“The Zillo Beast Arc” was trying to do a really cool idea, sadly so much of it didn’t work. Kaiju films have a lot of tropes, there are the soldiers (Clone Troopers and Jedi) those who want to use the Kaiju as a weapon or kill it (Palpatine and Anakin) and those who want to save and protect it because it is last of it’s kind (Padme, Mace Windu and the Scientist Sionver), it was also awoken by the equivalent of an atomic bomb in the Star Wars Universe, so these episodes are going full Kaiju. They even have the “Monster Destroys the City” and “Monster is Intelligent” tropes in full swing. Sadly it doesn’t really work, even though all the things that need it to work are present.
“The Zillo Beast” was directed by Giancarlo Volpe and written by Craig Titley while “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back” was directed by Steward Lee and written by Steven Melching.
The story involves the Republic uses a Super Weapon on Malastare which awakens an ancient Zillo Beast which they have to defeat and later take to Coruscant for containment, from here it escapes after Palpatine orders it killed and the Republic Heroes race against time to stop it and the Chancellor.
The Pros: Palpatine – Palpatine Palpatines this episode as we see him wanting to use the Zillo’s Beast armor to upgrade the troops and later wants it cloned after it’s defeated. The creature stares him down when he orders it’s death on multiple occasions and you never see him fully give into fear. He truly is the future Emperor. Ruthless, intelligent and a bit bad (cloning the beast is a wonderful, terrible idea).
Anakin – Anakin is the middle road on this where he sees why Palpatine needs to kill the beast (it keeps doing damage and can’t be contained). He also sees the ends justify the means in regards to the war and is Anakin and Padme’s main protector during the beast’s rampage over Coruscant.
Mace Windu – Mace Windu has a soft side, especially for nature. We this in his advocating for the life of the Zillo Beast and the ends he goes to to save it. I liked this even though it make him a bit lawful stupid.
Okay: Malastare – The Dugs are alright but they were pretty weak and we never get to know their world.
Dr. Sionver – She is fascinated by the beast but helps design the weapon for it. She is mostly a pawn of Palpatine because she values her job so much. This character had potential but didn’t have enough interaction with anyone outside of Palpatine which limited her development.
The Cons: The Zillo Beast – The design looks like plant meets reptile and could have been really cool, but it was way too lanky and hands were too papery to feel like a threat. I liked the ideas behind the Zillo Beast, just not the execution, much like the episode.
Lost Potential – We have the factions…those who want to kill and save the beast, but no one attempts to save it when it escapes and it starting on Malastare was bad given how boring the planet was, even a nuke and Separatist army couldn’t make it interesting. There should have been Dr. Sionver’s faction and Palpatine’s faction with the military being the ones in Sionver’s role of trying to weaponize the scales of the Beast. So much potential was lost this episode.
I liked the ideas of this episode, but not the execution and so many characters had potential that was never truly explored. For this reason I can’t recommend it. The two episodes are okay but aren’t good or great.
Final Score: 5 / 10. Average adventure.