Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - 5.16 The Lawless
Eleven 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 a look at The Lawless, which originally aired back in 2013...
The Lawless is an important episode in season five of The Clone Wars because it brings several plot arcs to a resolution. It closes out the story of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars era, the story of Death Watch's plot against Mandalore, and it also brings the storyline between Obi-Wan and Duchess Satine of Mandalore to an end.
If I had to pick the moral for this episode, it would be that every action, no matter how right you think it is, or how much it seems to benefit you, has consequences. And sometimes those consequences can be severe. Pre Viszla allied with Maul to take over Mandalore and now Viszla is dead (killed by Maul in the previous episode). Obi-Wan goes to rescue Satine but ends up losing her anyway. And Maul himself invokes the wrath of Darth Sidious by taking over Mandalore and potentially wrecking his well-laid plans to found the Empire. The key thing to note with these examples is, while Viszla and Obi-Wan were aware of the possible consequences of their actions and accepted them, Maul is not.
This has always been Maul's fatal flaw, his inability to see or accept the consequences of his actions. That's what nearly got him killed on Naboo all those years ago, and that's why he perfectly set himself up for a fight with his former master that costs him everything he's built over the last few episodes. Maul either couldn't comprehend or did not care that his actions would set himself up as a potential rival to Sidious. Perhaps he thought his former master would be too busy to notice. In either case, he was not prepared to take on the Sith Lord, who sneaks into Mandalore to teach his former apprentice a lesson he'll not soon forget.
This episode also emphasizes, once again, one of the key differences between Obi-Wan and Anakin. If you ever doubted before, this episode proves that Obi-Wan loved Satine, just as much as Anakin loves Padme. However, even though he loses the only woman he's ever loved, Obi-Wan doesn't let himself be pulled to the Dark Side, he's able to let Satine go. Anakin, as we all know, doesn't have that self-control.
The Lawless wasn't meant to be the end of Darth Maul, since the episode ends with Maul's fate unresolved. Originally, Maul's story was going to continue in future seasons, culminating in his appearance in the Battle of Mandalore (an event foreshadowed at the end of the episode when Obi-Wan is instructed to tell the Republic about what's happening on Mandalore). Thankfully, this conclusion will finally be seen later this year when The Clone Wars returns for a final season.
The Lawless one of the best episodes of season five because it effectively brings several active storylines to a close, as well as ending with one of the best lightsaber battles the series ever produced. The episode showed how much was at stake by having Darth Sidious come to personally deal with the situation, something that had never happened before. This was absolutely a must-see episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.