Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Stargate SG-1, created by Brad Wright and Johnathan Glassner: a Television Review

Synopsis:

A year after the team gets back from their mission to Abydos through the Stargate the program is nearly shut down.  In fact, they haven’t been able to keep the whole program afloat after not finding another gate address to work.

When suddenly the gate opens.  And the entire team is called back in for questioning, some being recalled to duty after retirement.  As the team gets official recalled and sent back to Abydos to retrieve Daniel Jackson the planet is attacked and his wife as well as her brother are taken by the same people who attacked the Earth gate.

They proceed back through the gate determined to find her and her little brother.  The show follows their adventures as the team goes through the gate to planet after planet to find them and bring them home.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Military Action/Adventure

-Creator: Brad Wright and Johnathan Glassner

-Length: 10 Seasons, 214 episodes, 45 minutes per episode

-Rating: TV-PG (mild sexual moments and sexual innuendo, moderate violence and gore, moderate science-fiction themes, mild profanity, some alcohol and smoking, intense scenes throughout), please note that on the DVDs the first episode of the show is RATED R for full female nudity that was not in any other part of the series…

-Where to Watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube (buy or rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Don S. Davis, Corin Nemec, Ben Browder, Beau Bridges, Claudia Black

-Page of Reference in RPO: 215

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

I defiantly recommend watching the movie before jumping into this show.  While not essential as the cast is different and they do a decent job explaining the gist of what happened I feel like it gives you a good base to go off of.  And the nostalgia of the film is there in the beginning.

I absolutely love that they kept the feeling of all of the characters from the film.  Everyone does a fantastic job just taking what happened and was portrayed in the film and adding to them.  The depth that the new cast draws from and creates in the over arcing story is just wonderful and the new characters introduced fit well and have a story all of their own.

This season is not without its faults or hardships.  Like so many other science-fiction shows (like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Farscape and even Eureka) this first season has its ups and downs.  As a die-hard fan there are many episodes in the first season that I just skip as I feel they add little to the show overall.  These filler types of episodes are difficult to get through and I’m very glad the show got picked up for a second season after the first.

The build of the team is solid and while it plays on some typical science-fiction stereotypes (the geek, the soldier, the scientist, the alien…etc) the writers and actors seem to do justice to the ideas while still finding the unique story telling moments that are needed to make the series thrive.

Get through season one and I promise you will truly get into a series worth watching.

Season 2:

This season has a lot of forward momentum for the show. The ups and downs as well as the filler episodes from season one have been pushed to the wayside for the most part.  Most of the episodes here are important to the formation of the overarching story that will continue to carry through the next several seasons.

We get to meet some key players this season including the Tok’ra, a subsect of the G’ould species, that have morals and a decent head on their shoulders.  They do things differently in that they do not forcibly take hosts but have a truly symbiotic relationship with their willing host for the mutual benefit of both of them. Which is great as Sam’s dad comes into play and eventually becomes the Earth/Tok’ra liaison… as a Tok’ra host.

We discover more about The Four Races found in the information with Ernest. We get information about both the Asgaurd and the Ancients.  Apophasis is finally killed…but we have yet to get back Daniel’s wife.  Its almost worse at this point as earlier in the season we almost got her back.

While there are emotional ups and downs season two is a solid season, setting up much of what we will find happening in the upcoming universe…and the beginnings of the spin off show Stargate Atlantis.

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Season 6:

Season 7:

Season 8:

Season 9:

Season 10:

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Ender’s Game, created by Gavin Hood based on the novel by Orson Scott Card: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Humanity is ready to launch an attack on the Formic home world after the alien species attacked and nearly destroyed Earth fifty years before.  Due to Mazer Rackham’s last minute suicide dive into the mothership of the invasion army at the cost of his life the war was won and there have been fifty years of silence from the insect-like Formics.

The International Fleet has been training children on their space bound Battle School in preparation for the invasion of the Fomic home world.  They are authorized to take any child that shows a gifted potential to turn them into the newest commanders to fight the next war.

This is how Andrew “Ender” Wiggin ends up drawing the attention of Colonel Hyrum Graff at an incredibly young age.

Thrown into Battle School and all the isolation and pain that this entails, Ender eventually excels.  Could he be the hope that the IF is looking for to fight their final war?  Or will the reality of all the lies they are being told break Ender before he is able to finish his graduation – a final simulation of a possible battle on the Formic home world?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction, Action/Adventure, Military, Coming of Age

-Creator: Gavin Hood based on the novel by Orson Scott Card

-Length: 114 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild violence and gore, mild profanity and slurs – though these are not any used on earth today, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

While this movie is not as good as the book in some ways I do think it excels in others. 

For people who enjoy or need a more visual medium to process sotries I do think the film caught the overarching themes and moral dilemmas of the book quite well.  Asa Butterfield’s performance as Ender is a big factor in this…though I do think that his height and stature really do affect how you see the character if you know anything about the book.  Ender is one of the youngest at school and therefore is quite small in comparison to the other students so it is a little odd to see him towering over Bonzo in the scenes they are in together.  But that aside it is truly a beautiful performance especially the end when Ender is told what is actually going on.  The level of slow simmering outrage that Butterfield is able to achieve in this scene is just lovely. 

Having Harrison Ford in the movie isn’t bad either!  While not my favorite of his roles I do think he did well as the Colonel in charge of the Battle School though I don’t think he was quite vicious enough.  Mazer was almost too much.  So, I guess it balanced out in the end.

The visual effects are some of the most stunning I’ve seen in a long time and have held up well over the years considering so much of the film had to be done with CGI effects due to the fact that we haven’t figured out how to live in space at the stage the film needs to be in.  they did update how the simulations look…while I do think they are more realistic and like our video games of today I do think the more simplified almost Pong or Space Invaders level of tech that is described in the book would be a lot easier to convince the kids of being fake…

Which I guess is the whole point and does add to the fact that as an audience we can almost tell its way more real than Ender and his team are told from the beginning. 

So many moral issues that are covered in this book.  But I do love Ender’s come back to his Colonel…because its so true.

“How we win matters.”

And isn’t that the whole point.  So many times we just plow forward in life and don’t take the time to get the other side of the story… we just care about winning.  Not how we do it.

But sometimes…a lot of the time…HOW we win is EXACTLY what matters.

Films and books like this are so important to show to people…because that is the important message.  Not the effects or the costumes or the sets which were all great by the way, but the moral of the story and the performances of the actors sometimes are more important that any beautiful visual we can put together.

I love this story and really do think most preteens and early teens should see this film and have the moral and emotional discussions about what this story is bringing up discussed in depth.  I think it would do a lot of us some good.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Read Me

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card: a Novel review

Synopsis:

Earth has been attacked by an insect-like alien species called the Formics.  Having mastered interplanetary spaceflight before the attack, Earth is able to locate a Formic base on an asteroid called Eros… the discovery and original attack turn into an all-out war.  A war that humans narrowly win due to Mazer Rackham making a spectacular hit to the main ship.

To stave off another invasion the peoples of Earth create the International Fleet.  Their mission is to train gifted children to become commanders to fight in the next Formic War.

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is what the children of Earth call a “Third”.  When most families are only allowed two children due to overpopulation the Wiggin family is granted an option for a third child due to the fact that their first two children showed such promise for Battle School but fell just short of qualification due to other issues (Peter Wiggins has sociopathic tendencies and Valentine is too sympathetic and emotional).  The government hopes that Ender will be different.

And he proves himself at the age of six after his tracking chip is removed.  After an incident with a fellow student the IF Battle School Headmaster Colonel Hyrum Graff comes and collects Ender sending him into Battle School as one of the youngest ever attendees.

Things don’t go well for Ender at Battle School.  Smaller and younger than any of the other students he is bullied and teased just as he was on Earth.  Strategically isolated, Ender’s situation becomes nearly unbearable to the young boy. It is only when he begins to show that he can hold his own that he begins to earn some respect.  When he is unexpectedly promoted to the head of Dragon Army (an army that hasn’t existed in years due to rumors of being “cursed”) Ender must make a choice…

Does he stay and fight like he’s always been taught?  Or does he leave Battle School and the impending war behind him?  What secrets is the International Fleet hiding behind all of the mystery and intrigue…and battle games that are going on at the school?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction, Coming of Age Story, Military

-Author: Orson Scott Card

-Number of Pages: 324

-Main Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, Peter Wiggin, Valentine Wiggin, Alai, Bean, Dink Meeker, Petra Arkanian, Colonel Hyrum Graff, Mazer Rackham, Major Anderson

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!  If you enjoy audiobooks look for it wherever you get your audiobooks such as Audible or Libby (through your local library)…

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

The author aside…this is one of my favorite science-fiction books.  I’ve read it several times due to the dystopian nature of the novel paired with the moral dilemmas that are presented in the text.

Things like:

Should children be fighting in war?  Should children be trained for war?  How much do you tell your citizens?  Where is the line between someone being a living breathing human…and someone being completely expendable?  Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?  And what is the other side of the story?  Is there another side?

So much of this story is so beyond messed up.

Its bad enough that children are being taken at the age of 9 or younger to train to fight in a war that they truly are not to be told anything about.  But then to turn around and not tell them that the simulations are real!  The tests are not just video games…they aren’t just tests.  They are actual battles.  The fleets they are commanding at the age of 12 or 13 are actual real people fighting actual real aliens….and are dying because of it.

Where is the line?

Where does the desire to be protected from an entity (that we find out was just trying to communicate but couldn’t in a way we understood and vise versa) start and end?

Who should be used to protect ourselves?

There is so much to truly think about in the book.

Ender is one of my favorite characters, and not because he is the main one though being able to see how he thinks and functions due to that is a plus.  Its because, no matter how far they push him…how far the go to make him into a robotic machine…he still holds close to his humanity.  He is the ideal candidate for what happens to him, but because he is compassionate and human, he is also most likely to be broken by what occurs.

Bean is a close second.  I’ve been told I will love the Ender’s Shadow series (I’ve never read any of the other books after this one and I’m looking forward to it now).  That series is all about Bean and what he was doing behind the scenes to help out and protect Ender.

Honestly, Card did a great job with the characters.  They all have a depth to them that is hard to achieve when you are dealing with children.  Children often come off as flat or one noted.  But even when one of the kids is mainly mean (Bonzo or Peter for example) there is always something more to them and their story.

I highly recommend this book if you ever get the chance to read it.

If you like audiobooks the Ender’s Game Alive! is the version that I recommend.  It is read by a whole cast instead of a single narrator, so it is like listening to a radio play.  It was one of the best ways to experience this book and is available only on Audible, but it is free with your subscription as an Audible Original.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (animated), based on characters created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Clone War is in full swing.  General Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker are leading a small battalion of Republican Clone Army against the Separatist Droid Army on Christophsis.  As they await reinforcements, a single shuttle lands on the planet carrying Jedi Apprentice Ahsoka Tano with a message from Jedi Grandmaster Yoda.  She has been assigned to General Skywalker as his apprentice, and not to Master Kenobi as was thought.

Meanwhile, Grandmaster Yoda has been told that Jabba the Hutt’s son has been taken hostage.  Skywalker and Ahsoka have been assigned to get him back as Master Kenobi visits the Hutts to reassure them that they will get his son back.

Of course, they are walking into a trap…

General Information:

-Genre: Computer-Animated Space Opera

-Creator: based on characters created by George Lucas

-Length: 98 minutes

-Rating: PG (Mild violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of hooka and drinks that could be alcohol, mild intense scenes)

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

-Main Cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Ian Abercrombie, Catherine Taber, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

I’m not sure about this animation style but I am absolutely loving Ahsoka.  She will probably end up as one of my favorite characters in all of the Star Wars Universe.

The story is really interesting.  And I do think it falls quite in line with the parts of the world that I love.  I can tell we are going to get a lot of the larger world that we get with the “side” stories.  The characters seem more compelling and complex than what we get from the Skywalker Saga.

Ahsoka is so wonderful. Just as snarky as Anakin was with Kenobi but seems to have a better head on her shoulders.  She is more levelheaded, but can be just as reckless as her master. 

Ventress is new and different.  Its interesting to me that she is an “apprentice” to Dooku.  Especially since we have been led to believe there are only two Sith at any given time.  Perhaps it is just another matter of the Sith employing another force sensitive beings as their lackies.

The animation style kind of grew on me as the movie went on.

Ooh…. The play of both sides.  The Hutts are a powerful family in the Outer Rim.  It makes sense that whoever wins their favor will win the war.

I do appreciate that the director and the animators treated the film as an action film and not just as an “animated movie”.  There are dynamic angles, epic battles and great music.  They seem to have mastered the use of cinematic techniques and applied them to the world of animation.  It is impressive and greatly appreciated.

Padme being in things is always a plus.  She is a great character that really seemed underutilized in the films… going from a strong confident Queen and Senator to a lovesick girl over the course of the films.  I hope she remains strong during the course of the show…

And apparently, I have watched this a tad out of order…now to go back to the correct order according to the official Star Wars website for the show.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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.

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