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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S5E16 "The Lawless"

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Morality separates heroes from villains.

Maul has taken control of Death Watch and lures Obi-Wan to Mandalore using Satine. Meanwhile, Darth Sidious does not like what he is hearing about Mandalore.


  • Actor Allusion: Yet another character named Satine, in love with a character who was portrayed by Ewan McGregor, doomed to die in his arms thanks to a blood-filled lung.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Maul starts begging for mercy after Sidious defeats him - meaning he is begging for Sidious to kill him, knowing that not being killed will only lead to something far worse, which Sidious confirms.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Savage's death is quite sad, as his only regret is that he was an unworthy apprentice for his brother. Shifting back to his original form as Talzin’s sorcery leaves him also compounds how he truly had no choice in his fate.
  • The Alleged Car: The Twilight has seen better days; the control console starts smoking as Obi-Wan prepares to land on Mandalore, which the ship only barely manages.
    Obi-Wan: Anakin, that's the last time I borrow a ship from you.
  • Asshole Victim: The episode ends gloriously with Darth Maul as one of these at the hands of Darth Sidious.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Sidious proves just why he is the most powerful Sith Lord.
  • Back for the Dead: The Twilight returns after having been last seen in "Children of the Force", only to be destroyed.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The only one who actually wins in this episode is Darth Sidious, who kills Savage and utterly breaks Maul.
  • Batman Gambit: Maul allows Satine to escape and send a distress signal to Coruscant, knowing that the Jedi and the Republic can't interfere on Mandalore without permission from the legitimate government and gambling that Obi-Wan would come to rescue his lady love alone. It works, and were it not for Bo-Katan, Obi-Wan would have spent the rest of his (likely short and very painful) life at Maul's mercy.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: All of Maul's successes over the last few episodes are reduced to nothing in the face of Darth Sidious; after starting the episode at the peak of his power, he ends it having lost everything, begging for mercy and screaming in agony while Sidious tortures him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Savage is fatally injured, Maul forgets all about fighting Sidious and runs to his brother's side, even holding his hand as he dies. When Sidious taunts him with the Rule of Two, Maul is visibly shaking with rage.
  • Blatant Lies: Maul claims all he has done has been to prove himself worthy of returning to Sidious' side. Unfortunately, his former Master sees through it in an eye-blink.
  • Blood Knight: Sidious is clearly having the time of his life dueling Maul and Savage; his maniacal grin never leaves his face. This makes sense since he probably hasn't had a chance to cut loose in a while. He even proved at the start of the fight that he could handle them just using the Force, but wants a drawn out fight, eager to indulge the sadism and bloodlust he normally conceals.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: For Bo-Katan, who is last seen fighting Maul's group of Death Watch while Obi-Wan escapes Mandalore.
  • Break the Badass:
    • Darth Maul murders Duchess Satine just to make Obi-Wan suffer and lose the will to fight.
    • Sidious later does this to Maul by brutally killing Savage and defeating him so utterly that Maul is left begging for mercy.
  • Call-Back:
    • Obi-Wan infiltrates Sundari using his Rako Hardeen disguise that was introduced back in season four.
    • The final duel is quite reminiscent of the climactic duel that occurred back in The Phantom Menace. It's also reminiscent of the final duel in Attack of the Clones, namely a master and apprentice duo battling a Darksider far more powerful than them (Maul and Savage vs Sidious, Obi-Wan and Anakin vs Dooku).
    • Sidious ultimately defeats Maul the same way Maul defeated Pre Viszla. Not by using his immense force powers (which he does only after Maul has been disarmed and floored), but solely through superior swordsmanship.
    • When the Mandalorian jetpacks explode, the explosion is a much smaller version of the exploding cruiser loaded with Rhydonium a few episodes back, suggesting that Mandalorian jetpacks use starship fuel.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Obi-Wan lures a Death Watch commando aboard the Twilight to steal his armor, and then beats him up offscreen, in a scene extremely reminiscent of one in A New Hope.
    • Maul's line, quoted under Oh, Crap!, where he mentions "a presence [he] hasn't felt since...", is something Darth Vader will say regarding Obi-Wan in A New Hope.
    • Sidious has two lightsabers, just like he will by the time of Revenge of the Sith; only in the film, he will not use both of them at the same time on account of losing one during the duel in his office.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Sidious doesn't kill Maul, claiming he still needs him for "other uses". This Sequel Hook would be fully expanded upon in Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, which was initially intended to be a four-episode arc of The Clone Wars ("The Enemy of My Enemy", "A Tale of Two Apprentices", "Proxy War", "Showdown on Dathomir") before it was Cut Short.
  • Cartwright Curse: Obi-Wan's hits back with a vengeance, courtesy of Darth Maul.
  • Character Death: Duchess Satine and Savage Opress die in this episode.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The now-divided Death Watch. Those following Maul are indicated by red and black armor (one of the lieutenants has Zabrak-like horns on his helmet, too) while those loyal to Bo-Katan have the same color scheme and design they always had.
  • Costume Evolution: Beginning with this episode, Sidious ditches the simple black cloak he's worn up to this point for more regal, burgundy-colored robes, the same outfit he will wear during his eventual duel with Yoda.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: The epic Sith fight is this: While Sidious ends up winning the fight anyway, the brothers still managed to put up an actually decent fight in swordplay, tossing him off the balcony of the castle and giving him a bit of trouble in splitting them up. Maul alone also manages to put up a pretty good fight, even kicking Sidious and forcing him on the backfoot for a while.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: After sitting out most of the arc of Maul's return and playing no part in the episode beforehand, Darth Sidious opts to travel to Mandalore to deal with his former apprentice, singlehandedly breaking Maul and gutting all of his accomplishments.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Duchess Satine dies in Obi-Wan's arms after being stabbed by Darth Maul.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Obi-Wan tries to sympathize with Maul via saying that he knows Maul didn't choose to turn to the Dark Side, Maul becomes angry and eventually kills Satine.
  • Downer Ending: Satine is killed by Maul, Mandalore ends up engulfed in a civil war, Bo-Katan is left in a Bolivian Army Ending, and Savage is killed by Sidious, who brutalizes Maul while promising an even worse fate for his former apprentice.
  • The Dreaded: Darth Sidious to Darth Maul. Maul has an Oh, Crap! moment when he senses his master's presence, and tries to deceive Sidious into believing he built his empire for him. And once Maul is defeated he fearfully begs Sidious for mercy, even after the Sith Lord killed his brother.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Obi-Wan knocks out a Death Watch commando loyal to Maul and steals his armor.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Sidious has a pair of identical red lightsabersnote .
    • Maul ends up using both his normal lightsaber and the Darksaber.
  • Dying as Yourself: Savage reverts back to his pre-transformation appearance and personality as he dies.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: With her final breaths, Satine affirms her eternal love for Obi-Wan.
    Satine: Remember, my dear Obi-Wan... I've loved you always. I always will...
  • Electric Torture: Darth Sidious as usual, torturing Maul all the way to the credits.
  • Enemy Mine: Bo-Katan helping Satine and Obi-Wan out. Even lampshaded by the classic line, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Bo-Katan is pretty saddened when Obi-Wan spells out that her sister Satine is dead.
    • Darth Maul is pretty upset when Savage is killed by Darth Sidious, to the point where he runs past the Sith lord to his brothers' aid.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Nightbrothers vs Sidious. Fans have waited years for Palpatine to show why he is the Dark Lord of the Sith, and boy, does he not disappoint. Dual Wielding two red sabers against Maul and Savage, he is able to go toe to toe with both of them, and he is having a whale of a time doing it.
  • Eviler than Thou: Sidious shows why he is the real Big Bad of The Clone Wars, by curb-stomping Maul and Savage so brutally that the seemingly unstoppable Savage is killed and the formerly unshakable Maul is left begging for mercy.
  • False Reassurance: Sidious promises that he won't kill Maul, ominously alluding to other plans for his former apprentice. Said "reassurance" comes off as twice as false since Sidious briefly interrupted a bout of agonizing torture just to deliver the line.
    Sidious: Don't worry. I'm not going to kill you. I have other uses for you...
  • Foil: Obi-Wan and Maul are noticeably compared and contrasted in this episode. Their confrontation in the throne room has them both espouse the power of their chosen side of the Force while referring to the weakness of the other. Obi-Wan remains calm throughout, while Maul gets angry when Obi-Wan tries to sympathize with him. They also both find themselves in similar situations, being at the mercy of an enemy (Obi-Wan at Maul's after the destruction of the Twilight, Maul at Sidious' after being defeated) and losing a loved one whose last words refer to their bond (Satine is murdered by Maul and dies expressing love for Obi-Wan while Savage is killed by Sidious and dies apologizing for being an unworthy apprentice for his brother).
  • Force-Choke:
    • Maul does this to Satine before he kills her.
    • Sidious casually kills multiple Death Watch commandos this way.
  • Foreshadowing: There are a few moments that foreshadow the reveal that Bo is Satine’s sister; Satine’s familiarity with her at the beginning of the episode, and also a moment when Bo seems charmed by Obi-Wan.
  • From Bad to Worse: First, Obi-Wan has to rescue Satine from Death Watch, then their ship is shot down, and then a dazed and injured Obi-Wan sees Maul walking towards him...
  • Funny Background Event: The relief in front of which Sidious duels the Nightbrothers depicts Mandalorians fighting Jedi. The Jedi (but not the Mandalorians) are drawn in a very cartoonish, caricature style. Some of the Mandalorian helmets depicted also resemble those of the clone troopers more than usual, possibly counting as Foreshadowing.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Bo-Katan, normally a staunch nationalist, asks Obi-Wan to report the civil war on Mandalore to the Jedi Council. Even though it means Republic interference on Mandalore, she's happy to accept it as long as Maul dies in the process.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Sidious plays this for this arc, the greater evil than the Nightbrothers. After their scheme has successfully played out, he steps in and destroys them in combat, scooping up their scheme and adding it to his own galactic efforts, using the Mandalorian Civil War to change their culture back to their martial history and gaining elite troops for his eventual empire.
  • Has a Type: Implied to be the case for both Satine and Bo, since the latter seems rather intrigued and charmed, even tossing her hair a bit when she meets Obi-Wan.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Now that Bo-Katan counts as a good guy due to siding with Satine and later helping to rescue Obi-Wan, she barely wears her helmet in this episode despite having worn it constantly during combat in her previous appearances.
  • Heroic BSoD: Obi-Wan gets one when Darth Maul murders Duchess Satine.
  • Heroic Second Wind: For a villain, but anybody would be this compared to Darth Sidious. After Sidious kills Savage and mocks Maul about being replaced as the Sith apprentice, Maul goes toe-to-toe with his former Master in the remainder of their lightsaber duel, but is ultimately defeated.
  • Hope Spot: For a moment, it looks as though Obi-Wan and Satine will be able to escape Mandalore with their lives. Then the Twilight is shot down.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Twice in this episode, with Duchess Satine (courtesy of Darth Maul) and Savage Opress (courtesy of Darth Sidious).
  • Just Toying with Them: It's established early on that Sidious could end the fight with both Maul and Savage in seconds if he desired. The implied reason he doesn't is because he finds them trying to fight for their lives to be amusing. This is also why he only watches when Maul runs to his dying brother’s side, intending to drag things out.
  • Kick the Dog: Maul kills Satine to torment Obi-Wan. Two dogs, one kick.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Maul gets this upon killing Satine and allowing Obi-Wan to wallow in despair. Soon after, Sidious inflicts the same on Maul, killing Savage and allowing Maul the chance to mourn before dealing him a final defeat.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Not that he was ever harmless, but up until now, Sidious has been manipulating the Clone Wars from behind the scenes, playing the Republic and Separatists against each other. After he figures out exactly how much of a threat Maul, his apprentice, and his armies are, he opts to travel to Mandalore and deal with the issue in person.
  • Mirror Character: While Obi-Wan and Darth Maul are very much different, the episode shows some similarities between them:
    • Maul loses his brother Savage to Sidious and has a parting moment with him much like Obi-Wan did with Qui-Gon when Maul killed him. For bonus points, this is just after Maul has taken away another one of Obi-Wan's loved ones.
    • When Sidious is about to attack, Maul takes the infamous "sword hand back, free hand forward" defensive stance typical for Obi-Wan.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • This episode is a somewhat light-hearted rescue mission up until the Twilight gets destroyed. This was discussed in the Clone Wars Google Hangout.
    • The ending of this episode features Darth Sidious triumphant, having just killed Savage Opress and in the midst of torturing Darth Maul. Cue the upbeat credits theme!
  • Mugged for Disguise: The Mandalorian super commando Obi-Wan lures onboard the Twilight.
  • Mugging the Monster: The two Mandalorian supercommandos who try to stop Darth Sidious because he doesn't have a landing permit. He doesn't even break his stride as he Force-chokes them to death.
  • Mythology Gag: Obi-Wan attempts to sympathize with Maul, saying that the Nightsisters forced him into becoming evil and Sidious' apprentice. While this isn't strictly true as later works tend to (due to Unreliable Narrator being in effect in all tellings of the tale) feature Maul as being stolen unwillingly from Mother Talzin by Sidious when he's a young boy, Obi-Wan's assumption is exactly what happened to Maul in the Legends canon. His mother (there a different Nightsister than Mother Talzin) gives Maul away as a baby to Sidious to prevent him from being raised in the harsh life of the Nightbrothers where they are little more than slaves to the Nightsisters. She has no idea when she does this that she's subjecting Maul to a much worse life than he ever would have had on Dathomir.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sidious deals a ferocious one to Maul with the Force after disarming him in the wake of Savage's death.
  • Offhand Backhand: Sidious kills no less than four people (all of them highly-trained Mandalorian super commandos) this way via Force-choking.
  • Oh, Crap!: Darth Maul gives one of these when he senses his former Master's arrival.
    Darth Maul: I sense a presence, a presence I haven't felt since... [realizes who's arrived] ...Master?!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sidious delivers a brief one to Maul after killing Savage.
    Sidious: Remember the first and only reality of the Sith: there can only be two. And you are no longer my apprentice. You have been replaced!
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Death Watch soldiers express their new loyalty to Maul by repainting their armor to mirror his red and black skin.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bo-Katan is the red oni to Satine's blue oni. It is helped by the fact the two are actually sisters.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Maul has decided that rather than just kill Obi-Wan, he'd rather watch his archenemy suffer. He follows through by fatally stabbing Satine, letting Obi-Wan hold her as she dies, and planning to lock him away to wallow in despair.
  • Rule of Symbolism: More than any other episode, this one shows that his endless thirst for violence and brutality brings Maul nothing but suffering, losing his brother, everything he has built, and suffering greatly at the hands of Sidious. Where does his battle with his old master take place? In front of a carving of the Mandalorian War, another endless conflict fought for arbitrary reasons.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Mandalore is a neutral world, and as such, the Republic and the Jedi have no authority to officially intervene on Satine's behalf. Obi-Wan decides to go anyway, borrowing a ship from Anakin and setting out to rescue Satine alone, playing right into Maul's hands.
  • Shout-Out: The mural in front of which Maul and Sidious' duel plays out is distinctly reminiscent of Pablo Picasso's iconic painting Geurnica.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Darth Maul demonstrates no patience for Obi-Wan trying to sympathize with him.
  • Squishy Wizard: Sidious is a bizarre, downplayed example, effectively being, in RPG terms, a Mage that happens to have advanced skills a Black Knight would have, as he beats both of the brothers primarily using his lightsabers, and shows he can flatten them with the Force but requires some effort in a martial contest. Best shown at the end against Maul. While Maul does ultimately lose, he gets several hits in and Sidious is visibly far more serious than he was through most of the engagement, but after disarming him and "winning the game" so to speak, he decided to wrap it up with the Force, at which point Maul went from "losing" to "being swatted like a mosquito".
  • Suddenly Shouting: Sidious briefly goes from a soft, pseudo-paternal tone to an accusatory snarl as he attacks Maul and Savage.
    Sidious: How unfortunate that you are attempting to deceive me. You have become A RIVAL!
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Sidious' victory over both Maul and Opress. Sidious was the one who had trained Maul in lightsaber combat in the first place, and Opress had only been trained by Maul for a while. Predictably, without using the Force and just using two lightsabers, Sidious is still able to handle them both, especially as Opress' lack of skill and unrefined dueling style ends up hampering Maul. Indeed, Opress ends up being the first one to be incapacitated and when he tries to fight Sidious alone, it's just Sidious toying with him before finishing him off. At least Maul can go down after giving Sidious an actually decent fight, because he is far more experienced than his brother is.
  • This Cannot Be!: Obi-Wan is horrified to see Maul on Mandalore.
    Obi-Wan: No... it can't be...
  • Took a Level in Badass: Korkie and his friends, who were last seen as meddling students, are now teaming up with Bo-Katan to rescue Satine and gunning down Death Watch commandos in the process.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: When Obi-Wan (disguised as a Maul-factionist Death Watch member) attempts to break Satine out of prison, they run into a Death Watch member in the turbolift. The guy is a bit slow, but eventually asks for the authorization code, at which point Obi-Wan has to knock him out.
  • Understatement: After Obi-Wan and Bo-Katan arrive on the scene of a huge battle between Bo's loyalists and Maul's commandos, Bo-Katan remarks that "Maul must really want you dead".
  • Villain No Longer Idle: Up until now, Sidious has been content to rule via his Palpatine persona, but with Maul beginning to create a power base that could rival his own, he goes full Sidious for the sole purpose of dealing with the issue at hand.
  • Villain Respect: Sidious is admittedly impressed that Maul survived the injuries from his defeat on Naboo.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Darth Maul to another Villain.
    Darth Maul: Have mercy...! Please...! PLEASE!
    Darth Sidious: There is no mercy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Maul is utterly broken at Sidious' hands by the end of the episode, reduced to begging his former master for mercy. Sidious, of course, has none.
  • Welcome to My World: Darth Maul greets Obi-Wan with this line. Quite literal, in that Mandalore really is his world at that point.
  • Wham Episode: Two major recurring characters (Satine and Savage) die, Darth Sidious is shown in action for the first time in the series, and it ends with Maul's fate unknown and Mandalore still engulfed in civil war, which sets the stage for the final arc of the series.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Korkie disappears after being knocked out by a Mandalorian super commando.
  • The Worf Effect: The show has gone to a great deal of trouble establishing Maul and Savage as unstoppable badasses. None of the good guys can handle them one on two until Obi-Wan manages to incapacitate Savage, and even then Maul forces him away and escapes. So when Sidious shows up and toys with them for a few minutes before utterly defeating them... As happens later in Rebels and Jedi: Fallen Order, a Sith Lord at the height of their power is virtually unstoppable.
  • World of Badass: Maul, Savage, Obi-Wan, Bo-Katan, and Darth Sidious radiating Badass in one episode. Even Korkie and his friends have levelled up.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Darth Maul fatally stabs Duchess Satine just so that he can make Obi-Wan suffer.


Video Example(s):



Maul may be a cruel Sith who slaughtered innocent children and murdered Obi-Wan Kenobi's lover out of petty hatred and revenge, but he deeply cares for his brother, Savage Opress, and is horrified & enraged when Sidious murders him.

How well does it match the trope?

4.93 (15 votes)

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Main / EvenEvilHasLovedOnes

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