Star Wars: The Clone Wars “An Old Friend” REVIEW
After an impressive start, things slow down on The Clone Wars. Politics have never been a strong suit for Star Wars and unfortunately for Padme, the majority of her episodes happen to involve politics. They tend to be weak narratively and dramatically because issues they deal with are overly simple or too vague. “An Old Friend” suffers from many of these same problems, but still has some fun moments inside.
These next three episodes were originally meant to air during the fifth season of The Clone Wars. That being said, only the most diehard of fans will be able to notice any continuity issues.
“An Old Friend” sees a few returning faces from throughout the series’ run. The episode begins with Padme on a mission to the banking planet of Scipio to receive funds for the war effort. The Banking Clan of Scipio has remained neutral throughout the war and has been providing loans and funds for both sides.
Everything appears normal until the reappearance of Rush Clovis, an old flame of Padme’s and known separatist, who tries to inform her the bank vaults are empty and that the Banking Clan has been stealing from one side to fund the other. Given Clovis’ past and his previous attempt to have her “eliminated,” Padme is not so welcoming of his presence or information. Even after an assassination attempt on Clovis’ life by the bounty hunter Embo, she only reluctantly decides to listen to Clovis after the Chancellor’s suggestion.
Clovis comes up with a daring plan to sneak Padme into the vaults to verify the funds. The plan goes off almost perfectly but Embo returns and kills Padme’s handmaiden at the scene of the crime, leading to Padme’s arrest. Anakin is sent to retrieve her and he’s kind of a jerk about the whole thing. His attitude does not improve once he finds Clovis is involved and it’s safe to describe him as more than a little jealous. Embo returns a third time and the three have to escape down a snowy mountain in a broken speeder, making for a very fun chase scene.
The politics and the issues with the banking clan don’t really work because, once again, they are underdeveloped. The action throughout the episode however is superb. Not only is the scene with Padme sneaking around the vault exciting, it’s a visual call back to her planning with Clovis earlier. The final chase scene feature many creative beats with Anakin, who has to defend their broken air speeder, now hurling down the mountain and Embo, who is skillfully navigating the snowy terrain after them with on all purpose hat.
Yes, this is the beginning of a new arc, but doesn’t change the fact that parts of “An Old Friend” drag. The shared histories of the three principle characters does much to add to the drama, but with a weak premise and some wonky banking, the episode does not share the same momentum the beginning of the last arc had.