Dooku Captured turns out to be the beginning of yet another story-arc. There's little that goes on in Dooku Captured that breaks the mold. It does, though, have some of the best traits of any good Star Wars story: it starts in the middle of the action, it flies forward, and it features tons of characters and complications. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For an episode called Dooku Captured, Count Dooku doesn't wind up in that particular predicament until about half-way through. Much of the first part of the episode is dedicated to Anakin and Obi-Wan implementing a plan to capture him. As with the Duel of the Droids two-parter, this episode suffers a bit from its well-trod territory. We know the fate of all the main characters, including and especially Dooku, so there's not very much suspense.
There doesn't seem to be much going on here but the desire to crank out an entertaining adventure. On that level, the mission is accomplished. Anakin and Obi-Wan make, in this series, an entertaining duo, and watching them get into and out of trouble very much speaks to the serial roots of Star Wars. They go from prison cell, to chase scene, to crashing on a planet, to buried in rubble, to running away from a monster, to...need I go on? In just under 30 minutes, we watch our heroes get into an out of countless scrapes. Moreover, it's simple and entertaining team stories like these that make what eventually happens to Anakin and Obi-Wan all the more tragic.
There is, though, more than just another story about Anakin and Obi-Wan to recommend this episode. The Weequay pirates, led by new character Pirate Chief Hondo Ohnaka, are an entertaining bunch. It's good to know that the Lucasverse is still big enough to throw a much needed wild-card into the mix now and then.
The pirates will likely send some fans into eye-rolling apoplexy. How could, one might ask, a character as powerful as Dooku wind up captured by a band of guys with guns.
I was happy to see that choice made. It's fun to play around with unbeatable force powers in a video game, but in terms of storytelling, the Jedi and Sith have always seemed more like samurai than superheroes. As much as I loved playing The Force Unleashed and seeing the awesome Mace Windu episodes of the original Clone Wars series, those mediums were simply wish fulfillment. They didn't have to carry the weight of drama. If even Sith can be outnumbered, if blasters pose an actual threat to Sith and Jedi alike, then we're in a far more dangerous universe, and it's all the better for it.
The dialogue in this episode, also, stood out to me as being very much on-tone for Star Wars. In fact, this was an episode where the characters and their dialogue took the lead over the action, and that was a refreshing success.
It's hard to say just how this story-line will close out (the preview for the next episode shows a fair amount of Jar Jar) but the set-up hits all the right notes. Maybe not the sort of episode that thrusts the series into hyperspace, Dooku Captured is nothing more than an enjoyable romp.
Rating (out of five): ***1/2