The Peaceful Lurmen and the Vengeful Zillo Beast
A Clone Wars Marathon
War and peace. Truth and lies. Nature and machine. How we present ourselves in the worst of times, reflects the world around us. Will you sacrifice your beliefs? During the war of the clones, many sacrifices were made. Many societies shattered into hollow imitations of their former self. George Lucas explored such questions inside The Clone Wars. Here are two story arcs (four episodes total) put together to reveal some the cost of war.
“Only when you lay your arms down and pursue a course of nonviolence can you make this claim to me that the Jedi are peacekeepers.” – Tee Watt Kaa
Jedi Crash (Season 1 Episode 13)
Separatist droid army fighting the Republic clone army in the atmosphere over Quell. We never see Quell. We don’t need to. The Jedi in command, Aayla Secura and her clone Commander Bly are being rescued by Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, his Padawan Learner Ahsoka Tano, and clone Captain Rex. They escape. They win! Except Anakin is gravely injured, the ship they escaped on launched into hyperspace, without proper coordinates, and they almost crash into a star before ultimately landing on the planet Maridun. A planet untouched by the war.
While finding aid, for the injured Skywalker, they happen upon a town of Lurmen. Tiny, adorable race that looks similar to lemurs. A gentle race. A peaceful race. A race that wants nothing to do, with the Jedi. The War. The death that they bring in the wake of their “heroism.”
The beauty of this episode is how the Lerman Chieftain Tee Watt Kaa calls out Secura on the Jedi’s misguided cries of keeping the peace. Tee Watt Kaa was not trying to change Ayala Secura, but how she saw him. How he saw the galaxy. His former homeworld taken over by the war. Kaa was willing to step aside from the war. To be brave enough stand firm on the decision to stay peaceful. Find another solution. Go somewhere else. He and the Lurmen may have lost their world, but they had learned to stay true to themselves as the galaxy devoured itself. Kaa ended up relenting on sending aid to Skywalker. The only healer, a young Lerman, Wag Too rushed off to the rescue.
“There’s a difference between pulling innocents into a war and leaving them to extinction.” – Anakin Skywalker
Defenders of Peace (Season 1 Episode 14)
With Anakin Skywalker on the mend, the Lurmen received more visitors to their planet. A neimoidian, Lok Durd (voiced by George Takai). He strolled into town, with a posse of battle droids, and a pocket full of sass. Full of courage Kaa met Durd, with frank disdain of their invasion, but offered up reluctant surrender. Kaa would stand his ground at keeping his village at peace. Even after Durd ordered his Droids to ransack the Lerman’s homes. The oozing overconfidence of Lok Durd as he uninvitedly congratulated the Lurmen on joining the Separatist cause. This neimoidian reminded me of Christopher Colombus.
The Jedi and clones escaped the village unnoticed. They found out Lok Durd brought a new toy. A weapon to destroy anything living. A remover of sentient and plant life. A defoliator. Shot from a cannon, this chemical weapon would be the perfect asset to the droid army! A chemical weapon to be tested on the Lurmen. Even if Tee Watt Kaa and his people didn’t want to join the war… War was coming to them. Sometimes beliefs must be adapted to the situation at hand. It isn’t going against tradition, but surviving. It may seem it is as the Force wields it, but sometimes other forces may be manipulating the situation. But at what cost does giving in to survival entail? The Republic and Jedi saved the day… But was it be worth it?
“It is not the Jedi way to take an innocent life.” – Mace Windu
The Zillo Beast (Season 2 Episode 18)
Fuel to fire the flames of the war machine. Malastare, the planet home to the Dugs, carried a vast amount of fuel. Fuel the Republic demanded. Needed if they were to continue the war. The only problem? The Separatist already invaded that planet. Alas, the Republic had the cure, for the little massive droid infestation! An electro-proton bomb! Similar to the hydrogen bomb from Earth, that exploding work of deadly art only emitted an electromagnetic field of massive damage. Totally harmless to the planet and life forms.. Until the explosion caused a gigantic sinkhole into the planet, trapped many clones and Dugs at the bottom, and unearthed a Godzilla-like creature known as the Zillo Beast.
Not to simply pack up, with a “job done” sticker, and leave, the Republic still needed that fuel. The only hitch was a Dug prophecy proclaiming that the beast would destroy civilization if it ever returned. Euthanization talks commence, and Jedi Master Mace Windu and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker come up, with a plan to subdue the beast, in order to transport it off world. Maybe to a giant meadow planet, where the Zillo beast can hop and skip-free! Except, that wasn’t what ended up happening. The Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who was overseeing the signing of the treaty to get that juicy fuel, found out that the Zillo beast had some unique flesh. Non-laser sword cutting flesh. Something he wanted to exploit. When the Dugs were rid of the Zillo beast, the treaty was signed, and the giant meadow sanctuary turned into Coruscant (One big city of a planet).
“I didn’t think you’d feel so strongly about it.” – Anakin Skywalker
The Zillo Beast Strikes Back (Season 2 Episode 19)
Gigantic massive lightsaber resistant creature. Densely populated planet made entirely of city. No way could that go bad. Oh right, Palpatine went and upset the beast. Not just a little bit. A lot… The pretense, for transporting the Zillo Beast to Coruscant was to study the beast. Synthesize the flesh into stronger armor. Allow soldiers to live longer. Kill longer. How far down the rabbit trail must one go to become the victor?
The Jedi tried to intervene– Failed. Senator Padmé Amidala, with her secretly wed unreluctant husband Anakin Skywalker tried to reason with Palpatine– Failed. The beast got out after an almost being murdered by scientists. Destruction was on sale at every block, and it was free as the beast stomped toward the Senatorial Office. Ultimately, the Zillo beast died. Palpatine had it cloned, yet the fruits of the endeavor were never revealed.
In the end, we have four episodes of The Clone Wars, where we see the consequence of the war. At least a sliver of the effects. War on moral. Peace after destruction. The Republic and Jedi sacrificed so much that by the end of the conflict, they burned to ash, and were reborn the Galactic Empire.