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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Shadow of Malevolence (The Clone Wars - S01E03) - Television

Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Title: Shadow of Malevolence

Season: One

Episode: 3

Chronological Episode: 8

Original Air Date: October 10, 2008

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by themselves.

A deadly weapon, unleashed! The Separatist battleship ''Malevolence'' advances unopposed through Republic space, tearing apart any ship that stands in its path. After a daring rescue and narrow escape, Anakin Skywalker prepares a counterattack on the enemy ship and its diabolical droid commander, General Grievous....

Grievous. Those battle droids are expensive. SPOILERS.

After barely escaping the Malevolence in the previous episode, Anakin developed a plan to put an end to the ship’s reign of terror. His plan was to lead a squadron of Y-Wing bombers in an attack on the Malevolence’s control bridge in hopes of crippling the ship and taking out General Grievous. Meanwhile General Grievous received his new target, a Republic medical facility housing thousands of injured clones. I appreciate that the series isn’t pulling any punches with the ruthless nature of Grievous and the Separatists. While Grievous can sometimes come off as a mustache twirling villain and the battle droids continue to be relegated to sources of lazy humor, going after a medical facility and the takedown of the medical transports in the beginning of the episode demonstrate a commitment by the writers to show the ugly side of war. Speaking of the battle droids, while they are still used for cringe-worthy humor I always get a kick out of Grievous’ disdain for them. It’s clear that Grievous is frustrated by their incompetence and his casual destruction of them is just about the only time I’ve actually laughed at something involving the battle droids.

   

Concerned with the bold nature of Skywalker’s plan, Plo Koon joined the assault team. In hopes of beating the Malevolence to the medical facility, Anakin decided to take the assault team on a dangerous shortcut through a nebula. The journey through the nebula proved to be even more dangerous than anticipated as it was home to a group of Neebray mantas. Skywalker led the assault team through the cluster of mantas, but several ships were damaged. While it didn’t add much to the episode, the trip through the nebula provided some fun visuals and provided an opportunity for Ahsoka to deliver some annoying dialogue. I mentioned in my review of the first part of this arc, but they haven’t found the right balance with Ahsoka at this stage in the series. Now out of the nebula, the assault team finally encountered the Malevolence. The whole episode was essentially built around the Y-Wing assault on the Malevolence and it proved to be the highlight of the episode. It was a blast to see the Y-Wings in action. The assault on the Malevolence was well directed and provided some of the more impressive visuals from the early Clone Wars episodes. Too many ships had been lost to assault the bridge and Anakin had to set his ego aside to complete the mission. Instead of going after Grievous, the remaining Y-Wing bombers destroyed the Malevolence’s ion cannon. With the Malevolence in full retreat, Obi-Wan’s cruisers arrived to pursue the crippled ship.

   

Perhaps my biggest problem with this episode is that it felt like the writers had to stretch a rather thin story into a twenty-three minute episode. This episode definitely felt like a middle chapter that was just filling time before the conclusion. The need to just fill time can be seen in the sheer amount of the cuts between the assault team, Grievous and the Malevolence, the medical facility, and Obi-Wan’s ship. While all these elements were important parts of the episode (well maybe not Obi-Wan), several scenes came off as a repetitive and unnecessary. In addition, the way the episode cut from one group to another was choppy at times. “Shadow of Malevolence” demonstrates that The Clone Wars was still finding its footing in these early episodes, but still managed to deliver a fun adventure in a galaxy far, far away.

What Worked

  • Y-Wing assault on the Malevolence
  • Continued to show the ruthless nature of Grievous and the Separatists
  • Impressive visuals for an early episode

What Didn’t Work

  • Some unnecessary and repetitive scenes
  • Thin plot that had to be stretched to fill time
External Links:
Added: December 11, 2016
Category: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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