“Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction”
Original air date: October 3rd, 2008
“Rising Malevolence” is the first part of the Malevolence arc and the introduction of General Grievous to the series. It follows the Republic as it hunts a mysterious new Separatist weapon, confounded by the fact that every ship they’ve sent to find this thing has disappeared with no survivors. Enter Jedi Master Plo Koon and his ships as they locate the Separatist weapon located on a massive ship named the Malevolence in the Abregado system. He contacts Anakin and his padawan Ahsoka in order to relay their position but then their communications are jammed and the Malevolence attacks. It’s secret weapon is revealed to be a massive ion cannon that disables Plo Koon’s Republic cruisers, making them easy targets for the Separatist’s turbolasers which blast the ships apart. Plo Koon and many clones make it into the escape pods but the danger isn’t over yet. To ensure there are no witnesses, Count Dooku orders Grievous to send out hunter droids to destroy the escape pods. It’s a race against time to see if Plo Koon and the clones with him will be rescued…or killed.
This is the first episode to feature Anakin and Ahsoka and we’re given a look into their contentious relationship as Master and Padawan. For instance, during a briefing where Anakin is instructed to take his fleet to a rendezvous instead of searching for Master Plo Koon, Ahsoka interrupts to tell everyone what she thinks (despite being warned by Anakin to not speak unless spoken to). Anakin scolds his padawan afterward (which feels really weird by the way, for Anakin Skywalker of all people to be harping on following the rules), but as it turns out, he had a plan all along. The problem with what Ahsoka said, according to Anakin, is not what she said but how she said it. Basically what Anakin is saying is one needs to be sneaky when implementing secret rescue missions. So while Anakin’s fleet heads on its way as ordered, Anakin takes his personal ship, the Twilight (with Ahsoka) and sets off for the Abregado system to see if they can find Plo Koon and any other survivors.
Meanwhile, it’s not looking good for Plo Koon and the clones. While they’ve been able to restore power, the only other pod they’ve seen has been ripped open, letting them know someone is out there hunting for them. Inevitably, they’re spotted by the droids who charge in to destroy this pod as well (pretty sure the lead droid is humming the Imperial March as he closes in). This leads to a pretty cool scene…if you can suspend your disbelief that is. Plo Koon informs the close that he can withstand the vacuum of space “for a short time” and heads out to do battle with the droids. The clones that have armor follow (clone armor contains pressure suits so they act as space suits also) and there’s a fight in the vacuum of space. It looks really cool, but despite what Plo Koon said it looks really strange to see a character, no matter how alien, simply floating in space with no protection and doing alright.
There are a few short moments spent with Grievous and Dooku onboard the Malevolence, but the bulk of the episode is split between Anakin/Ahsoka and Plo Koon and his men. This is a good episode that ends with Plo Koon and his men being rescued and our heroes escaping the ion cannon with a hyperspace jump at the last minute. Their escape guarantees that the Republic will learn about the Malevolence, which annoys Dooku to no end (he leaves with the ominous statement that he must contact his master (Darth Sidious)).
And those are my thoughts on “Rising Malevolence.” What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂
Next time: The fight against the Malevolence continues with “Shadow of Malevolence”
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