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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Jedi Crash (The Clone Wars - S01E13) - Television

Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Title: Jedi Crash

Season: One

Episode: 13

Chronological Episode: 18

Original Air Date: January 16, 2009

Runtime: 22 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Mike Taber; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Greed and fear of loss are the roots that lead to the tree of evil.

The Republic fleet is on the defensive and pushed to the brink! As war rages in the much contested Outer Rim Territories, chaos and fear mount as the Separatist army wages an epic battle against heavily outnumbered Republic ships in the far reaches of the Quell system. Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan Ahsoka race across the galaxy to aid Jedi Knight Aayla Secura who is in the midst of a fight for her life as the sinister droid army closes in....

The first season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is generally regarded as the show’s weakest season, but I don't think that is entirely fair. It has some misses and the growing pains are clear, but that is true of almost every show in its first season. It might be the weakest overall season, but it contains some of the series best episodes (Rookies, Cloak of Darkness, Trespass, Innocents of Ryloth) and underrated episodes like “Jedi Crash.” Some episodes of The Clone Wars have kept fans talking in the years since the series ended, but I don't think “Jedi Crash” is one of those episodes. It seems to be a somewhat forgotten mid-season one episode, but you should watch it again. You might not remember how enjoyable it is. “Jedi Crash” may not be a groundbreaking episode, but it contains some stunning sequences, introduces the charming team of Aayla Secura and Ahsoka, and asks a fundamental question about the Jedi and their role in the galaxy. The episode began with Anakin and Ahsoka racing to save a vastly outnumbered Aayla Secura from a fleet of Separatist warships. The battle in the upper atmosphere of the Quell system was a pretty stunning sequence, and it remains one of the series’ most impressive battle scenes. It was a feast for the eyes. We haven't seen very many in-atmosphere battles so it was a nice change of pace. The fiery carcasses of the Republic cruisers descending into the angelic blue skies and white clouds of the Quell system was a striking and beautiful image. The sight of hundreds of flying Super Battle Droids descending onto the Republic cruisers was another memorable image and it added a new capability to the droid armies.The battle also introduced the Separatist tactical droid, a droid that is actually competent and a welcome addition to Star Wars canon. This opening battle is also noteworthy because it was a  Separatist victory. The Clone Wars did a pretty good job of ensuring both sides won at a fairly even ratio.  During the escape from Secura’s doomed cruiser, Anakin was severely injured. It may sound cruel, but severely injuring Anakin was a pleasant surprise. I think it is important to demonstrate that even though Anakin is the Chosen One, he is not indestructible. He can fail and falter and that's what makes him an actual character and not a superhero. In addition, Anakin’s injury allowed other characters (Aayla and Ahsoka) to take the spotlight.

   

Aayla, Ahsoka, Rex, Commander Bly, and the injured Anakin narrowly escaped the droid forces but their ship was damaged and they couldn't stop it from jumping into hyperspace. Did anyone else catch that Anakin’s breathing in the medical bay sounded a lot like Darth Vader? That was a nice touch. Unfortunately, the hyperspace jump had the ship heading directly for a star. They had to shut down the ship’s power to pull themselves out of hyperspace and narrowly avoid the star. Obviously, a ship carrying three characters we see in Revenge of the Sith wasn’t going to fly into a star, but it was still a pretty thrilling sequence that managed to create tension even though we knew the characters would survive. Although they avoided the star, the ship crashed on a nearby planet. Realizing that Anakin didn't have much time, Aayla decided they had to go out and for search for the local population in hopes that they had medical supplies or could heal him. Rex stayed behind with Anakin while the others went in search of help. Although he wasn't the focus, this episode was a pretty good spotlight for Rex. He had a few nice bonding moments with Ahsoka and his own subplot in which he had to defend Anakin and fight off the attacking local creatures. Ahsoka was reluctant to leave Anakin, but Aayla convinced her that she shouldn't let her attachment get in the way of the greater good. I think the relationship between Ahsoka and Aayla was my favorite part of the episode. Their conversation about attachment was an honest and realistic look at the role of attachment within the Jedi Order and the growing pains all Padawans experience. Ahsoka expressed one of the inherent contradictions of the Jedi philosophy when she said, “It’s forbidden for Jedi to form attachments, yet we are supposed to be compassionate.” Instead of scolding Ahsoka, Aayla admitted that she struggled with that same contradiction and letting go of her own master. I don't think it is ever mentioned in the series, but Quinlan Vos was Aayla’s master. I think you can draw comparisons between Anakin and Ahsoka and Quinlan and Aayla so it makes sense that the two Padawans would bond. You can even see the similarities between Aayla and Anakin in this episode when she tells Yularen that only the good Jedi are reckless. The bond between Aayla and Ahsoka worked so well because it came from an honest and genuine place. Their relationship had a big sister, little sister feel to it. It was a refreshing new relationship and Ahsoka’s time with Ayala helped her grow as a character. She helped Ahsoka learn to let go in a way that Anakin would never learn himself. It’s disappointing that the series never revisited the bond between Ahsoka and Aayla though.

   

Aayla, Ahsoka, and Bly finally found the local population, the Lurmen. The Lurmen were staunch pacifists who settled this deserted world to escape the war. The leader of the Lurmen immediately challenged Aayla’s claim that the Jedi were peacekeepers. It was a little on the nose at times (which becomes more of an issue in the next episode), but it think it's interesting and necessary to challenge the Jedi’s claim that they are peacekeepers. The very tenets of the Jedi philosophy are in conflict with their role as generals leading a war. They may be trying to keep the peace, but when are their ideals and core beliefs lost in the brutality and day to day life of the war? I don't think the Lurmen are the best choice to make this challenge, but it is at the very least an interesting concept that is worth exploring. My least favorite aspect of this episode was the Lurmen. Their pacifist ideals and challenge of the Jedi claim to being peacekeepers were interesting but they weren't very subtle are complex. The bigger issue though is the actual design of the species. They're essentially space lemurs with horrible Irish accents who roll up into balls to get around. It’s far from the best design. The Clone Wars did a great job of expanding the galaxy with new aliens and characters, but the Lurmen were a swing and a miss for me. The leader of the Lurmen reluctantly agreed to help heal Anakin. Ahsoka arrived just in time to help Anakin, who along with Rex was fighting off the deadly creatures that inhabit the planet’s grasslands. The episode ended with a nice moment between Aayla and Ahsoka that brought their relationship and Ahsoka’s development in this episode full circle. Although it wasn't perfect, “Jedi Crash” is an underrated hidden gem from season one of The Clone Wars.

   

What Worked

  • The team of Aayla and Ahsoka
  • The opening battle and jump to hyperspace
  • An injured Anakin Challenging the Jedi’s role as peacekeepers

What Didn’t Work

  • The Lurmen
External Links:
Added: November 8, 2017
Category: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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