Star Wars The Clone Wars Dangerous Debt Breakdown

The penultimate episode of the penultimate arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars seemed like a small story, documenting the struggle of the Martez sisters and Ahsoka Tano to escape the Pyke Syndicate, but it opened up into a whole new world of Star Wars. It added context to stories we’d thought had been completed, added characters from Star Wars Rebels into the mix, and ties directly into the struggles of Mandalore. Let’s dive deeper into “Dangerous Debt”.

The Hunt For Ziro

Trapped in a Pyke Syndicate cell in the captivity of the great Marg Krim, Ahsoka and Rafa Martez argue about the right course of action and where to lay the blame for their situation. As they fight, Rafa reveals why she and her sister stay away from topsiders, stick to each other, and generally distrust the Jedi. Then, she tells a tale that fits neatly between previously seen episodes of The Clone Wars. Rafa talks about Ziro the Hutt’s prison break, led by Cad Bane. We saw most of this in the season one finale of The Clone Wars, “Hostage Crisis.” That episode ends with Cad Bane leaving with Ziro the Hutt in speeders into Coruscant after holding a number of Senators, including Padmé Amidala, hostage. 

Rafa’s story takes it a step beyond what we saw. The Martez family is impacted specifically by a bounty hunter that perfectly matches the description of Cad Bane. Her parents were killed when Bane shot a transport to create a distraction for his getaway with Ziro. The distraction worked and Bane and Ziro got away.

After the incident1, a green-skinned Jedi came to comfort the Martez sisters with a tone-deaf response. It seems as though this Jedi was likely Luminara Unduli, the master of Barris Offee, the padawan who framed Ahsoka for murder. Ahsoka offers a strong, heartfelt apology, realizing just how wrong the Jedi she left behind might have been.

It was a touching moment in the episode and a fascinating look at how Ahsoka views her experience.

The Mandalorians

A delightful surprise in this episode was the inclusion of a trio of Mandalorians. Who were these mysterious warriors? We have the identities of two of them. The first is Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff) who would eventually take possession of the Darksaber and become the leader of Mandalore in the final season of Star Wars Rebels. She mentions her interaction with Ahsoka on Carlac, which were events that occurred in the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of The Clone Wars, “A Friend in Need.” In that episode, Ahsoka saw herself up against Death Watch and Bo Katan was there as part of their cadre. Bo Katan left that organization after Maul killed her leader, Pre Vizsla (voice by Jon Favreau), and her sister, the Duchess Satine. Katan ended up helping Obi-Wan Kenobi weather the conflict and didn’t otherwise appear again on the timeline until Star Wars Rebels. You can see her rescue Kenobi here:

One of the Mandalorians who appears with Bo Katan goes nameless, but the other is none other than Ursa Wren from Star Wars Rebels. Ursa Wren is the mother of Sabine Wren, who would definitely be born at this point in the timeline, and is a fierce warrior in her own right. Many characters in Star Wars Rebels have made their crossover from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but I think this is first time where a character introduced on Rebels made their way into The Clone Wars. 

This scene talks about Ursa Wren’s situation after the events of The Clone Wars.

Always Helping Others

There’s an interesting thing that happens in this episode and it involves a Gotal beggar. The Gotal asks Rafa and Ahsoka for any spare credits they may have and they wave him away. The beggar goes on his way and then finds himself face to face with the Pyke’s. They show him a holo of Ahsoka and the Martez’s and he sells information about them to the Pyke’s. This sort of betrayal is the other side of the coin that we see as a major theme in Star Wars. The heroes are nice to the less fortunate beings and those beings offer them unasked for help in return, that’s what happened with Qui-Gon and Jar Jar, that’s what happened with Luke and the Ewoks. Had Ahsoka offered the Gotal something, it’s likely he might have pointed the Pyke’s in the other direction. And this is the very theme Ahsoka is struggling with through the episode. She doesn’t quite understand why she’s helping the Martez sisters except that’s just what she’s been trained to do. Is it what she’s supposed to do? It’s fascinating watching her grapple with these questions of who she really is, untethered from the Jedi Order.

Dangerous Debt

Though a lot happened this episode, our heroes end up in the exact same predicament they were in before: in a Pyke prison cell. Something tells me that this arc is going to lead into the Siege of Mandalore a lot more directly than we were previously expecting and that Bo Katan and Ursa Wren might have something to do with their escape. They certainly worked with the Pykes during the initial takeover of Mandalore and that didn’t end well, so anything is possible.

Next week, it will all be revealed!

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