Spoiler warning! We are going to be giving you all the spoilers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 10, “The Phantom Apprentice,” so if you’re not caught up with the show, stop reading, get on Disney+ and enjoy.
The Story So Far…
We are now in the endgame of the Clone Wars. After joining Bo-Katan on her mission to capture Maul, Ahsoka finds herself reunited with Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Captain Rex. Bo-Katan asks for the Republic’s aid in freeing Mandalore, but as it happens, the Clone forces are needed on Coruscant to defend against General Grievous’ attack. Frustrated at the lack of sympathy to the Mandalorian cause, Ahsoka and Bo-Katan leave, but not before Anakin gives Ahsoka back her lightsabers. Then the former Master and former Padawan say their final good-byes.
With a small contingent of Clone Troopers, Captain Rex and Ahsoka begin their assault on the Mandalorian capital of Sundari, hoping to catch Maul by surprise. Bo-Katan faces off with Almec, while Ahsoka goes down to the Undercity to find Saxon, Rook, and their forces. Unfortunately, this all turns out to be a trap designed for Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka faces the former Sith apprentice, Maul.
The Phantom Apprentice
We find ourselves back in the tunnels with Maul and Ahsoka. Maul is disappointed that Obi-Wan did not make an appearance but he’s even more disappointed that Anakin is not there either. Ahsoka ignores his musings and asks for his surrender. At this point, Maul comes to the realization that certain things are now in motion and that his surrender would make no difference in the grand scheme of things. As far as he is concerned, the Jedi and the Republic will no longer be the ruling forces in the Galaxy. Ahsoka assumes that Mail aspires to lead the galaxy, but that’s not the case. Maul is convinced that Darth Sidious will be rising to power very soon.
At that moment Ahsoka’s remaining forces come to her rescue. Maul and Ahsoka engage in a short duel while his Mandalorian troops fight off the Clones. But Maul isn’t ready for a fight just yet, and Force throws a Clone into Ahsoka, using the momentary distraction as his chance to retreat.
In the main chambers, Bo-Katan, Captain Rex, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka come up with their plan. Ahsoka mentions the name Darth Sidious to Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan tells them everything he learned from Count Dooku. By now, the story in The Clone Wars is now intersecting with the events in Revenge of the Sith. Count Dooku has already been killed by Anakin, and Obi-Wan is now being sent to find General Grievous on Utapau.
This is important information, as Ahsoka needs additional forces to help in the fight, but Obi-Wan has his mission, and Anakin has been tasked with spying on Chancellor Palpatine. Ahsoka doesn’t know why the Jedi Council would ask Anakin to do this, knowing the close relationship Anakin and the Chancellor have. Obi-Wan wants Ahsoka to talk to Anakin, but before she can say anything, Captain Rex interrupts their meeting. There has been an attack.
The Grand Design
Deep in the Undercity tunnels, Ahsoka and Rex survey the aftermath of the ambush. Sitting up against the tunnel wall, Sterling tells Ahsoka that Maul was the one who attacked them, leaving bodies in his wake. But not all the Clones were cut down, Maul has taken Jesse with him.
Alone with Maul, Saxon, and Rook, Jesse is defiant, refusing to give Maul any information. Maul, being as strong in the Force as he is, finds Jesse’s protestations amusing and comments on how the Clones were all part of the grand design that he was never privy to. Jesse is understandably confused, but Maul continues, lamenting his fall as a Sith Apprentice; the feeling of being cast aside still burning within him. Jesse remains adamant that he will not help, but Maul uses the Force to probe Jesse’s mind for information on Ahsoka.
In the prison cells, Bo-Katan and Ahsoka pay a visit to Prime Minister Almec. Hoping to get some information about Maul’s escape plan, they’re surprised when Almec tells them everything. Maul has no intention of leaving, not because he thinks he can defeat the Mandalorian resistance but because he had a vision of the future. He wanted Kenobi to be on Mandalore, but not just Kenobi, he wanted someone else there as well. Before Almec can give the name, Saxon shoots him from afar, having been sent by Maul to deal with Almec. Bo-Katan gives chase, while Ahsoka stays with the Prime Minister. She probes him for answers, and Almec finally tells her the name: Skywalker.
Making his escape, Saxon does everything he can to fend off the fast approaching Bo-Katan. The fight leads them to a lift shaft and where they punch, kick, and counter at every opportunity. Fighting off Bo-Katan with his flamethrower, she successfully blocks it with her personal shield, but it’s enough to get her off balance, which Saxon uses to his advantage. He pushes her and she is trapped on the other side of the shaft wall. She has no choice but to hold on, as a lift starts coming down on her. Jumping, she grabs hold of the bottom of the lift, using her jetpack to help her slow down the descent. Landing on the bottom floor, Bo-Katan clears the lift as Saxon flies away.
One Step Behind
Returning to Maul’s base, Saxon sees that Maul is on a holocall with the leaders of the Syndicate including Marg Krim and Dryden Vos (yes, that Dryden Vos). Having told his people to go into hiding Maul prepares the Mandalorians for what is to come. Maul senses the Dark Side getting stronger, and through that, he knows that soon the galaxy will be thrown into chaos. Using this knowledge, he rallies the Mandalorians, promising them power and a good warrior’s death.
Overlooking the city, Bo-Katan watches as the Clone forces usher her people to safety. Unhappy with the occupation, Bo-Katan warns that it cannot last for long Rex reminds her that she came to them for help, and Ahsoka assures her that they will be gone as soon as they capture Maul.
Heading back into the throne room, they see Maul seated on the throne with Jesse at his side. Bo-Katan draws her blasters and starts firing, but Maul uses the Force to redirect the shots. In a show of good faith, Maul releases Jesse back to them, now having all the information he needed. Outside, Saxon and his forces begin their assault, leaving Bo-Katan with no choice but to go fight them. Her departure leaves Ahsoka alone with Maul.
Every Choice Made
Maul looks out the window at the fight below. He comments on how blissfully ignorant they all are, fighting amongst themselves. Ahsoka wants to know what he has to say but offers to take him to Jedi Council to tell them what he knows. He refuses, as he only wishes to speak to her.
Here everything is revealed. Maul, through the Force, knows that the tide is going to shift and that the balance will soon lean to the Dark Side. He knows that Darth Sidious is about to reveal himself and come into power (by this time Chancellor Palaptine is about to be confronted by Mace Windu and company). Maul can feel it, and it fills him with dread. And while he is certain that the Jedis are going to be extinguish, he is convinced that there are only two people in the galaxy with the strength to take down Darth Sidious: himself and Ahsoka. Finding a connection with Ahsoka, after probing Jesse’s mind, he knows that while she left the Jedi Order on her own terms, their hypocrisy is what motivated her to make that choice. Because of this, Maul believes that she will understand the need to join him, as two former pawns to a greater power. Holding his hand out to her, he asks Ahsoka to join him. “Every choice you have made, has led you to this moment,” he says.
The silence between Ahsoka and Maul is palpable, while below them the Mandalorian and Clone forces battle on the streets. And explosion rips through the air, shattering the glass of the throne room. It is a very satisfying little moment, as Ahsoka contemplates her next move, watching Maul with his hand outstretched to her.
Surprisingly, Ahsoka agrees to help Maul…under one condition. She wants to know why Maul is interested in Anakin. Maul explains that Anakin is the key to everything. Ahsoka hopes that it’s because he is meant to bring balance to the Force (as all the Jedis believed), but Maul knows the truth. Anakin was being groomed to be the new Sith Apprentice to Darth Sidious. Ahsoka calls Maul a liar, but Maul assures her that he is telling the truth. He explains that he orchestrated the war on Mandalore so that Kenobi and Anakin would show up so he could kill Anakin right then and there.
Ahsoka refuses to believe that Anakin would turn to the Dark Side. Igniting her lightsabers, she indicates that she has had enough of Maul. Maul grunts in frustration, and he engages her.
Down below the fighting continues while up above Maul and Ahsoka are involved in a vicious lightsaber duel. Maul and Ahsoka are evenly matched in fighting prowess and Ahsoka comments that had Anakin been there, the fight wouldn’t have last long. What we see is probably one of the best (if not the best) lightsaber duels in Star Wars, expertly motion captured by Ray Park and Lauren Mary Kim. It perfectly showcases the athleticism and skill of these two Force wielders.
For a brief second Maul has the advantage over Ahsoka, until she kicks him out of the window. Taking a moment to catch her breath, Ahsoka jumps out after him.
The Capture and the Warning
The battle rages on below, and Bo-Katan’s forces soon join the Clones, providing much needed reinforcements. This rejuvenates the assault efforts and soon Saxon’s forces are pushed back.
Saxon calls Maul and asks for his help, and Maul, now at the very top of Sundari’s dome, flat out refuses. Leaving Saxon to be captured or killed, Maul makes his way to his ship. From behind Ahsoka calls out and they resume their duel. Maul’s ship arrives and he starts to climb the dome’s beams, Ahsoka is quick to follow and stops him.
They continue their fight, and Ahsoka loses both her lightsabers. Having the advantage, Maul cuts one of the beams, leaving Ahsoka to balance without any way of fighting him off. Maul gives her one more chance to join him, and again she refuses him., He rushes her, but she grabs his lightsaber. In the scuffle, Maul loses his footing and falls off the narrow beam. Ahsoka reaches out and catches him with the Force in midair, and Maul begs her to let him die.
Just then the Clone’s gunships come to her rescue. They capture Maul and he warns them all that they are all going to die. The Clones take him away, leaving Ahsoka to stare up in quiet contemplation at the sky above.
We all knew, coming into this story arc, that we were in for something incredible and this episode did not disappoint. The tie-ins to the movie were clear and a lot of fans have been aligning the events in The Clone Wars to what is happening in Revenge of the Sith. By now, Anakin has already sworn his loyalty to Darth Sidious. That is obvious by the Palpatine’s scream right before Maul and Ahsoka battle in the throne room. Which means that we could be seeing Order 66 sometime in the middle of next episode or maybe near the beginning.
As it was mentioned in the recap, the lightsaber duel between Maul and Ahsoka was one of the best fights in Star Wars and that’s attributed to the mocap work of Ray Park (Episode I: The Phantom Menace) and Lauren Mary Kim (The Mandalorian). It was good to see the original Maul again.
Also, “You’ll find I have many qualities for you to dislike,” is very Snips.
Also, also, how incredible was Sam Witwer in this episode as Maul? He deserves whatever awards he is able to claim.
Seeing a mad Maul in this episode was tragic. The Clone Wars has done a fantastic job of solidifying Maul as a formidable villain, but they also made him sympathetic in a way. To see his uncontrollable fear because of his vision and having his warnings fall of deaf ears because of who he is, brought me to his side of thinking for a second. Obviously, it’s because I know what’s going to happen, and unfortunately Maul is vindicated in the end.
Next week, in Episode 11, “Shattered,” we will see the execution of Order 66. How this will affect Ahsoka and Maul, we’ll see, but expect it to be emotional. Get ready.
A new episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is released every Friday at 12am PST on Disney+.