Corruption starts at the top. If a government cannot refrain from giving in to temptation, its people can hardly be expected to resist. Mandalore's problems with malfeasance and the black market are coming from a powerful source. In Episode 6 of Season 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "The Academy," the Jedi assistance that Duchess Satine requested has arrived. She hopes the Jedi will help her identify the root of the widespread corruption.
Anakin and Ahsoka arrive to Mandalore. Anakin has to return to battle immediately, but Ahsoka's mission is to teach students at Mandalore's academy about the dangers of corruption. Because of her age, the Jedi Council thinks she can make an impression upon the students. Duchess Satine and Prime Minister Almec are happy to have her there. The cadets, including Satine's nephew Korkie, are eager to learn from her. When class begins, she teaches the cadets about the importance of being vigilant. Governments are corrupted too frequently because money and power are strong lures. She says it is the responsibility of the citizens to question their government and ensure that officials are acting honestly.
The group of cadets that greeted Ahsoka when she arrived take her speech to heart. Korkie, Amis, Lagos, and Soniee learn that the school is on rations again, and something about that feels off to them. Their curiosity and growling stomaches drive them to check out the delivery docks and government warehouses. They sneak in and find not only plenty of food, but that a suspicious meeting is taking place. They see offworlders, Mandalorian Secret Service, and a cloaked figure. As they record the meeting, they accidentally make their presence known. They are chased the whole way out of the warehouse and only just escape.
They decide the situation is severe enough to notify the Duchess. However, she doesn't seem to take them seriously. Since the Prime Minister is the next highest government official, Korkie contacts him. Almec asks Korkie to bring the recording and all the cadets that know about it to a meeting later that night. Korkie can't contain the news though and tells Ahsoka about what he and the cadets witnessed in the warehouse. Ahsoka chides them for being overzealous but also recognizes that something doesn't add up. She secretly accompanies them to the meeting with the Prime Minister.
As you might have guessed, the meeting is a trap. Mandalorian Secret Service officers greet the cadets and try to arrest them. Ahsoka jumps in to save the day though. She singlehandedly takes them down without her lightsaber (she was not permitted to bring it on the planet). Now that she sees the importance and danger of what the cadets have uncovered, she helps them identify the culprit in the cloak. A scan of the secret meeting recording reveals the cloaked person to be none other than Prime Minister Almec. Shocked, Korkie immediately thinks of the Duchess. Almec knew she was aware of what the cadets witnessed. They race to her quarters and find that many members of Satine's personal guard have been killed. Ahsoka realizes that the Prime Minister is willing to go to disturbing extremes to keep his secrets.
Ahsoka formulates a new plan. She goes to Almec and hands over the cadets. She hopes this act will make Almec trust her. It sort of works. She learns that Satine has been apprehended, but Almec is not willing to divulge her location. After he leaves, Ahsoka uses the good ole Jedi mind trick to get one of the prison guards to lead her to Satine. She is being kept in a very secure cell that looks as if it has been built for the worst of criminals. Ahsoka tries to free her, but she has been led into a trap by Almec. It turns out that the guards have been trained to resist such “archaic magic” as the Force; they tipped the Prime Minister off as soon as she tried it.
With Ahsoka physically debilitated, Almec tries to force the Duchess to sign a letter of confession. He wants to pin all the treason and corruption on her. Even under the torture of a shock collar, Satine resists and refuses to sign anything. Almec orders the guards to retrieve the “traitorous” cadets, assuming that Satine cannot withstand seeing any of the children, but especially her nephew, tortured. Just as the guards are about to place the shock collar around Korkie's neck, Ahsoka springs into action. With a little help from the four cadets, she is able to take down most of the guards. It seems she is getting stronger with each episode we see her in. She captures Almec with the shock collar and in a surprising move, she actually uses it on him. The Duchess calls her personal guard; they handle the corrupt prison guards. Ahsoka locks Almec in the cell that Satine just left. Satine admits to Ahsoka that she didn't bring her to Mandalore only to teach. She was hoping they would find out where the corruption was coming from. The Duchess has a chance of stopping it now.
As Anakin picks up Ahsoka from Mandalore, he comments on how risky the situation was. Ahsoka pointed out, “It's nothing you wouldn't have done.” Those two have an interesting road ahead.
Trivia & Notes
One of the cadets utters the first “I have a bad feeling about this” of the season. The Duchess also gets to say, “It's a trap!”
Prime Minister Almec addresses Ahsoka as Master Jedi. This is the proper way for a non-Jedi to address any Jedi, even a Padawan.
Ahsoka's use of the shock collar had her looking mighty dark, supporting one theory that her ultimate fate on the show isn't death, but a turn to the dark side.Next Week
More Ahsoka action with prophecy dreams and the return of the bounty hunter Aurra Sing!What'd you think of "Academy"?