Friday, March 20, 2009

TCW - "Hostage Crisis"

This is by far the most violent episode of The Clone Wars thus far. We get on-screen neck breaks and an execution shot to the back. Fun. ^-^

On a lighter note, this may be the first time we've seen Anakin and Padmé's relationship not be completely awkward and creepy. It's true that Anakin's "romantic gesture" was a stupid, stupid thing to do, but hey, at least the dialogue didn't sound horrible. This scene made their relationship seem sweet, rather than forbidden and terrible as it was seen in the films.

Cade Bane's character is very original for Star Wars, and it's nice to have him here. He's not my favorite bounty hunter, but he's pretty cool nonetheless. The fact that he was rescuing ZIRO, of all people, however, was a little silly. Still, he'll be a great character to have around in Season 2, which actually brings me to my next point.

This episode seemed more like a preview of Season 2 than an actual episode. If it had not been the final episode in a season, I'd have no problem. However, the fact that this episode doesn't really have much of a resolution is problematic. Bane just walks in, grabs Ziro, and leaves. That's it. There's not much real emotional drama here like we just saw with the Ryloth trilogy. What we do have is very cool, but still rather disappointing. The only thing that's really won or lost in this episode is Ziro, and do we really care about him?

On a last note, it was really great to see Aurra Sing in action, since she's one of those characters that is only barely seen in the films, yet is cool enough to warrant much more. (being a fallen Jedi and all) She can and should become a much bigger character in future episodes.

All in all, this was really more of an epilogue or a preview than a finale. It was definitely a cool episode, but was more like the first act of Die Hard (where the villains take over) without the rest of the story (where John McClane strikes back).

Friday, March 13, 2009

TCW - "Liberty on Ryloth"

They should have titled this episode "The Wrath of Mace Windu." Not a complaint; just an observation.

It's interesting to see how the different episodes of "The Ryloth Trilogy" each examine the Clone Wars from a different perspective. "Storm Over Ryloth" looked at the war from the military commanders' perspective, "Innocents of Ryloth" gave us a glimpse at the way the civilians see the war, and "Liberty on Ryloth" shows us the political side.

In this episode, we get to see the "Radical Revolutionary vs Pudgy Politician" conflict, and I'm not sure it entirely worked. It's nice that they're working in all of the important political detail in this show, but it doesn't always work. This episode really only gave us a glimpse at what was going on in Ryloth's political arena, but a longer story (filled with some good back-and-forth drama) would have served that angle better.

However, one thing that was shown surprisingly well was the cruelty of the Separatists.

They BOMBED a VILLAGE filled with women and children. Just as the Republic troops are talking about giving out food to the villagers, they turn around to see the entire village DEAD. It was an extremely well-done scene.

The Mace Windu action scenes were very cool; some of the best stuff seen on this show yet. His use of the shatterpoint technique against the glass was taken straight from the Star Wars novels, which I always appreciate.

Overall, this was a good episode, but not completely amazing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

TCW - "Innocents of Ryloth"

This was a really great episode. I can't quite put my finger on why, but it just felt "nice." It gave the war a more personal feel without making it sappy or silly, which is quite an achievement.

The character of Numa could have been annoying, but she ultimately turned out to be lovable, much like the character Newt from Aliens (which Numa is based on).

It was really interesting to see the clones, Waxer and Boil, as they showed how clones deal with compassion in their own varying ways. It does a lot to humanize the clones, who have thus far been mostly shown only to be concerned with their soldier duty.

Just about every aspect of this episode is extremely well-done. There's honestly nothing wrong with it. "Innocents of Ryloth" really shows the humanity of the Clone Wars, and actually makes you care about what's going on. Because of that, it's one of the standout episodes thus far.