Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - 2.02 Cargo of Doom

Ten years ago, George Lucas and Dave Filoni introduced the world to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series that filled in the gap between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The story takes place during the Clone Wars, with the Jedi-led clone army facing off against the droid armies of the Separatist Alliance. With the announcement of a surprise seventh season by Disney, The Digital Fix will be revisiting the animated series, looking back at the most important episodes and story arcs of the show’s five seasons, highlighting the elements that made this show so beloved by Star Wars fans.

We return with the episode Cargo of Doom, which originally aired back in 2009...

Continuing the story begun in Holocron Heist, the episode follows Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano as they pursue bounty hunter Cad Bane, who has stolen a vital holocron from the Jedi Temple. What makes this device so important is that if it's combined with a specific memory crystal, one can see a list of every Force-sensitive child in the galaxy, along with their location. It's why Darth Sidious wants it so badly; he wants to kidnap potential Jedi for his own nefarious experiments. Interestingly, the plot of rescuing Force-sensitive children from the Sith is revisited in the second season of Star Wars: Rebels (The Future of the Force).

While only the second episode of the second season, Cargo of Doom is one of the first episodes to give an idea of how dark the show will become in the future. Characters have died before now (season one's The Gungan General for example), but none before now, to my knowledge, meet a fate quite so gruesome as Jedi Master Bolla Ropal. As the guardian of the memory crystal (and a skilled Jedi), Cad Bane puts the Jedi through severe torture to force him to open the holocron (which can only be done by a skilled Jedi). Predictably, Ropal refuses to cooperate, so Bane increases the amount of torture.

It's an excruciating scene to watch as it is made very clear that Ropal is in an extreme amount of pain. And just when you think it can't get any worse...he dies. This is one of those defining moments where you realize the good guys might not be rescued in time, defying classic story tropes.

Ultimately, Anakin is forced to open the holocron in a very cool visual sequence by using the Force to rearrange the device in such a way that the crystal is able to be inserted. Bane is still able to escape for the moment by disguising himself with clone trooper armor.

Cargo of Doom is a good middle episode in the story arc. It continues the action but also contains a fair amount of intrigue, a notable example being how Bane manipulates Anakin into opening the holocron by threatening to kill Ahsoka, thus playing on Anakin's fears of losing those he cares about. The story of the holocron would be concluded in the following episode, Children of the Force.

Star Wars

Star Wars is a science fiction film series created by George Lucas. It debuted in 1977 and the first film was quickly retitled to Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. It was followed by two sequels - The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. A trilogy of prequel films were launched in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In 2015 Star Wars returned to the screens for a new trilogy under the control of Disney with The Force Awakens directed by J J Abrams. This was follows in the main Star Wars saga by Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi with the final film of the sequel trilogy, Episode IX, due in cinemas in December 2019 with J J Abrams back at the helm,A series of spin-offs were launched in 2016 with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One, which was followed in 2018 by Ron Howard's Solo and a fourth trilogy of films has been announced for release after 2020 which will be overseen by Rian Johnson which will feature entirely new characters and an entirely separate story.In addition, there are the animated TV series The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels along with Star Wars Resistance which starts in late 2018 and finally a new live action series currently being developed by Jon Favreau set some time after the events of Return of the Jedi.

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