Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episode 10 – “Heroes on Both Sides” – The Complexity of the Separatists

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    “Heroes on Both Sides” lives up to it’s name and shows just how complex politics can get as as we see Padme and Ahsoka go behind enemy lines to see one of Padme’s old friends who serves as a representative in the Separatist Parliament. It’s a powerful episode that shows the factions that profit from keeping war going and how the long game Dooku and Palpatine are playing will more often than not, end in success.

    The episode was directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Daniel Arkin.

    The story involves Padme seeking a peace with the Separatists under the table as the Banking Clan and others are calling for a Bill that would deregulate them and allow them to charge more interest in order for the Republic to fund the war. This leads to Ahsoka and Padme going to the Separatist Capitol to meet with Padme’s friend Mina, who is a Senator in the Separatist congress. From here  things unfold as factions work against their quest for peace.

The Pros: Mina and Padme – Both are idealists with blind spots as neither of them realize their leaders are Sith using the war to their own advantage and ends. Both are good people though that seek peace and don’t care about the seperation or conquest of the Republic. It’s great seeing htem together, especially as Mina is older and mother contrasted with Padme’s youthful idealism.

The Separatist Congress – The Separatist congress is just as diverse as the Republic and we see that even they are tiring of the war and just want it to end, but fear the Republic because they believe the Republic started the war. They propose a peace accord though until Grievous mounts a secret attack on the Republic which leads to the Banking Clan bill passing.

The Republic – We see the politics among the Republic too with money wielding influence but also with counters with Organa and Mothma as members of the more liberal faction with Padme working for peace. Sadly it all comes crumbling down though as Padme reveals those she was helping and her plan to Palpatine who with Dooku sets in motion the destruction of the chance for peace.

Grievous’s attack – Grievous is a threat for once! He sends suicide droids down that blow up the generator on Coruscant shutting everything down. It strikes fear and makes the Banking Bill pass as well as keeping the war going. For once Grievous gets a win.

Ahsoka Tano – Ahsoka visits the Separatists and after talking to Mina’s son realizes the misunderstanding their is surrounding the Jedi among the Separatists and in the Republic towards the Separatists. Even after the attack she doesn’t regret her action as she sees the shades of grey in the war that Anakin does not as Anakin is all about order.

  I really enjoyed this episode. We see consequences to actions, Grievous gets a win and see how powerful Palpatine and Dooku are at keeping the war going and manipulating their factions and we see how fascist Anakin is compared to Ahsoka who is far more like the liberal Padme.

Final Score: 10 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episodes 8-9, Season 1, Episode 22 – “The Hutt Revenge Arc” – Cad Bane is Amazing and Hutt Deception

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     Cad Bane is the best thing besides Ahsoka to come of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” as an original creation. In this we see just how good he is at the job and get to know the politics of the Hutts. Each episode is a rush against time as Cad has very limited resources and help and is on a timer to achieve each end, be it getting Senate Building info, freeing Ziro or finding Ziro. All of these are things that put Bane under pressure and give us a chance to see that he is the best bounty hunter of this era.

      “Evil Plans,” was directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell and written by Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle. “Hostage Crisis,” was directed by Giancarlo Volpe and written by Eoghan Mahony, Brian Larsen and Drew Z. Greenberg. “Hunt for Ziro” was directed by Steward Lee and written by Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle.

      The story kicks off with Jabba hiring Bane to steal the information for the plans of the Senate Building from R2-D2 and C-3PO, from here the story unfolds as Cad Bane and a group of bounty hunters take a group of senators hostage in order to rescue Ziro the Hutt and deliver him to the Hutt Council for judgement and finally ending Quinlan Vos and Obi-Wan traveling to the Hutt homeworld in order to find Ziro and bring him to justice while dealing with machinists of the Council, Ziro, Jabba and Bane.

The Pros: Padme and Anakin – Anakin gives Padme his lightsaber during “Hostage Crisis” and for much the episode they are hiding their love for one another and Padme is trying to hide why she has it while Bane and his bounty hunters are holding them hostages. They do a good job working together and avoiding questions though they look very suspicious later, anyone paying attention would see romance there.

The Bounty Hunters – Cad Bane and his crew are awesome! Aurra Sing is the sniper and takes out the Senate defenders easily, IG-86, Shahan and Robinino who is the hacker also helps capture Anakin when the bounty hunters ambush him. They are victorious and only IG-86 is destroyed.

The Hutts – The Hutts are Crime Lords and their homeworld is like vegas with dancing Twi’leks. There are five leaders and all of them have respect for Cad Bane because of how good he is at his job. They also see Ziro as a personal matter since he has secrets that could bring them down. Ziro trying to hold his own against them was pretty cool too as well as his drive at revenge for being locked up again.

Jabba and Sy – Jabba hires Ziro’s ex-lover Sy who is the singer at the homeworld who kills Ziro and gets Jabba the data pad. It is great seeing that, plus seeing that Ty was a better hunter than the Jedi and Bane.

Quinlan Vos and Obi-Wan – These two have a great dynamic! Vos is a Grey Jedi in the EU and it shows here as Obi-Wan and the others see him as crazy. He is confident and arrogant and anything but proper while Obi-Wan is all about politeness and diplomacy. They work well together though and I like that Vos is in this show. He makes Anakin look moderate.

Cad Bane – Bane is amazing in this and the reason to watch the episode! In this we see him do a full job and succeed at each one except killing Ziro as Ty already did, but he does escape the Jedi and holds his own against them, showing just how powerful he is. This guy is cold, calculating, strategic and all about business. It makes him a great player too as he has limitations and has to depend on his mind to win.

The Cons: R2-D2 and C-3PO – Their episode is droid hijinks with C-3PO getting tortured and R2 going to a droid spa. It is so weird and out there that I didn’t like it. There was no point for it but to keep R2 around so he could get captured and Bane could wipe their memories for his attack on the senate building.

   This was a great arc and one I’d highly recommend! Seeing the Hutt world and Hutt Politics was fascinating as well as seeing Quinlan Vos outside the EU and his relationship with Obi-Wan, and of course the main reason to watch it is Cad Bane who is the best Bounty Hunter on this show and is one of the best characters this show created.

Final Score: 9.4 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episode 7 – “Assassin” – Ahsoka’s Visions

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       “The Assassin” is a good Ahsoka episode as we see again why she is Anakin’s apprentice and how similar they are in their abilities. The one thing confusing about this episode is the announcer begins the episode saying Aurra Sing is dead when she clearly is not given she is the Assassin of the episodes title. That wasn’t done very well on the writers part.

    The episode was directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Katie Lucas and Drew Z. Greenberg.

    The episode begins with Ahsoka at the Temple haunted by visions that Padme is going to be killed. This leads to her volunteering for guard duty during the Refugee Conference as she questions her feelings on whether the visions are real or if she is simply being ruled by fear.

The Pros: The Conference – The conference is on the refugees and it is wonderful hearing Padme’s story about how the events of Episode I shaped her to be aware of those who had nothing and the plight of when her own people were refugees due to the Trade Federation.

The Pre-Rebellion Members – Organa, Mothma and Padme are all the Senators taking part in the conference and in the case of Organa and Mothma future members of the Rebellion. This is a good episode that explores their roots and their standing up for the vulnerable against that which is out of their control.

Aurra Sing – She manages to injure both Ahsoka and Padme showing that she actually is a really good assassin.

Padme – Padme is explored as a character and we see that she won’t back down against threats. It lends power to her words and we see why Ahsoka has so much respect for her.

Ahsoka – Ahsoka is growing in force abilities and we see more of Anakin’s arrogance in her and also his fear for those close to him. She is very un-Jedi that way and cares deeply for those close to her, she has attachment which only Aayla has talked to her about. I like that she does have attachment as it makes her compelling.

Okay: Ziro the Hutt – Ziro was behind everything as he wanted revenge for Padme locking him up. He revealed his plan way to easily though but I hope he is still used to good affect. The Huts so far have not been a good threat at all.

  This was an enjoyable episode that explored Padme and Ahsoka really well and also brought us back to Ziro and showed that even though he is in prison, he is still a political player in the Clone Wars.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episodes 5-6 – “Corruption on Mandalore Arc” – Mandalore’s Worst Enemy is Itself

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    The “Corruption on Mandalore Arc” was enjoyable. This is one of the cultures and societies on the show that has gotten a fair amount of exploration already but we continue to get more and see just how complicated being a neutral power is. This is an episode where idealism is taken to the fullest degree as the next episode takes corruption to it’s greatest degree and we see the fallout from both in the arc.

     “Corruption” was directed by Giancarlo Volpe and written by Cameron Litvack who were also the same writer and director duo who finished up the arc in “The Academy.”

     The story kicks off with smugglers delivering goods that end up poisoning a lot of children, which leads Padme and Satine seeking to find the culprits as the Council and Prime Minister choose to do nothing. The arc finishes up with Ahsoka’s arrival to train the next generation of cadets as they discover someone high up is working directly with the smugglers and hoarding food from the populace.

The Pros: The Cadets – The cadets are pretty cool and they don’t bring the episode down. We see them work directly with Ahsoka and are inspired by her words to take action to change their society. They are the ones who learn that the Prime Minister was behind everything and it is thanks to them and Ahsoka fighting the Prime Minister’s corrupt troops that they save Satine.

Padme and Satine – These two have a great dynamic and I believed the friendship. They are both subversions of the Princess trope (passive and needs rescuing) as we see them find the corrupt smugglers and solve the issue of the poisoned tea. They have a great dynamic and know how to hold their own in a fight.

Ahsoka – Ahsoka takes action and learns that Satine had brought her to Mandalore since she didn’t know who to trust. She inspires the Cadets to find the truth but never loses sight of looking out for them as she helps them learn how to be good soldiers and people and to trust only those who have earned it. She gets them out of the Prime Minister’s trap and is the one who rescues Satine.

Prime Minister Almec – This guy is a complete politician but you get his point of view. What I didn’t understand is why he didn’t frame Satine as he was getting food to the populace in the only way he knew how from the war. He was rising in power in the process too, but he had some level of nobility that was never fully explored since they had him make stupid decisions at the end.

The Cons: The Moogan – These smugglers were animated to look bad and untrustworthy which in turn didn’t allow for their perspective. That was annoying as they seemed only driven by greed.

This was a great arc and one I recommend. So far any visit to Mandalore has been golden and we’ve gotten the chance to see just how complex and flawed the society is, as well as how linked corruption and power are as Almec has some parallels to Palpatine except he has idealism, where Palpatine is all about the bottom line and how much power he gains in the end.

Final Score: 9 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 2, Episodes 12-14 – “Duchess of Mandalore Arc” – Shades of Grey and Power Plays

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      The “Duchess of Mandalore arc” is awesome! In this we explore the conflict of neutrality during wartime as well as the benefits and disadvantages of a warrior or pacifistic philosophy as both the Duchess Satine and Death Watch leader Viszla both have reason to believe what they do as sovereignty is the primary theme of this arc and how different factions seek to use that to their own benefit and make Mandalore a pawn.

    “The Mandalore Plot” was directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Melinda Hsu and Drew Z. Greenberg, “Voyage of Temptation” was directed by Brain Kalin O’Connell and written by Paul Dini and Henry Gilroy and “Duchess of Mandalore” was directed by Brain Kalin O’Connell and written by Drew Z. Greenberg and Brian Larsen.

     The story involves Obi-Wan arriving at Mandalore to investigate the terrorist group Death Watch who rumor has is being controlled by his past lover Duchess Satine. He soon discovers they are false rumors and when the Death Watch leader Viszla is revealed he must protect Satine as she advocates for Mandalore to deal with it’s own affairs and not have an occupation done by Republic Forces. She is later framed for the death of a Mandalorian and must reveal the truth of the recording of her Prime Minister to the Senate that speaks for Mandalorian Sovereignty that was doctored to present that as not being the case.

The Pros: “Duchess of Mandalore” – “Duchess of Mandalore” was my favorite episode in the arc as we got to see Viszla in action see Palpatine working actively against Satine so that Republic forces would have reason to occupy Mandalore (and in turn later the Empire) and how she and Obi-Wan navigate the political minefield using Padme to save Mandalore’s sovereignty, though it doesn’t solve the problem of Death Watch or how Death Watch is out of Satine’s control unless she gives up her pacifism. It’s a powerful plot. 10 / 10

Death Watch – Death Watch is a hyper-nationalist organization that wants to restore Mandalore to it’s former strength that it had in the Old Republic as an Empire. Viszla even wields an ancient Mandalore saber that can counter lightsabers. They are a small and powerful organization that has sympathy among the populace as Satine cannot protect them from the Separatist and just neutralized the Republic.

Mandalore – Mandalore is a once warrior nation that now is a primarily a trading world but it still carries it’s warrior roots through Death Watch and the Civil War it experienced prior. It is a beautiful world too and has a classic feeling to it, it captures both ancient mixed with modern with expresses the Mandalorian people really well.

Pre Viszla – Viszla has his own government on the moon where the losers of the Civil War were sent who aren’t pacifists. Unsurprisingly he is sympathetic and a leader of the populace he rules and because of that seeks to empower them as the current Mandalore is vulnerable to outside threats. Minus the hyper-nationalism he is an issue that Satine has not dealt with and his perspective is never dealt the justice it deserves as Mandalore needing an army to protect it’s sovereignty.

Count Dooku – Dooku is the one who sees the big picture and warns Viszla to wait when the assassin fails to kill Satine. He is a player of a long game of making Mandalore another faction that the Separatists control and it is his cool head even after failing Palpatine that make possible that Death Watch will be around for a long time to come.

Palpatine – Palpatine is a smart manipulator in this and would have succeeded if the Assassin had killed Satine. His end goal is control of Mandalore via Republic troops and he has reason to send them as the Separatists are a threat and Mandalore has no defensive force outside of Death Watch which it doesn’t see as representing it to the other governments. Even though his plan does not succeed he never lets on or breaks character with Satine or the Jedi that he was behind any of it. He is truly the Emperor for a reason.

Duchess Satine – Satine is an idealist and dreamer and the events of this arc change that in some ways. She still stands for sovereignty of her world and no involvement of outside troops but she is willing to defend herself. She explores her past with Obi-Wan and confesses that she loves him but afterword they are both so proper and don’t want to risk their friendship as Obi-Wan would never betray his Jedi vows. She respects that though and his call for defense while she calls for pacifism. She is also a nationalist and stands for her people regardless of the cost.

Obi-Wan Kenobi – Obi-Wan deals with his romantic interest Satine and we see that though he is committed to Satine he would have given it up when he was a Padawan if she had asked. It’s a great character moment that reveals the humanity in Obi-Wan as well as the fact that he is so committed to the Jedi Code because of that loss. The Code and his being a Jedi is all he has so he can be no closer to anyone beyond as a friend, but he stands with her and helps stop Death Watch’s plot.

Anakin Skywalker – Skywalker is getting closer to the darkside and Darth Vader as we see him justify the occupation of Mandalore since Death Watch is out of Satine’s control, we see him kill the Senate Separatist Spy when Satine and Obi-Wan are unable to do so and we see he doesn’t think about it at all. Killing someone is nothing to him as the ‘Imperial March’ plays. This show really does show Anakin’s descent really well. It starts with taking life for granted and he never lets up on that as the ends of protecting others are always the drive behind it, and it’s hard not to see the times he has taken that choice on the show as wrong, questionable for sure…but not wrong.

A Matter of Sovereignty – Sovereignty is a major theme this episode and the different ways it is sought. For Satine it is not involving outside power, while for Viszla it does involve outside power and a strong military to defend against threats. Neither side is wrong and that is what is debated this episode as we know that the Empire will destroy Sovereignty later while the Separatists may do that sometimes now, but not always. Does Sovereignty involve military strong power or diplomatic soft power, for me the answer is both are needed though the episode falls on soft power primarily as Satine is a pacifist. What this debate means for Mandalore still remains to be seen, the Republic and Separatists aren’t involved yet, but the war is far from over.

Okay: Romantic Potential – The romance feels more realistic than Padme and Anakin but that isn’t saying much. There back story of having to depend on one another for survival when they were younger was really cool and they do have good chemistry but I wanted to see more warmth between them, we only got moments of that.

The Assassin – The Assassin was awesome! He kills a Mandalore informant who passes the real info of the Prime Minister’s recording to Satine and dies in the process and he escapes every attempt at capture and manages to hold his own against Obi-Wan and Satine. We never learn more about the individual and I wish he’d done more damage but he was okay.

    This was a powerful arc, with “Duchess of Mandalore” being a personal favorite of mine as it establishes that Death Watch is not out of the game yet and also that Mandalore is alone for better and for worse to deal with it’s own problems. There is so much potential here as I don’t believe Satine is in control, her almost getting arrested is going to look bad in the public eye, not to mention the death of her Prime Minister. She has no control over Death Watch and they still control a lot of the narrative. This is something the episode doesn’t fully deal with and why I don’t consider this a victory for Satine. There was no middle ground of Republic help which could have stopped Death Watch, while now they have time to recruit and to grow.

Final Score: 9.8 / 10.

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 2, Episodes 18-19 – “The Zillo Beast Arc” – Star Wars Tries Going Kaiju

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     “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.

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

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 1, Episode 8 – “Bombad Jedi” – Cool World, Why Does Jar Jar Have to be the Hero?

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    “Bombad Jedi” is a good episode at showing the Separatist influence and could have been a great serious episode, but due to Jar Jar being the primary protagonist that is lost. When the pratfall hero is who is being followed it just isn’t compelling. No one cares about Jar Jar, Padme’s story is by far the more intriguing one and I wish it had just been that as Jar Jar is just a distraction.

   The episode was directed by Jesse Yeh and written by Kevin Rubio, Henry Gilroy and Steven Melching.

    The story involves Padme traveling to Rodia to meet with an old friend Senator Onaconda Farr who she quickly learns has made a deal with Gunray to help his starving people who have been forgotten by the Republic. From here Padme plots her escape as Jar Jar tries to rescue her going undercover with the Jedi robes in her ship.

The Pros: Rodia – Rodia is an amazing looking planet! It’s a giant swamp and has a shield that protects it’s cities. Those in government are also nobility from the look of things at least in how they are treated as they wield the most influence and where the most colorful clothing.

Padme – Padme shows how resourceful she is this episode. We see her break out of her jail cell and resist Gunray as well as forgive Farr for his betrayal showing just how much she valued their friendship and still does as well as taking responsibility for the failures of the Republic in regards to Rodia.

Nute Gunray – Gunray is smart as he got Farr to betray Padme to him but in the end his desire for revenge and paranoia were his downfall as his men were distracted trying to get Jar Jar when they should have been focused on delivering supplies and apprehending Padme. This costs him in the end as he is captured by the Republic, ending the episode.

Onaconda Farr – Farr is a practical leader who just wants help for his world. When the Republic is slow in giving it he goes to the Separatists, but leaves them when he sees they aren’t motivated to help his people at all and only care about what he can give them. He stands up to them though and I really liked his character. I hope we see him again.

The Choice – Farr makes a choice in the end, he stood by the Separatists until he saw that Gunray was motivated by revenge an didn’t care about his people which lead to him backing Padme and the Republic realizing that they did care even if the Senate’s hands had been tied before.

The Cons: Jar Jar and 3PO – These two are just played for comedy and the Rodians seeing Jar Jar as the hero in the end when everything he did was by accident was annoying. Plus 3PO was a useless character only there to get hurt. I hate when characters exist only for that purpose.

   If there hadn’t been any Jar Jar and 3PO this episode would have been a favorite. Sadly time with them distracts from Farr and Padme who are the compelling characters along with the threat of Gunray. For this reason it is good but not great. There was the potential for greatness here but choosing joke characters to drive an episode that is this important was the wrong thing to do.

Final Score: 8.4 / 10.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008): Great Television Film, Should Not Have Got a Theatrical Release

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   “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is a really fun television movie that finishes up the Christophsis arc and introduces us to Ahsoka and the huts as players in the game of the Clone Wars. It gives us a lot of good world building but the writing and even the cinematography show that this should have only been released to television, not to theaters as it was.

    The film was directed by Dave Filoni, written by Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching and Scott Murphy and produced by George Lucas and Catherine Winder.

    The story begins with Jabba’s son being captured by the Separatists and Yoda ordering Obi-Wan and Anakin to find and rescue his son and deliver him to Jabba. This is also when Yoda sends Anakin his new apprentice Ahsoka. They must all work together to win the battle of Christophsis and to find and rescue Jabba’s son before the Separatists make a deal that will give them control of Jabba’s routes through the Outer Rim.

The Pros: The Soundtrack – Kevin Kiner did a great job on this soundtrack! The music was the best part of this film. It had a very “Battlestar Galactica” feel to it and during the action sequences especially it made the stakes feel high.

The Action – This is a good action movie. Lots fights to show how powerful each of the factions are in the Clone Wars and how powerful the individual Jedi or Sith are as well. This made for some wonderful fights, especially Dooku and Anakin and Obi-Wan and Ventress.

The Battle of Christophsis – The Christophsis arc is finally complete! Thanks to the action of Ahsoka and Anakin in shutting down the Separatist shield that was protecting their forces and Obi-Wan capturing the general we have a Republic victory! It takes a lot to get there though and many die on both sides. It isn’t glorified and the Republic troops arriving to occupy doesn’t exactly give hope either.

Count Dooku – Dooku is being played by Sidious as Sidious wins no matter what happens (Jabba working with the Republic is a win for him, Jabba working against them will lead to him getting more power). Dooku is being played in this though and we see him fail against his enemies and his blaming Ventress for in it for her initial failure. In this we see his cruelty, manipulation and why he is a Sith.

Ventress – Ventress puts up a good fight in this but is cornered in the end by Obi-Wan. This doesn’t stop her from fulfilling her duties though as she warns Dooku of Skywalker’s approach and manages to escape Obi-Wan to fight another day.

Obi-Wan Kenobi – Obi-Wan is the clear headed one who has no problem taking a new apprentice. It is he who realizes that Ahsoka will be good for Anakin and will help Anakin to grow as Anakin has helped him to grow. We also see his arrogance too as he gloats to Ventress when he knows Ahsoka and Anakin have escaped the Monastery.

Anakin Skywalker – Anakin doesn’t want a padawan, but comes around when he sees how similar Ahsoka is to him and that gives him self awareness about how he is reckless and cocky. They have a great dynamic too and he does share his hatred of the Tatooine and the desert with her as has lost so much to the Hutts and remembers his life as a slave quite clearly. It is a great character moment and we see how Ahsoka is making him a better person.

Ahsoka – I really like Ahsoka! She’s young for a padawan but is powerful in the force. We see her save Anakin multiple times and show a kindness Anakin lacks. She cares for Jabba’s son at one point and we see her hold Anakin responsible for his recklessness as he does to her. It’s a great dynamic and they act a lot like a mixture of friends and siblings. I can’t wait to see how her character grows and changes from the Clone Wars.

Okay: The Minor Characters – Whether it was Cody or Rex, Yoda or Windu, Jabba’s Uncle or Padme…none of them felt fully fleshed out. They felt more like plot devices and not full characters in this. This is a shame as the main characters had some wonderful character moments.

Delivering Jabba’s Son – The delivery of Jabba’s son is okay, I liked the fight between Anakin and Dooku as they seemed more closely matched, but it dragged. Especially in regards to the droids against Ahsoka. Jabba was also far to easy to play.

The Cons: The Script – The script is corny and not nearly as solid and tight as it would if it was an episode or part of an arc made into a single film. At times it lags just to give us money shots of the landscape when that time could have been cut out or given us more character moments.

The Tone – The tone is all over the place. We get some really brutal deaths and Jabba even has dancing girls but we also have lots of jokes and humor that kids would clearly enjoy. This clash of tones kept it from being great.

It Going to Theatres – This film should not have gone to theaters and if I’d seen this in theaters I would not be as kind to it as I am now. It is better than the prequels in regards to it’s potrayal of Anakin and his relationship to others but it also is not quality enough to go to the theaters. Like “Spark of Rebellion” this should have been a tv movie as it just feels like a long episode. Because of the choice of how it was originally presented is going to be counted against it.

  This film should not have gone to theatres but it is still good as a tv film. We finally finish the Christophsis arc, get to see Dooku in action and see that the Hutts and Gangs are a 3rd faction in the war just as they are usually presented in the later eras as the X Factor in the war between the Empire and Rebellion. Ahsoka is a wonderful character too and I really like the character dynamic between her and Anakin. The final bit, the soundtrack is super memorable and is worth listening too, even if you have no plan to see the film.

Final Score: 8 / 10.