It’s only a few episodes, but seriously, there are very few arcs in American Animation that blows me away like the return of Darth Maul does.
It’s an incredibly compelling bit of work that really really applies a level of consequence to The Phantom Menace that let’s say the movie itself doesn’t quite provide. Sam Witwer’s work with Maul as a character is instantly iconic voice work, deserving of praise alongside say, a certain farmboy’s later interpretation of a certain homicidal clown.
And what’s so astounding about season 4, is that while that terrific final arc is wonderful, and overwhelms the rest of the season in a way, it’s also got a lot more to offer. Ahsoka’s adventure with the Guerrera siblings, (and her own cutie pie senator who she has romantic feelings for. Anakin is adorable about that whole situation.)
Anakin also comes to terms with his time as a slave, while a sexy cat queen keeps trying to get into his pants. (It’s a very strange set of episodes, but quite good.) The “Slaves of The Republic” arc highlights some interesting things about all the characters, (Obi-Wan’s penchant for martyrdom, Anakin’s ambivalence about his commitments, Ahsoka’s temper and flare for the dramatic.)
The clones also get a good arc, with the crazed racist general Krell pushing for their destruction and (badly) trying to play both sides. There’s also Ahsoka’s adventures with the Younglings building their light sabers, which just really, really badly made me want to go to Galaxy’s Edge and build a saber. (If I manage to save for that trip, I know I’ll have to forgo my typical Disney Dining habits to build that Saber. I will do it though! I’ll eat shitty burgers and soggy fries!)
Season 4 is really, really strong is my point, and it blew me away the first time I watched it, and I was blown away by it this time.
Next week, we’ll talk season 5. We’ll say goodbye to Ahsoka (SOB) for now, and we’ll watch Anakin slide further into Darkness and Obi-Wan confront his past. WAY!