Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - 6.01 The Unknown
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 Unknown, which originally aired in the US back in 2014...
After Star Wars: The Clone Wars was abruptly cancelled in 2013, it seemed like it was all over for the beloved animated series. However, at the time of cancellation, production had been completed on 13 episodes of season six and a year after the show was cancelled, Netflix US arranged to air the thirteen completed episodes, which are collectively known as 'The Lost Missions.' (The UK had to wait a little longer, until these episodes were released on DVD / Bluray).
The Unknown is the first episode of season six and is based on an interesting premise. All clone troopers are secretly programmed to execute Order 66, a command that will lead to the destruction of the Jedi Order; what might happen if Order 66 was prematurely triggered in a single clone trooper. That is the basic premise of The Unknown. Clone trooper 'Tup' is unknowingly affected by the secret programming and ends up killing a Jedi while under its influence. The rest of the episode follows the Jedi as they try to figure out what's going on, while Dooku learns of the incident and informs his master about it.
The premise of the episode is interesting because it threatens to expose the Sith plot to destroy the Jedi before the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. However, while this threat to the known continuity makes the story exciting, it's simultaneously it's weak spot as well. We know right away that no matter what happens, the Jedi aren't going to figure out what's going on, and anyone who does likely won't live to tell anyone else about it, or won't be believed. This is the same problem that plagues the episode Nightsisters in season three where Ventress set out to destroy Count Dooku. We knew then that plot wouldn't work either because it would destroy the continuity established in one of the films.
That being said, it is interesting to see Palpatine caught somewhat off guard for once. Almost nothing ruffles the secret Sith Lord, but the possibility that all of this plans could be ruined due to one rogue clone trooper clearly disturbs him. Just for once, it's the Sith who have to scramble, even a little bit, to keep their plans hidden from the Jedi and the Republic. Also, it's interesting for the episode to create the sense that maybe Palpatine's plans weren't as perfectly laid as we were made to believe; they were this close to collapsing at any given time, which made the Sith Lord's gamble for power all the more impressive considering he pulled it off in the end.
The Unknown gets season six off to a good start, and continues the story of the Clone Wars, at least for a little while longer.