Senate Murders: A Boring Filibuster of an Episode

24 03 2010

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The Clone Wars returns after a brief hiatus with Senate Murders, an episode that features Padme and her senatorial cohorts. Here’s the breakdown:

After several prominent senators are mysteriously murdered, Padme joins forces with Bail Organa to uncover the culprit.

The Monkey: It was nice to see Bail Organa take a more central role in this episode. He is an underutilized character with connections to one of Star Wars‘ biggest names (Leia). Hopefully, The Clone Wars will provide Bail with some great story material in future episodes.

It was interesting to see Padme work with Bail so closely; this definitely helps reinforce why Bail was so eager to adopt Leia. By adding a foundation to the Padme/Bail friendship, actions in Episode III and the Original Trilogy make more sense.

The political subplot of the episode was one of the most realistic in the series. Instead of far-fetched concerns over outlying worlds (the Mandalore story arc), a group of senators are voting to end the war and start pulling troops out of the war zone (sound familiar?). This type of political maneuvering is not only expected during war-time, but it also allows for characters like Mon Mothma and Bail Organa to foreshadow their involvement in the future Rebel Alliance.

The Weasel: The “mystery” plot was completely predictable and uninteresting. The culprit was obvious from the beginning, leaving little suspense to carry the full 20 minutes of the episode. Also, the introduction of the “detective” character, Lieutenant Tan Divo, was grating; while some Clone Wars characters have been successful throwbacks to archetypal film characters, Divo was a horrible, neo-noir foil that felt too cartoony even for a cartoon show.

While I love to see Padme and lesser-used characters get their moment in the spotlight, Senate Murders was a boring episode that added little to The Clone Wars story or the overall Star Wars mythos. Hopefully, Bail gets another shot at further story development in a better episode in the future.

1 Death Star out of 5

What do you think? Was Senate Murders a valuable chapter in The Clone Wars? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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