 (R2’s replacement), and some clones and infiltrates the facility, skydiving onto the platform from the ship.  The smuggler discovers that R2 holds every Republic military strategy, which prompts him to demand more money… at which point Grievous kills him.  But as the Separatists work to retrieve this information from R2, they are alerted of the Republic intruders.  Grievous orders his guards to take R2 to a ship, while he goes to meet the Republic forces.

Anakin heads off to find R2, and he does so, destroying the Magnaguards (with some help from R2) and reuniting with his counterpart.  Ahsoka and the clones have meanwhile engaged Grievous, and the droid general wipes out most of the clones.  Ahsoka flees and is pursued by Grievous, and as she’s hiding and escaping she discovers that R3 is actually a Separatist spy working for Grievous.  Anakin and his clones battle in the hangar bay and reunite with Ahsoka as they board the Twilight, but R2 is left behind as he opens the hangar doors.  Anakin takes off in his Jedi Starfighter in pursuit of his droid.

R2 and R3 battle outside the station, and R2 winds up getting the upper hand and sends the traitorous droid falling to his death.  Anakin arrives and picks up R2, and the two of them fly off together as the station explodes.  Obi-Wan disagrees with the actions Anakin took but is happy with the result, and as Ahsoka agrees with Kenobi, Anakin expresses his confidence in his padawan to complete the mission (destroying the Separatist listening post) and says that R2 isn’t just a droid but a friend.

REVIEW:

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I love R2, so I love an episode that allows him to shine.  He helps Anakin take out a Magnaguard, he battles R3, he is a massive help to the Republic forces in destroying the listening post and escaping alive, etc.  R2 is one of the unsung heroes of Star Wars, and we yet again get a chance to see his heroic actions up close in this episode.  So I do very much enjoy getting to see R2 shine.  Additionally, I love seeing the relationship between Anakin and R2 – Anakin engages in some dramatic actions to reunite with R2, and he explains that the reason why is because he’s a friend.  In this two episode arc, R2 gets a chance to really shine and be epic, and he shows that he is able to outsmart enemy forces.

This episode also gave us our first meeting of General Grievous and Ahsoka Tano, and the padawan is clearly outmatched.  At this point (season one of the show), there’s no way that Tano should be able to defeat Grievous, so it’s nice to see her clearly outmatched and have to flee for her life.  It’s also nice that Anakin never meets Grievous, which is something this entire series preserved so as to fit their first meeting aboard the Invisible Hand in Revenge of the Sith.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode more than the previous episode of the arc, but the main thing I enjoyed was simply seeing R2 get the chance to shine.  The episode overall is fine, but it’s great to watch R2 in action.

My grade: 7.5/10

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