This week on George Lucas Wants You To Learn That Fighting Is Awesome, war comes to Space Brigadoon, and Raccoon Ewoks discover that pacifism is for losers. Socially responsible television the way you like it!
There's some weird sense of humor at play in titling this episode "Defenders of Peace," considering the moral of the episode seemed to be "Being a pacifist will get you killed." Even the bright blue words of wisdom that start each episode had a particularly machismo quality to them, this week: "When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side." Oh, really?
The plot of the episode was pretty much exactly what you'd expect if you've seen Return Of The Jedi: Bad guys (Count Dooku's Separatists) invade planet of peaceful non-combatants (the Raccoon-like Lurmen, who seem to have switched from Irish last week to Scottish this week. Although, admittedly, the same Scotland that James Doohan came from) with big weapon of doom. Good guys (the Jedi and clone troopers) fight back. Peaceful non-combatants eventually fight back - including tying the legs of the bad guys and then knocking them over; Jedi homage or unlikely coincidence? - and the day is won. For a series that normally shines when showing fighting, the battle was disappointing, rushed and repetitive, with even the Lurmen's last-minute change of heart downplayed so much as to seem negligible.
The disappointment of what should've been the heart of the episode sunk whatever potential the episode had (Although I still have serious doubts about whether the episode had that much potential at all, considering its moral; there were moments where the script seemed to have been mixed up with a military recruitment film, with the peaceful Lurmen being described as cowards and without pride for not fighting, and no opposing view given at all. The show's closing "Yes, we have joined the fight... but at what cost?" was, if anything, a patronizing nod in the direction of the flipside, considering we'll never see the cost, and by the way, here's a trailer for next week's show with more awesome-looking fighting). What was left was an episode with voice acting that distracted too much (George Takei's lead villain Lok Durd was especially comedic, although perhaps not intentionally so), and a story that continually moved between the depressingly familiar and familiarly depressing. Definitely not one of the better episodes.