Sunday, March 9, 2014

CLONE WARS REVIEW: Order 66 arc (Season 6, addendum)

A serial killer or zombie?
Since posting my review, I've tried to think about how to fix the problems in The Clone Wars Season 6's Order 66 arc with as little editing as possible. I hit upon the unlikeliest source of inspiration: Star Trek: Voyager. During the second season episode "The Meld" (see here for an excellent review of the episode), a crewmember on board the starship Voyager killed a fellow crewmember and soon reluctantly admitted his guilt. He explaining his motivations - or lack thereof - he said that he feels compelled to murder and cannot resist the urge, even though he knows he gets no long term satisfaction out of it. So, in one sense, he was programmed due to his psychology and biology, but was still forced to wrestle with the moral consequences of his actions.

If Order 66 had to be a biological program, I'd at least have liked something more along those lines. Make the Clone Troopers conscious of their actions but also irresistibly compelled to kill Jedi. That way Fives' struggle would still have meaning because the clones could then try to resist Order 66, even if most of them would have failed. Morally they'd still be interesting characters. Because of this, the execution of Order 66 would still have its tragic meaning because it would still be a betrayal. However, given the clones' programming, we'd also still be permitted to feel some sympathy for the clones' plight even as we abhor their actions.

I suspect producer Dave Filoni and scriptwriter Katie Lucas decided on the "zombie" route because it does absolve the clones of responsibility. The Clone Wars is a kids' show and there are many kids who buy Clone Trooper costumes, toys, etc. For some kids, the Clone Troopers are the heroes of the story, not the villains. It probably would have been quite traumatic if these kids realized they were idolizing the moral equivalent of the Wehrmacht. In terms of responsibility to their primary audience, The Clone Wars team probably made the right call, even if it makes for poorer art.

1 comment:

  1. Nice addendum, exactly my thoughts. I kinda would've preferred a DTV movie to explain Order 66, get some leeway away from the censors... oh well

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