The Bardotta Arc (Episodes 8 & 9)Episodes "The Disappeared Part I" and "The Disappeared Part II" Synopsis The Force-sensitive Degoyan Masters of the remote planet of Bardotta are being abducted so their Queen reaches out to the Republic for help. Mace Windu travels to Bardotta to investigate but, at the insistence of the Queen, a certain member of the Senate goes with him: Jar Jar Binks. Analysis Off the top of your head: who's the worst character to give Jar Jar a story with? That was a bit of a trick question since the correct answer is "Everyone" but your immediate answer should have been "Mace Windu". It's like Borat being sent on a hostage extraction mission with Rambo. It's a weird and high risk idea because they're polar opposites. One's the second most powerful Jedi in the galaxy and the other's a clumsy moron who even the other characters hate. They shouldn't fit together but, amazingly, it kind of works. The Bardottans' distrust of Jedi and their Queen's faith in and history with Jar Jar completely reverses the power dynamic between him and Mace which leads to some pretty funny moments as Mace basically has to cope with being Jar Jar's lackey and is clearly longing to break out another "This party's over moment" but has to bite his tongue for the sake of the mission. Another thing that makes this two-parter work is that it does a lot for Jar Jar as a character. First of all, his clumsiness and stupidity are toned down in part since, on Bardotta, he has more power and influence than Mace and especially when Queen Julia (why the writer decided on that name I don't know) is in danger, he really steps up his game to rescue her thanks to her being his love interest. Okay, stop vomiting. I know it's hideous to think of Jar Jar having anything even remotely resembling a love life but it actually does a lot for his character by making him more three dimensional and by bumping up his self-confidence and willingness to fight. Hell, a few more stories like this together with toning down the voice and he could have become a half decent character. And good God, I'm actually complimenting Jar Jar Binks! Despite that, there's a lot of the usual Jar Jar slapstick and, at his core, he's still the same character we loathed back in 1999. Away from Jar Jar, this is basically a standard action adventure yarn that just about fits the two episode runtime. The villains are suitably threatening which is really helped by the strong Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom influence, and the story never feels like its dragging too much. On the downside though, it feels far too divorced from the Clone Wars themselves since Bardotta and the disappearance of the Degoyan Masters have no connection to wider events. Also, the identity of the main villain orchestrating the kidnappings (because we have seen this character before) does seem a bit pulled out of the writers' arses as does their ultimate fate. The climax is reasonably well handled though with a serviceable Lightsaber duel and Jar Jar mowing down enemies with a massive gun. Honestly. Verdict Exciting enough and well paced but nothing really spectacular. It deserves a lot of respect for actually being an enjoyable Jar Jar story though.