Latest Clone Wars Episode “The Gathering”

First of all – I have big personal news!  My husband and I put an offer on a house and it’s been accepted.  Super exciting for us.  We will officially own our first house by February, if everything goes smoothly…which could be a very big “if”, considering some stories I’ve heard.

Anyway, on to Star Wars!  So much more interesting anyway, but I thought I’d share some of my excitement.

I found the latest Clone Wars episode to be very intriguing.  I’ve been reading other people’s reviews on it and their thoughts, but most have focused on the symbolic significance of it or character development.

For me, I looked at this as a mystery explained.  If you follow the Star Wars universe beyond the movies, you knew how lightsabers were made.  There was a special crystal used that usually determined the color of the lightsaber blade, along with sometimes providing special abilities to the user.  That was about the extent of my knowledge even though I had occasionally learned more through Wookiepedia and EU books.

The episode on Saturday showed young Jedi taken to the planet of Ilum where there is a cave that the crystals grow in.  Having only a restricted amount of time to find the crystal (Yoda mentioned in the beginning of the episode that when the cave seals over, there is no way for you to get out because the ice forms over the cave and traps them inside), the young Jedi had to figure out how to find their crystal.

Going to the crystal cave on Ilum

What I liked most about this episode was that it was almost like the crystal chose the Padawan.  Each had to look inside of themselves and only when they were either patient, confronted their fears, or were less selfish, did the crystal appear for them.  Here we see these Padawans, like the Wookie, learning to be patient to get his crystal.  Or another climbing the top of a cliff and facing their fear of heights in order to obtain their precious crystal.

The idea of working for this crystal made a lot of sense, not just going to a planet and mining it and using any old crystal.  I was always under the impression that it was the way the lightsaber was built that created a special bond between Jedi and lightsaber, but I see perhaps that is not entirely true.   It opened up a mystery of the creation of lightsabers that had kept me curious for a while.

Only through patience could this young Wookie Jedi get his crystal

The only part I did not like about this episode, but others seemed to think made sense, was when the entrance to the cave was freezing over and the icicles were lowering and lowering, Yoda forbid the other Jedi from going in and saving their friends.  He wanted the other Jedi to figure this out on their own and let them experience their own journey to obtain the crystal.  But it seemed to be contradictory to the ways of the Jedi to not let them go in and rescue their friends.  I then had conflicting emotions because it’s not really against the Jedi ways, since Jedi are forbidden to have attachment, and wouldn’t that also mean attachment to ones friends?   To top it all off, Yoda lied about it all because it was actually quite easy to burst through the icicle wall, as shown in the end by one a Padawan who was late coming out.  It just downright confused me.

I guess I get more and more annoyed with Yoda as I grow older.  He’s definitely wise, but also completely out of touch with reality, which I believe also brings about the fall of the Jedi.  He fails to see that he has a different person on his hands with Anakin and since he was not brought to the Temple at such a young age, he needs a different way of training than the others had.  Instead, he tries to mold him just like he has been doing for around 800 years and ends up with a wiped out Order and no place to live but a dingy swamp.  I feel like we see some of his shortcomings in that little moment within this episode when the Padawans wanted to help their comrades.  Luke Skywalker is faced with the same order from Yoda in ESB, telling him that it wouldn’t be worth his time to go after his friends (sorry for the high level gloss over of a very important moment in the trilogy).  Luke disobeys, unlike these Jedi Padawans who listened to Yoda, and I think Luke turned out ok, right?  Ha.

Anyway, I enjoyed the episode a lot as it clarified a lot of points on building lightsabers, which had been explained before in the EU, but I enjoyed seeing what The Clone Wars brought to the plate.  I enjoyed it more than I enjoy most episodes that have a canonical character in them and would rate it 9/10.

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