Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TCW - "Jedi Crash"

"Jedi Crash" begins with the biggest and most chaotic ship battle we've seen yet on The Clone Wars. The art style is strong in this scene, contrasting the blue skies and the burning fires. Every bit of every shot screams "chaos!", and it's wonderful.

Aayla Secura's characterization was by far the most interesting aspect of this episode, however, as she was given a French accent (which, according to official sources, was at the request of GL himself). Her personality is also very different from most Jedi, as she is far less careful. One of my new favorite exchanges in the entire Star Wars universe came from this episode:
Admiral Yularen: Are all Jedi so reckless?
Aayla Secura: Just the good ones.

Aayla is smart, tough and commanding, yet still compassionate. She is brash and forceful for a Jedi, yet does not hold on to attachments as Anakin does. Still, however, she is shown to be using what appears to be lightsaber Form V--Anakin's style. Known for its philosophy of "peace through superior force," Form V (in both its Djem-So and Shien variations) is the most physical style, matched only in its aggression by Mace Windu's unique lightsaber form, VII (also known as Vapaad).
Simply put, Aayla is pretty awesome. Having her in an episode with Anakin and Ahsoka to form the Triple-A aggression team is probably a recipe for both disaster and awesomeness.

The plot of this episode was rather strange. Opening with a huge battle, the episode suddenly shifts to a gentler theme, with the crew of the downed Republic cruiser surviving on a primitive world. The episode seemed to be unusually tightly cut, with very abrupt changes happening very quickly. This unfortunately does hurt the overall flow of the episode, and is probably my biggest complaint. However, there are certain other elements in the episode that practically make up for it.

The biggest and most notable aspect of the episode is that it directly discusses Jedi attachment (with a great reference to Quinlan Vos of EU comic-book fame) as well as the contradicting role of Jedi as peacekeepers and war generals.

Another very cool aspect of this episode was the presence of Commander Bly, who later kills Aayla in Revenge of the Sith. He seems to mirror Aayla's slightly-tougher-than-needed attitude, perhaps further indicating that the clone commanders' personalities mirror the Jedi under whom they serve (Cody mirrors Obi-Wan's intellectual and laid back attitude, while Rex mirrors Anakin's more brash, combat-oriented philosophy).

As a last note, it's very refreshing to see Anakin do something selfless for a change in sacrificing himself to push the others to safety. It makes his credibility as a hero of the Clone Wars much more believable, and adds much more depth than was seen in Revenge of the Sith.

"Jedi Crash" wasn't perfect, but had a number of great elements that elevate it to the upper tier of the episodes seen thus far.

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