Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Series, created by George Lucas: a Television Review

Note: I am currently watching this series. Story Arc updates will be forthcoming.

Synopsis:

The Clone Wars have officially begun.  As the Jedi Order lead scores of troopers against the Droid armies of the Separatists, the Galactic Republic is falling apart at the seams.

Anakin Skywalker has moved from Padawan to Jedi Knight and General, even being granted his own Padawan, the snarky Ahsoka Tano.  General Obi-Wan Kenobi is on missions of his own.  And General Yoda is fighting right alongside the troops.  As the Jedi are spread across the galaxy

Yet not everything is as it seems.

General Information:

-Genre: Computer-Animated Military Action/Adventure

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 7 Seasons, 133 Total Episodes (19-26 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-PG (mild sexual innuendos, kissing, and risqué clothing choices, mild to moderate cartoon violence and gore depending on the season, use of the word “hell” throughout the first 6 seasons, mild use of alcohol, smoking and mentions of a drug called “spice” though it is never used on screen, moderate frightening and intense scenes with many later episodes being very dark)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Yoda, General Grievous, Chancellor Palpatine, Padme Amidala, C-3P0, R2-D2

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Ok so I am going to try and do this review in the most comprehensive way for my brain.  First things first is a general review.  I love the narration of the film.  It feels like old 1940s News Reels that would play before movies in the theatre.  The whole “see the front lines as they advance against the enemy!” and “buy bonds! Help our troops” stuff.  The paint on their uniforms reminds me of how WW2 pilots used to paint their planes before going on a mission.  The pinups and the souvenirs that some of the troops have taken from the battlefield all scream this as well. It’s a really nice little nod to the fact that this is all about a war.

The animation style is a little odd, but it should be ok after a while.  And I do love the fact that they are treating the animation as an action movie with dynamic animation, film angles and action.

I am going to try to review this in “story arcs” since the officially released (and highly suggested) viewing order is not in the order they aired.

S2:E16 “Cat and Mouse”, S1:E16 “The Hidden Enemy”, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (animated film)

This is a really a great start to the series.  Everything is being explained in a way that is important and essential to the story.  There are internal conflicts that will come up.  And so many little things that I think will become subtle nuances and nods to World War II and The Cold War.

There was some use of obviously derogatory words in the series which don’t exist in our world, but you can tell were based off the inherent bias that comes when you are fighting an enemy.  It isn’t ok but I defiantly got the feeling from some of the terms that they are meant to be acceptable. 

Ventress is an interesting new character.  I’m digging the little flirty thing that she and Kenobi have going on. It s really funny and obviously ties back to unseen moments between them before we start watching what is going on during the war.

I’m really interested to see where all of this goes, and I hope that we get a lot of the other characters that I’ve heard so much about.

S3:E1 “Clone Cadets”

So, we get to see the behind the scenes of the Clone Soldiers training.  Its something that is really important to see.  Obviously, we know that the soldiers need training as any other military outfit will need to do.  Yet in the main films all we see is them working and fighting.  I like seeing these little details.

Its also kind of fascinating that they Jedi aren’t training them…though that does make sense because there aren’t enough of them to go around.  But I find it intriguing that bounty hunters are being used to train the troops.  It is a group of people that can train others and have the fighting abilities.

The show also brings up the question of morality of clones.  Are the clones their own persons? Or do you treat them the same as a non-sentient droid?  Is numbering them a way to dehumanize them?  What do you do when they malfunction due to the issues with the cloned DNA?  We also get to see the attitudes that different characters and even races have towards the clones from irritated to compassionate to indifferent.

S3:E3 “Supply Lines”, S1:E1 “Ambush”

At first, I thought “Supply Lines” was a continuation of “Clone Cadets” but that isn’t the case.

We got to see some of Senator Organa’s negotiation tactics.  We are getting the stories of how the Republic is getting around recruiting…or even is recruiting…the assistance of neutral planets.

Ventress is back.  We get to see how she is going to act and negotiate in the war.  And of course, seeing Yoda work in awesome because he’s so very small compared to the droid army, the clones…basically everyone around them.

The are doing a great job showing how fluid war is between the current fights on the ground, trying to protect the people of the planets they are on… the war and the battles are constantly in flux and you have to think on your feet.

The Separatists don’t mind being evil and sneaky when it comes to any of their missions.  Which I’m not surprised about.

S1:E2 “Rising Malevolence”, S1:E3 “Shadow of Malevolence”, S1:E4 “Destroy Malevolence”

Yay! Anakin and Ahsoka are back.  I can’t wait to see more of them in action. 

Of course, they go off course and seek out a rescue mission. And of course, it ends up being for the greater good.  They have saved a great Jedi General (and learned some more about Ahsoka’s past).

We get to figure out the weapon and hopefully they can get back to report on it.

This is the first time that we get to see General Grievous.  He’s an interesting specimen.

Now that we know who the enemy is, we are good to go to follow the rest of the story line with an attack on the ship and the new ion cannon.  Attempt number one to take out General Grievous.  We know how this will work if you’ve seen Episode 3.  This is all super interesting to see in the long run.

Anakin is off on another dangerous mission as per usual.  And he pulls it off.  We get to finally get a little bit of Padme.  She is one of my favorite characters in the universe but her storyline in the movies is quite unsatisfying.  I hope we get more of who she really is and what she is capable of.

The relationship between Anakin and Padme is going to be fun to see as it unfolds. 

S1:E5 “Rookies”

I don’t know if I can say it enough but the theming for this whole show is incredibly well done.  Between the old war reel feel of the intros to the war radio to how they get their armor painted.  It just has such a satisfying feel to it.

Ooh…I guess I’ve not really paid attention to the armor that Obi-wan and Anakin are wearing.  It’s a really nice combination of their Jedi robes and the armor the clones wear.  It’s a nice touch of solidarity with their armies.

And there is a Hoth-style situation with the droids infiltrating the quiet base in the midst of an asteroid shower.  I guess Domino team is getting the action they were hoping for.  The fact that the show gives us stories from all different levels of the military.  It isn’t just focused on Kenobi, Anakin and Ahsoka…  obviously Grievous and Dooku play major rolls but the fact that we see all the levels from training to the Generals makes for a very dynamic show.

S1:E6 “Downfall of a Droid”, S1:E7 “Duel of the Droids”

Yay a storyline where we will hopefully get more about Grievous and Anakin and Ahsoka.  I love seeing the two of them work together even though Ahsoka is so tiny.  She’s so young.

The way Grievous moves is so cool.  The animators have done and incredible job of giving him that balance between his old human self and the movements that humans would kind of stick to (things like a limp, his cough, the slouch) but then he does things that are so distinctively droid from his flips and the way he handles his weapons.  Its really an interesting feat of animation.

Poor R2-D2.  Though it is interesting to find out bits and bobs about droids as well.  I don’t know much about the extended Star Wars universe so its really interesting to me to get to find out things like the types of droids, what they look like, and their series numbers.  I like the little details that are super subtle.

Ahsoka verses Grievous.  That is a great battle.  The fights in this are so much fun to watch.  They really treat it like an action movie not a traditional animated show. 

S1:E8 “Bombad Jedi”, S1:E9 “Cloak of Darkness”

Padme Going to do this diplomatic mission alone will henceforth be known as mistake number one.

Cool we get to see Greedo’s people.  Grodians.  They haven’t’ really been in anything to date.  This was defiantly a trap.

I have no idea how no one figured out that Anakin and Padme were together.  Like there is a Jedi robe literally hanging in her private ship.  There are so many moments like this in the films that its insane to think that nobody figured out their more intimate and personal connection.

Its always great to get to see Padme working to get herself out of bad situations.  This is the Padme I love.  Not the lovesick girl that is in Episode 3.  The headstrong and courageous person she shows off in Episode 2.  I’m sol glad they decided to keep that in this show.

Seeing other Jedi is always a treat.  Since the focus of the main movies is the Skywalker story we just get to see so many of them in passing.  Shows like this are giving a chance to actually see not only the greater universe but to experience so many of the different worlds and the people on them.

More Ventress.  I’m all for that.  She’s an incredibly interesting character.  I still can’t figure out exactly what she wants out of everything.

Ahsoka is very brash.  She needs to get under control.  I understand that her Master isn’t always the most levelheaded…particularly when it comes to his attachments but still.  Though I guess being able to read the Viceroy well enough that she knew he would only respond to fear is a big deal.

Ooh.  Are we getting Ventress and Ahsoka?  The last fight se was in was great.  I love the way she holds her lightsaber. Its so different than many of the other force sensitive fighters.  Man.  Ventress is a beast.  And Ahsoka has so much raw and untapped power.  Geeze.  Where did she come from?

S1:E10 “Lair of Grievous”, S1:E11 “Dooku Captured”, S1:E12 “The Gungan General”

The lair of Grievous is fascinating.  We finally get an answer to how he has so many lightsabers.  This is the first time we see Grievous kill a Jedi and take the saber.  Its kind of horrible that these are his spoils from war.

Seeing more Jedi, how they fight, their personalities is going to make Order 66 even worse when it finally happens in Episode 3.  I’m glad to get more stories and more of the backgrounds of the world but it will make their deaths even worse in the long run.  It was bad enough that you know the majority of them die before or during this order.

Hmmm.  A set of bounty hunters actually captured Dooku and took his lightsabers.  That’s fascinating.  And the payment that they want to return him is a LOT of money.  This is one of the episodes that mentions “spice” which is implied to be a drug of sorts worth quite a bit of money.  It is mentioned at other times throughout the universe, but this is the first real mention of it in this series.

I’m sure Padme does not feel great about sending Anakin and Obi-wan into the fray without weapons.  It would be quite unsettling to send your partner into that situation in order to get ahold of a war criminal.

Anakin and Obi-wan always getting in trouble.  Let’s see how they get out of all of this.  That name sounds familiar.  Hando.  Where do I know that from?

Honestly, this is one of the less riveting storylines, but it is essential to the overall plot of the Clone Wars.

S1:E13 “Jedi Crash”, S1:E14 “Defenders of Peace”

Getting to see all of the different Jedi in this series is just a treat.  In my mind I knew that there were many of them from different races across the galaxy but since the main films focus on the Skywalker line this is the first time, we get to see other Jedi in more than just passing…or that one big battle scene in Episode 2 where a bunch of them come to the aid of Padme, Anakin, and Obi-wan.

Anakin and Ahsoka always getting into trouble.

Ooh that was a rough landing.  Such a crazy situation to be in with Anakin possibly dying, almost ending up in a star…. That was a lot.  I’m sure this will not be the first nor the last time these two will be in this kind of situation.

Sometimes I forget that this was meant to be for older kid and teens.  There are so many deep lessons in it.  This one makes an excellent point. 

While liberty is worth fighting for, is it worth killing for?

What is courage?  Is it fighting for a cause or sticking to your beliefs?

Are your beliefs worth dying for?  Does mounting a defense the same as fighting in a war?

When you don’t agree with the Creed you were raised under do you still defend it?

So many important questions that people often don’t think about.

S1:E15 “Trespass”

A new frozen planet that we haven’t seen before.  Just like we know that there are more desert planets like Tatooine its nice to see that there are other snowy and frozen planets, swamp planets…etc.  It shows so much diversity in the people that evolved from these kinds of worlds.

This episode is interesting because it’s the first time we are dealing with something that isn’t the Separatists.  There is obviously an internal conflict between the elected Senator and her people.  Everything points to something besides the Droid Army doing the damage here.  Maybe the planet/moon isn’t as uninhabited as everyone believed.

Oh, I don’t like the Chairman.  He’s really horrible.  He has the mentality of the Imperial Army and later the First Order.  This idea that there are people who are less than…who are not worthy or advanced enough to be protected.  That there are savages in the world.  It’s a horrible viewpoint.  All races and species are worth protecting.  He’s a hideous leader.

Diplomacy should always be tried first.  Finding peaceful resolutions and negotiations should be the first choice.

S1:E19 “Storm Over Ryloth”, S1:E20 “Innocents of Ryloth”, S1:E21 “Liberty on Ryloth”

So Ahsoka gets her first squad.  Let’s see how she handles losing men for the first time.  Such a teachable moment for Anakin.  This side is one that we don’t get to see from him in the Saga films.

There are so many heavy things that they deal with in this show.  Not just the morality of decisions that need to be made in war but how to deal with grief, survivor’s guilt, PTSD…the fear and pain that comes with it.  

Its time to come up with a better plan.  The reactions they have created are so incredible.  They not only fit the characters but also align with typical reactions seen in different situations of war and trauma.

Another of Anakin’s crazy plans.  Ahsoka gets the chance to be in charge.

For once we get to see them use a ship in a different kind of situation. I know that we often turn ships in space in a way that makes the most sense to our brains, but the fact is they don’t have to come from the same “up” direction.  Ahsoka using the bottom of the ship to protect the most important parts of the ship like there it is a blockade on the ground is absolutely genius.  There is no reason that these kinds of maneuvers shouldn’t be used more often.

Seeing so much diversity in the different species that are presented in the show is wonderful.  We don’t get much of the stories and interactions like this in the Saga films because it isn’t totally relevant to the story.  But in the extended universe like this we actually get to see what is happening on many of these planets.

Those are fun little mini AT-ST walkers.  It’s a great way to get around some of the battle fields.

Always more to the story than what is seen on the surface.  The Separatists are absolutely horrible.  You can see where the ideals of the later Empire come from.  We are seeing it through both the Separatists army as well as in some of the different worlds we have come across.  This idea that some people are meant to be possessed. That they are lesser.  Its only an ideology that leads to what happens later.

S2:E1 “Holocron Heist”, S2:E2 “Cargo of Doom”, S2:E3 “Children of the Force”

Ahsoka is grounded.  Its nice to see that even Jedi Padawan get grounded.

Cad Bane, a changling, and a droid walk into a bar…. Ok sorry but seriously.  It’s a good thing that Ahsoka had to answer for her indiscretion and that means that Anakin and Obi-wan were at the temple temporarily.

Interesting.  Kyber crystals with all of the information about every force sensitive child in the galaxy.  That is fascinating but makes sense that you would have to have some sort of list.

I like that we are getting to see what happens when Jedi work in tandem.  They can see greater futures, manipulate the Force in greater ways, and even break into strong minds if they work together to a particular goal.

Cad Bane is going to be another one of those fascinating characters.  I’m sure that we will see more of him in the long run.

Rating:

One thought on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Series, created by George Lucas: a Television Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s