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Home » Star Wars » Star Wars: TV Series » Ush's summarised impression of the second season Clone Wars episodes... a tad late!


Ush's summarised impression of the second season Clone Wars episodes... a tad late!
Started by: Ushgarak

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Ushgarak
Paladin

Registered: Sep 2000
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Co-Admin


 

Ush's summarised impression of the second season Clone Wars episodes... a tad late!

So, I meant to do this at the start of last year. As it is, my life has become a lot busier in very boring and functional ways and it's taken this long for me to actually watch the second series (in the background whilst I got other stuff done). Ah well, whatever- here are my thoughts! Again, these are not full reviews, just my impressions, and they assume you have watched them, Which, being this late, I guess you have.

1-3: CAD BANE EPISODES (Holocron Heist, Cargo of Doom, Children of the Force) egad, 'cargo of doom' is a horrible title, though maybe not worse than Attack of the Clones.

Hmm, fair enough. They actually build up a meaningful threat as to what the holocron could contain; the service droid in the first part was a neat addition (and killed off too soon) and the action sequences were all fairly good. Bane and his cronies have a decent style on-screen, but the writers do rely on the Jedi making some pretty dumb moves to keep Bane in play. Windu is useless in this storyline in a way he continues to be so for much of the series, which is a shame. Regardless, though, the story was solid.


4- SENATE SPY

I am very happy with the idea of broadening out the series to relatively Jedi-free stories looking at some other protagonists. The main reason this episode falls a tad flat is that the story is very predictable- it just plays out almost exactly as you could predict it from the very start. Again, though, it's not bad.


5,6: GEONOSIS BATTLE (Landing at Point Rain, Weapons Factory

Well, seems every series has its set piece giant battle episodes. It was Ryloth last year and it;s Geonosis this time. As before, I found these episodes veey enjoyable in the boom/bang sense. If every story was like this, we'd have a problem, but as particular set pieces they work well. Just a couple of small niggles- the constant re-use of old planets constricts the galactic feel somewhat, and the rather blatant narrow bridge for the 'indestructible' tanks to roll over was not stretching the writers' imaginations. Still good episodes.


7, 8: GEONOSIS BUG ZOMBIE THINGS (Legacy of Terror, Brain Invaders)

Blimey, five linked episodes in a row. If the series carries on like this, it might even form some sort of continuity! Well,. again, these episodes are pretty good. The Zombies are only unkillable because in the cartoon (and, admittedly, the PT films), blasters are magic death guns that simply make things fall down and die- compare the shot Boba fires at Luke in ESB that blows a chunk out of the wall; firepower like that would atomise the zombies. Nevermind, that's too picky. The stories were good, the new padawan worked well alongside Ahsoka (and whenever padawans make un-Jedi like mistakes, that's fine. Padawans making mistakes is all part of the learning process and their development of a character), so I was happy enough here again.


9, 10: GRIEVOUS RETURNS (Grievous Intrigue Oh god!, The Deserter)

Grievous is more effective this series for not being in it much. Here, he gets to look like some sort of threat, which is good, and we have some nice fighting sequences and such. It's all fairly run of the mill but enjoyable enough to watch.


11: LIGHTSABRE LOST

I see this episode got some flak but also some good reviews online. Well, like I said in the thread, I really liked it! It took a break from the Clone Wars- so much so that it was an episode that could be set in a KOTOR kind of timeframe or even a post-OT series- and that's good. Variety like this is important for the series and a decent one-off can be very refreshing. We have a relatively small-scale story that has a lot to say. I loved the new Master they introduced (and his walking-stick lightsabre), it had some nice action and a coherent and well-delivered message about the value of patience. Good stuff. Of course, not all episodes can be like this as you want your giant battles and lightsabre duels in there somewhere (this didn't count as a duel as the defender could barely use the lightsabre), but as a one-off that set out to say something and said it well, I salute it.


12-14: MANDALORE TRILOGY (The Mandalore Plot, Voyage of Temptation, Duchless of Mandalore)

I actually saw these well in advance and did some comment on them a while back. Despite some things I don't like, these were good stories. Some elements of the EU have a real hard on for the Mandalorians that have made them almost a joke, but here their presence was handled well (though admittedly I don't care enough about the EU Mandalore stories to be offended if there were any errors). Having Mandalore go pacifist was a good move, and the most refreshing thing was for once the Confederation had a coherent and intelligent plot- using manipulation to get the Republic involved in Mandalore and so turn the neutral worlds against them. FAT better than the "Join us or we kill you" schitck Dooku was pushing in series 1, which just seemed totally out of place.

As I said- some issues. Shooting lightsabres out of Jedi's hands (in fact, a lot of weapons get shot out of hands in this series) is an outright drama killer. You shouldn't just de-threat someone like that, and it's not necessary in order to get people captured. Related to which, Obi-Wan;'s ability fluctuated wildly to the demands of plot; two Manadlorians capture him (via sabre shot) at first, and then he takes them all out with ease for the rest of the story.

But still, good stuff. They managed to introduce a new bad guy faction, the black lightsabre looked surprisingly good, we had some FAR more intelligent debate about pacifism and the Jedi's changing role than in that damn pacifist village story last series. We even got some coherent backstory for Obi-Wan, who has generally been very dull in the Clone Wars- and we even get the sort of slow character development for Anakin, as he turns more hardcore, that his character really could have done with in the films...

So, yes, good stuff.


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Aug 23rd, 2012 at 04:59 PM

Old Post Aug 23rd, 2012 04:57 PM
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Ushgarak
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Registered: Sep 2000
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

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15: SENATE MURDERS

Another mood-changing one-off that was reasonably good! As someone who loves old series like Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy that are about as slow moving as you can get and still have the actors actually do anything, have no objection to a political-related plotline. This was not exactly groundbreaking, astounding stuff, but it again gave a chance for other characters to do things (good to see Organa along for the ride) and I appreciated the humour of the police Lieutenant (incidentally, the expansion of Coruscant as a setting has been a nice touch this series).

Mind you- and know this is a bit much to expect in what is really a kid's show- this story, along with Duchess of Mandalore, doesn;t seem to give diplomatic immunity much of a presence...


16: CAT AND MOUSE

Ah, the old cloaking ship trick... actually, it's surprising how much super-tech the Republic is producing; I thought that was the shtick for the Feds. Anyway, this is an entirely watchable battle episode against a decent enemy commander. It's not brilliant, it's not bad, I was happy watching it.


17: BOUNTY HUNTERS

Another one-off I liked! Small scale, some decent style and characterisation with the new bounty hunters, and having them on the side of the Jedi was a good touch. The 'defend the defenceless village' trope is an old one but it's done here quite well, and the action scenes are good, able to contrast the Bounty Hunter and Jedi methods. Happy again!


18,19 ZILO BEAST STORIES (The Zilo Beast, The Zilo Beast Strikes Back)

Ah, well, something had to be the weak link. We start off with a giant bomb use- and that was a well-produced scene, though the problem with using something as logical as a giant bomb on the Napoleonic-style advances of the battle droids is that... Star Wars battles aren't ever logical, and you spoil their fantasy nature by bringing modern warfare into it!

Anyway, the actual thing is about this giant indestructible beast. The big problem- making it literally indestructible simply by being resilient has two major flaws. First, it's just lazy. One of the dullest things you can do with any hero or villain is make them indesructible like that. Secondly, it starts to break suspension of disbelief because the viewer is going to ask too many "But what if..." questions about its indestructible nature. What about its eyes? |Its mouth? Its insides? Are we really meant to buy that its scales are harder than that of the giant spaceships we see? And making anything lightsabre-immune is close to a cardinal sin- and opens a possible door you should really stay away from, like the whole cortosis debacle in the EU which means all kinds of people in the KOTOR setting go against Jedi with metal swords. gah...

It's not as if it is needed- the whole story could have worked without just saying "Nope, can't be killed" Indestructible! No questions!". As it is, we end up with odd bits like Ahsoka and Yoda jumping around the beast with sabres out for... no readily apparent reason. It is instinctively odd to the watcher.

It also perhaps edged Palpatine into being a little too OPENLY evil... hae to be careful there.

But the thing is... it's still a coherent story that tried to convey a message. It is nowhere near as bad as that horrific captured Dooku story last series! If this is the worst of series 2, it says a lot for how it improved on series 1.


20-22: BOBA FETT STORIES (Death Trap, R2 Come Home, Lethal Trackdown)

A bit of a disappointing end. Before seeing this episode, if told there was a story about Boba seeking revenge on Mace- an old subject for fan fiction- I would have immediately thought "Fair enough as a basic idea, but I can't really see it going anywhere interesting." That's exactly what happened. Aside from the "A-ha! It's Boba Fett!" reveal, this story has nothing to pull. It's not really enough to sustain one episode, let alone 3. The Bounty Hunters are also very dull compares to ones we saw earlier in the series. These series are all made competently enough... but they are just dull.

---


So that's it and... actually, I'm pretty happy! Not a single episode was actively dire, and some were very enjoyable. It was much better than series 1 in that respect. I was satisfied.

Well, you all know better than I do what is coming for me in series 3. I am sure I'll see that some time...


__________________



"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"

"You've never had any TINY bit of sex, have you?"

BtVS

Last edited by Ushgarak on Aug 23rd, 2012 at 07:35 PM

Old Post Aug 23rd, 2012 04:57 PM
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Darth Thor
Senior Member

Registered: Apr 2008
Location: Asgard


 

I actually really enjoyed Season 2. I thought the show was consistently good back then.

With the next 2 seasons for me it was more a case of the best episodes being Really Good. But the average episode is pretty boring. Anyway you can find out for yourself.

Oh I enjoyed some of the political episodes in Season 3. Found them quite interesting.

Old Post Aug 24th, 2012 10:23 AM
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