Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 1 & 2 Review

Welcome! This is the first of many reviews I will be writing for each The Clone Wars episode this season, and hopefully many seasons to come! Below is my review for the premiere of The Clone Wars season four.

Let’s start off with some initial thoughts and the build up to this season. Season 3 had just ended, leaving fans with mixed feelings for about half of the season. We had a significant amount of political intrigue and mystery that made viewership and ratings drop for the first few months. Then came the Savage Opress story, the Mortis arc, and a great finale featuring Ahoska being captured by Trandoshan slavers. We left the season feeling good about the future of the show and knowing at least a little bit of the awesomeness that would ensue in season four. The animation was pretty good, a solid improvement from the previous seasons, and a much needed update of character models for Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, and Anakin. Over the summer, several trailers were released showing the potential for great action, adventure, story, and extraordinary animation. This brings us to our current episodes, Water War and Gungan Attack.

 

The story goes like this: Anakin, Padme, Ahsoka, and Kit Fisto aid the Mon Calamari after a civil war breaks out between the Mon Calamari and the Quarren. After the King of Mon Cala is mysteriously murdered, his son, Prince Lee-Char, tries to lead the people as best as he can even though the Quarren are set against him. When I saw the trailers, which showcased this episode a lot, I wondered how similar this arc would to be to the Genndy series. We have already seen episodes of The Clone Wars that relate to some other clone wars material out there. The season premiere last season was believed to be taken from the Republic comics. However, that turned out to be a lot different from what we were expecting, so this time around I was thinking it would also just be coincidental. In the case of Water War and Gungan Attack, it turned out to be different, but not so different from how the battle of Kamino was changed from the comics. The characters were mostly the same, the concept of a civil war between the Quarren and the Mon Calamari was the same, but that was about it. To me it seemed like the Genndy episode of Kit Fisto’s underwater battle could’ve almost been a part of Water War. Filoni and crew did a great job vastly expanding the storyline from what it originally was, without contradicting anything major with the Genndy show. It’s episodes like these that give me hope that the two series can live in harmony (if you paid close attention, there were a few shout outs to the old series). I’m not sure how much I would’ve enjoyed a complete re-do of the battle on Mon Cala without retaining at least a little bit of its roots. As far as the story goes for Water War, I enjoyed it. There was no deep meaning or unexpected reveal  that shatters the universe, but it puts our main characters in a unique situation that stretches their ability to function. Anakin losing his helmet is a perfect example, for obvious reasons. Pit him against our villain Tamsen, who is native to the water and therein lies an unusual challenge. This episode also created a number of fairly original fight scenes, the one that I remember the most was the climax; all our heroes fight in a whirlpool while being attacked by an shark type alien who can eat right through clone armor, how awesome is that!? This situation also allows us to see the best in characters, such as Kit Fisto. Water War and Gungan Attack did Kit Fisto tremendous justice, and stayed true to the original Clone Wars, and makes him probably the best character in the arc so far. I also think they’re doing a pretty good job of progressing the prince’s character along the path of being a hero, or at least a good leader, which we’ll be seeing (hopefully) in the next episode.

 

Now, my favorite part of the episode, the animation. Absolutely stunning! Some scenes could easily have been mistaken for one of the films (the space scenes particularly). At San Diego Comic-Con, the panel TCW  had showed how a lot of the character movements have changed and it shows. It’ll be hard to go back to season 1 after seeing how beautifully everything moves in season 4! Another thing I noticed was when the Republic ship exploded, the explosions they had looked very colorful, nice, and new. Also, the lighting was well done, that, along with the sound design (which was also phenomenal) really set the tone and made this underwater world believable.

 

There wasn’t much I didn’t like with this episode, but one thing that bothered me was the lightsabers not being affected in any way, shape or form by being underwater. It’s not a huge deal, but it threw me off a little. It’s probably just me still clinging to the Genndy series after all these years. That and the king’s death not being brought up at all after the first three minutes of the episode, and the characters not connecting that event to the separatist takeover were the only issues I had while watching.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this brief review of The Clone Wars season 4 premiere! Season four is shaping up to be a wild ride, and I can’t wait for the next episode! Expect these reviews to get more in depth as the episodes of season 4 get more in depth with their stories. Thanks for reading!

 

-Ryan

 

The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup

Welcome to this week’s The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup.

After taking a bit of a hiatus to provide a retrospective look back at the first three seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we are back with our regular weekly roundup of this week’s TCW news.

This past Friday saw the premier of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Four: Battle Lines.  The premier thrust us into the front lines of the Mon Cala civil war.

We won’t be reviewing the episodes in this column, but I will give a self serving plug to my reviews over on LightsaberRattling.com, Water War (4.01) and Gungan Attack (4.02).

There are some relatively big changes for Star Wars: TCW fans this season.  With the re-design of Starwars.com we have two major changes, one is good and one is bad.

To start with the positive, unlike previous seasons when you had to wait until Monday for the episode to appear as free streaming content on Starwars.com, now the episodes are free for all to view on Starwars.com starting on Saturday after the premier.  This is great for fans that do not have Cartoon Network and is a logical move in the face of on-line piracy.  I would much rather watch on Starwars.com on Saturday then watch a low quality version illegally and chance catching whatever viruses or Malware might be on the illegal streaming site.

The biggest change to Starwars.com is the content shift from written to visual.  While the focus on visuals makes for a very attractive site, it also means we are getting a lot less information about each TCW episode.  Previously you would get detailed summaries of the episode,  cast, crew and character information, and behind the scenes information.  Many of the little Easter eggs that are in the episodes were pointed out in the Episode Guides, as well as addressing continuity issues and inspiration for different characters or objects in the episode.  If you go to the slideshow section for each TCW episode, underneath each image there is a little information, but it is more of simply describing the image then what we used to get in the Episode Guides.  Author Dan Wallace addresses the format changes at StarWars.com in general without talking about the Episode Guides directly in his latest Blog.

If it wasn’t bad enough losing the Episode Guides, we have also have lost Dave Filoni’s video commentaries that used to accompany each episode.  This is a tremendous loss of content and hopefully something that is either resurrected or delivered in an alternate format.  I don’t think these changes will negatively impact viewership of the show, but for the more mature fans of the show, I think it does detract from the water cooler experience of talking about the show.

This Friday the third episode in the Mon Cala arc will appear, entitled Prisoners.  Starwars.com has a synopsis episode 4.03 Prisoners, along with some preview images and a video.

The synopsis is as follow:

“Crowns are inherited, kingdoms are earned.”

The Republic and Gungan forces have been captured by Riff Tamson and his Karkarodon enforcers. Now, it is up to Ahsoka and the young Prince Lee-Char to unite the fractured people of Mon Cala and drive out the Separatist invaders.

It certainly looks like we are up for an action packed conclusion to this story arc!  I can’t wait to find out what the next arc is going to be about after this one.  

Before we close this week, the crew here at the Star Wars Report would like to wish Ahsoka Tano actress and Her Universe Empress, Ashley Eckstein a very Happy Birthday.

 

Until next time, keep your Buy’ce on and your blaster handy.

- Pete

Fan Days!

Greetings everyone!

In case you’ve missed it, we’re here to tell you a bit about Fan Days!


Riley, Bethany, and staff member Aaron Goins will be attending this year, along with many other Star Wars fans and stars, writers and creators! Fan Days is a yearly Star Wars (although other franchises are represented) convention held in Texas, this year on October 8th and 9th. Fan Days, is, as it sounds, by the fans and for the fans! This will be mine and Riley’s first time attending, and we’re really looking forward to it! Below is the official press release, check it out and consider coming! I’ll keep you guys updated with further information!

Bethany

 

 

Free signings during Star Wars-themed Fan Days

 

Star Wars fans are in for a special treat at this year’s Fan Days where at least half a dozen guests will offer free autographs. Tom Kane, the narrator and voice of “Yoda” on the Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will sign Fan Days’ exclusive photos at no charge during the show Oct. 8 and 9 in the new 300,000-square-foot Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas.

“We have a large, dedicated following of Star Wars fans at our shows, and offering coveted signatures for free is just our way of saying, ‘Thanks!’ to our many customers,” said Ben Stevens, co-producer of the show he started in 1994.

Also signing for free: Stephen Stanton, the voice of “Tarkin” in the Clone Wars series; Star Wars book authors Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston; memorabilia collector and fan favorite Steve Sansweet; and Kyle Newman and Ernie Cline, director and writer, respectively, of the popular Fan Boys movie.

Fan Days also will feature a plethora of guests who helped create the Star Wars magic both on camera and behind the scenes. Topping the media guest list is actor Billy Dee Williams, best known among Star Wars fans for playing the roguish “Lando Calrissian” in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). In a career that spans more than 50 years, Mr. Williams has logged an impressive array of roles in such movies as Brian’s Song (1971), Lady Sings the Blues (1972) and Batman (1989).

On the artists’ side, Fan Days welcomes living legend Jim Steranko, whose work as artist-writer on Marvel Comic’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America and X-Men revolutionized the comics form. Mr. Steranko also is a musician, art director, magician, fire-eater, designer, publisher and filmmaker who has collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.

Also making a rare appearance is artist Herb Trimpe, co-creator of Wolverine. He’ll be joined by almost 40 artists, including at least two dozen specializing in Star Wars artwork. Among the latter are Spencer Brinkerhoff, Joe Corroney, Scott Harben, Tom Hodges, Lawrence Reynolds, Cat Staggs and Denise Vasquez.

Fans of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series also can meet actor George Takei. Although best known for his role as “Sulu” on the original Star Trek television and movie series, Mr. Takei crossed over into the Star Wars realm as the voice of “Lok Durd” on the The Clone Wars. Other Clone Wars voice actors appearing at the show are Catherine Taber, Ashley Eckstein, Jaime King and Meredith Salenger.

Among the guests who worked behind the scenes to bring Star Wars to life are sound editors/specialists Ben Burtt, who has worked for Lucasfilm and Pixar; Matthew Wood, who also provided the voice of “General Grievous” in Revenge of the Sith; and David Acord, whose current work includes The Clone Wars series.

Stunt man Dickey Beer also will appear, along with actors Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”), Alan Flyng (an Imperial Officer in Return of the Jedi) and Veronica Segura (“Corde” in Attack of the Clones).

Outside the Star Wars genre, Fan Days welcomes actors Julie Benz (Angel and Dexter) and Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Attendees also are invited to an after-show party on Saturday night that will include a screening of the new comedy Hughes the Force, a costume contest, and a silent auction benefitting PKDcure.org. Admission to the party is free with show entry badge but limited to the first 1,500 people.

Fan Days tickets are available online through Sept. 15 and at the door. Admission to Fan Days varies depending on level purchased.

VIP passes ($75) give customers admission to the show 30 minutes prior to other ticket holders, first access to the autograph area, and first seating in the Q&A sessions. Passes are good Saturday and Sunday with a limited number available.

Priority passes ($40) also are limited in number, allow customers into autograph areas ahead of general admission, and are good Saturday and Sunday. One-day General admission is $20. Admission for children ages 5-12 is $5 when accompanied by a paid adult; children’s passes are good both days.

Hours for the two-day show are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. The Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., is at the intersection of SH114 and Northwest Highway in Irving, Texas.

For more information or to order advance tickets, please visit the website at www.fandays.com.

 

Media contact:

For more information, to schedule an interview or to obtain press passes, please contact Kathy A. Goolsby at k_goolsby@tx.rr.com.

Images:

Downloadable images for use in promoting Dallas Comic Con, including images from past C2 Ventures’ events, are available at www.scifiexpo.com/DCC/press-pix.html

 

About C2 Ventures:

C2 Ventures is a partnership of long-time STAR WARS fans Ben Stevens and Philip Wise. Since 2001, C2 Ventures has been the most trusted name in STAR WARS autographs, providing more authentic autographs to fans than any other provider worldwide. We produced the massive autograph program at the official STAR WARS Celebration II in 2002, Celebration III in 2005, Celebration IV in 2007, Celebration Japan in 2008 and Celebration V in 2010.

C2 Ventures continues to work closely with more than 100 celebrities from the STAR WARS Universe, including Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels and Samuel L. Jackson, to provide or produce special appearances at conventions and retail stores, authentic autograph signings on your product or our licensed photos, special events, exclusives, and more.

 

SO SAY WE ALL! – SWR #16

In this episode of the Star Wars Report, it’s a Battlestar Galactica extravaganza!

At Dragon* Con, we had the opportunity to interview:

Edward James Olmos,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tahmoh Penikett,

Tricia Helfer,

 

And the one, the only, Richard Hatch!

 

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

Facebook facebook.com/starwarsreport

Twitter:      twitter.com/starwarsreport

Forum:       www.eucantina.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1233

 

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NOOOOOO! – SWR #15

The Star Wars Report Returns!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this episode we do an awesome recap of our time at Dragon Con with a panel of guests who were actually there with us!

We had Nanci, Michael, Shannon and Brian.

We read some emails, talked about the latest news, and yes… we talked about the no.

 

Or should I say the…

 

nooooooooooooooo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

Facebook facebook.com/starwarsreport

Twitter:      twitter.com/starwarsreport

Forum:       www.eucantina.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1233

 

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