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Exploring the Many Dilemmas of Onderon: “A War on Two Fronts” Review

The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 2 Review

Hello and welcome back to this week’s review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars! The season returns in it’s second episode of season five with the Jedi aiding a group of rebels on a separatist world in A War on Two Fronts. The episode features our main trio of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka. It also brings back Lux, who likes to show up in a completely different environments and with a completely different faction every time we see him. The episode takes place on the classic, expanded universe planet of Onderon. And while I very much enjoyed this classic Star Wars world brought into The Clone Wars, we are once again stuck in the “Wow these are really cool concepts and ideas being introduced, but we’re going to have to wait another week to see them put into action.” phase of the story arc.

Like I said before, the episode takes place on the world of Onderon, which has been seen in everything from the Tales of the Jedi comics, to the second Knights of the Old Republic video game. In all the material I had read of Onderon, the world always seemed to be in a state of civil war or in the midst of a play for power. So when I learned that the arc would be about exactly that, I already thought The Clone Wars had done Onderon justice. Later, upon seeing the designs and characteristics of the world shown, I was even more impressed. The Clone Wars team had even included the large beasts that the warriors of Onderon flew thousands of years before in the Tales of the Jedi. They managed to keep Onderon almost exactly the way I remembered it, yet still managing to feel fresh and new with the distinct style of the series.

I was kind of bummed when the topic debated in the council never made it anywhere in the episode. It brought up a great and somewhat real issue of the fine line of helping freedom fighters and helping terrorists. Not only was it a great concept, but they built on it quite well. First by having Anakin’s view conflict almost entirely with the council’s, I think it fits his character and his way of thinking so well, especially when shown in contrast to the council. The council views everything in perspective and tries to foresee problems in the long run, unlike Anakin who usually tries to find the quickest solution. The second is Lux, who has had similar moral dilemmas in the past trying to discover what is justice and what is revenge when he joined the Death Watch in order to get revenge on Dooku in season four. I’m confident they didn’t throw this character into the episode for nothing, as he fits so well into the topic of the arc. Let’s hope they do something worthwhile with him instead of just making him the love interest.

This brings me to my next point. This episode greatly revolved around the reoccurring Lux/Ahsoka complex, this time throwing in Steela to complicate things even further. I guess it started to work toward something, but it’s hard to tell if this could be the end of the before mentioned Lux/Ahsoka character arc. This certainly would be a good time to wrap it up. I can’t help but wonder exactly why they decided to bring up that Lux is still against the Republic and if that will play a role in the episodes to come. Part of me wishes that time spent on the tension between Ahsoka and Steela was given to Rex, showing him training one on one with some of the lesser known rebel fighters. This would have made a great sub plot for Rex, and it would have shown more background on the rebels, possibly even tying into some of the issues the arc is supposed to be dealing with in terms of whether the rebels are simply terrorists or not.

That’s going to wrap up my review for this week! All in all I thought it a good episode that introduced some really cool things to think about as the arc unfolds. Make sure you leave a comment below, as we want to know what you thought of A War on Two Fronts! Thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!

-Ryan Zasso

Ryan Zasso first entered the Star Wars fan community in early 2010 with the podcast Fanboy’s Guide to the Galaxy. Interested in doing Star Wars related writing, he began writing for the Star Wars Report in 2011.

https://twitter.com/TheOneZasso

 

A Star Wars Choose Your Own Adventure! – TWL #29

In their latest episode, Karl and Jason sit down for some Star Wars fun! Like the “choose your own adventure” scenarios, Karl and Jason ask each other a bunch of questions as to how they would respond to certain parts of the film if they were in the character’s shoes.  They also ask each other about lots of other fun aspects of the films if they were allowed to be part of the Star Wars galaxy.  From what creature would you want for a pet to which creature would you not want to have a run-in with, Karl and Jason certainly have a lot of fun in this episode!

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Masks and Redemption in Return of the Jedi

While I have watched ROTJ close to a thousand times in my life, I was really inspired to write something brief about how love and redemption are presented at the end of the film. In just one short scene, so much of the the Truth which the tale of Star Wars teaches is revealed. I am referring to the scene when Luke takes off Vader’s mask right before Vader’s, or should I say Anakin’s, death.

This one particular scene does such a great job of “unmasking” what I would is one of George Lucas’ main themes in Star Wars. What begins in The Empire Strikes Back is brought to its full potential at the conclusion of ROTJ. When Vader confronts Luke in TESB, his motives are merely selfish as he only wants Luke to join him so that they can overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together; it’s still all about power for Vader.

Yet when Luke throws himself into the chasm of Cloud City I think what he does is plant a seed in Vader which shows to him that there is something more than the dark side, that there is something more important than power. When Vader and Luke meet up again in ROTJ after Luke surrenders himself on Endor, Luke tells Vader the Truth he has hidden himself from: “You were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.” Vader says that this name has “no meaning for me” but Luke fires back, “It is the name of your true self you’ve only forgotten.” Quite literally, Anakin has been hidden by the mask of Vader for so long that he truly has forgotten who he really is. It’s interesting as many psychologists have said for years that people make masks to hide themselves and stay safe. That is what Vader has done; his fear and loneliness causes him to hide behind the mask of Darth Vader. I think we too often make masks for ourselves so that we don’t have to face parts of ourselves.

Luke continually points out to Vader during their duel in ROTJ that he senses the conflict going on inside Vader. To Luke, it’s clear that Anakin is fighting to reemerge from the mask of Darth Vader. After Luke lops off Vader’s right hand (poor guy is always losing limbs!), he realizes what he has done and renounces the dark side. This was something Anakin was incapable of doing. Anakin’s fear won out causing him to join the dark side. However Luke gives him another example. Luke renounces the dark side because he knows who he is; “I am a Jedi.”

Yet the event that finally allows Anakin to reemerge from the mask of Darth Vader occurs as the Emperor begins to hurl force lightening at Luke with the intention of killing him. As each blast of lightening pours over Luke causing him more and more pain, it’s as if the lightening is also having an effect on Vader; each blast is burning off the mask that is Vader.

As Luke pleads, “Father!”, his cries for help break through the mask of Darth Vader and hit the heart of Anakin Skywalker. And thanks to the blu ray version we know Vader does not approve of his master’s actions towards his son. As he screams “NO!!!”, he throws the Emperor to his death thus saving the one person who has shown Anakin what selfless love is. Just as Luke was willing to die to try and redeem his father, now the father dies in order to save the son.

So finally we’re to the scene where I’ve been trying to make my point: the unmasking of Vader. Vader tells Luke he wants to look on him with the eyes of Anakin, no longer through the mask of Vader. Yet Anakin is incapable of removing this mask on his own. Quite literally, he is too weak and not to mention he only has one hand! So he literally needs the help of his son. I think this is a very powerful Truth statement being made. Just like Vader, we are incapable of removing the masks we wear on our own. Just as Vader needed the help of his son, so too do we need the help of others.

But what is it that ultimately unmasks Vader? Why love of course! Vader was so full of fear and so obsessed with power that he hid behind the mask of Vader and was incapable of being vulnerable to anyone. After the death of Padme, Anakin feels no one could probably love him so he hides behind the mask of Vader. But then Luke comes along and shows him again what true love is. So when Luke pulls back that mask which Vader has been hiding behind we see a great Truth about love: love exposes us and allows our true self to be revealed. When we are loved by another, be it a parent, a friend, a spouse, we are made vulnerable and realize that we no longer have any need for a mask! Love redeems and unmasks us!

-Karl

An Introspective Star Wars: TWL #22

After a brief stint off, Karl and Jason are back at it again with a fun new episode where they discuss which Star Wars character they feel most represent themselves in life and which character they would most like to become. Join them as they delve deep into what makes them feel connected to our beloved Star Wars universe as they reveal what it is about these characters which they can identify with. Also, they talk about Joe Hogan’s motion-comic, “The Siren of Dathomir” which is beyond amazing! So sit back, relax, and tuck yourself into a Tauntaun as you listen to another exciting episode!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Favorite Film Characters – TWL #19

In their latest episode, Karl and Jason sit down with returning guest Kyle Avery from Frontlines to talk about their favorite characters from the six Star Wars films! From memorable characters like C3PO and R2D2 to everyone’s favorite villian, Darth Vader, the three hosts discuss what it is about these characters which they love so much!

 

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