The Clone Wars: “Dangerous Debt”

The Clone Wars is back! The show that was cancelled after 5 and a half seasons returns on Disney + to get the ending it deserved. I was a huge fan of the show, so safe to say I’m thrilled that we finally get to see these episodes.

After really enjoying writing my episode reviews for The Mandalorian and Resistance, I couldn’t wait to do the same again for this final season of The Clone Wars. The reviews will take on the same format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole.

I have been looking forward to this show so much, so there was no way that I wasn’t going to watch this as soon as I could. Unfortunately, even though the UK finally has Disney+, we are currently a little behind in what episodes we are allowed to watch, so I’ve had to channel my inner Hondo Ohnaka to see this! Today, we’ll be looking at Episode 7: “Dangerous Debt”

star wars the clone wars s7e7 dangerous debt trace martez rafa martez ahsoka tano

Plot Summary

Imprisoned on Oba Diah, Ahsoka and the Martez sisters argue over whose fault it is that they are in the situation. During the argument, Rafa becomes angry at Ahsoka’s talk of morality and recounts what happened to their parents:

Earlier in the war, when Ziro the Hutt was broken out of prison, the Jedi had pursued him and his rescuers into the portal to the lower levels. One of the aliens protecting him blasted the engine of a transport, causing it to spiral out of control. The Jedi tried to take control of the transport and rather than crash it onto a heavily populated platform, they crashed it into the wall of the portal – the other side of which was where the Martez family lived. Trace explained that their parents were able to get them to safety but themselves died in the collision. The crashing ship proved enough distraction for Ziro and his rescuers to escape. The Jedi returned to the sisters but all they said was that they had had to make a choice and that the Force would be with the sisters. Rafa explains that she focused her energy towards building a new life for her and Rafa on their own, and everything going wrong since Ahsoka appeared is why she blames her.

“You’re not touching her.”

“Yeah, she’s right! Take her instead!”

The Pykes come and take Rafa to an interrogation chamber, where she is tortured. They return Rafa to the cell and take Trace. As trace is led into the chamber, she appears to faint, but it is a ruse to steal one of the guards’ blasters, taking out 3 guards before escaping. Seeing the guards chasing Trace, Ahsoka uses the Force to open her cell while Rafa is unconscious, before waking her up and helping her out of the cell. Trace is caught by a guard, but manages to open a nearby cell and the 2 prisoners fightback against the guards, allowing her to escape and join up with Rafa and Ahsoka.

The trio make their way outside and Trace manages to take out the closest pursuers by shooting a barrel of explosive material. As they run across a bridge, it begins to retract. Rafa successfully jumps across, Trace manages to leap a larger distance thanks to Ahsoka subtly using the Force to push her the distance, and Ahsoka leaps over the gap, surprising the sisters with her athletic prowess.

As the trio continue to escape, Rafa is amazed at the efforts the Pykes are ging to in order to stop them escaping, but Ahsoka explains that letting the trio get off the planet would harm the Pykes’ reputation. Ahsoka goes to a tower to disable the gates, fighting a number of Pykes as she does so, before again subtly using the Force to help the sisters take out the final Pykes between them and freedom.

“This is what happens when you get into business with criminals.”

The trio make their way through Oba Diah city towards the starport, with Trace leading the way and looking for the Silver Angel. Ahsoka speaks to trace and begins to help her realise that Trace is not cut out for this life, but would not say no to Rafa. A Gotal beggar asks Rafa for money to buy food but Rafa tells him to go away, before trying to convince Trace to leave in whatever ship they can find rather than specifically getting the Silver Angel. The Gotal runs into the Pykes and leads them to the trio, who again try to escape, pushing their way past a cloaked Mandalorian. The trio try to escape on a speeder going past, but the Pykes shoot out the engine. The sisters are captured but Ahsoka gets away.

The events down below are being watched over by a trio of Mandalorians, including Bo-Katan Kryze and Ursa Wren. Bo-Katan believes Ahsoka to be the Jedi she encountered on Carlac. Ursa Wren is worried that Ahsoka’s presence will complicate their mission, but Bo-Katan reminds her that they have a common enemy and tells them to keep track of Ahsoka as she may be useful.

“Let’s keep track of her. She could be of use to us.”

Rafa and Trace are brought before Fife and a hologram transmission of Marg Krim. As they have cost the Pykes so much money, Fife orders the sisters to be executed, as Marg Krim intends to torture Ahsoka once they catch her. Overhearing this, Ahsoka commandeers a Repulsorcraft and uses it to rescue the sisters. As they try t escape the compound, they are shot down by a group of Pykes who had been held back in reserve in the expectation that Ahsoka would try to rescue the sisters.

The trio are put back in their cell. Marg Krim turns down Rafa’s offer of running another job and tells them that he will continue to have them tortured until they lead him to the spice. Once they are alone, Rafa apologises to the others for taking the job and Ahsoka reassures her that they live and learn.

Review

This was a very odd episode, with some stellar moments that I really enjoyed, but overall leaving me feeling that we got nowhere in this episode. The fact that we started the episode in the cell and end with them back there makes it feel rather wasteful considering this is one of just 12 episodes, and I really hope that next week’s episode will do what I think it will and show that this episode was about the characters growing to the point that they can successfully escape (with a little help) next week.

I was getting very annoyed by how the sisters did not appear to be growing as characters, especially with how Trace continued to be so naïve as to be more worried about her ship than escaping safely and Rafa continued to shift all the blame away form herself. I was therefore glad to see Rafa begin to realise the danger she was putting Trace in and reacting to that, though I must admit that it was still infuriating seeing her refusing to trust Ahsoka and being willing to leave her behind at any opportunity. That said, I think that it was a deliberate contrast in this episode to show Rafa willing to leave Ahsoka behind, while Ahsoka makes sure that she goes back for the sisters, putting herself back in danger. I feel that next week will see Rafa finally accept Ahsoka and have some moment where she either waits for her or goes back to help.

“Will you listen to this! We got a regular Jedi here”

“What if I was?”

“Don’t kid around!”

My absolute favourite moment in the episode was the scene where the Martez sisters told the story of what happened to their parents. The way that Trace has spoken about them previously made me feel we hadn’t been given the full story, but I definitely wasn’t ready for what they told Ahsoka. The raw emotion from all 3 characters was on point, but to draw in a previous The Clone Wars story in Ziro’s breakout was a wonderful idea, with just enough information being given for us to figure out who Trace was describing (Cad Bane as the red-eyed alien, Luminara as the Jedi) while not making them conveniently know the names of everyone involved. It was a wonderful way of reminding us how the Jedi have fallen so far by showing Luminara’s somewhat callous nature towards loss, something we saw when it looked like she had lost her padawan in the episode “Weapons Factory”. It also expands the story a little as the chase through Coruscant was not something we had seen previously, the story in the episode having jumped from the Senate hostage crisis and Ziro leaving prison to Ziro being on Nal Hutta.

The next standout for me was everything featuring the Mandalorians. I have been looking forward to the Siege of Mandalore arc ever since the show’s return was announced, and while these 3 episodes have seemed an odd choice of story to show in such a short season, it is clearly putting Ahsoka in the right place to enter that arc, so I like how the arcs look like they may overlap and switch seamlessly from one to the other. It was great seeing Bo-Katan back and seeing Sabine’s mother Ursa Wren there was a welcome surprise that made sense when I thought about it (Sabine said in Rebels season 2 that her mother was a part of Death Watch, but Clan Wren’s rivalry with Clan Saxon suggested that she had not sided with Maul after he killed Pre Vizsla). I imagine that we will see the Mandalorians involved in breaking the trio out of the Pyke’s grasp which will then lead to Ahsoka agreeing to help Bo-Katan on Mandalore.

The final scene I wanted to praise was Ahsoka taking on the 4 Pykes in the gatehouse. The way that she took them out with relative ease while the sisters struggled to take out just one Pyke showed how good a fighter she is, while the fact that they put up a bit more of a challenge than Pintu’s thugs in the first episode of the arc was a subtle way to remain us that the Pykes are far more dangerous than those low-level gangsters.

“You’re not gonna die! I’ll figure something out!”

A few final thoughts on the episode:

  • How many more times is Ahsoka going to be able to use the Force without anyone noticing?! I can’t help feel that at least one of Trace or Rafa would have noticed Ahsoka pushing Trace the extra distance when she tried to jump over the retracted bridge
  • The Mandalorians looked so awesome with just their helmets showing under their hooded cloaks
  • The torture droid looked incredible, with modifications giving it the appearance of a stoop and a hunched back, while the sparking when it brought its “hands” together just added to its sinister appearance

Moments in Canon

“Don’t make them mad, Trace.”

  • Bo-Katan recognised Ahsoka from a fight Ahsoka had with Death Watch on Carlac, which is shown in the episode “A Friend in Need”
  • The story of the death of Trace and Rafa’s parents helps fill the gap between the episodes “Hostage Crisis” and “Hunt for Ziro” and shows that after Cad Bane and Company collected Ziro from the prison, they were chased across Coruscant by Jedi, before escaping and managing to get off-planet

star wars the clone wars s7e7 dangerous debt ursa wren bo-katan kryze

What did you think of the episode?

Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you.

2 thoughts on “The Clone Wars: “Dangerous Debt”

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