Find my video review of the Star Wars: The Black Series 3.75-inch Phase II Captain Rex action figure over at YouTube. Many thanks to DorksideToys.com for providing a review copy of the figure. If you’re looking to purchase and pre-order Star Wars figures, I highly recommend DorksideToys, a reliable and quality online shop. Also, scroll down further to browse through my small gallery of the Captain Rex action figure.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an Emmy Award winning series which premiered in theaters on August 15, 2008 and subsequently on television on October 8, 2008. The series’ television run ended on March 2, 2013 with the conclusion to Season Five, before seeing a brief, 13 episode revival on Netflix on March 7, 2014.
The early story of The Clone Wars is one of highs and lows. Debuting in third place in its opening weekend, The Clone Wars brought in $14.6 million on its way to a domestic total of $35.2 million in its theatrical run. I remember walking out of the theater with my then roommate, and despite some high points we were rather disappointed in this new Star Wars movie. On the small screen The Clone Wars fared better premiering with 3.96 million viewers, a record for a series premiere on Cartoon Network at the time.
At the beginning, with the very stylized animation design used in the series, the rather obnoxious banter between Anakin and Ahsoka, and the relative lack of music of John Williams, The Clone Wars’ early days were filled with hits and misses. As the show evolved over the seasons it continued to improve each year, with animation, sound, story and acting all deepening as the show grew.
The interesting thing about The Clone Wars is that it was really a massive R & D project for Lucasfilm as well as a labor of love for George Lucas. Through The Clone Wars, Lucasfilm was able to develop a new branch of the company: Lucasfilm Animation. So without The Clone Wars a show like what we are to get in Star Wars Rebels wouldn’t be possible.
Having seen the premiere of Star Wars Rebels, I am confident in saying that we will get a show that is better than The Clone Wars in Star Wars Rebels. Here are nine reasons why.
1. The Empire is back
Love or hate the Prequel films, the truth is that the Empire has a much more compelling set of villains than the Separatists. The return of various types of Stormtroopers, TIE fighters, AT walkers, speeder bikes, Star Destroyers, and arrogant and capricious Imperial officers has me incredibly excited, more so than seeing legions of clankers.
This hearkening back to the Original Trilogy should also appeal to older fans like myself and help younger fans transition from The Clone Wars to the Original Trilogy, and then to Episode VII in 2015.
2. Chronological Order: “216, 116, T, 301, 303, 101…”
The Clone Wars was a show that was released in one order, but that order is not the same as the in-universe chronological order of the events in the show. For example, chronologically the series begins with Season 2 Episode 16, then Season 1 Episode 16, the film, Season 3 Episode 1, Season 3 Episode 3, and then Season 1 Episode 1.
Star Wars Rebels is beginning with the 1-hour premiere “Spark of Rebellion” and then continuing in order after that. This will make it much easier to follow the show, the character developments, and events in the world of Star Wars Rebels.
3. Everyman versus the Ruling Class
Much of the Prequels and The Clone Wars contained stories about the ruling elites of the galaxy far, far away. Sure, there were some episodes on remote planets and in the under levels on Coruscant, but for the most part we were dealing with the power players in the universe.
In Rebels we are focusing on a small group of outcasts in Hera, Kanan, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra. These are street level characters not dealing with the fate of the entire galaxy, but with the fates of their friends and neighbors. I can’t wait to see where they take the story of the population of Lothal as individuals oppose and support the Empire.
4. Opening Misfire
As I mentioned in the opening, The Clone Wars theatrical premiere was hardly the strongest set of episodes in the series, and was a rather unimpressive debut overall. On the other hand, the premiere of Star Wars Rebels while not perfect is an immeasurably better beginning to a show. If this is the quality of the show at the beginning, I cannot wait to see where it goes as the creators develop these characters further.
The Clone Wars matured into a very beautiful animation style, but it took a long while to get there. It is visually difficult to watch some of those early episodes after being spoiled with the later seasons. Star Wars Rebels has some interesting influences from Ralph McQuarrie and Disney’s Tangled. While there are budgetary realities that will mean there are likely fewer resources available to the team creating Rebels than was available for The Clone Wars, the experience working on the previous show and the advances in technology give the current creative team some real advantages. The animation style for Rebels is more accessible and palatable for casual viewers.
6. John Williams
On the musical front, Kevin Kiner who was responsible for the music in The Clone Wars returns, but his use and innovation based off of John Williams’ Star Wars scores is much more present in Rebels than it was in The Clone Wars. This tonal shift is important because it adds to the sense that Rebels feels more like Star Wars than The Clone Wars.
7. An Experienced Crew With Some Great Additions
A good portion of the crew that is working on Star Wars Rebels are, as Dave Filoni says, “veterans of The Clone Wars.” The experience of telling Star Wars stories from The Clone Wars seems to have given Filoni and his crew a greater mastery of not only the mythology of Star Wars, but also a better sense of what feels like Star Wars. Of course, the additions of Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg as well as the work of folks from the Lucasfilm Story Group provides great quality storytelling experience.
8. Fewer Limits
The Clone Wars was set in a narrower period of time than Star Wars Rebels. Taking place between Episodes II and III, The Clone Wars dealt with some major and minor film characters from the Prequel Trilogy, a number of whom had fates that were fixed by those movies. While characters like Captain Rex, Ahsoka, Asajj, Cad Bane, and the resurrected Darth Maul evolved into major characters in the show with unanswered fates , we know the fate of many more of the characters seeing frequent screen time. There are also limitations on how characters can interact, for example Anakin and General Grievous based on dialogue from Episode III.
As Rebels begins we are dealing with an almost entirely new cast of characters. There are some first season cameos that were revealed in a trailer for the show, but the characters we are following around are all new, and we do not have any sense of what their fates will be before the events of Episode IV. I am very excited by what creative freedom this is providing for the writers of Star Wars Rebels .
9. A Core Group of Characters
One of the beauties of The Clone Wars was that we got to see a lot of different characters take the spotlight. If a certain character was not your favorite in a few episodes you wouldn’t be seeing them again. This allowed us to meet and get to know a number of really interesting characters, and I particularly enjoyed spending time with the Clones, Asajj, and Ahsoka. Of course this does make it harder for casual fans to jump on board to the show midstream, or to follow a particular characters story.
In Rebels we will be on the Ghost with Hera, Kanan, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine and Ezra and these will be the characters that we get to know and follow around. This will allow us to get to know these characters more deeply and quickly than we were able to do with many on The Clone Wars.
What are you looking forward to in Star Wars Rebels?
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 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.
Greetings exalted ones, and welcome to Star Wars Beyond the Films!
On this episode of Star Wars Beyond the Films, your hosts Nathan and Mark are joined by Kelly Adams, long time Star Wars (and Yoda) fan, writer and podcaster! They discuss a number of things about mysteries in Star Wars: do you like knowing everything about everything in Star Wars? Would you prefer for there to be a lot of mystery surrounding your favorite aspects of the universe? How would you like mysteries and reveals to be balanced? Are some time periods in Star Wars too densely packed to leave any room for mysteries? Do you prefer cliff hangers? Or hate them?
What about the fates of Rex and Ahsoka? Does knowing too much spoil it?
And then there’s The Fandom (it’s a) TRAP! Does expecting too much cause disappointment? A story can’t please 100% of the people consuming it, 100% of the time. They also discuss the Nub and Midichlorians.
Has the EU grown too big, and has this caused issues with keeping the mystery? And, be honest, do you have time to re-read Star Wars books you especially liked if you’re also trying to read all Star Wars books as they come out? If you’re behind in reading them, does that mean you’ll be spoiled, and lose interest? Ah the pressures of being an expanded universe fan, keeping up the StarWarsdashians!
They also discus the clone conundrum,
and Jason Solo’s 5 year journey.
Hope you enjoy this episode of Star Wars Beyond the Films, and may the Force be with you always!
Top Ten Coolest Clones from The Clone Wars TV Series
The Clone Wars is coming back on Friday! In anticipation, let’s give a little love to the clones. Everyone loves Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan, but are we forgetting who the real stars of the show are? It is called The Clone Wars, not The Jedi Wars. We have had plenty of clone-centric episodes in this series, and many of the clones have stood out and become fan favorites themselves.
Warning: This post does contain spoilers including certain character deaths from The Clone Wars TV series.
The clone known as 99 was thought to be defective and was regulated to maintenance work on Kamino. While he was there, he became familiar with the members of Domino Squad and even talked Hevy out of leaving the Grand Army of the Republic. When push came to shove, 99 showed that he was more valuable than anyone thought he could be. When Kamino was attacked, 99 used his knowledge of the armory to help the other clones stay equipped throughout the battle. Giving his life in the defense of Kamino, 99 gained the respect of the other clones he fought beside.
What sets him apart? Considered a “bad batcher”, 99 looked very different compared to the other clones. He stood much shorter, was hunched over, and appeared to have aged further.
What episodes is he in? You can see 99 in the Season 3 episodes “Clone Cadets” and “Arc Troopers”.
9. Boba Fett
This one may come as a bit of a surprise, but Boba was as much a clone as any of the others. In The Clone Wars we get to see him post watching his father die and pre bounty hunter in armor. He was basically a kid who had a lot of pent up anger toward the Jedi, specifically Mace Windu. In the show he pretended he was a clone cadet to get close to Windu to try and kill him. His plan (Or was it Aurra Sing’s plan?) eventually failed and he was captured. I have a feeling he won’t be in prison too long, and we will see a return of Boba Fett. Is he still too young to fit into that armor?
What sets him apart? Boba Fett was still young so he looked like the young clone cadets much more than the older troopers. He was distinctive because of his longer hair, looking much like he did in Attack of the Clones.
What episodes is he in? You can see Boba Fett in the Season 2 episodes “Death Trap”, “R2 Come Home”, and “Lethal Trackdown”.
8. Cut Lawquane
With an army as big as the clone army there are bound to be deserters. Cut Lawquane deserted shortly after the Battle of Geonosis when a transport he was on was shot down. He soon married and settled down, but it wasn’t long until the war found him again. While on a mission to track down General Grievous, Captain Rex was severely injured. The other clones brought Rex to a local farm to recover and it just happened to be Lawquane’s farm. Rex initially saw Cut as a coward but soon learned that Cut’s choice to leave the army was a choice to not kill for a living. This opened questions in Rex’s mind about loyalty and free will, themes that have been revisited in the current season. Rex and Cut eventually had to fight along-side of each other to repel an attack on the farm. Having a new-found respect for Cut, Rex decided not to report him as a deserter and let him live in peace with his family.
What sets him apart? Cut Lawquane no longer wore the armor of a clone which made him very distinctive. He also had a receding hairline and longer, reddish hair.
What episodes is he in? You can see Cut Lawquane in the Season 2 episode “Deserter”.
The Clone Wars has introduced us to many clones, but no group of clones stand out more than Domino Squad. Season 1 episode “Rookies” was a fan favorite and introduced us to the squad of rookie clones who had been stationed at a listening post on the Rishi moon. Hevy was the aggressive clone of the group and loved big weapons. When an invading fleet came and the listening post was attacked by Separatist commando droids the clones were forced to escape their post. In their attempt to reclaim the station Hevy was trapped inside. He decided to sacrifice himself and destroy the station, destroying the invading droids as well as getting the attention of the Republic. The other clones in the squad like Echo and Fives may have gone on to great things, but it was Hevy who allowed for them to escape the moon alive. Oh, and Rex and Cody were there too, so he pretty much saved their lives as well.
What sets him apart? Hevy was on his first off-world assignment so he hadn’t done any customizing of his armor yet. He still had the basic Jango Fett haircut but did sport a couple tattoos that came from either side of the back of his neck and ended at his cheekbones.
What episodes is he in? Hevy was in the Season 1 episode “Rookies” and the Season 3 prequel episode “Clone Cadets”.
There are some moments in The Clone Wars that remind us that the clones are more than warriors, they are also human and have emotions. More than one of those moments included the clone, Waxer. Waxer along with his buddy Boil were a part of Ghost Company under the command of Obi-Wan Kenobi during the liberation of the planet of Ryloth. When they were separated from the other clones they ran into an orphan Twilek girl named Numa. Boil wanted to leave her behind, but Waxer had compassion on the girl and did not want her to be killed by the droids. Because of his kindness, Numa helped the clones find hidden, secret passages which led to the success of the mission on Ryloth. Waxer and Boil also were present at a battle on Geonosis where Kenobi’s transport was shot down, they fearlessly ran across the battlefield without cover to bring Kenobi back to safety. Sadly, Waxer had one of the most tragic deaths ever depicted on The Clone Wars. During the events on Umbara, because of treachery by a fallen Jedi, the clones were tricked into firing on each other. Waxer was mortally wounded. Upon learning that he had possibly killed some of his brothers, he shed a tear as he died. I may have shed a tear too. Ok, I did.
What sets him apart? Waxer had a completely shaved head with a bit of hair beneath his lower lip. He kept track of his droid kills with markings on his helmet and shoulder guard. He also added a cartoon illustration of Numa on his helmet to honor her.
What episodes is he in? Waxer’s major appearances are in the Season 1 episode “Innocents of Ryloth”, the Season 2 episode “Landing at Point Rain”, and the Season 4 episode “Carnage of Krell”.
Echo and Fives were the only two members of Domino Squad to survive the events at the Rishi moon (see #7). After the listening station was destroyed, the two clones were inducted into the 501st Legion. Eventually, they were both involved in the defense of the planet Kamino (see #10) and because of their actions there they we made ARC troopers (becoming an ARC trooper meant you got the cool armor). We had been following these clones since Season 1 and it was great to see them get to this level. Then, The Citadel story arc came, and it was time for another Domino to fall. Echo and Fives were both part of a team sent to the Citadel prison to free Jedi Master Even Piell and Captain Tarkin. When trying to escape the prison, the group was pinned down by heavy fire from a laser canon. Echo tried to make a run for the shuttle to give the group a chance for escape, but the shuttle was destroyed killing Echo in the process. Many fans were not happy to see Echo go out this way, as he had become a fan favorite. I guess not all clones can die in a heroic fashion. Here is what Dave Filoni had to say about it.
What sets him apart? Echo didn’t show his individuality with tattoos or a haircut. His armor did have a unique marking, a hand print in rishi eel blood given to him by Captain Rex while they were on the Rishi moon. This may be my favorite clone armor marking.
What episodes is he in? Echo can be seen in the Season 1 episode “Rookies” and the Season 3 episodes “Clone Cadets”, “ARC Troopers”, “The Citadel”, and “Counterattack”.
Hardcase was a member of the 501st Legion. He was an aggressive clone who preferred a Z-6 rotary cannon to a normal blaster. He claimed that he was hyperactive because there was a leak in his cloning tank. Hardcase was part of the group of 501st clones that went looking for General Grievous’s escape pod that landed on the planet Saleucami. He was instrumental in making sure Captain Rex survived after being shot by sniper fire. Later in the war, Hardcase was with the 501st when they attacked the planet Umbara. During the battle, along with clones Jesse and Fives, Hardcase disobeyed orders from Jedi General Krell and flew Umbaran starfighters up to destroy a Separatist supply ship. The plan was to fly inside the ship and take out the main reactor a la little Anakin. Once in the ship, Hardcase’s starfighter was damaged, and he ordered the other clones to fly to safety. He manually ejected the missle tube from his fighter and maneuvered it into the reactor area. Throwing the missile into the reactor, he said “Live to fight another day, boys. Live to fight another day.” The ship exploded, killing him, but allowing the rest of the 501st to continue their attack on the capital city of Umbara.
What sets him apart? Hardcase had a shaved head and a tattoo that ran from the back of his head, over the top of his head, and over his right eye. He also had a tattoo pattern on his chin.
What episodes is he in? You can see Hardcase in the Season 2 episode “The Deserter” and the Season 4 episodes “Darkness on Umbara”, “The General”, and “Plan of Dissent”.
Fives was the last surviving member of Domino Squad. He was involved in the events at the Rishi moon and the defense of Kamino. Because of his heroics on Kamino he, along with squad-mate Echo, was given ARC Trooper status. As the war raged on, Fives was temporarily assigned to the 501st to help with the attack on Umbara. During this battle, the Jedi General Krell made numerous tactical blunders and Fives was the loudest voice in questioning his command. Fives, along with clones Jesse and Hardcase, directly disobeyed orders from Krell, and even though their actions were successful, Fives and Jesse were to be executed as punishment. The other clones did not carry out the execution though, and it was soon discovered that Fives was right about Krell the whole time. The Jedi was under the influence of the Dark Side and was purposely sending the clones to their deaths.
What sets him apart? Fives wore the armor of the elite ARC Troopers and had a small “5” tattoo on the right side of his forehead.
What episodes is he in? Fives has been in 10 episodes of The Clone Wars so far, “Rookies” from Season 1, “Clone Cadets”, “ARC Troopers”, and the Citadel story arc from Season 3, and the Umbara/Krell story arc from Season 4.
Clone Commander Cody is one of the clones we knew very well before The Clone Wars show started. He was in Revenge of the Sith and had appeared in novels and comics. In The Clone Wars, he is the Clone Commander mostly seen with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Cody was with Obi-Wan at the liberation of Ryloth, at Point Rain, tracking Grievous on Saleucami, and transporting Duchess Satine on the Coronet. He was also with Captain Rex at the Rishi moon and at the defense of Kamino. These are just a handful of adventures he has been a part of in The Clone Wars. Cody was a loyal commander for Kenobi, but unfortunately his loyalty to the Republic and following orders meant more to him. As we saw in Revenge of the Sith, when Order 66 went down Cody didn’t hesitate in shooting Kenobi in the back.
What sets him apart? Cody had customized armor with orange markings. His visor and shoulder antenna were a couple things that made his armor unique. He didn’t have tattoos or a special haircut but did have some scaring around his left eye.
What episodes is he in? If my count is correct, Cody has appeared in 19 episodes of The Clone Wars. Some of his more memorable appearances were in the Season 1 episodes “Rookies” and “The Hidden Enemy”, Season 2 episodes “Legacy of Terror” and “Voyage of Temptation”, the Season 3 Citadel story arc, and a whole bunch of others.
Without a doubt, Rex is the clone we’re supposed to root for in The Clone Wars. He is almost as important a character as Obi-Wan, Anakin, or Ahsoka. He is brave, loyal, heroic, compassionate, and, aside from the weird cat ears, he has pretty cool armor. He has survived run-ins with Asajj Ventress, commando droids, a dark Jedi general, and even a rishi eel. He is a dead-eye with a blaster and even survived a sniper shot to the chest. He is a clone’s clone and is everything you could want in a hero character. The most intriguing thing about Rex though is that we don’t know his fate. Will he turn on the Jedi during Order 66? Will he survive the war? Will he stay true to his friends and refuse to follow Order 66 then start a life of his own? My guess is we will find out in Season 7… or 8.
What sets him apart? Rex had extremely short cropped hair that is dyed blond. His armor had markings in 501st blue. Some unique aspects of his armor are the pauldron on his left shoulder and the rangefinder on his helmet. He preferred to carry twin DC-17 hand blasters.
What episodes is he in? Rex is in 40 episodes of The Clone Wars. Most recently he was featured in the Season 4 Umbara/General Krell story arc.
Keeli – Such a wasted clone design. Keeli was a dual blaster wielding clone who went down fighting.
Gree – Another Ep 3 clone. Gree had a double mohawk hair design and kicked Argyus’s butt.
Wolffe - Cybernetic eye, awesome scar, great armor design.
Boil - Waxer’s buddy. Sweet mustache.
Jesse - Most normal clone name. Best clone tattoo by far, the Republic cog tattooed across his face.
Who are your favorite clones? Let us know in the comments below.