For most of Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ four seasons, Anakin Skywalker has been a model Jedi. But that’s been changing lately, especially in the Zygerria story arc that drills into the slave trade.
Nothing brings the ugly out of the eventual Darth Vader like the despicable slave trafficking that claimed his mother’s life. The Clone Wars makes that clear in the preview clip above from this week’s episode, “Slaves of the Republic” (just as it did in last week’s sneering “Kidnapped,” which kicked off the three-part story).
Anakin starts out with charm to spare — well, for him anyway — in a second clip from Friday’s episode, as his crew lands on the slaver planet Zygerria (video embedded below). But it’s obvious that, as in last season’s darkly philosophical “Mortis” arc, The Clone Wars‘ creative team is more comfortable showing the wreckage of Skywalker’s inevitable betrayal, whose immense scope even Revenge of the Sith had a hard time communicating.
As such, the Zygerria arc is another worthy stab in The Clone Wars‘ continuing critique of life during interstellar wartime. It packs added punch when Anakin’s longtime apprentice Ahsoka Tano complains about being forced to wear a burka while going undercover. (It’s an ironic complaint, since Ahsoka spent much of The Clone Wars barely clothed before a more-modest Jedi costume arrived last year.)
Anakin’s darkening mood helps bridge the continuity gap between the animated show’s upcoming fifth season and Revenge of the Sith, but does getting an early glimpse of his emergent evil make for cooler Clone Wars viewing? Feel the Force in the comments section below.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars airs Fridays at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central on Cartoon Network.