“Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by themselves”
Original air date: October 10th, 2008
The second episode in the Malevolence arc follows Anakin Skywalker and his Shadow Squadrom of Y-Wing fighters as they plan an attack on General Grievous to take out the Malevolence and its ion cannons. At the same time, Dooku has ordered the robot general to attack more Republic ships before ordering Grievous to go after the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center, a hospital in space used for treating wounded clones (and currently holding over 60,000 patients, many of whom are in no condition to move). This is a truly despicable move on Dooku’s part. It’s one thing to take out enemies in a pitched battle, but sending the Malevolence after an unarmed hospital station is just wrong (but neither Dooku or Grievous care about that).
Anakin, being Anakin, has devised a daring attack to strike at Grievous’ ship before the attack fleet led by Obi-Wan and Admiral Yularen arrive. In order to strike more quickly, Anakin plans to use a “short-cut” through the Kaliida Nebula that will take them to the hospital station faster than going around. Once they’re through, the plan is to take the Malevolence head on and destroy the bridge, taking out Grievous at the same time. As Plo Koon points out, it’s a very aggressive plan, but Anakin will not change his mind. The plan almost immediately hits a snag when it turns out the Kaliida Nebula is also the nesting ground of Neebrays (picture giant sting rays/space whales with large pointy teeth that can fly through space), this is why sane pilots fly around the nebula (even Grievous goes around en route to attacking the station).
On a side note, if the Y-Wings look familiar that’s because they were originally featured in Episode IV during the attack on the Death Star. It’s not the exact design, but close enough that if you compare them you can see the resemblance.
In another call back to the original films, when we see the ion cannon firing, there’s a shot of the energy stream building inside the ship that is modeled after the Death Star as it prepared to fire on Alderaan.
Once Shadow Squadron engages the Malevolence, Anakin’s aggressive tactics go about as well as you think, which is not very well. While the Jedi is able to dodge enemy fire with ease, as Ahsoka points out, most of his squadron is getting blown apart because they can’t keep up! What’s left of the squadron barely avoids a blast from the ion cannon and it’s clear a new plan is needed. While our heroes debate what to do, the Malevolence begins preparations to fire on the hospital station (which is still half full of patients). If the ion cannon hits the station, it will disable all the power and life support and kill tens of thousands of clones recuperating in bacta tanks. That’s when our heroes come up with a new plan: instead of taking out the bridge, they’ll fire on the ion cannon as it powers up. When Grievous gives the order to fire, the cannon backfires, causing severe damage to the ship (and disabling the hyperdrive in the process). Grievous is outraged at this failure but things are about to get far worse: the Republic fleet led by Obi-Wan has arrived! While Shadow Squadron limps to the hospital station, the Republic ships set off in pursuit of the Malevolence which is limping back to Separatist space. Anakin is upset after losing so many men, but he won’t be able to mourn for long, the battle is far from over!
Seeing Grievous’ consternation over the ship being damaged is fun to watch, apparently he was convinced the ship was invincible. Something troubling however is Anakin’s recklessness in battle. He gets so super-focused on his objective that he doesn’t take into account what’s happening to his men until Ahsoka reminds him of it. This is a sign of things to come: the further Anakin slips towards the Dark Side, the more he focuses on what he wants, no matter the cost.
And those are my thoughts on “Shadow of Malevolence.” Next time, the Malevolence arc concludes with “Destroy Malevolence.” What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂
You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460
Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)
Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂