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How Clone Wars explains proxy war to children

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Yesterday's episode of Clone Wars was one of those episodes that fully engaged the show's "war is complicated" theme while reminding us that yes, this is a kid's show. Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka head to Onderon to train a crew of rebels looking to overthrow their Separatist sympathizer king. There, Ahsoka runs into an old friend, which stirs up some curious feelings—including jealousy. But Obi-Wan is more concerned that the Jedi will end up training a terrorist cell.

We open on the Jedi Council, where a hologram of Lux Bonteri, former Onderon politician and almost-member of Deathwatch, is asking for help. Onderon is being ruled by a new king, one Bonteri and his allies feel is a Separatist pawn. Anakin thinks this is a grand opportunity: the Jedi train and supply the insurgents, then sit back and let them do the fighting. Obi-Wan dislikes the idea, saying it sounds like they'll be training terrorists.

"Rebels," Anakin retorts. Score one point for ironic foreshadowing.

After discussing the dangers of training a remote force that could harm innocent lives and using fear as a weapon, Council members agree on a compromise: they'll send Ahsoka and Anakin to train the Onderon rebels, but provide weapons that only harm droids. Obi-Wan decides to go along, fearing that Anakin might be a little too successful in their mission.


Clone Wars, this is why I love you. You just explained proxy war to kids.

The three Jedi and Rex arrive on Onderon, where Ahsoka is thrilled to see Lux again. She's got a wee crush on him, but it appears that she has competition for his affections. Fellow rebel Steela Gerrera has also fallen for Lux, though she's clearly never said anything about it. Lux, for his part, is mostly concerned with his role in this rebellion, where he butts heads with Steela's much more action-inclined brother, Saw.


As everyone busies themselves with training, Ahsoka finds herself distracted by her crush on Lux, which doesn't go unnoticed by Obi-Wan or Anakin. But they take her at her word that she's on top of this and focused. The key skill everyone practices is tossing a droid disabling device at just the right speed (not too fast) so it can travel inside the droid's shield. Lux, the most restrained of the rebels, proves a natural at this.

"Oh, it's kind of like shuffleboard," says I. "Or maybe curling."

Then Steela fails to get her device past the shield, and Lux helpfully spoons his arm around hers so that she gets the feel of the proper throw. "No," says my SO, "it's exactly like shuffleboard."


Just as Saw gets the hang of the disabling throw, practice is called on account of droid invasion. The rebels get to practice their new droid-killing skills, and Lux gets himself roughed up a bit. "I like it," says Saw. "Makes you look like a real soldier." Steela agrees, "Maybe a good politician needs to get dirty every so often." Lux gives her a look like maybe she's seen something in him that he didn't see in himself.

That's when Lux hatches his master plan. The rebels will head into Iziz, the capital city, where they'll attack the city's droids. After an encounter with the comic relief droids guarding the city gates, the rebels manage to get inside, where they split up. Anakin turns to Obi-Wan and asks if he's changed his mind about the mission, and Obi-Wan admits he's "optimistic." That, of course, is Clone Wars code for someone going off the rails next episode and perhaps hurting more than a handful of droids.