“Plan of Dissent” began with one of the more hilarious non sequitur morals we’ve seen on Star Wars: The Clone Wars in a while: “The wise man leads, the strong man follows.” I don’t have a problem with the first half of that, but that isn’t enough to satisfy me. I see this moral as half empty rather than half full. How is it a sign of strength to follow? And, for that matter, isn’t the wise man strong because of, you know, his wisdom? Maybe it’s a commentary on brawn vs. brains, that those valued for their muscle are usually ordered into battle by those who won’t risk their own hides. Like General Krell. He leads from the rear. But then that would assume he’s wise. Damn your incongruities, Star Wars philosophy!
I begin with this nitpicking of The Clone Wars’ ouroboros logic because little else disappointed me about “Plan of Dissent,” the third installment of this instant-series-classic Umbaran arc. Okay, so maybe the visuals weren’t as stunning as “Darkness on Umbara” or “The General,” and maybe the plot served mostly to set up the clone vs. Krell showdown of next week’s fourth and final installment, but by any standard it was still a winner.
One of the most exciting things about this arc has been discovering the totally alien technology of the Umbarans. “Plan of Dissent” opened with another such demonstration, with the image of Obi-Wan Kenobi appearing in some kind of liquid hologram that seemed like a morphing effect out of The Abyss. Definitely not something we’re accustomed to seeing in Star Wars. This being me, I had to play this back to get what Obi-Wan was saying because I’m hypnotized by blue, glowy things. Yes, I’m an adult.
When you stop and think about it, isn’t it amazing that Obi-Wan hasn’t caught on to the malevolence of General Krell? Are the Jedi such a cloistered fraternity that Obi-Wan is unable to see that this colleague has completely abandoned the trappings of Jedihood, especially the respect for all living things? But then again, Obi-Wan was clueless that his brother-in-arms Anakin was a budding Sith Lord, so maybe we shouldn’t put much stock in his character assessment ability. Anyway, he commed Krell to let him know that taking the Umbaran capital would be difficult because a Separatist supply ship positioned itself right over the city to restock the insurgents. So much for taking that airbase last week.
NEXT: Send in the Clones…to destroy the supply ship.