Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episodes 15-18 – “The Obi-Wan Undercover Arc” – Plots and Trust

Epguide416

     This arc was great at exploring the ends the Jedi will go to meet their ends and how Anakin is growing apart from them and the council and closer to Palpatine. We also get to see Dooku being a great threat again and Cad Bane at work. It was a very great arc that managed to give a fair amount of showing rather than telling. The antagonists were wonderful and seeing Obi-Wan in action was also great.

    “Deception” was directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Brent Friedman who also wrote the other 3 episodes in the arc. “Friends and Enemies” was directed by Bosco Ng, “The Box” was directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell and “Crisis on Naboo” was directed by Danny Keller.

    The story involves Obi-Wan faking his own death and taking the identity of his supposed killer Rako Hardeen. Things get complicated when Anakin is seeking revenge against Hardeen and the Jedi Council must be honest to both of them as Dooku’s plot unfolds and Obi-Wan is pulled deeper into the criminal underworld.

The Pros: Going Undercover – The operation of Obi-Wan becoming Hardeen is really well done, as well as his gaining the trust of Moralo Eval who is the main guy behind the plot being used by Dooku. His gaining his and Bane’s trust takes time and he saves them multiple times. It’s very well done and we see him change his face and voice too to fully become the character.

“The Box” – this is what Moralo invents to create the best Bounty Hunters and it helps them form a bond and how they work together. It also shows that Bane is the best as he will go to any means to achieve the mission with Obi-Wan coming in second because of mercy. We also see the coolest Bounty Hunters who survive, such as Embo who is the Samurai alien we’ve met before, Twazzi who is quick and the calmest of the group and Derrown who looks like a three eyed mushroom with tentacles whose tentacles are electric. He is really cool too and of course Eval, Obi-Wan and Bane.

Anakin – We see a lot of Anakin’s anger in this as Obi-Wan’s funeral has him in Dark Side mode and later we see him going his own way and working behind the Council’s back to try and stop Hardeen as we see his loyalty is primarily to Palpatine who listens to him and not the Jedi Council. There are some great character moments because of this.

Cad Bane and the Bounty Hunters – Bane brake Moralo Eval out of prison and helps them escape the Hutt Homeworld as well. It is great in that among the Bounty Hunters, but especially Eval, Obi-Wan and Bane there is always a power struggle going on which creates some great dynamics as Bane is the best of them but Obi-Wan does a great job at pretend. Cad Bane would have won too if not for Obi-Wan but him getting arrested isn’t a big deal as he has escaped multiple times and is the reason Moralo is able to break out in the first place. Bane is one of my favorite characters for a reason.

Palpatine – Palpatine feeds Anakin’s ego in this and we see how smart he is too, from feeding Naboo pride and Nationalism and showing being apart of all of the situation in the first place as it feeds Anakin’s hatred and anger and distrust of the Jedi. It is very well done and we see how good he is at showing rather than telling and how sympathetic he comes off as.

The Naboo Operation and Duel – The Operation was really cool and we see that the only reason Bane doesn’t succeed and Dooku doesn’t win are due to Obi-Wan pulling off his undercover operation so well. The Duel really stands out as we see Anakin’s anger and hate grow as Dooku continues to just beat him over and over again and his anger growing in the process before Obi-Wan arrival changes everything. Bane also holds his own in every fight he is in.

  This was a great arc where even the minor characters like the Bounty Hunters got explored. We also see that Count Dooku is a major threat once more and that he has a deep respect for Obi-Wan who is responsible for both his failure in capturing Palpatine and the capture of Cad Bane. Suffice to say, I recommend this arc.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10

Advertisements

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episode 14 – “A Friend in Need” – Don’t Trust Death Watch

Epguide414

    This was an episode that had a lot of potential. We meet Lux again who realizes that Count Dooku killed his mother and he wants revenge. Sadly the more interesting part of the episode gets hijacked by this revenge arc rather than us being with Padme and the Republic with the Separatists representatives negotiating a peace. All that is left behind to show that Death Watch is horrible and that Ahsoka and Lux probably have a crush on each other, which is interesting but not as interesting as the politics that were left behind.

    The episode was directed by Dave Filoni and written by Christian Taylor.

    The story involves a Peace Conference between the Separatists and Republic that is interrupted by Lux who accuses Dooku of the murder of his mother. Things don’t go as plan though as Ahoska brings him to the Republic and he knocks her out to take her to the Death Watch base as Pre Viszla promised him Dooku dead through the use of Death Watch.

The Pros: Death Watch – These guys are thugs, like Mandalorians always were when they went warrior as we see them subjugate a local planet and take their food before they head out but not before they burn the village and leave the people to die. Viszla is a great antagonist as was his second in command Bo-Katan.

The Conference – “Will you recognize the Separatists as a Sovereign Nation?” This is the question Padme should have been wresting with this episode as it may have been the only way to bring about Peace and don’t they have a right? They have their own government. This was interrupted for a much weaker story sadly.

Okay: Ahsoka – Ahsoka is shown to be true to her friend and also may have feeling for him. This doesn’t make her stupid unlike him though as she fights Death Watch when they destroy the village and calls Lux out multiple times for his stupidity.

The Cons: Lux – His swearing to do his own thing and survive was stupid, especially since he had no allies and was alone outside of Ahsoka. It was this and his tacked on romance with Ahsoka when they were undercover that really annoyed me.

The Locals – They are just kind of there and we never get to know them as people, we only see them as oppressed and they never get the chance to fight back.

  This was an episode that should have been about the peace conference. Lux doesn’t feel fleshed out as a character and the contrived romance as well as making Death Watch outright bad were not good story decisions. So many missed opportunities, what a shame that this was the episode where Death Watch had to return.

Final Score: 4 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episodes 11-13 – “Slaves of Zygerria Arc” – The Horrors of Slavery

Epguide412

     “The Slaves of Zygerria Arc” is a decent story. My biggest issue with it overall is it doesn’t deal with the Republic and their treatment of Clones or the fact that the Hutt’s are allies of the Republic so the Republic does allow slavery via their allies. This is an issue that is never addressed and would have been a great chance to see Anakin’s disillusionment with the Republic increase further. Also Ahsoka’s people don’t feel like a culture, just as an idea.

   “Kidnapped” was directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Henry Gilroy and Steven Melching who also wrote the rest of the episodes in the arc. “Slaves of the Republic” was directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell and “Escape from Kadavo” was directed by Danny Keller.

   The story involves Anakin, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan’s quest to save Ahoska’s people the Togruta who lived in an artistic peaceful colony that was destroyed when the Separatists kidnapped them and enslaved them to the Zygerrians. From here Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka go undercover on Zygerria to rescue them.

The Pros: Zygerria – This is a rough slave planet that reminded me of Egypt and Meereen. The Zygerrians rule through fear and cruelty and are a fascinating species that once held an empire. Their arc is trying to capture that Empire again through their Alliance with the Separatists, not knowing they are merely a tool for the Sith to get slave labor to build their Empire. It was very well done.

Queen Miraj – She is a horrible person and also interesting. She likes Anakin and is attracted to him but is all about power and refuses to see anyone as her equal. It is when she is betrayed that she realized that she was Dooku’s puppet the entire time before he kills her.

Count Dooku – Dooku shows why he is a threat again as we see him easily take out the Queen and him supporting Sidious by the Alliance with the Zygerrians to create slave labor for them. He is smart too and tries to kill Anakin and Obi-Wan but only doesn’t succeed because Anakin and Ahoska were already on the rescue. In the end the planet is still a slaver planet and the Separatists control the world, making it a win for Dooku.

Anakin – Anakin doesn’t change from wanting to destroy the Zygerrians and we see even though he pretended connection to the Queen he never lost site of her as a Slave Master and that she had to be stopped.

Obi-Wan – Obi-Wan is nearly broken in this as we see he and Rex sent to the camp to be broken. He comes through though and it is a sad process to get there as every time he resists other slaves are killed which leads to his submission. Obi-Wan is not ends justify the means and that is very clear this episode.

Ahsoka – Ahsoka has some great moments where she stands up for herself even as she is undercover as a slave. She like Anakin refuses to submit and it her smart thinking that saves her people who were enslaved.

The Cons: Kiros – An idealistic paradise world that gets ruined, I hate this trope and it is just lazy writing. We never learn the motivations of the people on the planet or their connection to Ahsoka beyond being the same species. At least Wookie culture is complicated. Kiros was just a waste.

  This was an enjoyable arc, but not a favorite. There were too many missed opportunities what with Anakin being a former slave, Ahoska’s people being captured and showing the hypocrisy of the Republic. In presenting the Republic as heroes all they did was show the Republic fights against slavery and supports it via the Hutts.

Final Score: 8.3 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episodes 5-6 – “Adventures with Droids Arc” – R2 and C-3PO Fairy Tale Adventures

Epguide405

    These two episodes were a fun adventure that played tribute to a lot of fairy tale tropes and R2 and C-3PO do have great chemistry together which creates a great dynamic. I honestly didn’t expect to like these episodes but was pleasantly surprised when I did.

     “Mercy Mission” was directed by Danny Keller and written by Bonnie Clark. “Nomad Droids” was directed by Steward Lee and written by Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle.

    The story begins with R2 and C-3PO being sent on an aid mission to Aleena and things soon get crazy as they discover a world beneath the ground. After solving the issues on this world their ship is attacked by Grievous which leads to them crashing on further world as their power dies.

The Pros: The Aleena Arc – The Aleena arc was cool. The little Aleenas had sharp teeth and worshiped the fairy like creatures who were causing earthquakes to get rid of the air above that was killing them. The arc is complete when R2 and C-3PO close the manhole.

Patitite Pattuna – This arc was like “Gulliver’s Travels” as we have the droids captured by little people and after they accidentally kill the little people’s corrupt leader bring Democracy to them which ends in chaos as they leave. It’s really funny as they worship their leader but when he is killed they celebrate. The species is very passionate and changes their mind on things quickly.

R2-D2 and C-3PO – R2 is enjoying the adventures but C-3PO is the one who listens to others. This creates a great dynamic in the situations where R2 is trolling with C-3PO tries to talk them out of the situation. These two went great together and I didn’t expect them to carry this arc.

Okay: The Pirates and Hidden Droids – There are two other arcs that were okay. The Pirates arc where they were having the droids fight in arenas. This ended with the robots being insinerated by the Separatists and R2 and C-3PO just escaping when the Republic attacks and the Hidden Droids where Droids were manipulating the locals to create a being that looked like a God and R2 reveals them. This could have been a lot better but was still decent.

The Cons: General Grievous – He attacks the Pirate ship for target practice and loses once more to the Republic. Another wasted day with the General. I should create a section for every time Grievous fails as an antagonist.

If you are looking for a fun adventure, you will probably enjoy this arc. R2 and C-3PO have great chemistry and the little fairy tale situations make for some great moments and some really creative art done by the graphics team. I’d recommend these episodes for sure.

Final Score: 7 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episode 4 – “Shadow Warrior” – Grievous Continues to Suck as an Antagonist

Epguide404

   Gungans as the primary protagonists, and Grievous as the antagonist…I’m surprised this episode wasn’t worse than it was. It was still terrible as Grievous further embarrasses himself as an antagonist on this show, but the Gungans weren’t as bad they could have been.

     The episode was directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell and written by Daniel Arkin.

   The story involves the prevention of a Separatist invasion as the Gungan Boss is being controlled by his Minister Rish Loo who is working with the Separatists. Things go awry when the Boss is injured and Jar Jar must pretend to be him when he meets with Grievous. Things come to ahead when Dooku lures Anakin into a trap and the Gungans capture Grievous.

The Pros: General Tarparls – Grievous kills him and he sacrifices himself to capture him, which is a pretty cool way to go as this General was decent in Episode I and wasn’t annoying.

Minister Rish Loo – This guy could have been a great antagonist if his plan had been successful, which I hoped it would have. Civil War on Naboo would have been a great arc. I’m putting him as a pro because he does make his escape and he was winning for a while it is only due to Dooku that he dies.

Anakin – Anakin goes after Rish Loo and is captured by Dooku where his ends justify the means guilt grows as he is traded for Grievous, which keeps the Clone War going.

Padme – Padme is really driven on ending the war and even after Anakin is captured she is fighting against her feelings to rescue him as she knows with Grievous captured they could end the war. She is the one facing the dilemma and goes forward only after pressure from Jar Jar showing just how driven she is to end the war.

The Cons: General Grievous – Loses to a bunch of Gungans. Guy is an embarrassment and is a big reason this episode was only okay. You expect more from the General of the Separatists.

Jar Jar – Still annoying and him acting “Comedic” to get out of situations grows old really fast, especially when something as big as war is going on.

  I didn’t like this episode. The only good parts where Anakin and Padme’s dilemma and seeing Count Dooku beat Anakin. Making Grievous lose to Gungans didn’t help this series when people keep describing Grievous as the big bad of the Separatists.

Final Score: 4 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episodes 1-3 – “The Fight for Mon Cala Arc” – Earning the Right to Lead

LeeCharCrowned-Prisoners

    “The Mon Cala War Arc” is a decent arc. My biggest issue with it is that the Separatists are evil for the sake of evil and it is hardly to believe Count Dooku would be as stupid as he comes off here. My guess is this was for narrative purposes, which I’ll go into later as the entirety of the arc is Prince Lee-Char earning the right to lead Mon Cala.

    “Water War” was directed by Duwayne Dunham and written by Jose Molina, who also wrote the next two episodes. “Gungan Attack” was directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell and “Prisoners” was directed by Danny Keller.

     The story involves the Civil War on Mon Cala as the Quarren join the Separatists so that they can rule the planet as they do not recognize Lee-Char as the leader. They soon find themselves in over their head though when the Separatist General Riff Tamson will go to any lengths to control the world for his people. Lee-Char must fight to free his people and their allies as they fight a losing battle against the Separatist forces.

The Pros: Mon Cala – I like the power dynamic on Mon Cala as we see how easy it is for outside forces to overwhelm them and how weak the Mon Calamari and Quarren are on their own. They can only really unite from an outside threat, which luckily for the story, happens.

Ahsoka – Ahsoka is Lee-Char’s teacher and helps him develop a spine as well as the ability to stand up for himself. She does a great job in this and she is the reason that Anakin and Padme are able to get rescued.

Captain Akbar – Akbar is all about tradition and believes in the Prince but still manages to counsel and lead and is the one who helps Lee-Char become a leader. It was great seeing Akbar before he became an Admiral.

Anakin and Padme – Both trapped and unable to do anything. See them in close quarters in danger manages to give us some good exploration of their feelings for one another and we see their romantic feelings too.

Riff Tamson – Cool design (looks like a shark) and manages to captures Anakin and Padme. He is a good threat I just wish he hadn’t been so stupid in regards to ruling. Being a ruler doesn’t have to be explicate and best not to enslave the population you plan to rule. He was a great military threat though.

Okay: Prince Lee-Char – He’s okay, he an arc at least. He goes from doing what he’s told to leading his people and fighting for all the people of Mon Calamari.

The Cons: The Mon Calamari – So they have a royal family and traditions? Give us more details. Don’t start fleshing out a world and characters and drop it.

The Quarrens – The Quarrens are seeking their independence but they never find it. This isn’t made explicit though as their leader talks about ruling and he made an Alliance with the Separatists. These guys were major missed potential.

Jar Jar and the Gungans – Why did they have to bring these guys in? They just get captured and are useless. Wish they hadn’t been used as they took away time from knowing the Quarrens and Mon Calamari who we never really got to know.

This was an alright arc but would have been a lot better if the Quarrens and Mon Calamari had been fleshed out more. We know they are at war but we don’t know why it started or why the Quarrens were even following a Mon Calamari King. This all made no sense and Dooku putting someone else in charge rather than the Quarrens was idiotic as he immediately made them his enemies in the process.

Final Score: 6 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episodes 21-22 – “The Hunter Arc” – Ahsoka Alone

Epguide321

    This was a good two part episode arc that explores Ahsoka and gives her the chance to face a challenge on her own, without Obi-Wan or Anakin or another Jedi Master as an out. We see her grow so much from this, and the villains are decent too, though it feels like very sci. fi. invents a reptilian alien species that has a culture built around hunting humanoids.

   “Padawan Lost” and “Wookie Hunt” were directed by Dave Filoni and written by Bonnie Mark.

    The episodes involves Ahsoka being captured by a Trandoshan hunting party who transport her to their moon for their traditional hunt. It is there her and the remaining survivor Padawans must band to together to beat them, which becomes easier when they help rescue a Wookie named Chewbacca.

The Pros: The Trandoshans – These guys were derpy and none them stood out as memorable, but as a species I have always like the Alien Hunters who Hunter other aliens tropes, be it how the Klingons sometimes are, the Hirogen, Krogans and others. Their style was very rough too and they knew their limit which is why they didn’t hunt Knights or Masters.

The Padawans – The Padawans are great in this episode and we see them band together, though they lose their leader Kalifa who inspires Ahsoka to lead and bring the battle to them. Their arc is going from victims to survivors and more.

Anakin Skywalker – We see Anakin’s fear in this given that even him doing everything in his power to find Ahsoka isn’t enough to find her and he feels like he failed her in the process. After she frees herself she thanks him for his training and we see that he may understand it a little, though it obviously isn’t enough as his fear that makes him human is still a major driving factor in his personality.

Ahsoka Tano – Ahsoka shows that she is ready to become a Knight and is on her way to Master in this episode. She helps the Padawans fight back and helps them get off the planet, as well as fighting honorably against the Tradoshan who threatened her. She stays good even though the situation should make her bad. In this way she is the opposite of Anakin, who would have become bad under similar circumstances.

Okay: Chewbacca –  I get why they put him in this and he is a connection to Star Wars, but it felt kind of contrived too. I had no idea how he got caught or why a General would rescue him. he felt like fanservice, though I did enjoy his dynamic with the Padawans.

The Cons: The Tradoshan Leader – He had the same problem as his son where he would talk about everything he was going to do rather than just doing it. His species was cool and though I liked his design, he was not a good antagonist.

Plo Koon – This guy is a blank slate and we have never got to know anything about him. Another stand in Master whose connection to Ahsoka meant nothing.

This is a good arc and one I’d recommend for Anakin and Ahsoka. Chewy is fanservice but isn’t bad…the only bad one is Plo Koon who after all this time is unknown as an individual whose motivations are blank. I’d watch this mostly for Anakin and Ahsoka and seeing how they face trials as that is what made this good.

Final Score: 8 / 10