Star Wars: The Clone Wars “The Disappeared PT 1” REVIEW
For many people, Jar-Jar Binks is the reason why the prequel films are terrible. Some have even gone so far as to digitally edit out all of his scenes from The Phantom Menace. Binks is only part of the problem that was Lucas’ flawed mentality and production that were the prequels. In response to fan outrage, Jar-Jar’s role was sufficiently diminished in Attack of the Clone and Revenge of the Sith. Still, it’s a little disappointing the next two episodes of The Clone Wars are Jar-Jar focused. At least Mace Windu is along for the ride as well.
Unlike Yoda, Jedi Master Mace Windu hasn’t had many episodes to himself. Disappointing given Windu’s more active (badass) role in Gendy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars series from 2003. Even if it is with Jar-Jar, it’s great to see Windu in the field. The episode begins with The Republic receiving a strange request from the Queen of Bardotta. After many of their spiritual masters have disappeared, the Dagoyans requested the aid of Jar-Jar Binks and perhaps more strangely, they wish that the Jedi do not get involved in the matter.
The Dagoyans have legit concerns and good reasons not to trust the Jedi; however, understandably the council feels this is a task too important for representative Binks to handle alone. Windu is elected to travel with him to solve this mystery. As a character, it is hard to deal with Binks. The whole “masterfully clumsy” bit was old before The Phantom Menace released. Luckily, if only because of Windu, Jar-jar is alright here. The Jedi Master is always at arm’s length to check the Gungan and the two contrast each other well.
While there are indeed strange happenings on Bardotta, the real reason the Queen requested Jar-Jar was because the two were romantically linked in the past (Yes I know what you are thinking. I know you are rolling your eyes right now.) Making Binks one of the few people in The Republic she trusts. All is well until the Queen herself disappears and Jar-Jar and Windu have to track her down.
The second half of the episode is where things get interesting, as it’s somewhat of an Indiana Jones Temple of Doom homage. It is revealed that a group of force cultist has been abducting the Dagoyan Masters and they are stealing their force energy. The staging and setting are pulled straight from the second Indy movie, only with no hearts being removed from chest.
The force cult has a few tricks up their sleeves and watching Jar-Jar “disappear,” if only momentarily, is not only visually satisfying, but funny as well. Mace gets some time to show off his skills in combat as well and he’s not using his lightsaber either. There are some dope beats with Windu fending off the cultist, while protecting Jar-jar at the same time. It’s a nice reminder why he’s the second in command for all the Jedi.
“The Disappeared PT I” is a Jar-Jar episode that works, if only because they balanced out the character with great action, cool sets and nice call backs for older fans to enjoy. While no one is going to be requesting more Jar-Jar, this episode demonstrates, with good pacing, even the most horrible characters can be tolerable