'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Breakdown: The Details and History That Enrich "Deal No Deal"
Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us the distinct impression that Ahsoka would be taking a turn into a life of crime. This week’s episode, “Deal No Deal,” delivers. When Rafa Martez gets a job that she promises is a simple run, it turns out to be anything but simple. Soon, Ahsoka and the Martez sisters are wrapped up in a spice smuggling operation that goes south faster than an Anakin Skywalker plan.
Anakin’s Sixth Sense
When Trace Martez takes her ship, The Silver Angel, from Coruscant, she ends up in a military space lane and gets chewed out by Yularen himself. Ahsoka counsels them in ways to correct the situation, but they don’t listen. Finally, she just shuts off the comm and gets a feeling. Standing next to Yularen on the flagship? Her old master, Anakin Skywalker. Yularen asks Skywalker if he should pursue The Silver Angel, but Anakin senses something familiar and tells Yularen to forget about it. This scene tees up a moment we see in Star Wars Rebels and is echoed later in Return of the Jedi.
When Ahsoka first senses who Vader really is, it comes in a similar, ship-to-ship situation, but the warmth on Anakin’s face when he senses Ahsoka is replaced by a band of darkness on Vader’s mask.
In Return of the Jedi, the moment is much more subdued when he comes ship-to-ship with the presence of his son this way.
With the addition of this scene in The Clone Wars, it provides a very fascinating triptych.
The Kessel Run
After Ahsoka and the Martez sisters make it off of Coruscant, they drop out of hyperspace outside of Kessel. We see them briefly churning through the same path Lando and L3-37 guided Han and crew through in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but instead of the mines, the Martez sisters head for an entirely different part of the planet. This side is lush with forests and evokes an entirely different feeling. The spice mines of Kessel have been long talked about when it comes to Star Wars. This is where Threepio lamented being sent in A New Hope in 1977. Seeing different aspects of it through different eras since its first visual appearance in Star Wars Rebels has been one of the most fascinating things to come from the last six years of Star Wars storytelling.
If you watch carefully, you can see visual cues that match up to Solo: A Star Wars Story like the beacons in the maelstrom and the general look of the planet.
Rafa Martez and the Spice Run of Doom
The side of the planet our heroes land on, though, is much more lush than anything we’ve really seen from the planet so far. As they pull in, Rafa makes a comment about this leading to “fortune and glory,” and suddenly we think of her character and potential arc in a different light.
Here’s Indiana Jones from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
As Indiana Jones set out to seek his fortune and glory, he ended up in a jungle paradise, just like we see on Kessel, eating dinner around a table with people he offends deeply. Although this episode skips all of the gross-out food of the Temple of Doom version, it works in the same vein for the characters, with Rafa as the Indiana Jones sort. It makes one wonder if we’re going to see a similar growth arc from her as we look ahead to the next two episodes and by the end, Rafa will be over her vainglorious notions of seeking her fortune and glory, just like Dr. Jones did.
The Pyke Syndicate
When Ahsoka and the Martez sisters take possession of the spice, they’re to deliver it to Marg Krim. Krim is a character from the novel Dark Disciple, which was itself based on on eight un-produced episodes of The Clone Wars and adapted by Christie Golden. The Pyke Syndicate was involved in the disappearance of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and their previous leader, Lom Pyke, was killed by Count Dooku (as seen in The Clone Wars season seven). Krim took over the syndicate and refused to play ball with the Black Sun crime family. Krim’s family got kidnapped and he hired bounty hunters, Asajj Ventress and Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, to rescue them. In this episode, Krim is Jedi mind-tricked by Ahsoka into letting her and her companions go, but that plan only gets them so far.
Another Pyke you’ve seen in live action was Quay Tolsite, on Kessel in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Qi’ra killed him in the back room using her prowess in Teras Kasi.
Deal No Deal
This episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Ahsoka and the Martez sisters running afoul of the Pyke Syndicate. Ahsoka has already used a Jedi mind trick and force lifted Trace in the previous episode. What Jedi powers will she be forced to utilize to keep herself and the Martez sisters safe in the next episode is anyone’s guess. I’d be interested to see if Rafa does have a change of heart as well.
We’ll see next week!
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