Shadow Warrior

May 30, 2013 in Episode Guides by Firebird

#70 Season 4 Episode 4

“Who a person truly is cannot be seen with the eye.”


Padmé and Anakin go to Naboo to investigate rumours of Gungan treachery. They discover that minister Rish Loo is behind the plot but the leader of the Gungans, Boss Lyonie, is injured in the process. Luckily there is an uncanny resemblance between the Boss and Jar Jar so it’s up to Binks to sway his people from rising against the Naboo and stop a Separatist invasion led by General Grievous.

Shadow Warrior Preview and Episode Guide. Commentary for episodes 4 to 6.

Original Airdate: 30 September 2011
Writer: Daniel Arkin
Director: Brian Kalin O’Connel

Concept Art and Trivia

Shadow Warrior is the English translation of ‘Kagemusha’, a 1980 film directed by Akira Kurosawa about a lowly criminal impersonating a dying war lord. George Lucas greatly admires Akira Kurosawa and the original Star Wars movie was greatly shaped by Kurosawa’s work, especially the film The Hidden Fortress. George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola are credited at the end of the Kagemusha as executive producers in the international version. This is because they convinced 20th Century Fox to make up a shortfall in the film’s budget when the original producers, Toho Studios, could not afford to complete the film. In return, 20th Century Fox received the international distribution rights to the film (source).

Boss Lyonie was specifically created to resemble Jar Jar Binks – they are built upon the same animation model. For the story to work, Boss Nass was written out of the series – he’s alive and well, but retired. In early development, Boss Lyonie’s name was “Boss Nat,” but that proved too confusingly similar to Nass’s name.


Rish Loo’s name sounds a lot like that of the villain from the Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu.

Count Dooku and talks to Darth Sidious via hologram from within a secret command center. This is intended to suggest a long-standing Sith presence secreted on Naboo, most likely used by Sidious himself long ago, when Naboo centered into his plans for galactic conquest. There was some idea given to having Darth Maul’s Sith Infiltrator parked in this facility, since his ship was never accounted for in Episode I. It is not the first secret facility revealed on Naboo.

This episode continues the tradition of General Grievous and Anakin Skywalker barely encountering each other. Anakin is unconscious and Grievous is in shackles when they cross paths. Because of the dialogue they exchange in Episode III, it’s clear that Anakin and Grievous never meet face-to-face during The Clone Wars.


For those wondering what might have occurred to transform a perfectly loyal Boss Lyonie to a traitor — beyond the influence the Rish Loo, that is — here’s a bit of explanation: “Shadow Warrior” was originally intended to take place before the Mon Cala trilogy. It was moved after those three episodes in order to have a more epic, action-packed premiere for Season 4.


Otoh Gunga bubble design illustration