Writer: Paul Dini
Director: Brian Kalin O’Connell
Tagline: “Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.”
Story: “Voyage of Temptation” is the second episode in a three-part arc notable for introducing Mandalorians — Boba/Jango Fett’s people — to the “Clone Wars” TV universe. In the last episode, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) successfully protected Duchess Satine of Mandalore (Anna Graves) from the Death Watch, a Mandalorian terrorist led by Pre Vizsla (Jon Favreau). Now enroute to Coruscant on a diplomatic mission, Satine and Obi-Wan are joined by Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) and a quartet of Republic senators. The routine trip is disrupted when Death Watch assassin probes are set loose aboard the ship and one of the senators is implicated in the attack.
Goodbye Mandalore: Those fans who were miffed at the treatment of the Mandalorian people in the previous episode, how they are at odds with previous characterization from the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe, can relax in the knowledge that there have been no further departures from the established lore.
Obi-Wan Ke-nookie: After the previous episode’s strong hints, we finally learn the details of Obi-Wan’s and Satine’s shared history. The two met during an extended mission to Mandalore, back when Obi-Wan still called Qui-Gon Jinn his master. While the past is long behind them, it’s clear that some feelings linger for both. This results in a number of heated emotional exchanges, which seem at first to be decidedly out of character for a Jedi of Kenobi’s power. Once the truth of their history is revealed however, it actually serves to humanize the master Force-user. Even Kenobi is not above experiencing powerful emotions… he’s simply grown quite competent at hiding them.
Begun, These Clone Wars Have: One layer of subtext that longtime fans and followers of the Expanded Universe are well aware of is the crumbling of the Jedi order. When Palpatine issues the call for his clone troopers to turn on their Jedi generals (as seen in “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”), the task of slaying them is made easier by how scattered and broken they’ve become. We bear witness to proof of this in the neutral Satine’s observations of the Jedi participation in the war, voiced to Kenobi during one of those aforementioned heated exchanges.
The Fall: Another important layer of subtext in any Clone Wars-era work of “Star Wars” fiction is Anakin Skywalker’s downward spiral into darkness. The future Darth Vader doesn’t simply turn around one day and decide to do evil. It’s a tragic fall, one built on an innate-yet-naive desire to do good, slowly twisted by a Sith Lord into something monstrous. We get a great taste of the future Dark Lord earlier in the season, in “Brain Invaders.” Some of that moral ambiguity bubbles to the surface once again in “Voyage,” a point driven home by a quick, subtle nod to the Imperial March (ie Darth Vader’s Theme) in the episode’s score. I won’t spoil it for you; suffice to say, Anakin commits an evil act in the name of good.