"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" Film, Seasons 1-6 on Disney+ Talkback (Spoilers)

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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This is a general series talkback for the original Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and series for those of us binging it in preparation for its return to Disney+. There are plenty of old individual episode talkbacks on Anime Superhero, and a series talkback for the Adult Swim forum, but I hope the mods will forgive me posting this one because I think using those for my reviews would make the boards too cluttered.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Movie

So to get ready for the show's return on Disney+, I'm binging the show and the movie, which I missed. How is the movie?

I seem to recall it got bad notices back in the day, and I can see why. Normally Star Wars films start in the middle of a story due to the credit crawl summoning up previous events we never saw. But using clips instead makes me feel like I'm walking in halfway through a movie, which is wrong, because this is the freaking Pilot. Also I have to point out that the dialogue is pretty atrocious.

That being said, one of the things I did NOT hear the critics compliment the movie for, which they really should have, is the amazing animation. It is FAR more cinematic and impressive than Star Wars Rebels, and especially Star Wars Resistance, which makes those two look ESPECIALLY bad because generally speaking, the more recent a show is, the better able they are to take advantage of new animation techniques. The movie and apparently the series are ten years out of date, and they STILL look better than the rest of Star Wars animation that has come out very recently.

Why does Zero the Hutt talk like a Southern dandy? Padme Amidala's hairstyles also continue to be ridiculous.

One of the subtexts I've always taken from the Old Republic, in the prequels at least, is that it was ripe for being overthrown because it was flawed from the ground up, and Yoda and Mace Windu made bad decisions regarding it, especially Yoda. Basically this movie says the Republic's existence is dependent on Jabba the Hutt's loyalty and altruism. Seriously? Jabba is a well-known criminal dirtbag. And ruthless and cruel one. The fact that the Jedis are sucking up to him says that the Jedis and the Republic are already unfathomably corrupt. No amount of cute Huttling shenanigans will change that fact.

The story was bad but the animation amazed me. A mixed bag. ***.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Ambush"

Corey Burton does a credible Christopher Lee.

I like the honor the king showed towards Yoda. He's a good egg.

The clone grumpily says that he can never figure out the psychology of a Jedi Master. I don't know about other Jedi Masters, but Yoda is a pretty easy fellow to peg. He's the guy spouting stupid sounding, illogical, untrue, crazy nonsense, the worst judge of character a person in his position should ever be, and always wrong about the Big Picture, especially regarding the Skywalker family, both good and evil. The guy can fight, I'll give him that. But if Yoda is truly the wisest guy in Star Wars, we must be dealing with a society of utter morons. The Idiocracy has arrived and they come bearing light sabers. Watch out or Yoda will get your entire army killed, including the Younglings. Because of his incontestable wisdom of course.

I am on the fence about the series going in after the underwhelming movie. It strikes me as incredibly unfortunate that they centered the first real episode around the character in Star Wars I liked the least, or at least until Kylo Ren's ugly mug showed up.

I'm still in this for the long haul, and I am aware not every episode will focus on Yoda. They probably only used him this heavily right out of the gate because he's so popular with fans. But like Yoda himself, I have found many Star Wars fans extremely poor judges of character. There is no part of Yoda's personality that isn't annoying and doesn't suck. **.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Rising Malevolence"

The climax was exciting, that's for sure. The trouble is I didn't like much else.

When Anakin tells Ahsoka she asked to look for survivors the wrong way I was like, "You mean directly? Without preamble? Without a bunch of Jedi mumbo-jumbo and b.s.?" I thought Ahsoka's request was not only reasonable. It was asked in the correct manner with full transparency. I hate the Lucas portions of the canon for acting like double-talk and refusing to say what you mean is somehow clever or virtuous. It can easily argued by a cynic that during Lucas's tenure, the Jedis were the secret bad guys.

Speaking of which: clones are meant to be expendable? Is there any real reason why NO-ONE would object to the Republic and its toxic mindset?

For some reasons starship battles in the vacuum of space in this franchise and Star Trek make me shut off my brain a bit. I am aware things can't explode in space, and that there is no sound, or gravity. That's where suspension of disbelief comes in. I'm willing to do that for spaceships. NOT for armed ray gun combat between soldiers. I saw every science hole and was completely unable to excuse then and totally taken out of things.

My biggest fear is that I am not going to enjoy the series because it is focuses on the wisdom of Jedi, and I think those guys are amoral d-bags. The Abrams era sequels and the next two cartoons weren't about that so I could enjoy them (or in the case of Star Wars Resistance at least some SOMETIMES). But I don't think I will ever be able to warm up to a series with Jedi leadership as a focal point. I'm starting to wonder if I've bitten off more than I could chew by choosing to get into this. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Shadow Of Malevolence"

Not bad.

Clone hospitals existing say the Republic is not as bad as I feared.

Why does Ahsoka call Artoo Artooey? For that matter why does Anakin call her Snips?

I suppose it's true from a certain point of view? Have I mentioned how how much the doubletalking Jedi suck?

Decent. No real complaints. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Destroy Malevolence"

Grievous thinks he's a lot more competent than he actually is.

The Battle Droids continue to be funny. So much so that I'm half rooting for them while they are being blasted apart.

Anakin and Padme's flirtatious moment about building and taking apart Droids was absolutely dreadful, but absolutely dreadful describes every bit of romance in this franchise.

Solid conclusion. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Rookies"

It was a smart idea to do an episode from the perspective of the new and secondary characters. Builds the world a little.

I'm still amazed there is cursing and actual death on this show.

Good stuff. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Downfall Of A Droid"

Obi-Wan's all "It's only a Droid." And it's very easy to see why people dislike the Jedi.

I remember the Assassin Droids from The Mandalorian. Interesting they were introduced here.

Love the wild techno music. It weirdly makes everything exciting.

I'm with Anakin. Goldie's a dud.

That was good. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Duel Of The Droids"

"We're all Droids here." Is that true? Is Grievous a Droid? I always thought he was some kind of weird alien cyborg.

Not surprised R3 was a spy for the bad guys. He was too much of hindrance to be anything but a traitor.

Ahsoka tells Anakin that they R3 fooled everybody. Not true. Anakin knew he was rotten from the start. I can't believe he didn't throw that in her face for that galling statement.

R2-D2 continues to be impressive.

Gettin' good. Best episode so far. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bombad Jedi"

I don't understand the thought process in bringing Jar-Jar to this show. He's a horrible character. Every fan hates him. Accept that you made a mistake, Lucas. There is no rehabilitation to be had for him, especially after an episode as annoying as this. He's a lost cause. Give it up.

Having a Jar-Jar episode automatically loses the show credibility. For no good reason other than Lucas can't accept he failed. It's annoying.

I don't actually think Ono's the bad guy for briefly joining the Separatists. The bill for the care package was stalled in the Republic Senate? What kind of jive is that? No wonder people hate and distrust the Republic.

The Battle Droids are super dumb. There seem to be more of them than the Clones but their stupidity seems to make them a net liability. They are surprisingly cute and funny though. For bad guys.

Jar-Jar means automatic suck. *.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Cloak Of Darkness"

Those two fight scenes with Luminara and Ahsoka was absolutely amazing. I'm floored at how much better this show is at that stuff than Star Wars Rebels. It's not even a contest.

Droids hate being called by their nicknames? Tell that to Artoo and Threepio.

Didn't see the betrayal of the guard coming. In the end, he got what he deserved.

Exciting episode. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Lair Of Grievous"

The idea that with power comes the restraint not to use it is a far cry from With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

"So there is room for improvement." That's what I like about Dooku. He can't give Grievous anything.

For the record, I've sort of decided that Grievous is quite thick-witted. This is notable because Star Wars has a plethora of smart baddies. But Grievous is a dumb, blunt instrument, and nothing more.

That was good too. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Dooku Captured"

First appearance of the pirate Hondo, who became a major character and ally for the good guys in Star Wars Rebels. He was quite a scumbag back in the day for sure.

Dooku's warning about not underestimating the pirates was interesting because he impressed upon Obi-Wan that the most dangerous thing about them is that they are stupid. Obi-Wan foolishly throws that insult back at Dooku as if he's a six-year-old, but that struck me as very wise advice no matter the reason it was offered. Obi-Wan is the stupid one in that conversation for ignoring it.

Speaking of Obi-Wan being an idiot. One of the subtexts to the series I appreciate, and was probably not hard to pull off, is the fact that Obi-Wan is an unending d-bag to Anakin Skywalker. None of the Jedi Masters I have seen outside of them have the Master treat the Padawan so shabbily. There is some antagonism with Anakin and Ahsoka for sure, but it's playful, and they still like and care about each other. Obi-Wan dislikes Anakin, finds him useless, and never lets him forget it. Is it any wonder Anakin turned on the Jedi? Even when they were supposedly on his side they were treating him like an enemy. It doesn't excuse the later slaughter of the Jedi Younglings or the destruction of Alderaan. But if Palpaltine manipulated and pushed Anakin to the Dark Side because of how badly Obi-Wan treats him, it wasn't that hard of a push. And I like the series showing the devolution of Anakin through the frame that Obi-Wan has always treated him like a piece of garbage.

Do you know a similarly mean Jedi Master? Not on Obi-Wan's level, but up there is Yoda to Luke. Thankfully it didn't end as badly, but Lord knows it could have. Maybe the actual reason the Republic fell is because Obi-Wan and Yoda were utter jerks and driving off people they needed to make friends with.

Good stuff. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Gungan General"

Major role for Jar-Jar means the episode sucks.

Strangulations and graphic deaths state this is very unlike other cartoons geared towards kids.

I liked the end of Hondo appreciating the Jedi's sense of honor. I'd argue it's actually quite stupid on the Jedi's end, or at least I would if I didn't know Hondo was redeemable.

Jar-Jar blows. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Jedi Crash"

Secura is one of the same aliens as Hera from Star Wars Rebels. I like how they all seem to be different colors. And the belly-shirt makes her weirdly sexy.

Anakin using his light-saber on the Droids at the beginning was dope.

The crash landing was beautifully animated. Do you know what else had great animation? The moment of the Clone Trooper hearing a noise in the middle of the night, and going out to check on it. Very cinematic, realistic, and well-boarded. It's not just the battle stuff on the show with superior animation.

I like the alien monkeys. I found the leader's perspective that it doesn't matter who started a war interesting. Interesting because it isn't always true (World War II springs immediately to mind) but also interesting because it's probably MOSTLY true.

Dynamite animation in this one. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Defenders Of Peace"

George Takei in Star Wars? Oh, my!

You know what? I am not on-board with that. One of my biggest gripes about the first six Star Wars films is that the morality is entirely messed up, and the messages the franchise send about power and rule of law are harmful. And that describes this episode. In order to make pacifism seem like a bad idea, they had to make the Separatist bad guys Captain Planet villains. I'm not saying the bad guys in Star Wars are especially nuanced. Tarkin and Vader blowing up Alderaan out of spite says they are not. But I think their evil often comes from a believable place. This general guy is a pure cartoon. Granted it's an animated series, but I'm not just referring to appearance and actions. It's his basic motivations that make him a weekday afternoon cartoon villain instead of a person.

That sucked. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Trespass"

If I had seen this over the air ten years ago, I would scoff that the Chairman of Pantera could be put in charge of anything. He's stupid, incompetent, rude, and nobody likes him. How could he POSSIBLY get where he is? But it's 2020. I like, GET IT, now.

For the record his character design is great. It's angular and the blues are particular rich and colorful.

But it's easy to score a win with good leadership. It's much harder to with bad. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Hidden Enemy"

Yeah, ferreting out a traitor among a group of people who look and dress almost exactly alike is not easy and no fun.

Interesting that taking Battle Droid parts as trophies is taboo. I mean, it probably should be, but nobody in Star Wars treats Droids like actual people so it still surprises me.

"I'm not the traitor! YOU are!" What are you, six, Slick?

For the record a large part of Slick's gripes about the clones being slaves is legitimate. But I think that's just the justification he uses to the others to sound less horrible. He really wanted the payday, which has nothing to do with his admittedly accurate political beliefs.

This show creates the most fascinating character studies with the secondary characters. It is a real gift. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Blue Shadow Virus"

I don't really care how tense that climax was. That was an utter mess.

Do you know the worst thing about Jar-Jar on this show? All of the reasons we hate him, all of them are intact. George Lucas not only refuses to ever take constructive criticism, but where Jar-Jar is concerned, he doubles down. We're like, "Jar-Jar is annoying, not funny, a hindrance, and outright racist," and instead of evolving the character to make those complaints untrue, he rubs our noses it. He knows it's racist by now. He's gotten that note repeatedly. And he just doesn't care. Because he's always right. It is his most infuriating quality, and why I think Star Wars will ultimately be better off out of his hands entirely.

Star Wars is a franchise that often only works if you don't think too hard on it. The problem with the mad doctor is the show is asking me to not think at all. This lunatic is apparently brilliant enough to create a virus capable of destroying the entire Republic, and yet he is so dumb he doesn't understand viruses are lower life-form and beneath sentient life. It's one thing for a mad scientist to be crazy. This brand of crazy has no logic to it, and especially no logic a scientist would ever believe. He's actually outright stupid, and I don't believe someone this dumb can create a virus that deadly. It does not track. At all.

I'm calling that episode a lost cause. Which also describes George Lucas. *.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Mystery Of A Thousand Moons"

That Jaybo kid is super annoying. But the fact that he was able to reprogram the Battle Droids to serve him says that there are no good and evil Droids. Just good and evil intentions from whoever programs them. The Mandalorian touched upon this theme and it's true.

Speaking of which, Ahsoka apologizing to Padme for getting her contaminated really made me angry. Because it was actually Jar-Jar's fault and he didn't get the proper blame for it. The character is a menace.

I was mostly aggravated with this. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Storm Over Ryloth"

Anakin's plan was a good one.

I liked seeing Ahsoka struggle with command and the Clones struggling with it a bit too (Rex accidentally insults her when wishing Skywalker was there). It was relatable.

I also liked the Battle Droids' confusion over who was in charge. Did I mention Anakin's plan was great?

The animation on the look Anakin gives Ahsoka when he takes the call was great. This show gets a lot of credit for the special effects. But the character animation is also unusually outstanding.

Solid episode. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Innocents Of Ryloth"

It was interesting to see those clones explore their humanity by taking care of the little Tweelek girl.

"I'm a Droid. I'm always right." Yeah, no. He is just as bad at predicting accurate odds as C-3PO in Empire.

I love that when Kenobi shields the girl's eyes from the robot's destruction, she waves the hand away and peeks anyways.

"Tailhead" is a particularly ugly racial slur for a Tweelek.

The action scene at the end was tight.

Good episode. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Liberty Of Ryloth"

General Syndulla, huh? Was that a little Hera I saw?

I also recognize the walking Piranhas from The Mandalorian.

The wordless sequence of Windu saving the Clones from the disappearing bridge was made all that much more tense because it had no music in it.

The Battle Droids are individuals. Roger Roger Roger Roger. Good joke.

The Evil Droid's voice is somewhat chilling to me. He creeps me out just by the way he says those horrible things in that tinny emotionless voice.

Another good one. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Hostage Crisis"

Wow, Cad Bane is a cool character. The bounty hunter is blue with shunts sticking out of his cheeks and he even wears a cowboy hat. He seems to be channeling Clint Eastwood before he started screaming at chairs.

The purple squid looking guy is cool too.

Whem Tweeteks get fat they REALLY get fat.

A little romance in the episode suggests this show is not entirely for kids.

Speaking of which, was that an alien prostitute hanging out in that bedroom? I just can't figure out why a woman dressed like that would be there otherwise.

Ziro and Graballa the Hutts are lousy characters. They just make the Hutts stop seeming scary.

I am a little confused by this finale. It doesn't end on any more radical a cliffhanger than the others do, and it doesn't wrap anything up either. As cool as Bane is I don't think it's a great finale because the season just basically stops. I don't know if that's just this season or not but it's a definite flaw in the storytelling to end things.

Not bad though. ***1/2.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Holocron Heist"

First appearance of the Holocrons and the first mention of the Kyber Crystals.

Ahsoka's battle with the Changling was pretty sweet.

I liked the doomed Droid played by Seth Green, although he turned out to be a bit of a sap.

Cad Bane continues to be a cool villain.

Neat premiere. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Cargo Of Doom"

I have to say, I'm really starting to feel sorry for the Battle Droids. They do NOT want to be on this mission, and it sounded like one of them had some compassion for the tortured dead Jedi. Hearing their screams of agony is really starting to effect me too.

The Droid saying he was commander now before he was shot was funny though. I'm not proud to admit that I laughed at that.

Ahsoka may not have won her fight with Cad Bane, but she did better than I thought she would.

Decent episode but I am really starting to get concerned that absolutely nobody cares about the Battle Droids. Not a single person. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Children Of The Force"

I'm really coming to love Cad Bane's voice. It's super creepy. I also like how resourceful the character is.

The subdued scenes between Anakin and Palpatine give me the willies.

Speaking of which, the hologram of Darth Sidius hovering over the babies is super creepy too.

I liked the Jedi moves Anakin used when he rescued the Greedo baby.

Solid. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Senate Spy"

The Jedi STILL don't know Anakin and Padme are secretly married? Yet another reason to be completely unimpressed with Yoda and Mace Windu.

Anakin is bad with women. Padme already doesn't want to do the mission, but every statement he's making is forcing her into accepting the mission to save her own pride and sense of self-worth. If he truly wanted Padme off the mission he said the absolute worst things a man could say to talk a woman out of it.

I'm not thrilled that Clovis has the hots for Padme. But on the other hand, it's messy that he's a bad guy, and still does love her. I also found many of his overtures to Padme far less presumptuous than how Anakin was treating her throughout the episode, which is decent writing. But it's still kinda creepy. Especially with Padme dressed in a belly shirt. Do Senators actually dress like that? I get the logic of the Leia bikini. She's forced to wear it. I have a hard time understanding why Padme is wearing such a revealing outfit on official business.

All right but the episode was not without problems. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Landing At Point Rain"

Action-packed, yet grim episode.

Ahsoka and Anakin competing over the most number of kills sounds gruesome until you remember most of the Separatist Army is Droids.

I liked Mundi claiming victory at the end and Anakin saying he won his respect. It was a nice moment in an episode where nice moments were hard to come by.

Honestly, the big action episodes with the battle set-pieces are not my favorites. I'm weird that way. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Weapons Factory"

What a nice ending.

That Tactical Droid was both ruthless and cruel. It was very satisfying seeing him explode.

Luminara chides Anakin at the end for being unable to let his Padawan go when the time comes. Here's an idea: That's a GOOD thing, and her inability to do that is a moral failing for her, and a moral failing for the rest of the Jedi. One of the things I dislike about the Jedi is they teach their pupils terrible, amoral lessons that would never occur to actual good people to teach. This perhaps says more about George Lucas than anything else, but I think as bad as the Empire ultimately was, I see why people pretty much had had their fill of the Jedi and the Republic. I see why it happened in the first place.

Solid. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Legacy Of Terror"

Obi-Wan almost had me. I almost respected him more than Anakin for wanting to study the situation instead of going in lightsabers blazing. But instead he wants to see if the worm goes in Illuminara's ear or nose so I think he's contemptible instead. Wanting to bring a worm back to study is similarly brainless.

This episode was a horror movie. It even had some shocking gore in it.

Return of "I've got a bad feeling about this." Total Star Wars line.

I'm frustrated I'm never able to like or respect Obi-Wan Kenobi. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Brain Invaders"

I feel uncomfortable over the fact that neither Ahsoka or Barris felt any level of guilt over the Clone they killed after learning he was mind-controlled. And honestly, that is an actual failing on the show's end. That should not have been too much to ask for them to portray that.

Is this the first time Anakin has used the "Force Choke"? I think it may have been. They even played the Darth Vader music during it. I almost feel bad for Anakin's enemies. They have no idea how depraved he is deep down. It's frightening.

I liked him reassuring Ahsoka at the end that she made the right decision though. It's very hard to root for Anakin's fall from grace as long as he is showing more humanity and compassion than Yoda, Obi-Wan or Mace Windu ever did.

Pretty good. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Grievous Intrigue"

The Tick's Ben Edlund wrote this? Neat.

Grievous asks if it is murder to want to wipe out all Jedi. Ummm, yes. Grievous seems less scary for not knowing that, and more stupid.

The Tactical Droids continue to be absolute jerks. I never tired of seeing those aholes blown to pieces.

A good one. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Deserter"

This was a really cool episode. It's actually probably my favorite so far.

I love that the Deserter isn't a coward. He simply has a different moral philosophy from the rest of the Clones. I have found that the era of Star Wars overseen by Lucas never really seemed to tackle these kinds of ideas. And if this show is going to, that's refreshing. Star Wars is about fate and legacies and destiny. Choice doesn't enter into most of the morality of the Universe. But this episode explored notions of individuality, free will, and choosing the life you want. And I like the ending that Rex lets it slide because the guy clearly loves his family and is happy, and is a good guy to boot. This is the kind of moral you'd see on Star Trek, but it's more than welcome in Star Wars, if you ask me.

I loved that. *****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Lightsaber Lost"

That was quite a ride.

The designs of the aliens were great. I really like Sinube. He's sort of like a cross between a llama and a rabbit, but about as slow as a Turtle. He seems with-it in a way Yoda is not.

Ione had a great design too. I couldn't stop staring at her weird eyes. They looked great.

That was a fun episode. We need more like that. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Mandalore Plot"

This episode answered many of the questions I had about the differences between the Mandalorians from Star Wars Rebels and The Mandalorian. They are two separate factions. Makes a little more sense now.

I though Obi-Wan was a terrible diplomat, and quite insolent to Satire, until I started getting the flirtatious vibe between the two of them. They obviously had a romantic past which gives his jibes against her some sort of logic (if not tact).

Cool Darksaber the baddie had.

Is this the first time Obi-Wan has ever said he was glad to see Anakin? It might be. Took him long enough.

I really dislike Obi-Wan Kenobi on this series. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Voyage Of Temptation"

Would not have recognized Greg Proops at Merrick without checking the credits.

This was written by Paul Dini? Cool!

Obi-Wan's plan to use the spider assassin Droid to ferret out the traitor was dumb for the exact reason that Merrick freed it and used the confusion to make off with the Duchess. Whatever Kenobi's skills are with the lightsaber, he is a lousy tactician.

I did not like Merrick taunting Kenobi and Satine into believing them taking him out would make them cold-blooded killers. Anakin had it right. He was threatening to blow up the station. That makes it self-defense. There is nothing coldblooded about that.

Kenobi believe whether or not he and Satine were together has no bearing on the mission. He's wrong to tell Anakin that. Because if they were together it means his judgment could be compromised. Anakin isn't nosy for asking. He's being cautious.

I really don't like Obi-Wan. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Duchess Of Mandalore"

Extended Senate procedural scenes. Never a good sign in this franchise.

Obi-Wan sucks as a diplomat. Did he just call a woman hysterical? Absolutely tone-deaf. Foolhardy wasn’t much better either. Did Jedisplaining exist before this? If not, Obi-Wan just invented it.

I disliked more than I liked. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Senate Murders"

Decent mystery although the culprit was easy to guess.

Inspector Devo is a truly annoying character. And although he's human, his character design is shockingly repulsive. So much so that if he were ever adapted to live-action I don't think they could successfully get a guy ugly enough to play him.

Palpatine at the end is a smooth-talking snake. I fault the Jedi for not seeing through his b.s., but when it comes to fooling people like Padme, I see clearly how and why he's able to do it.

Decent episode. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Cat And Mouse"

That was a pretty sweet trick Anakin pulled on Trench at the end.

It somehow feels right to hear an Organa tell Obi-Wan via hologram that he is their only hope.

The one thing in the episode I didn't like was Anakin calling Trench ugly. That struck me as a bigoted statement. The only reason I forgive it is because Anakin isn't actually a good person. But that's a good demonstration of that.

Pretty good. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bounty Hunters"

Hondo! He's not good but he's not entirely bad either.

I appreciate this episode's nuanced take on Bounty Hunters. We don't always get that in this franchise.

I seem to recall The Mandalorian had a recent episode with this exact premise.

Entertaining, but nothing to write home about. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Zillo Beast"

I was a bit bored with that. The animation on the Beast was fantastic, and the climax was like a Godzilla movie, but the story didn't hold my interest much.

The ending seems like the baddest of bad ideas.

The Dugs are a species of dirtbags. It's an interesting visual that they walk on their hands and pick things up with their feet.

Not my cup of tea. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back"

I found that stupid. Really.

Obi-Wan and Mace are puzzling over the Chancellor's seemingly illogical and questionable decision to bring the Beast to Coruscant. It doesn't occur to either that Palpatine is simply a bad guy and working against them all? How stupid are the Jedi?

Even worse is that the debacle blows up spectacularly in everybody's face, and Palpatine doesn't earn an inch of blame for it. That would have and should have been a major scandal for a politician on a show operating under a real-world basis. The show has to have Palpatine walk the line between saying the right things to the good guys, and doing secret evil on the side. He had no plausible deniability for the situation. It was entirely his fault based on his orders. It is not credible he is assigned no blame for it. I get there is a certain segment of any given population who believes an authoritarian politician can do no wrong, but that shouldn't extend to Padme or Mace, or any of the other supposed good guys with a halfway functioning brain.

I do not like Star Wars' fairytale morality based on a messed up sense of ethics. And I especially don't like the idea that when bad things happen due to powerful people's malice, that they are assigned no blame for it. It angers me. Not at the characters. But at the writers. A halfway decent franchise would either explore that controversy or pick a different topic.

I was a little disgusted with that. *.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Death Trap"

Those Clone kids are super creepy.

Lucky turning out to be Boba Fett was a great twist. It explained the sinister expression on his face as well as his great marksmanship. What a neat idea.

That was a terrific episode. Weird that the best episodes of this show seem to be Clone centered. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "R2 Come Home"

This show needs its head examined. What were they thinking having Mace Windu sneer at R2-D2's lovable "personality"? That just makes me like Windu less! Why does the show want that from me? It's out of its mind. It's like Sam Jack handed the prequels its only legit cool character, and this show is knocking him down a little more week by week. I don't get it. At all.

I love how R2 giggles. He's so cute!

Even Mace coming around a bit at the end didn't help much. I don't love the fact that I don't like Mace Windu anymore. What bothers me most is realizing that I haven't liked him in a long time. Literally since this show started. There is a problem here. I've got a bad feeling about this. **.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Lethal Trackdown"

That felt a lot more like a season finale than last year's finale did.

Boba says he'll never forgive Mace at the end, and Mace says he'll have to. He'll HAVE to? What does Mace mean by that? The implications to that statement sound absolutely sinister to me.

I love that it turns out Sing is Hondo's ex. This is the first episode to truly explore the ambiguity of Hondo and the fact that even though he's a criminal, he has a sense of honor. He's staying out of the Jedi's way, which is smart, because Sing's mess doesn't benefit him, and maybe the Jedi will remember his help in the future. Say what you will about Hondo, he knows when to pick his battles.

Oh my God, was that LITERALLY a Tweelek exotic dancer? The show embracing the TV-PG-ness of it all. Saucy.

Solid end to the season. ****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,489
Location
Framingham, MA
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Clone Cadets"

That was awful. Worst episode so far. There is literally no-one to root for. All of the characters are horrible to each other. The trainers are cruel and abusive and the Clones are jerks.

I especially don't like an episode making us think too hard about the Clones' station in the war. They are literally slaves that few people care about, and have zero say in their own lives. And that bothers me, and the entire morality of the Jedi and the Republic bothers me because they believe that is fair. It's not. It's sickening.

Hated that. With a passion. 0.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "ARC Troopers"

Passable.

Found Ventress kissing the Clone she had just impaled beyond nasty. What a villain.

Unfortunately I do not care as much about 99's death as the show thinks I should.

Anakin should have spent less time threatening to have the Clone execute Ventress, and more time executing her. Her escape was clearly telegraphed ahead of time, and to think that no-one thought to shoot her in the head at that point borders on criminal negligence.

Better than the last episode, that's for sure. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Supply Lines"

The biggest thing that says the Republic deserves to be overthrown is that Jar-Jar Binks is in a position of power. He's an idiot, everyone knows he's an idiot, and he is where he is due to rampant corruption and cronyism. It amazes me that Lucas expects me to see the Jedi as the good guys in a show where it's stated that the Universe's Galactic Senate takes years to decide anything. The Sith may be pure evil, but the Republic is entirely broken and it was ripe for the plucking by the right smooth-talking demagogue.

For the record, when that trade guy accused Organa of lying to the king and misrepresenting the situation, he's right. Organa says the blockade changes nothing, but it does. It would be drawing the king's people into the war. Organa knew that and tried to hide it. What amazes me is that the king is actually receptive to altering his neutrality, but I wouldn't break bread with Bail after leaving that part out, AND the part where the Republic wants to build a new military base on Ryloth.

I did like the end of the Jedi and the Clone sacrificing themselves, and the Jedi knowing as he died that the good guys were going to win after he did. I have always liked the notion of heroes dying so the side of good can win after they are gone. That was the most appealing part of Rogue One for me. I don't actually think the Jedi are all that good. But I do love and appreciate that specific trope.

But this has been a bad season so far. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Sphere Of Influence"

I liked that. First good episode of the season.

Appearance from a pre-Han-shot Greedo. But why can he speak English? I also threw up in my mouth a little when that Tweelek chick Frenched him.

That Chairman is an excellent detective. He is also quite handy in both a brawl and a firefight. The episode had characters that were easy to root for for once.

Speaking of which, Ahsoka and those Battle Droids? Yikes! Remind me never to tick her off.

If there is one thing in the episode I disliked it's the series' disturbing trend of showing Jabba the Hutt with a shred of honor and decency. Granted, nuance in villains is usually a good thing. But I don't think that's true for that specific villain. He kept Leia as a sex slave. I do not and will never have conflicted feelings about him.

That was good though. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Corruption"

A slow week but an apt episode title.

This is what happens when Bart Simpson is unable to tell the French Policeman that there's antifreeze in the wine. If the writers of this episode didn't get this premise from The Simpsons, I'd be shocked.

The stuff with the outbreak gave me the willies for obvious current event reasons.

The episode dealt with talking and intrigue, which is the franchise's weak point. It wasn't bad though. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Academy"

Yeah, attending a secret meeting between a shady guy and everyone else who knew about the conspiracy in a remote location late at night, that'll end well. Rookies. I get this is a lesson the kids must learn. I don't agree it's one I as an audience member need to learn.

The Chancellor describes his formation of the Black Market as a new sort of tax. I admit. That's a new one. Very creative. The delusion is strong in this one.

I probably shouldn't have liked that. But I did. I tend to enjoy Star Wars more when it's easy to make fun of. It's the boring stuff I can't stand. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Assassin"

That was good.

Ziro is kind of a ridiculous character, but I thought his threat at the end was genuinely scary, and a great, unnerving place to leave off the episode. Star Wars has never been great at final scenes. This was memorable in a good way.

I love Anakin telling Ahsoka this was her chance to prove him wrong. I love their relationship very much.

Solid. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Evil Plans"

I liked it. I had some reservations, but all in all I was pleased.

Seeing R2 enjoying the spa was a lot of fun. Of course he isn't allowed to keep that memory. It strikes me that the Droid spa was the closet thing Droids have to a Cathouse. That's weird, man.

Anthony Daniels is pretty much the one Star Wars cast member who is irreplaceable. Honestly I had a lot of trouble with and anger over his joy at Padme calling his services magnificent. That's means he is never praised and everybody treats him like dirt. I don't find the character particularly useful, but I also think he does a decent job for what he does. Never being appreciated once before this bothers me very much.

Cad Bane is a very cunning villain. A lesser baddie would have destroyed C-3PO and R2-D2 to tie up loose ends, but he's smart enough to know that would alert the good guys that something was wrong, so instead he wipes their memories, and frees them unharmed. Good resolution to get the Droids out of that mess, that made me respect Bane for his intelligence.

I still can't get over how much I love that voice. It's robotic, and the best thing about the accent is I cannot place it. It truly sounds like an alien accent, which is not something I've heard before. It's great

Prepubescent Anakin was either stupid or a sociopath. Why else would he program C-3PO with pain receptors? Did I mention Threepio always seems to get a bum deal from his supposed friends? That! That!

Speaking of which, Artoo is a great sidekick for Luke and Anakin, but when it comes to having Threepio's back, the little creep is quite useless. Another thing that angers me.

Can we clone Anthony Daniels next? ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Hunt For Ziro"

Before that awesome fight with Kenobi and Bane that led to a literal cliffhanger, the episode was super gross.

This franchise rarely explores sex and romance so why is it the one time they do it's utterly repulsive? Sy Snootles kissing Ziro made me want to retch and Mama Hutt is revolting too.

The alien exotic dancers in bikinis shows that this is an unusual cartoon for both Cartoon Network and now Disney+. It amazes me this show gets away with what it does.

For the record, Sy Snootles is technically topless. Mama Hutt is too, but it's less noticeable because she doesn't wear ANY clothes. There is something unusually salacious and vulgar about Sy because she's wearing a loincloth.

Very surprised the show actually killed Ziro off. I had imagined he would have been a character in it for the long haul.

I love Bane bemoaning the fact that he hates it when other people do his job. What a unique pet peeve.

A hippie Jedi? I can dig it.

That snake-lookin' thing came out of nowhere. What's especially jarring is that Obi-Wan kills it with zero fanfare, and resumes discussion with Vos in tones suggesting the topic is the weather. Jedi are weird.

And Obi-Wan couldn't leave well enough alone. Bane was perfectly willing to part on neutral terms with no harm no foul, until Kenobi threatens to bring him in, and Bane remembers the price Jedi heads pay on the black market. Obi-Wan is why we aren't allowed to have nice things.

The opening narration is a double-edged sword. While it's great to get us straight into things, I often feel like I've missed an episode when I haven't. Besides, is the show telling me Bane breaking Ziro out of prison wasn't an adventure actually worth seeing? Because I don't believe them. Not by a longshot.

The battle at the end was cool but mostly the episode was working my gag reflex. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Heroes On Both Sides"

I exited that episode feeling vastly annoyed.

You thought the Senate hearings were boring before this? Now they are discussing banking regulations.

My problem with the episode is my entire problem with Star Wars. The morality is messed up.

I do not support or agree with the show trying to give nuance to any of the Separatists. I have my problems with the Republic, summed up in a quote by Anakin in this episode we'll address later, but I resent the implication that there are good Separatists out there. "Good people on both sides." Sound familiar? The notion is exactly as repugnant to me.

There are normal non-crazy seeming people out there, who do their jobs, work hard, love their families, and go to Church every week. And some of those people wear red hats and watch Fox News. I do not think those people should be excused for supporting the people they do after the explicitly awful things those people have done on-camera simply because they can act outwardly civilized. That means less than nothing. Anybody who can look at Count Dooku's actions and find them admirable is a bad person. And I feel the same way about many people in our world who respect and tolerate evil and immoral people. In utter fairness to this show, this wasn't always a problem (and this episode aired around 2010). I used to be able to have political disagreements with the other side. But they are no longer political disagreements. They're moral ones. Count Dooku is a terrorist and a mass murderer. If somebody looks at him and sees a person to be admired, you bet I question the person who admires him's moral values. I understand the show trying to look at the partisan divide in this fictional Universe. But the actual scenario the show was describing before this episode did not have ANY nuance to it whatsoever. Having people we just met tell us differently is utterly unconvincing, especially since we as the audience actually know better.

Now to get to why the Republic sucks, and why I am never able to fully dismiss the Separatists, no matter how evil Dooku, Grievous, and Darth Sidius actually are. Anakin confidently tell Ahsoka that the Republic are the good guys because the Separatists believe the Republic is corrupt and they're not. I have a suggestion. If Padme ever wants to have a Jedi speak out on the virtues of the Republic, she should never ask Anakin. Because his explanation is outright untrue. The Republic is unfathomably corrupt. Forget for a moment the vast number of Senators and Ambassadors we seen that have sold out to Dooku and have murdered and betrayed their colleagues for wealth and power. Pretend those are all lone wolves and bad apples. That's what we do in real life after all. But literally the guy in charge of the Republic is the person organizing the Separatists to consolidate his own power into a fascist dictatorship ruling over both sides. There is nothing that says how completely and utterly corrupt the Republic is than the fact that its current face is the guy who turns Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. And it's because Anakin is going to be Vader which I why I especially resent this specific "They hate us for our freedoms" b.s. political rationalization coming from him. I don't want to hear lectures about how the Republic isn't corrupt, case closed, from the guy who will slaughter all of the Jedi Younglings in the very near future. And I don't think that's an unreasonable ask of anyone offering a political opinion that definite.

And the kid ogling Ahsoka? Why did they have to go there? What did that help? Ugh.

Man, I did not like that. That episode sucked. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Pursuit Of Peace"

Duwayne Dunham directed this? The Twin Peaks guy? Weird.

I have to say while I continue to believe there is less nuance to the war than the show was asking me to see last episode, I do bemoan the fact that there is not enough nuance in the writing in this episode. The dialogue is obvious, the plot points are clearly being done to offer a harsh critique against the Iraq War, and the overall feeling is hamfisted and preachy. I do not like this show preaching that political message. And it's one I actually agree with. But while it is outright sermonizing to the audience, it makes the argument sound insufferable. Again I don't see much nuance in the war. But there should be nuances in the script to perhaps color the allegory better so as not to alienate anyone who might be otherwise receptive to that particular lesson. Sci-fi allegory is one of the best things about Star Trek, and why it has managed to stay relevant for decades. Even when the allegories in Star Wars don't suck (which isn't always) they are never raised in a way that will give an opposing viewpoint something to chew on. You can't argue in favor of racism based on skin color after seeing Bele and Loki. I wish Star Wars could deliver a similarly strong and easy to grasp antiwar moral through more than just talk.

And do you know why they don't? Because war is this saga's bread and butter. It seems awfully disingenuous to me to have this whole anti-war element added to the show when pretty much the reason this show has the fandom is does is all of the carnage left in the wake of the extras the main heroes and villains kill. I would take an anti-war message more seriously if the show and the movies weren't asking me to enjoy war week in and week out. And since the saga cannot put its money where its mouth is, the allegory is NOT an actual allegory, and is just preaching an agenda for the sake of preaching it. I don't care I agree with it. I like it whenever people I agree with can back their opinions up. Star Wars can never do that for the anti-Bush stances it took from Episode II on. It's the wrong franchise to slam Bush for an unnecessary war. Because the fighting in Star Wars is the definition of unnecessary. And Lucas has no intention of ever stopping it. So the moral is too cute by half.

I had thought Uncle Ono had died in a previous episode. Glad I was wrong.

But I'm not wrong when I say Star Wars needs to get off its soapbox. I'll buy the lightsabers, the comics, the action figures, the videogames, the DVD's, the books, and tie-in cereals. But I won't buy that. **.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Nightsisters"

Man, the animation was atmospheric and cinematic on Ventress' planet. Her sisters were also given extra sinister expressions.

I found her backstory compelling and her people scary and a cross between witches and vampires.

I was very impressed with Count Dooku's fighting skills, although I very much doubt Christopher Lee could have pulled them off at that stage of his life. They were shockingly awesome.

I am about to pay Dooku two additional compliments that I never thought I would. But he showed a speck of decency twice in the episode. The first time is obvious: When he protested Sidius ordering him to kill Ventress. He never does that. He ultimately relented, but just him raising the objection at all, much less quite forcefully, (however briefly), means something to me (if not Ventress herself).

I don't know how many people will pick up on the second decent thing Dooku did because it's actually quite cruel, and people might mistake that for him doing wrong to Ventress. But he disowns her personally, with no caveats or explanations, which would not be the go-to for most villains in that scenario. They would blame Sidius, and insist it wasn't their idea, but thems the breaks, kid, so, so sorry etc. Instead Dooku owns his responsibility with his apprentice, and doesn't paw off her feelings of betrayal and rage against him to somebody else. He owns it. Like a grown man. I think people will hate Dooku for that moment. Me personally? I thought a heck of a lot more of him.

And the most amazing thing about it is that it's the last thing he actually wanted to do. Which makes him taking full responsibility for it all that more impressive.

That was pretty great. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Monster"

That was too dark. It was horrible. The guy being brainwashed into killing his own brother was the most horrible thing I've ever seen in Star Wars. And the killing of the Jedi was upsetting too.

Interesting to learn Ventress is from the same planet as Darth Maul. They are both scary.

That challenge was pretty much the worst Hunger Games ever where the victor can look forward to being tortured and brainwashed by the Nightsisters for the rest of his life. Like I said, the episode was too dark.

Didn't like that. **.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Witches Of The Mist"

I think there was a point where Dooku realized he might have gotten in over his head. He still handled Ventress and Opress admirably though.

Darth Maul is alive? How does that work exactly? Can't wait to find out.

The fight scenes were solid but I was more impressed with the musical score. The latin chants made it feel like a feature film.

Good stuff. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Overlords"

Mind-bender of an episode with bizarre and beautiful visuals.

I found the idea that the Chosen One thing was a destiny entirely unrelated to Darth Vader (at least in this episode) irresistible. In this way Anakin did NOT succumb to his destiny. He spat on it and defied it. I strongly approve of that notion. I loved the idea that Darth Vader was not an inevitability. He was a choice. That is a grown-up moral in a franchise severely lacking grown up morals. It also adds a welcome element of free will to state that destiny with the Force is not set in stone. That is probably why Yoda and Obi-Wan are as consistently wrong as they are.

Impressive they got Liam Neesan back as Qui-Gonn but I get the logic of being able to nab him and use soundalikes for the rest of the cast besides Anthony Daniels. Qui-Gonn will not be appearing in every episode. A one episode cameo from Neesan is a much more reasonable expectation than regular roles for Samuel L Jackson, Frank Oz, and Christopher Lee.

The episode raised a ton of questions which I loved, and even gave a ton of answers (which I don't demand). Best of all those answers were thought-provoking in a way the first six films were not. I prefer the Abrams era of the relaunch to the original Lucas stuff because people are allowed to make their own decisions. This episode was a lot like the reason I mostly prefer the newer stuff. And I'm impressed that Lucas did DO something like that, tucked away in a corner of the franchise perhaps not everybody has seen. Very cool.

I loved the episode. It wasn't my favorite episode but I don't give a ton of other episodes of this show five stars either. *****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Altar Of Mortis"

Heavy stuff. Pretty fantastic too.

This episode proves something about Star Wars, that I've always thought. But Star Wars isn't actually science fiction. It's fantasy. Full stop. It has the trappings of science fiction, but the genre is fantasy. Similar to how Game Of Thrones has the trappings of a historical drama but it is also fantasy. The spaceships in Star Wars seem besides the point to the fantastical themes explored.

This episode is the kind of stuff the movie "mother!" dealt with. Creation myth allegory using nameless deities in recognizable settings. This is not as dark as mother! (of course) but the creation myth elements answer a lot of question about the Star Wars universe. It's not the Separatists or the Empire responsible for the Dark Side overrunning the galaxy. It's down to the death of the Daughter. That's outright Biblical and a cross between the Crucifixion and the Book of Revelation. It's powerful, heady stuff for a kids cartoon.

I always felt that Sam Witwer had an interesting voice, and it amazes that this episode, done a good ten years ago, seems to be the only time I've heard his voice in a cartoon. There is a soft-spoken spooky huskiness to him that reminds me greatly of Admiral Thrawn from Star Wars Rebels. To be honest, Witwer has never in his life played a character that I have liked. But his voice has a power to it that I'm surprised cartoon producers don't utilize more often.

Ahsoka looks like Gollum during much of this episode. Great character animation there. Lucas CGI is not like other TV CGI. It is literally the only TV CGI that can do facial expressions worth anything. And in cartoon dramas, that's worth a LOT more than you'd think. I loved Transformers Prime. I shudder to think how amazing it would have been if the character's faces were able to project this level of nuance and emotion. Robots or not, it probably would have made that already excellent cartoon ten times better.

That was weird, and confusing, and alarming, and almost inappropriate in its ethical and philosophical scope in this previously simple-minded franchise. Which are all the reasons I responded so positively to it.

Another great episode. *****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Ghosts Of Mortis"

I did not like the conclusion as much as the first two parts. I don't even object to giving Anakin amnesia so he doesn't learn he'll become Vader. It's just that the show did a couple of episodes exploring choice and free will and stuck a big old Chosen One prophecy over Anakin's head at the end anyways. I loved those previous two episodes. And Star Wars is a weak franchise because I wasn't allowed to keep them.

It's only when Star Wars started going against the destiny idea in the Abrams era which is when I truly started to dig it. Lucas proved this season he can talk a good game about the subject. But in the end, he still truly doesn't get it. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Citadel"

Tarkin? And he used to be with the good guys? Interesting. You just know he's dirty even at this point. He's not fooling anyone.

Carbon freezing? Also interesting.

Sobeck's design reminded greatly of a Ralph Bakshi design from one of his "street" films.

R2's Battle Droids following Jedi orders without fuss or drama states there are no good or evil intentions in the Battle Droids themselves. They merely do what they are programmed to do. Which ultimately makes me cringe at the Jedi slaughtering them even more than usual.

Decent outing. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Counter Attack"

Tarkin espouses some awful opinions. It clearly disturbs Ahsoka that Anakin agrees with many of them.

The doors splitting the clone in half was a gruesome was to die. It actually occurred off-screen and it STILL gave me the willies.

The battle scenes at the end were tight.

Good episode. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Citadel Rescue"

For a captain, Tarkin isn't much good in a firefight. If Anakin's idea of a person you need in this war is someone who does nothing by spout tired, pompous, self-serving, rhetoric, he's wrong. Tarkin does not put his own skin in the game the way Anakin does.

Him and Anakin name-dropping the Chancellor was obnoxious, and considering what's coming in a few years, ominous.

You know what? I really regretted the good Battle Droids being killed off. Why? Because before they sacrificed themselves they told R2-D2 it was an honor to serve him. Have we ever seen one of those guys say the same thing to Grievous or Dooku? I think not.

I love Sobeck saying he refused Dooku's earlier calls because he was hoping to surprise him with good news, and Dooku retorting that him reporting good news would indeed be a surprise. Never pictured Dooku being the kind of guy to throw awesome shade like that, but it was pretty epic. Sobeck's going to need some ointment for that burn.

Anakin does the dumb, obvious thing at the end and asks if Plo indeed ordered Ahsoka on the mission. And Plo's answer is both wise and common-sense. It appears he did. Whether or not that was his intention, or whether or not it was actually a lie from Ahsoka, it all comes out the same in the end.

Do you know what I love? The dog creatures known as Anubese look a LOT like the Egyptian God Anubis, which make no sense in a galaxy far, far away. Except Star Wars is fiction, and it's totally okay to crib familiar ideas that the audience will recognize. Yes, it takes us out of the reality of the world a bit. But it doesn't do that for the characters themselves, which makes it okay. I was never as hard on the occasional pop culture reference in Star Wars Rebels as many fans were. It doesn't really bother me if something means joke or a reference to me as long as the characters themselves treat it seriously. That's all that should really matter when it is said and done.

Solid. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Padawan Lost"

Ahsoka and the Younglings are the Most Deadliest Game to the Sleestaks from Land Of The Lost!

Honestly, those lizard dudes are probably the most loathsome Star Wars aliens I have ever witnessed. I mean the guy goes ballistic over his son being killed without caring for a second that he was killed trying to kill the Jedi kids. It's like these jerks cannot handle it if their prey fights back. They are so loathsome because they actually believe that is unfair. They believe they are entitled to murder whoever they want with no risk to themselves whatsoever. Real life sucks, doesn't it, chump?

The death of the girl really hit me and is another reason I hate those guys so much.

For the record, Ahsoka trying to impart the lesson not to kill in anger? Nuh uh, Ahsoka. This is life or death, and every single one of those lizards that remains alive is a threat to their very survival. It doesn't matter if there is rage involved in killing them. They need to be killed anyways. By necessity.

Man, those villains sucked, and made this a good episode to root against them. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Wookiee Hunt"

Poor Chewbacca. He always seems to have gotten himself into a fix every time we're introduced to him, hasn't he?

To be blunt, besides Ahsoka's final fight with the Big Bad, all of the fights in that episode were subpar. Why? I suspect because they needed to be evenly matched, so Ahsoka, the Younglings and Chewie were depowered a great deal so they could be.

I love that Chewbacca was billed as himself in the end credits, and that the episode was a tribute to Peter Mayhew. Love that guy.

That was a good episode, a good conclusion, and a good season finale. If the fights were up to snuff, I'd have no real complaints. ****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
30,489
Location
Framingham, MA
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Water War"

Captain Ackbar? Neat. He didn't say his catchphrase though.

It makes sense his people are from underwater. But are they really called Mon Calamari?

Honestly, I expected the episode to be much worse than it was. The fortune cookie moral at the top of the episode was intolerable: "When destiny calls, the chosen have no choice." I think that moral is wrong, it's a completely unhealthy mindset about any conflict, it's totally a Star Wars thing regardless, and the reason I think the franchise during the Lucas era sucked. Fortunately, the episode didn't actually have much to do with that specific idea but I was prepared to hate it regardless.

Anakin seems far too ungrateful to Ahsoka for retrieving his helmet. There is nothing shameful in saying "Thank you" when somebody saves your life.

Speaking of Anakin, I had no idea Ackbar knew him back in the day.

I liked the episode more than I thought I would. Just based on the fortune cookie, I expected to hate it. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Gungan Attack"

It looks like Even Yoda finds Jar-Jar and the Gungans annoying.

They are handy in an underwater battle though, I'll give them that. Probably because they can breathe underwater.

Dooku wants to put women and children in forced labor? Bad dude.

The shark guy resocketing his jaw made me cringe. What a freaky moment.

Solid. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Prisoners"

The Separatists are doing more poorly than they should be because they never keep their promises. And it strikes me most of those promises would be fairly easy to keep. But they give no reason for their new supposed "allies" to not turn against them once they show their true colors. The Separatists have never heard of diplomacy.

That floathing severed shark's head at the end was gruesome.

Does water depth pressure not exist in the Star Wars Universe? I'm wondering how Anakin and the other Jedi didn't get a lethal case of the bends after the mission.

All right but the ending was laying it on a little thick. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Shadow Warrior"

Man, it's really hard not to argue that the Gungans are totally racist. And it's unacceptable that Lucas kept going back to them. They even did the plot point where they supposedly all look alike. I do not get what Lucas is trying to prove by bringing back Jar-Jar over and over again. He just makes himself look worse and worse each time.

Speaking of which, I think a LOT less of Grievous for getting taken down by a bunch of Gungans.

Dooku is the only impressive character in the episode. And no lie, he doesn't suck. But the episode otherwise did. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Mercy Mission"

C-3PO is far better at his job of diplomacy than he is given credit for. Which is why the Clones being so unappreciative of him rankles me.

His scenes with the underground tree beings were fascinating.

I am not impressed R2 solved the riddle. Frankly I think both he and Threepio should have had that specific gag in both of their memory banks. It's a standard riddle, old even in our universe, and self-evident. Maybe the kids in the audience have never heard it but the adults probably have. They probably should have chosen a more obscure riddle, although perhaps it would be harder for the audience to understand R2 solving it. But then I'm not sure why R2 had to be the one to solve it in the first place.

Artoo and Threepio are afforded far more colorful and action packed adventures here than the original trilogy ever had the budget for. Which is nice, especially because this show isn't actually about them. But their spotlights tend to be strong. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Nomad Droids"

I like Hay-Zu's character design. Very colorful. I laughed when R2 smooshed him.

I like the voices of the slavemaster Droids too.

The pirates must be strong if they can lift up Artoo and Threepio.

Grievous wanting to use the pirate ship for target practice shows that he is a total sociopath.

I found it touching when Threepio admits that Artoo is usually good at getting them out of these sorts of fixes.

Solid episode. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Darkness On Umbara"

When the clone says "That's not right" over the monster eating the troopers I was like "I agree."

No duh, the guy remind you of Rex, Anakin. They're Clones. Pretty stupid statement.

Krell is a buttmunch.

I liked Hardcase's quips with the laser machine gun. He seemed to be channeling Scarface which must have been deliberate on the producers' end. It was funny.

Good episode. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The General"

Krell is so bad at his job I almost wonder if he's a Separatist spy. His being such a hindrance to the missions could only be easily explained that way.

For the record, the fact that this knob is afforded such a high-ranking position in the Republic at all is another reason to say why the Republic deserved to fall. I don't like that idea any more than you do, but Krell having any power at all says the status quo is unfathomably corrupt.

I liked learning that Hardcase's aging chamber sprung a leak at some point so that's why he's hyperactive. I like getting character details like that.

It was another good episode, but I don't like spending time with General Krell. Hopefully he gets a just ending and punishment for how much he sucks. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Plan Of Dissent"

God, Krell sucks.

I'll miss Hardcase. He was the only Clone with a personality.

It amazes me how huge this show's budget obviously was. The CGI and animation techniques are ten years out of date, and it still looks better than every other thing that is made today. Impressive.

Getting good. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Carnage Of Krell"

That was a big episode. I was devastated by Waxer's death and Rex and the other Clones' reactions of being forced to kill each other.

I was right about Krell being a Separatist but after all that, I'm wondering if he even needed to be for the moral of the episode to work. I feel like him being an actual traitor makes Rex's decisions less difficult than they should be and his actions as far more unambiguously righteous than a mutiny scenario should make them. I would have been perfectly fine with some controversy and conflict surrounding Rex's actions at the end of the episode. I still would have thought he was right. But I'm think now he's a little TOO right, if that makes any sense.

For the record, Dogma is a total knob. I believe he should be court-martialed for his actions but it's entirely appropriate he's the one who pulled the trigger on Krell for his betrayal. Krell betrayed him most of all I think because he actually agreed with everything Krell was doing, and was the only Clone who did. But yeah, he sucks.

I don't like that no Jedi at the end are shown to take responsibility for sending Krell there in the first place. That's the one thing in the episode I didn't like.

Really landing the pathos there. *****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Kidnapped"

The evil Zygerrians look almost exactly like the noble Lasat from Star Wars Rebels. I confused them for Zebb's species immediately until I looked it up on Wikipedia.

I like the cartoon looking birds.

I'd feel worse for the Tactical Droid being used as a bomb if every single previous tactical Droid hadn't been portrayed as a heartless sociopath. I do not feel the sympathy I feel for the Battle Droids for them.

That Zygerrian was really handing Obi-Wan his butt. It's hinted Kenobi is holding back so as to give Anakin the time to complete his mission, but that isn't totally apparently in hindsight since he and Obi-Wan were not given a proper rematch in this episode at least. Instead, it just looks like a really poor showing for Obi-Wan.

You'd think Ahsoka would act more personally invested in this mission since these were her people. But I guess Jedi gotta Jedi.

Decent (if confusing) episode. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Slaves Of The Republic"

This reminded me greatly of Game Of Thrones, right now to Ahsoka's cruel cage in the sky. It even had dragons of a sort. Anakin's potential romantic alliance with the slaver queen also recalls similar House marriages of convenience / hostage on that series.

I love Ahsoka tossing the guy over the ledge to teach him a lesson. She would have been better off tossing him all the way off.

Pretty epic episode I think. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Escape From Kadavo"

Where did Dooku and Palpatine get those cool electricity powers anyways? And why aren't the good guys allowed to have them?

I sympathized with Obi-Wan for the first time ever because at the beginning of the episode because his smugness was finally gone. It's a drag it came back by the end.

Loved Ahsoka sensing a disturbance in the Force.

I have to say that I appreciate the death toll on this show. And it makes me realize how wholly inadequate Rebels and Resistance were on a TV-Y7 rating. This is not a franchise whose story can be told with no death. War is literally in the title. And it's frustrating in hindsight knowing how inferior Rebels and Resistance really were. Honestly, I'm glad I watched them first. I wouldn't tolerate them after this.

Good conclusion. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "A Friend In Need"

I really liked the lead Deathwatch guy's voice so I checked the credits and it's Jon Favreau! Way before The Mandalorian or even Disney owning Star Wars or Marvel was a thing. Amazing!

There can be no peace with the Separatists or acknowledgement of their legitimacy. Because they execute whoever speaks out against them. They do not belong as members of a free society as long as they are doing things like that.

I liked Artoo fixing the Droids and them Paying It Forward with the rescue at the end.

At the time I found Lux forcing Ashoka into a kiss to keep up appearances was presumptuous and not okay. But it's clear by the end she actually digs him so he was probably just sensing something I missed.

I liked this one. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Deception"

I have to say, Obi-Wan faking his death and replacing his would-be assassin in prison strikes me as a needlessly convoluted and complicated plan. And yet, the episode was so much fun. Forget the pleasure of the shocking reappearance of Cad Bane, I loved seeing Boba Fett. And the kid has made friends in prison!

Are orange jumpsuits standard prison-wear in EVERY universe? This episode suggests they might be.

That was a blast. Although I do feel a little stupider for having enjoyed it. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Friends And Enemies"

I felt really bad hearing Anakin call Obi-Wan his best friend. Not only because best friends don't put each other through something like this, but because Obi-Wan treats him terribly otherwise. If Anakin considers Obi-Wan the best idea of what a friend can be, I don't blame his values for becoming warped later on.

So I'm questioning why the earlier design for Cad Bane has shunts sticking out of his cheeks. He obviously doesn't need them for medical reasons, and they apparently are not the reason behind his robotic voice. It's not a plothole per se, but I am curious about it.

Ahsoka can really move fast. Impressive. I also like her disdain for Bane's hat. It's flashy for sure.

Not as good as the last episode but I still enjoyed it. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Box"

Quick question: Why isn't Obi-Wan ever this useful on his Jedi missions? It figures the one time he's competent he has to help the bad guys.

So Cad Bane apparently kills people for their hats. Because of course he does. It's why he has the nicest hats.

I feel like Bane killing that guy in front of his brother was an unresolved plot thread. Maybe in the next episode.

Palpatine as a hostage for the Separatists is an hilarious idea for me. Sidious really has these clowns coming and going, doesn't he?

I love that Bane saves Obi-Wan and disgustedly tells Eval to kill him himself like a man. It's not repayment for the help Obi-Wan gave him, it's not even decency per se. It's just common courtesy. It's actually vulgar. Seriously dude. Nut up. You are among professionals, and making yourself look like a punk. Knock it off.

Places called boxes are never nice. This episode is a case in point. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Crisis On Naboo"

It amazes me how Palpatine has the Jedi and the Separatists running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Heads he wins, tails they lose.

The last line of the episode was some dark foreshadowing.

I like Cad Bane because he's no dummy. It's nice watching a bad guy who isn't a total imbecile.

I was wrong that the alien brother Bane killed would come up. It didn't.

Speaking of which I keep going back and forth in my opinion in whether Count Dooku is the greatest role in Corey Burton's entire career, or if Cad Bane is. Hearing them play off each other in the episode was a delight. Burton is an old pro at this.

I find it very hard to believe Burton ever voiced a character better than Brainiac, but he did two, and they were both on the same show, and they both happened totally behind my back. Guy's got talent. I'm sorry I missed this while it was happening. But I intend to be caught up so I can see the final season as soon as possible.

That was pretty great. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Massacre"

Not just witches. Not just vampire witches. Zombie vampire witches! Best horror mash-up ever!

Just based on her earlier actions in the previous seasons, Ventress is clearly an amoral sociopath. And yet, I feel nothing but sympathy for her for what the Sith have put her through, simply because Sidious thought she seemed to be a little TOO good at her job. Seriously surprising pathos for a formerly loathsome character.

I liked Dooku's struggles in the episode too because for the first time he was not on top of things and had to rely on Grievous to save his life. The image of the Night Mother leaning into him as he appeared to melt was excellent nightmare fuel.

Grievous breaks him vow to fight Ventriss one on one which shows what a worm he is. In Star Wars, most of the villains seem to operate under a specific moral code or set of rules. Grievous is such a scumbag because he doesn't believe those rules either exist or apply to him. He's a very easy guy to hate.

There are no Jedi or Republic characters in this episode.

The episode lived up to the title. Which is weird for a kids show. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bounty"

Bosk telling Ventress she can pay off her debt in other ways? Child brides? Pretty skeezy subjects for a Star Wars cartoon. This specific episode should have been rated TV-14 instead of TV-PG.

I like how Ventress got the better of Boba. She really does NOT like taking orders from a teenager.

Second episode in a row where no good guys appeared.

So apparently poodoo is a canon Star Wars curse. Okay, I guess.

Good ending too. But the episode was kind of icky. **1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Brothers"

Love the red title card.

Man, Darth Maul is in bad shape.

A untrustworthy talking snake? And yet very little else about the garbage planet reminds me of the Garden Of Eden.

Another voice role for Sam Witwer on the show, this time as Darth Maul. Dude needs a bigger career in animation than he has.

That was delightfully messed up. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Revenge"

Maul killing those children was brutal. At least we didn't have to see it on-screen.

Like Kenobi quipping the legs make him seem taller. Although they aren't the gift the Nightmother thinks they are. He's still functionally a eunuch.

Wonder what Ventress and Oppress would think if they learned the Nightmother was helping them equally. Bet they'd be mad. I hope they both find out.

Good season finale. ****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
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Location
Framingham, MA
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Revival"

I liked that a lot. It wasn't perfect, and I'll tell you the main weakness of the Maul plot right off the bat. But Darth Maul has one of the most striking villain designs in science fiction history. I would argue that only Vader himself and Scorpius from Farscape look more iconic and unique. And when you pair him with a guy with the exact same design, only a dull mustard yellow instead of a furious red, he's gonna look less unique by definition. I not only think they should have gone and actually killed Oppress off this episode. I think it probably should have happened before this episode.

I get the logic of "Oh my God! Now there are TWO Darth Mauls!" I get the selling point. But the REAL selling point of Maul at all is that you should need only one to completely wreck the good guys. Maul's Special Helper is doing his bad guy status and credibility no favors.

I like the nuance Jim Cummings did in his voice performance for the technical supervisor.

I have not read a ton of reviews about this show since I'm coming to it late and avoiding spoilers. But has anybody else pointed out what a great character Hondo is? I remember liking him on Rebels a lot, but it was easier there because he was far more heroic. This is the phase of his life where he isn't, and I find a lot of the character's attitudes about being a villain quite refreshing.

His men are super worried he is going to kill them for betraying him in favor of Maul. After all, Maul killed the pirate who merely said he wasn't sure. Instead Hondo schmoozes his former men. Rightly convinces them that if they turn on Maul they are all in for a big payday. It is a valuable skill for a criminal to engender trust in the people who work under him, and it's really cool that Honda has the skill of using carrots more often than sticks. And what I especially love is that it doesn't ever seem to bite Honda in the end. Honda's mercy is never portrayed as a weakness or the wrong move, which frankly runs counter to a lot of Star Wars mythology, which is why Honda is a great contrast to that.

I like that he worries that Kenobi is going to face the Mauls himself, and when he says it out-loud it actually sounds great to him. He has enough honor to be worried about Kenobi, but enough cunning and self-preservation to accept that save without feeling the need to put his men in danger to pay it back. I love that.

And finally we get to Palpatine. I'm having a really hard time understanding why none of the heroes realize he's dirty. Granted Yoda and Mace Windu seem to offer equally bone-headed advice routinely, but the difference there is that they are always accidentally wrong. Palpatine's alarming opinions would strike anyone with a lick of common sense as deliberately wrong.

I hate Donald Trump. But I and the many people who DO hate him recognize him for what he is. Why is nobody ever second-guessing Palpatine's foolish decisions and questioning his motives? It strikes me as very unrealistic, especially in a society that is more or less being portrayed as free (for the moment at least). Lucas wants to inject politics into the franchise all the time. But in politics people don't just go along with bad policy decisions. I've found more often than not those decisions cannot be stopped. But there is always a contingent of people who speak up and say "That's not cool." Palpatine getting the free ride he does is not the least bit credible. At least not for a non-fictional society that operates on any level of reality. Which clearly Star Wars does not want to take the pains to do in this episode at least. It's usually better about that.

I love the stuff with Hondo and find the character absolutely refreshing. And yet the stuff with Maul and Palpatine sadly reminds me what the saga is doing wrong. It was a mixed bag for a premiere for me to be honest. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "A War On Two Fronts"

Oh, I didn't know Saw Gerrera had a sister. Considering his demeanor in Rebels and Rogue One, I doubt she is long for this world.

First appearance for him, and while he IS still a jerk as a kid, he hasn't evolved yet into what he would become. Saw was an interesting character to me because his tactics and morality were abhorrent, and he was a genuinely bad guy. And yet he was also the only person back in the Rebels era who truly understood how dangerous the Empire was. Even the Rebels fighting on the show believed he went too far. And this was before Darth Vader blew up Alderaan. As evil as Saw's actions wound up becoming, he did them because he was the most correct character in the Universe.

Interestingly, I recall hearing that he debuted on this show before he showed up in Rogue One, and I had totally forgotten that when I started watching. I guess I had expected him to show up before Season Five if he had truly become that big of a deal. Seeing him was a pleasant surprise, especially because the idea that he'll be a major player later on isn't even HINTED at. Although those plans DID come after Lucas' tenure, so maybe Lucas didn't have things that major set up for him at all. We'll have to see how the season shakes out.

I'll tell you why I love Star Wars, and why it's cool to me. Even when it sucks, this is a good thing. But Ahsoka, Lux, and Steela are clearly a love triangle. And that fact is never made explicit. They don't go on and on about it or pretend the episode is actually about it. I think every genre show would probably be better if they handled every major ship that way. It doesn't get in the way of the story and the subtext here still reads clearly without everyone making a federal case of it. The fact that Star Wars is such a sexually chaste franchise is literally the best thing about it.

Saw and Anakin call the Battle Droids dumb for letting them in. I disagree. The Battle Droids aren't dumb. They're trusting. That is not a bad quality for a person to have, and is another reason I hate that the Battle Droids are blown up left and right, and their screams of agony are treated as comical. If they were bad guys like the Tactical Droids I'd accept it. But knowing they are trusting doesn't make me think the Jedi is smart for taking advantage of them. I think the Jedi are cruel instead. Another subtext perhaps Lucas didn't think entirely through.

Onderon sounds so much like Alderaan, I actually mistook the fact that this was taking place on a new planet.

One last observation. Obi-Wan complaining that he doesn't want to train or inspire Rebels is one of his most ironic statements ever. Him, Yoda, and Mace's reluctance there is another thing to show why those characters are never right about anything.

Solid episode. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Front Runners"

Once again the neat thing about the triangle is that Ahsoka's feelings are acknowledged but not made explicit.

If I were that King I would not be cheesing off Dooku as much as he is. He obviously believes himself to have more juice that he does. He's asking to get killed and replaced.

Solid. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Soft War"

Rash is not well-loved. He has an apt name.

Dendup's reluctance to get involved was interesting because he offered several perspectives I hadn't considered, including the fact that many outside observers are aware the Republic IS corrupt, and not much less than the Separatists. The interesting thing is that he considers the Jedi the one good thing the Republic has going for it. I sure wouldn't go that far myself, but it's interesting knowing that the Rebels having Jedi backing made him decide to accept a leadership role.

Steela is a good leader to put Saw on the backburner, and make his rescue off-mission. I'm glad it worked out anyways, but it was his own fault he was captured, and they couldn't afford to stop everything to fix his mess. Luckily Rash is dumb enough to put him and Dendup in the same place, so he's an easy rescue.

Tandin's an okay guy after all. Although his talking approach to get Saw on his side was a miserable failure because Saw turned him instead. One of most dangerous things about Saw's words is that he's always right, even when he's half-wrong. He's the kind of guy who can convince a lot of people to do bad things simply because he's right. That shouldn't be enough for rational people, but I don't personally consider people who wager war all that rational. Which makes Saw both dangerous and valuable. Rash never should have made him so easy to rescue.

I like seeing the good guys getting in the occasional win. Because of the entire premise and fixed continuity, by definition it cannot last, but it's good to feel that Ahsoka at least knows what she's doing. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Tipping Points"

Ask me to describe this episode in one word and I'd offer "effective". Steela's death hits the viewers about as hard as if she had been on the show from the beginning, instead of only been introduced three episodes ago. Star Wars has many hero deaths that don't suck. But it's awesome they offered an excellent one for essentially a guest cast member.

I like that Ashoka smiles and offers encouragement to Lux when Steela kisses him. Maybe she's putting on a brave face and is secretly miserable, but she's also his friend. And friends support each other when something makes one of them happy. I like that.

I can never say enough bad things about Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he strikes me as incredibly thick-witted that Anakin has to bring up the obvious idea of having a third party deliver the weapons to keep the Republic's hands clean. I hate that because it would be common sense for someone trying to work out the problem. But Obi-Wan is not actually looking to problem-solve. He thinks there's nothing else he can do, and considers the matter closed. Can I just point out what an utterly sucky and useless leader that makes him? If he is one of the best and brightest of the Jedi and Republic, it's no wonder they lost. It never occurs to any of them besides Anakin to search for ways to actually win. And that really infuriates me in hindsight.

But other than Obi-Wan everything in the episode landed and landed big. I heartily approve. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Gathering"

I found this an extremely problematic episode for several reasons.

Elephant in the room first: I am not invested in a story about Jedi Younglings while knowing that Anakin is going to slaughter the lot of them in the near future. It makes it so I can't enjoy the episode in the slightest.

The other thing was a mistake the show itself made, and is one of those things that is the reason I think the Disney Star Wars stuff is so much better than the stuff made during Lucas's tenure. Petro is a pretty contemptible character. I was not interested in him learning his lesson and redeeming himself. His actions were so unbecoming of a Jedi the proper moral would have been for him to wash out. And that's something Lucas can never do with his characters because he's invested in the dumb idea that Jedi being chosen is some sort of destiny and predetermined fate decided by the Force. Not only is that a terrible moral for kids, but it basically says a Jedi can do no wrong. I would feel a lot better about the Jedi if we witnessed characters failing the test instead of being afforded the leniency Yoda does on a clearly contemptible and unworthy person. That's wrong, that's the problem with the Lucas era in a nutshell, and it's why I am alone in believing the Disney movies are far better than what Lucas was doing back in the day. Yeah, Rebels and Resistance sucked. But everything else is currently more nuanced and therefore more interesting.

Also American Dad's Jeff Fischer, perhaps one of the most likable voice actors in the business, is completely wrong for Petro. I felt SO weird about hating a character with Fischer's voice. He was completely miscast.

The Wookiee Youngling is indeed a neat idea but I am again reminded he is going to be murdered sooner rather than later.

I think that was a bad episode. *.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "A Test Of Strength"

I think Hondo redeemed himself on Star Wars Rebels, but make no mistake: He is NOT a good guy, at least not at this stage of the game. It's the fact that he's reasonable which is why his dark turns are actually worse than someone like Maul or Grievous. He actually knows what he is doing is wrong. He's not a true believer in his own righteousness. He's self-aware enough to be completely responsible for the bad choices he makes.

Huyang is a VERY early voice role for David Tennant, who was still pretty much only known as the Tenth Doctor as this point. But Huyang perhaps shows the kinds of other characters he'd be voicing and playing in the future. Interestingly when the Younglings mock the idea that they could ever learn something from a Droid, it is another stark unpleasant reminder than Droids are not only second-class citizens, but a slave race even worse off than the Clones. I don't know what message Lucas ultimately had in mind when he created the Droids, but every Droid we see with a distinct personality and or noble morality tells me whatever the original message of C-3PO or R2-D2 was supposed to be, it doesn't hold up to scrutiny when trying to apply it to the reality of a larger Universe. And it's something I've never liked about the Droids in this franchise.

What especially bugs me is that it's not just the characters who don't care about the Droids. It's the creators. They expect me to find every shriek of agony from the Battle Droids funny. I think Star Wars has an entirely messed up morality, especially during the Lucas era, and how the creators treat the Droids is a large part of that. If it were just the characters I might consider it a cautionary tale. But they expect me to laugh at Battle Droids being painfully tortured and destroyed while begging for mercy in that pathetic helpless voice they have. Seeing a Droid as capable and cool as Huyang makes me resent the way the creators treat the Battle Droids even more than I already did. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bound For Rescue"

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I have to say I'm a little bit outraged the Younglings used their Force skills to con their way into a troop of circus acrobats. That is a legitimately impressive skill for a person to have to master, and those kids are totally cheating, and making it seem less impressive than it actually is.

Greivous choosing THAT specific moment to appear out of the blue and attack Kenobi's ship was a good example of "When it rains". Kenobi cannot afford an extra complication right when he's trying to figure out how to rescue Ashoka and the Younglings. Which is why he is given the worst one possible at that moment.

That was pretty good. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "A Necessary Bond"

Solid.

The escape / chase scene at the beginning was very tightly boarded and animated. Exciting stuff.

I have to say, the Separatists' timing sucks, which makes it even more incredible to me that they are eventually going to win. The Jedi and the pirates were on the verge of tearing each other apart. Had Dooku and Grievous waited another half-hour, either Honda, Ahsoka, or both would have been dead, and that would have solved a lot of problems. But the Separatists don't deal with threats or problems wisely or rationally. It's even more embarrassing that the Jedi are losing to an army with this little foresight.

David Tennant doesn't do QUITE as great an exasperated voice in dealing with R2-D2 as Anthony Daniels does, but it's like foot massages, and in the same ballpark.

I love Honda giving the nod to the little girl Jedi at the end of the episode. Him telling Kenobi he was sending him a bill was funny too.

I liked this episode a lot. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Secret Weapons"

I had misgivings as it was going, but it turned out okay.

I like the idea of a comedic episode, and thought the Colonel turning out to be so tiny after all of that build-up was a great visual gag. But I was uneasy about an episode about a guy who bosses around Droids and treats them as disposable. That creepy, sadistic, alien doctor didn't help either. That's my least favorite thing in the franchise after all. But it turns out that's the point, and the journey is getting the little guy to realize that's wrong.

The other comedic element I didn't like (but it again turned out okay) is how unsuited for this mission and incompetent WAC-47 was. I don't find incompetent soldiers amusing. I find them depressing, especially in a franchise supposedly about the horrors of war. It wasn't as bad as it hinted it could have been, but I was unhappy with the character right off the bat, as funny as he was.

The pink Droid is named QT? A little on-the-nose, don't you think?

I liked it more than I thought I would. ***1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "A Sunny Day In The Void"

That did not work. It's basically an entire episode where nothing happens but a cartoon alien going insane. What is this, Looney Tunes? No.

I think it's a great episode title, and I love that the main titles are blue for the Droid episodes, but nothing of note happened in this episode, and the only notable character development was between characters we were just introduced to in the last episode.

Any interesting things happen? I find it interesting and logical that the rest of the Mech Droids instantly turn to R2-D2 for leadership. That's smart. They'll live longer.

But that episode was lousy. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Missing In Action"

Good.

I liked R2's translated observation that the Colonel was picked to lead the mission because he was the only one who could fit inside BZ.

I would be inclined to call Gascon leaving Gregor to die to save himself as cowardly if Gascon himself didn't tell the other Droids to leave him behind and save themselves.

"Are you boys ready to get dangerous?" Gascon believes he is Darkwing Duck.

Solid. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Point Of No Return"

Nice conclusion to the Droid arc.

It was exciting, tense, and had real stakes. And Boscon and the Droids go through actual character growth. It was a VERY good episode. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Eminence"

That was pretty awesome the entire way through.

I love the subtext of the entire episode when everyone meets Maul. Whether they propose alliances, or oppose them, I said upon each of their decisions, "These people have no idea what they are getting themselves into." The correct decision upon an average person meeting Darth Maul should not be to fight him, or even to join him. It should be to run away as fast and far as possible and never look back.

Deathwatch is SO screwed. *****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Shades Of Reason"

Do you know what bothers me the most about the coup on Mandalore? How simple it is. How little effort is needed to achieve it. How easily the people are misled and overthrown through violence, deception, and propaganda. I know this episode was made ten years ago, but it feel disturbingly prescient and relevant to what is going on today. One good thing about Lucas' tenure on Star Wars is that it always feels more and more politically realistic with each passing year. Which is another thing that disturbs me.

Those dark sabers are cool though, right? ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Lawless"

That raised many questions. Some would argue plotholes. I'll be charitable and call them ambiguities instead.

Either Maul has no idea what the light and dark side of The Force are about, or Lucas still hadn't made up his mind at this point. But Maul saying that Kenobi's emotions are why the Light Side of the Force is weak is counter to EVERY thing I've ever heard about it. It's the Light side that encourages one to oppress all emotions good and bad. In fact, the actually selling point of the Dark Side, and an actual legitimate good point about it is that you don't have to hide your emotions. I'd be inclined to think Lucas has lost control of the narrative here, except the end of the episode proves that Maul is not the all-knowing Sith expert he thinks he is, so his shaky views on the Force might simply be in character.

Maul made a huge mistake, and I am not surprised he lost the episode. I was surprised Palpatine did him in, but when Maul didn't immediately kill Obi-Wan, you knew this guy was not in it for the long haul. What's fascinating is that the reason he wants to torture him endlessly is because he can't control his emotions. So again, Maul needs to be sent to remedial Force school.

All throughout the series my reaction to Palpatine is, "How is this scumbag getting away with this?" It's SO obvious. The answer is that even I didn't expect he'd be able to take on Maul and Oppress at once, quickly kill Oppress, and then effortlessly emasculate Maul. Even I didn't see how vicious and dangerous the guy is, and I knew he was gonna be the Emperor! The unbelievable scam works because nobody sane could actually believe it.

I was not aware Ian Abercrombie died in the middle of the series. I had assumed it was shortly afterwards. They will of course need to recast, and Ambercrombie WILL be missed. I don't think Abercrombie would ever have the right look for a live-action Palpatine, but I find his voice just as sinister as Ian McDiarmid, if not more so. I also think the dude was the best Alfred Pennyworth of all time, live-action or animated. Come and get me for that opinion.

That was bananas. *****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Sabotage"

A lot of meaningful and unintentional irony in Anakin's last lines of the episode.

Ugh. Nanotech. Why did it have to be nanotech? That sci-fi trope here is NOT the storytelling crutch it is for other sci-fi franchises, but I would have been happier believing Star Wars never engaged in it at ALL. The fact that I had never seen that in this franchise before this was actually one of its biggest sci-fi selling points.

I thought the facial expressions on Anakin and Ahsoka as they searched the suspect's home in the dark were outright amazing. It's not just the space battle and fight scenes the Lucasfilm budget is good for. The characters are far more expressive than on any other CGI TV show.

That was good, but the entire thing made me feel very uneasy by the end. That was probably deliberate though, so I won't penalize the episode for it. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"

Let's have some binge-watching fun, shall we?

Normally for mysteries like this in my weekly reviews, I offer theories, and often spend weeks or even an entire season waiting to find out if I'm right. I'm going to make several guesses and assumptions in this review without having seen the final two episodes of the season, and we'll see how we do in about hour from now. Almost immediately. But I will let this entire guess part of the review stand so you can see whether I was off-base or not. This could get embarrassing. For me.

So we were giving frustratingly few clues about the motives of the Jedi who framed Ashoka. The Force Choke of Leta says it is a Jedi beyond a reasonable doubt, although I can't explain how the person masked themselves yet from either the military scanners or Ahsoka's senses. Anakin has speculated that Jedis form their own political opinions, which is completely unhelpful because we actually know the political leanings of almost none of the Jedi. So I can't say "Well Mace Windu has always been unhappy with the status quo, so..." Of course it's not Mace because of his role in Revenge Of The Sith, but my point stands that we can't figure out a political motive at this stage of the game because none of the Jedi ever offer political opinions, outside of Anakin himself. So how do we figure out who possibly could have framed Ahsoka? Did they have a clear motive for doing so, or was she just the most convenient nearby target? I don't actually think the framing was personally motivated, but I also think Ahsoka was targeted because this specific frame would not work on any other Jedi but her. So that means the person who framed her knew her and knew how she operated.

Why would the person need to know Ahsoka to frame her in this manner? The choke hold footage is damning at first glance, but it's also entirely inconclusive. It could have happened the way Tarkin said, or how Ahsoka said, and nobody would ever be able to prove it either way. The actual frame, the point of no return for Ahsoka, was when she escaped from the cell and saw all of those unconscious and dead Clones. And the reason I believe the framer knew Ahsoka and how she operated is because outside of Anakin himself, Ahsoka is the ONLY other Jedi would have used that keycard to try to escape upon getting access to it. It's rash, it's foolish, and 100% in character, and played right into the real culprit's hands. In fact, if Ahsoka had stayed put, everyone would SEE clear evidence that somebody else was involved, and they'd realize pretty quickly they had been trying to frame Ahsoka the entire time. It's the fact that Ahsoka is the only Jedi dumb enough to believe her master is playing a fun game with her in that scenario which is why the framer was able to ensnare her at all.

So the culprit has seen Ahsoka up close, and knows how she operates. And they are also confident enough to know she'd be dumb enough to do that specific thing. So? Who is it?

My guess of the real culprit? And here is the point where you can point and laugh at me in two episodes if I'm off-base: If this guess is wrong, I'll look like a dope. But I'm making the guess because as of this episode it's the only one that makes sense: I think the actual murderer is the girl Jedi Ahsoka comforted at the beginning of the episode with whom she had shared a previous adventure. She's the only person who fits the parameters. Her political leanings are kept purposefully vague in her conversation with Ahsoka at the beginning, and she knows enough about Ashoka to know how to lure her into a honey pot. If I am wrong I am the biggest sucker alive, and you can point and laugh. I just don't see anyone else it could plausibly be based on the (very little) information we were actually given.

Am I a dope? Let's find out. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "To Catch A Jedi"

I'm doubling down. It's Baris. It's gotta be. I can't speak for a motive yet, but she's the only person it SHOULD be. Why?

Because she's the only person Ahsoka is working with inside the temple. She's Ahsoka's last resort, and the only person she believes she can trust to help her from afar. So of course she's the framer. However I doubt Baris even for a MINUTE dreamed Ahsoka was dumb enough to team up with Ventris (given how that would look to the Jedi) much less allowed herself to be led right to the stockpile of nano-weapons where she'd be found among them unconscious. I don't think the Temple bombing was ever supposed to be a part of the frame. Ahsoka simply walked into it and Baris obliged. Isn't it amazing when crap lines up like that?

Also she was the only person who actually knew where Ashoka was. She needed that specific information to lead her to the nano-weapons at all.

This is all still conjecture by the way. Am I still crazy? Unless there is a very unfair cliffhanger coming, I will know in 22 minutes. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Wrong Jedi"

My crazy guess was not so crazy after all. But because I was pretty sure I was right, I did my share of hedging, because if I was wrong, I'd be the dumbest idiot alive.

There were two moments in the episode that told me what an unfair shake from the Jedi Ahsoka had gotten. The first of course was Ventris pointing out to Anakin what she and Ashoka had in common: abandonment issues from their masters. I like that Anakin was angry that Ventris would ever think she had something in common with Ashoka, and then disturbed when he realized what that thing was, and that it was true.

The other thing occurred at the end of the episode. And after it happened, if Ahsoka HAD decided to go back to the Jedi then and there, I would have thought a lot less of her. Yoda and Mace offer the appalling nopology that what the Jedi just did to her was her ultimate test, and she passed, and will become a better Jedi for it than if it hadn't happened. See, the Jedi turning on Ahsoka and treating her like a criminal is actually a part of the Light Side of the Force's master plan! How convenient is that? That Yoda and Mace can escape any responsibility for what they put this innocent young woman through by acting as if their betrayal of her trust was part of some sort of preordained fate? If it's the Force and destiny at work, it's not actually Yoda's fault. Neat scam, huh? I actually believe Christian Dominionists work the same way. Which is why I find Yoda the most outright detestable character in the franchise. And I always have. That moment angered me, I felt rewarded that Ahsoka rejected the Jedi's flimsy self-serving excuse there, but I truly wish she wound up blaming herself less after all that anyways.

Palpatine is once again flaunting how stupid his enemies are with every public, self-damning utterance he makes. I still don't get how NOBODY has guessed what is actually going on.

May I also state how full of crap Baris is with her political rant against the Jedi at the end? If she truly believed in her convictions, she'd be taking responsibility for her actions all along, rather than trying to frame a former friend to get off Scott-free. The reason you know she's not actually better than the Jedi is because she has to be dragged into admitting her guilt kicking and screaming. If she were truly righteous she wouldn't feel guilty over her actions at all.

I'm not going to toot my own horn too much about the correct guess, because I predicted it the way I always predict things. And I am wrong a LOT by using this method of prediction. In fact, it's probably a really bad one to use if you watch some of the shows I watch. But I usually guess things based upon how I personally would resolve them if I were writing the franchise. Basically I figure out the best ending, and what I would LIKE to see happen, and offer that as the most likely scenario. It shockingly often works, especially with good shows. And even when I'm wrong, I'm never really all that embarrassed because I almost always believe the guess I made is how the series SHOULD have done it. Whenever I'm wrong, it's usually because the episode disappointed me. My incorrect guesses don't embarrass me too much because they are the "right" guesses and the show itself just wrote the ending "wrong". Even if the show had chosen a different actual culprit than Baris, she still would have been the right one even if I was wrong. No, maybe I wouldn't be as embarrassed or crazy about that guess even if it had been someone else.

So that mystery did not just resolve itself as I predicted. It resolved itself the best way it should have. I don't find the series predictable for that. I find it solid instead. ****.
 
Last edited:

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Unknown"

They really upped their game with the battle special effects at the beginning.

The attack of the Clankers on the Clones in the dark in deep space was cinematic and scary too.

Tim Curry will do for Palpatine in a pinch.

The animation was beyond impressive this episode. Best I've ever seen in a TV show. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Conspiracy"

It greatly disturbs me that the Empire hasn't even been formed yet but that everybody still answers to Palpatine at the end. I'm wondering why he even WANTS to form it at this point. He already has more power than anyone else.

This episode was basically all about office politics, and everybody pulling ranks and jurisdiction in regards to what happened to Tup. Fives is trying to get people to treat his friend like a human being but that seems to be a losing battle.

I feel like what happens to AZ once the episode is over is an unresolved issue. They may get to it but they may not. But I sincerely hope he isn't terminated because he did the right thing.

Solid. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Fugitive"

I really liked it a lot. I'm glad AZ's plight was not forgotten and that he was a big part of Fives' rescue and victory. But them having to take the chip to Palpatine at the end says yet again that the system is ultimately rigged. Is there no wonder a rebellion formed decades later? ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Orders"

I knew Fives was going to fail and likely die once he learned Palpatine was a Black Hat. There are simply some portions of the canon that cannot be changed. And Palpatine was not outed until Revenge Of The Sith. So Fives had to die instead.

How stupid are Yoda and Mace Windu at the end? How useless is their Force Mind Mojo if they can't sense the heavy presence of the Dark Side in Palpatine's words and actions by the end? Yoda is especially galling because he's supposed to be wise. But I've found him one of the outright dumbest characters if you simply go by the amount of stupid mistakes. He's not QUITE as bad as Jar-Jar as far as uselessness goes. But he's pretty dang close after all.

Unsurprised by anything that happened here. Which is part of the problem with prequels and inbetweenquels. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "An Old Friend"

When Clovis saves Padme's life she tells him to get his hands off her. Padme is often very hard to like.

But Clovis is still dumb. When she and Anakin meet up at his apartment he tries to hug her. Does he actually think this a rendezvous and that he still has a shot?

Anakin isn't much better. Whether he was serious or not, threatening to leave Padme behind was outright uncool. She's his freaking wife. I can't believe the series had him do that. I know he's destined to be Vader, but not yet, and that is too far.

I was annoyed by this episode. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Rise Of Clovis"

I'm giving that a negative review for a very small thing, but it effected everything. What's annoying about this small thing is that it may have been inadvertent and simply slipped the producers' notice. It doesn't matter to me. It made the episode suck.

I don't want to be the dude who slut-shames Padme. She is known for wearing exotic costumes for sure. But I don't like that the producers put her in such a skin revealing outfit when she goes over files late at night with Clovis in his quarters. That is NOT the right wardrobe to wear in a professional setting, especially in a person of the opposite gender's quarters. Especially if they used to be a thing and she definitely knows he still has the hots for her. I don't blame Clovis for getting the wrong idea. And it's hinted he's about to force himself on her. If that's the case, this is not the issue that needs to be confused.

What sucks is that all animation is well-known for putting characters in inappropriate outfits in regards to the situation simply because it's cheaper than coming up with a new design. Now I've never seen Padme wear this specific get-up before, but it's very possible Lucasfilm just went with a standard Amidala dress style and didn't want to put in the time and effort to give her a new conservative and / or casual outfit. Maybe the animators have Padme down to battle gear and racy gowns and didn't want to take the time to develop other looks for her. And I'm aware this show has a big budget, probably the biggest budget for any TV cartoon ever, but that sort of thing effects all cartoons. What distresses me most about the thing that ruined the episode for me, is I think it was probably a careless accident. If it was on-purpose the producers needs their heads examined. I will choose to believe they messed up instead of trying to get us to slut-shame Padme. I want to still be able to enjoy the show after this, and that's pretty much the only way I would.

There was something I liked. Clovis tells Dooku he sounds afraid, and Dooku amends that he feels "careful". That was such a smooth moment that it struck me as no wonder that Dooku got as far ahead as he did. He's not just a Sith badass. He's a cunning politician. Perfect Yin to Sidious' Yang.

But man, they did wrong by Padme this episode. *1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Crisis At The Heart"

Another episode I was underwhelmed with.

I have to say I've watched this show after the 2016 election and a LOT of the parallels of the rise of Trumpism are dead-on and surprisingly accurate considering it didn't happen yet. The show gets the arc of fascism and why is happens perfectly. But I don't think it understands many of the nuances of gaining and keeping political power.

In real-life Palpatine would not have been let ten feet near the banks after being largely responsible for losing them in the first place. There is such a thing as political capital, and while the things Palpatine has been doing have been done to strengthen his and the Separatists' interests, to the average Republic shlubb, he would look like a massive failure as a leader to the public and the Senate. They would be crying for his head. And this is just his most recent public failure. He always publicly loses, and the voters and the Senate retain full confidence in him. That's not how it works. It's not believable.

While the show is very good at saying how a demagogue like Trump/Palpatine could eventually come along with disastrous consequences, it acts like that future evil leader's mistakes would occur in a vacuum. Trump has made political mistake after political mistake and each mistake has COST him power. His isn't shoring up the 2020 election with his incompetence and malice. As of now, he's losing it because of that. In order for Palpatine to amass the amount power he needs to keep the war running until the conditions are ripe to introduce the Empire, he needs credibility. In real life, at this point, he would have none. I get the Chancellor is Palpatine's supervillain secret identity. But the Secret ID has value too. If Clark Kent were not a moral person it would make sense to use Clark to rob banks and run scams with the information Superman knows. But it wouldn't make sense after all because it would jeopardize the secret ID, which is arguably Superman's biggest secret weapon. In real life if Palpatine really wanted to pull this off, he'd be making his secret ID out to be more competent than he currently is. That should be supervillain 101. It's just common sense.

One more gripe: Are they telling me Anakin couldn't have used the Force to lift both Padme and Clovis at the end? Because he used it to throw Clovis across the room like a ragdoll in the last episode. The problem with overpowering your heroes is that it is no longer believable when they need to be weak for story purposes.

Eh. **.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Disappeared, Part One"

Jar-Jar? Man, I don't want to keep dragging on this show, but at this stage of the game it doesn't seem to be doing much right.

Let me tell you the scene where I put my face in my hands: When Jar-Jar called Mace Windu his servant. Do you know what? I believe that was deliberately racist on Lucas' end. How could it not have been? Lucas is well-aware of the accusations of racism he's gotten for Jar-Jar. Having him declare the one black guy currently in the franchise his servant is freaking terrible optics. I thought it was completely tone-deaf. And than I realized it was probably on purpose, and designed to push buttons, and Lucas thumbing his nose at his critics. I have noticed that whenever a producer is accused of racism in their work, often instead of working to change it, they double-down instead. Russell T Davies was a master at showing people of color in worse and worse light to be subversive on Doctor Who and Torchwood. And the more people complained about it, the worse he made the various characters of color look. I'm seeing that must be true of George Lucas. I think trying to rehabilitate the character of Jar-Jar after all this time was the series' dumbest move, but it's clear Lucas isn't very interested in making Jar-Jar a good character. He's invested in punishing the people who hate him. And not above using racism to do it.

And that lady slept with Jar-Jar at some point? I just threw up in my mouth a little.

They got Ahmed Best back. So, yay?

The second worst thing in the episode is Mace Windu's rank incompetence on the mission. Why did he break into the queen's chambers? He didn't even bother to come up with an excuse for being there. He just does something dumb so Lucas can have Jar-Jar bail him out and Mace come around at the end. This is not a good look for the franchise to do that to the one black prequel character.

A dud. 0.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Disappeared, Part Two"

Good and bad. But I'm glad there was some good. I needed it. We'll discuss the bad first so I can stop bumming myself out.

I felt like the first half to two thirds of the episode was random weird stuff happening for no reason. A shaggy dog story if there ever was one.

I also really started to appreciate and resent the headhunter motif for the stereotypical villains. We get it, Lucas. You are showing us that black people are savages. Maybe it's about time you stopped punishing us all for correctly calling you out on your racist crap.

Got that out of my system.

The appearance of the Nightmother surprised me in a good way. I also appreciated the irony of Jar-Jar Binks being allowed to ride off with the girl in the sunset.

But for me, the best moment was Mace Windu claiming that magic is an illusion. That tickles me because it raises serious questions about the Force. Because the Force strikes me as entirely magical. And if Mace is telling us that real magic doesn't exist, I'm wondering what it would actually take to qualify as magic in a Universe with the Force in it. I like that the question is raised but not answered. I want to puzzle this specific thing out on my own and I'd prefer not to have any help from the producers there.

So that was better than the past few episodes but it still contain a buttload of suck. Which is a real scientific unit of measurement as far as suck goes, by the way. Read your Hawking. ***.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Lost One"

That was fabulous.

"I think we might have a problem" -- Anakin Skywalker, the master of understatement.

I really like the design of the Pike Minister. Lucas DOES come up with some iconic looking aliens. Even more impressive because this dude and his people were clearly a one-off.

I don't know how many people complimented this next thing at the time but I will. But it strikes me as something beneath most fans' notice and something they wouldn't bother to think or care about. But the animation in the sandstorm at the beginning was amazing. The wind blowing in different directions, and being able to portray the correct amount of moving sand gradiation is hard enough. But it did it in a cinematically boarded scene with lights and shadows. You can do that scene with no problems in live-action. To do it in animation, and have it look so effortless that most people wouldn't even think to compliment it is actually an accomplishment.

Dooku doing his own dirty work. As he says, some things are worth the effort.

Sidious actually does the Force choke-hold on Dooku. Poo is getting real.

The one bad thing is of course Yoda's ludicrous call for a cover-up about the origin of the Clones. Did I mention this is the second dumbest character in the franchise? Oh yeah, that will end well. Tell me, does he even have the authority to do that? And the thing that bothers me most is that he claims the truth will cause chaos. Well, that's not his actual responsibility or concern. That should be above his paygrade, and nothing he needs to worry about. He's overstepping not just his authority, but what he claims the Jedi are supposed to do. The reason Anakin turned bad is because even his supposed "good" teachers were stupid and unfathomably corrupt. Palpatine was the first guy who extended that privilege to Anakin himself. It might be worth becoming Vader just to not have to listen to Yoda's rank hypocrisy and b.s. anymore.

Here's how you know Yoda is stupid: The public learning that truth and turning against Palpatine and the Republic would have been the healthiest thing for the galaxy at this crucial stage of game. By protecting the Republic and Palpatine, Yoda is insuring the fall of the galaxy's freedom and the Jedi. After seeing the first six movies I knew Yoda was stupid and full of crap. This specific mistake says he is just as culpable for the formation of the Empire as Anakin was. But while Anakin did his action and malice on purpose, Yoda's decision was just a horrible mistake. Remind me again why I am supposed to treat this idiot as wise? He can't even talk correctly.

But I slam Yoda every chance I get. His dumbness didn't stop the episode from rocking. Good thing too because Yoda's dumbness is unending. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Voices"

That was pretty amazing and sort of sets up the origin of the blue ghosts portrayed in Revenge Of The Sith.

When Mace call Yoda the wisest Jedi alive I thought two things one right after the other. First I thought, "Wow, the Jedi must be super dumb." And then I pivoted to, "That sounds about right."

Seriously, Yoda couldn't get Palpatine as Sidious with THAT specific vision? Qui-Gonn Jinn pretty much gave the store away there. Yoda is dumb because it still doesn't help anything.

Why doesn't Qui-Gonn warn Yoda about Anakin? He should at LEAST have been able to do that.

I love the John Williams music cues. I admit to a slight chill.

I don't really see why Yoda needs to master becoming a ghost at all. His time as a Force ghost pretty much consisted of him saying "S'up, Luke," after everything in Return of the Jedi is all over. I'm thinking maybe Obi-Wan should have been given this specific quest.

Very cool origin story for Yoda's exile on Dagoba. We now see how and why he picked that planet. ****1/2.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Destiny"

I love whenever the show does existential stuff about the nature and morality of the Force. And I wish it did it more often.

Yoda's shadow is Gollum. There is also some Gremlins in there.

It struck me that they should have gotten Liam Neeson for a couple of lines for Qui-Gonn. It would have made sense to have him actually voice the character briefly on-screen.

Good. ****.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Sacrifice"

I'm starting to see why the series came back for a fan-demanded last season. That was not an acceptable stopping point. Even last year's finale would have made a better premature last episode. We needed closure from this. Big time.

Mark Hamill as Darth Bane is a nice shout-out to the fans. But Hamill came back as Luke later on. So now I'm wondering if the casting will wind up significant in season 7 or remain an Easter Egg.

Tim Curry has really grown on me as Palpatine. He sucked so hard on both Gargoyles and Young Justice that I am shocked the dude has this amount of nuance in him. He's great.

The animation on the Sith demons was cool.

I like that this episode and the last tease Yoda training Luke, and state that that's what Yoda's destiny boiled down to. I was always leery of this series because of the timeframe it took place in the canon. Star Wars is a franchise where the good guys and the main characters win and get happy endings when all is said and done. That's impossible on a show set in the prequel era, which is the one era of the franchise where the bad guys win. What is nice here is that the series is having a character like Yoda look past the imminent tragedy that is going to occur, and plan for the ultimate victory in the era of the original trilogy. I've mentioned Yoda is dumb and not wise. But I'll give him this: He's so far the only person looking past the Clone Wars and playing the long game. Granted, he had to be driven there by other people, instead of any of his own insight on his end, but it's more than Mace and Obi-Wan currently have at any rate. So that's something.

I liked it but I would not have been happy if I had believed that was all we were getting. ****.
 

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