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

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    “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 1, Episodes 16-17 – “Blue Shadow Virus Arc” – Mad Scientist and Mysteries

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     The “Blue Shadow Virus arc” is okay. It would’ve have been stronger as a mystery or containment story but when the two are together they don’t work as well as they could have. The villain is also a cartoonish exaggeration and the mystery plot relies on far too many sci. fi. mystery tropes. Still, it was okay.

     The episodes were directed by Giancarlo Volpe and Jesse Yeh and written by Craig Titley and Brian Larsen.

     The story involves a plot to destroy all organic life with the Blue Shadow Virus by the mad scientist Dr. Nuvo Vindi. His plot is foiled though when Padme and Jar Jar discover his base along with Obi-Wan and Anakin. The virus is released though and it is up to Anakin and Obi-Wan to find a cure to save Ahsoka, Padme, Jar Jar and their troops in Nuvo’s base by traveling to a mysterious world from which no one has returned.

The Pros: The Premise – Bio-warfare would have been a great thing to explore, same with a mysterious planet that has the cure to whatever the issue is with the plot. These ideas work but don’t work all that well together and could have been done better.

Okay: Anakin and Obi-Wan – These two are contrasts. Anakin will go to any lengths to save Padme and Jar Jar while Obi-Wan knows they need to go in with a clear head and stay true to the code. Both have points but this could have been done much better.

Ahsoka – Ahsoka protects Padme and Jar Jar and does a good job fighting the droids, my only issue is she felt underused still. Reason I’m not putting her as a pro.

Padme and Jar Jar – Padme and Jar Jar investigate and risk a lot to try and protect their world. We see that they are still very much connected to Naboo, but don’t learn much else about their characters minus Padme’s blatant request for Obi-Wan and Anakin so she and Anakin would have time together.

Dr. Nuvo Vindi – He’s fun but a bit too over the top. If he hadn’t been working for the Separatists and had something against Naboo his secret base their would have made sense. It didn’t though so all he had going for him was his crazy personality.

The Cons: The Mystery Planet – It was a Separatist defense system that was causing the problems which lead the “Angels” to keeping everyone there for safety. The “Angelic” aliens have no personality besides protector cliches and the little kid who took over droids just wasn’t all that memorable and seemed to function as just another cliche.

   The episodes were both even as far as score goes and the story was okay. This isn’t a must see and I’d only advise seeing it if you are completionist or enjoy the series as a whole. The episode is okay and there isn’t much more to add. It had a lot of ideas it didn’t take full advantage of.

Final Score: 6 / 10