Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, episode 10 recap – “The Phantom Apprentice”

May 3, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Disney+, TV Recaps
5

Summary

An all-time-great lightsabre duel and an admirable degree of cinematic bombast make “The Phantom Apprentice” peak Star Wars – this is as good as it gets.

View all
5

Summary

An all-time-great lightsabre duel and an admirable degree of cinematic bombast make “The Phantom Apprentice” peak Star Wars – this is as good as it gets.

This recap of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, episode 10, “The Phantom Apprentice”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


“The Phantom Apprentice”, a cool title if there ever was one, is peak Star Wars. I don’t just mean peak Star Wars on an animated small-screen scale, either; I mean everything that’s great about a galaxy far, far away was embodied in this near-perfect follow-up to the already-excellent Siege of Mandalore opener.

Following on from that episode’s cliffhanger ending, in which Maul (Sam Witwer) confronted Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein), Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 10 sustains the tension with some back-and-forth dialogue, as Ashoka explains that Maul’s nemesis, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), had more pressing engagements in the form of rescuing Chancellor Palpatine from General Grievous, while Maul foreshadows Sidious’s plan to wipe out the Jedi Order and seize control of the galaxy – how much of this he actually knows and how much is simply him putting two and two together isn’t exactly clear, but either way we know it’s coming ourselves.

It’s easy to forget, given how the Star Wars timeline works, that nobody actually knows who Sidious is at this point. Thus when Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) and some clones arrive and force Maul to flee, Ahsoka calls up Obi-Wan, who wants her to capture Maul so that the Order can learn more about the mysterious Sidious from him. Nothing about this sounds like a sensible plan, but it’s wartime, I suppose.

While Ahsoka is able to contact Obi-Wan, she’s still prevented a last chance to contact Anakin (Matt Lanter), which is a tragic note given what’s coming from him in the near future. Maul, though, has seen enough of that impending future to have devised a reworked plan to seize power in the absence of the Jedi – the Siege of Mandalore itself was orchestrated by him as an attempt to lure Anakin to his death, thus depriving Sidious of his latest apprentice. (Maul was the first; Dooku the second. They don’t tend to fare well.)

Maul lays this out to Ahsoka in “The Phantom Apprentice”, and while she sees his logic she isn’t totally sold on the idea of her mentor turning to the Dark Side, and thus rejects Maul’s offer of a Sidious-stopping partnership. This, it turns out, is just as well, since it tees up an incredible lightsaber duel that turns out to be one of the best in the history of the franchise. Ray Park, Maul’s original actor, even mo-capped the fight, using a new made-up fighting style to account for Maul’s age and robotic legs. It’s as smooth and exciting and cinematic as any lightsabre duel in The Clone Wars has ever been, and the show has boasted some great ones over the years.

This climactic battle is intercut with another in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 10, as Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) takes on Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson), with the clone troopers bolstering the Mandalorian ranks. Eventually, Maul is captured, and Saxon’s forces are toppled. But with Order 66 on the horizon, this is far from a happy ending.


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