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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The Hidden Enemy (The Clone Wars - S01E16) - Television

Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Title: The Hidden Enemy

Season: One

Episode: 16

Chronological Episode: 2

Original Air Date: February 6, 2009

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

Truth enlightens the mind, but won't always bring happiness to your heart.

A planet under siege! Separatist forces mercilessly batter the beautiful and elegant world of Christophsis. Unable to defend themselves any longer, the people of Christophsis call upon the Jedi for assistance. Hoping to save lives and prevent further destruction, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker plan a daring ambush which can turn the tide in the fight for this crucial star system...

Did you notice that Anakin and Obi-Wan’s hair stayed perfectly still while they were riding those speeder bikes? Yeah, I don’t miss the season one animation quality. It’s amazing to see how much the animation quality improved over the run of the series. By the end, The Clone Wars looked more like a $150 million dollar Pixar movie than a “Saturday morning cartoon.” SPOILERS.

   

“The Hidden Enemy” began with a surprise attack on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s forces on Christophis. The brief opening battle on Christophis was among the most entertaining in the early run of the series. What stood out about the ambush to me was how effective the battle droids were. No goofy battle droid humor, which so often plagued early episodes of The Clone Wars. The battle droids killed nearly a dozen clone troopers in this opening sequence. They were the effective killing machines they should be, not the bumbling droids used for slapstick humor they often are. During the battle, a clone trooper ripped the head of a separatist tactical droid in hopes of gaining intel from its memory banks. After examining the tactical droid head and discovering a listening device in the command center, Captain Rex and Commander Cody came to the conclusion that one of their own betrayed them to the Separatists. The idea of a clone trooper betraying the Republic and all of his brothers is an intriguing one. I’m glad this was a storyline the writers decided to tackle, but more on that later. I’m also glad that the focus shifted to Rex and Cody while Anakin and Obi-Wan remained in the background. Not only were Rex and Cody an entertaining duo, but it made the reveal of a clone traitor much more impactful.

   

As Rex and Cody investigated the clone traitor, the Jedi traveled into enemy territory in search of answers. Anakin and Obi-Wan entered the Separatist command center and encountered Asajj Ventress. The lightsaber duel was entertaining and Obi-Wan’s interactions with Ventress are always fun, but this detour seemed unnecessary. It felt like writers were just filling time when they could have further developed the main clone traitor storyline. Meanwhile, Rex and Cody narrowed down the search for the traitor to Sergeant Slick’s unit. Rex and Cody interrogated the soldiers in Slick’s unit and clone trooper Chopper became the prime suspect. Chopper’s illegal collection of battle droid fingers is obviously inspired by the well-known practice of real life soldiers taking trophies of war, but I don’t think it had the impact the writers intended. The interrogation of Slick’s unit eventually lead to the reveal that the traitor was none other than Sergeant Slick. The Slick reveal was ultimately pretty obvious though. Slick escaped custody and destroyed the armory, including all of the Republic’s tanks.

   

After the destruction of the armory, Rex and Cody confronted Slick in the command center. Slick was captured and brought before the Jedi. Slick told them that Ventress offered him more than money, she offered him freedom. He felt that he and his brothers were enslaved by the Republic and the Jedi. His betrayal lead to the death of dozens of his brothers, but Slick believed he was making a sacrifice for their freedom. I like the direction his character went, but I wish Slick’s motivation was developed further. Yes, the writers only had twenty-two minutes to tell this story but I would have gladly given up Anakin and Obi-Wan’s detour into enemy territory to further develop Slick as a character and his motivations. Anchored by a well done opening battle and the intriguing concept of a clone traitor, “The Hidden Enemy” delivered a strong season one entry (this episode originally aired as the sixteenth episode of season one). “Cat and Mouse” and “The Hidden Enemy” are the only episodes that take place before the events of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars theatrical release and both are much better representations of The Clone Wars than the film itself.

What Worked

  • The idea of a Clone Trooper betraying the Republic and his brothers
  • Shifting the focus to Rex and Cody
  • Opening battle on Christophis

What Didn’t Work

  • Even though it was entertaining, the Ventress lightsaber duel seemed unnecessary
  • Slick’s motivations could’ve been developed further
External Links:
Added: October 29, 2016
Category: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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