Thursday, February 17, 2011

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - ''Ghosts of Mortis''

Spoiler Level: Atomic

Welllll, now...

This is an interesting way of having your cake and eating it too.

"Always in motion, the future is."  And while this episode shows us --and Anakin-- the future that we already know lies ahead for him, it also says this future is not set in stone.  Which I'm glad about; I understand the temptation (no pun intended) to play with the fact that we know what Anakin will become, but as I've said before, from Anakin's point in time, that's the future, and that future must have alternate outcomes based on Anakin's choices.  Anakin's story is a tragedy tale, and in any well-written tragedy story, the hero who is about to fall must have several chances to turn back. 

But part of the tragedy is that the character flaw that leads to his final downfall also leads to his not taking those chances.  Just as Anakin's fear of losing Padmé leads to his final fall to the dark side, his fear of that fall leads him to side with The Son here.  In his desperation to not become Darth Vader and do the terrible things Vader does, he's willing to do anything.  But it's a very twisted, distorted logic; by joining The Son he may be changing his future, but umm, you've still got those Sith eyes goin' on there, Anakin.  Perhaps he hopes that by uniting with The Son he can do things differently; yet he seems ready to go to battle with Obi-Wan and the entire Jedi Order if it's necessary. 

From that moment on, as a viewer we realize a reset button is going to have to be pushed at some point here.  This is just too much for Anakin to be aware of before Revenge of the Sith.  And although The Father wipes the information from him, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka still have all of their memories of the entire incident, including how Anakin turned on Obi-Wan.  And while I'm sure Obi-Wan's willing to chalk that up to the strong influence of The Son and Mortis, you'd think that the fact that he now knows Anakin could be turned would make him a little more wary.  In that sense, I feel this episode may have taken it too far.

While The Father is very specific that Anakin is in fact the Chosen One and will bring Balance to the Force, he isn't really clear on whether Anakin's falling to the dark side is a necessary part of that path.  The Father says "You have brought balance to this world.  Stay on this path, and you will do it again for the galaxy."  Now this can be taken in two different ways; he's destroyed The Son as a Jedi, and if he stays strong he can do the same to the Sith;  or that just as he fell to the dark side here, he must become a Sith to destroy them.  The Father's final words, "But beware your heart," seems to imply the former, but you can't really escape the obvious parallels of the latter.  So that part of the Prophecy remains vague; but then again, prophecies usually are.

Back to more straight-forward Clones vs Battle Droids next week.  This trilogy of episodes provided a very thought-provoking diversion from the usual Clone Wars formula; I can see fandom either loving or hating these episodes when this show is looked back on.  Personally, I think I'll need a little more space from them to make up my mind, but my initial impression is that these episodes were necessary to reconcile the heroic Anakin of The Clone Wars with the Anakin we see in Revenge of the Sith.

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