The Clone Wars is going decent for the Republic, yet more systems slip through their fingers and join the Confederacy under Dooku. Umbara could be a huge blow to the Separatist allies as Umbara is a huge export to metals that is used for their ships, weapons, and vehicles for the war, losing this planet would be difficult to swallow, and so a very brutal struggle between the forces of the Republic against the inhabitants of the planet ensued, with large numbers of dead rising on both sides.
I love this arc, it gives off the feeling of Vietnam like battles, with hit and run attacks, guerrilla warfare, and just an unknown enemy hiding, waiting to ambush the Clone troopers. The landing they have on the planet is awesome visually, having gunships drop troops off while taking fire, dropping off recon Walkers into a war zone while Anakin Skywalker does what he does, which is lead from the front, all the while trying to establish a landing zone and clear enemy from the area so they can not only get reinforcements, but to push the enemy back deeper into their own territory.
It's a four part story that brings side characters to the forefront with both actions and their mindsets on the situations they get into, including the strategy that is laid out before them. It's interesting and at the same time action packed.
Darkness of Umbara sets the tone for the rest of the arc and it gets dark quick. This is also the introduction to General Krell, a Jedi General who gets results but pushes his Clones to the edge, throwing away lives to obtain those victories. It gives you the feeling that some Jedi treat the Clone Troopers much like the battle druids on the opposing side. You can tell by his tone as soon as he Meets Captain Rex, he just doesn't care about their lives and puts the mission above them living.
The arc also shows that these Clones are their own people, they are individuals with different ways of thinking and personalities, this arc was very good at showing that. It also shows them come together as a unit, giving off Order 66 vibes in one scene. General Pong Krell betrays them and pits them against each other, even to the point of tricking two forces of Clones to fire on each other until they figure it out, but it's too late, many Clones died during the fight.
Pong Krell was the perfect villain in these episodes, but was he wrong? Did he see what the Clones would do in a vision? He seemed to know something.
Once the Clones came together to stop Krell, you get the full picture of how strong a single jedi is compared to the Clones. That fact brings thoughts of Revenge Of The Sith and how they killed thousands of Jedi with overwhelming numbers and with a surprise attack they never seen coming, because if they knew, I think the Clones didn't stand a chance.
This arc is one of the best in the Clone Wars Series, it sets itself apart story wise, gets dirty, and gives us a taste of how this war may be going on other planets. Umbara was defending itself, had almost superior technology, and fought ferociously, but it was bound to fall to the Republic much like most the universe. I really wish we got to see what Obi Wan Kenobi was dealing with further away with his advancing army, who was waiting for Krell to do his job in order for him to move forward in taking the planet.
Great episodes from Darkness of Umbara to the final episode in the four parter called Carnage of Krell. The best part as I said is all the Star characters are pushed to the side and we get a pure war based arc with huge conflict and a big time payoff at the end.
95 out of 100 A+
9.5 out of 10 A+
Amazing episodes that you should definitely check out if you didn't already! Don't forget it's on Disney Plus in season four!