It’s time to start a new year! Join Karl and Jason as they sit down to discuss the value of friendship as shown to us through the Star Wars saga! From the iconic relationship between R2D2 and C-3PO to the dysfunctional friendship of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, your hosts talk about how good friendship can lead to the redemption of a galaxy! So sit back, relax, and usher in this great new year in the Lair!
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.
The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 1 Review
First of all, welcome back to our weekly review of The Clone Wars here on the Star Wars Report! After much anticipation, season five of The Clone Wars is underway, beginning with a tale of pirates, evil plans and lots of cool lightsaber action. You could say that the premiere of The Clone Wars season five is off to a great start, minus some bad scheduling on the part of the network.
In the beginning of the episode we are reacquainted with the Sith, dynamic duo of Savage Opress and Darth Maul who are raiding ships in order to fulfill Maul’s mysterious plan that involves uniting the underworld under the banner of the Sith. I prefer that premise for a Maul story-line over what I thought they were going to do with him: essentially send him after Kenobi and then kill him off. That may still happen, but his secret agenda combined with the mystery still surrounding Maul and his background makes for something possibly hugely impactful in the Star Wars universe. What it is I do not yet know. Could he be after the Jedi? After the Sith? Maybe even both? If this allows us to get an entire season of Maul traversing the underworld, interacting with all sorts of scum and villainy in the Star Wars galaxy, I’ll be perfectly happy with season five. What we’ll actually get will probably be just that combined with a sophisticated plot, amazing combat scenes, and really good animation.
What was really insightful is how the different characters react to the threat of Maul and his plans. We have Kenobi, who is trying to see the situation as more than just your average evil plan. He believes there is something larger at work in the underworld as he states in the end of the episode. We also have the perspective of Palpatine, who’s attempt to keep the Jedi away from the whole thing hints at a few possibilities. That ploy could mean he’s going to take care of Maul himself, seeing Maul as a threat to his power, and to his role as a Sith Lord. The second possibility could mean that even Maul is just a pawn in Palpatine’s ultimate plan, whether Maul knows it or not. How Savage’s character will play out has the potential to be just as complex. While he’s found his brother, completing his purpose in season 3, what could happen to him now? Something tells me he doesn’t want to be Maul’s apprentice, but I doubt he’d openly betray his brother either, at least not anytime soon.
While I greatly enjoyed speculating about what Maul and Savage were up to, what made this episode so cool was Hondo. Hondo has always been a great character, but for some reason has never been this well written. I think I could watch an entire series about Hondo after seeing him in this episode! He was witty, he was clever, he acted like a real pirate and I perceived him as an influential leader to his kind rather than just some other, two dimensional, villain type character. I also thought bringing back a character that has been so well liked throughout the show since season one was a great idea, and a great place to start if this season is going to be centered around the underworld (At least for Maul’s story.) There haven’t been too many characters out there that have been on both good terms with, and enemy of, the Jedi. This I think makes him a valuable part of the show. I hope he comes up again in this season, as I really think they perfected The Clone Wars’ resident pirate character.
While I thought this episode set up a lot of interesting and fun things to come for the rest of the season, I can’t help but complain about the time-slot. First of all, Friday nights are the perfect time to watch things as a family right at the end of the school/work week, in my opinion. The Clone Wars was an event to look forward to at the end of a long day. Changing that to Saturday morning just feels like Cartoon Network wanted it out of the way for their other shows. I’m no longer able to watch the series in HD because it airs at 6:30 A.M. with my cable. If Saturday is one of the only days I can sleep in, there’s no way I’m going to go out of my way to see it during it’s air time. I know for a fact I’m not really going to have as much fun as when I’m watching it with my family on Friday night. I’ll just be half asleep and forget the episode in an hour. It’s unfortunate that I’m going to be missing out on the HD The Clone Wars episodes this season and instead have to watch it entirely online on starwars.com. Maybe I’m the only one with this problem, but I’m sure there are others out there who feel the same way. Hopefully it’ll get switched back by mid-season or sooner.
Anyways, sorry for the rant but I feel it detracts from my viewing experience to either have to be up quite early on a weekend, or watching it in less quality on starwars.com, and therefore deserved comment. Other than that, I think you already know I thought it was a great start to the season, and I can’t wait to see what happens next week! Be sure to check back every week for these reviews, and don’t forget to comment below to tell us what you thought of the episode! Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you!
Season 5 of The Clone Wars starts this Saturday and fans like me who have been following the show since the very beginning are extremely excited. But maybe you are new to The Clone Wars. Maybe you saw the mind blowing trailer for Season 5 and thought I really want to see Darth Sidious kick some butt but I have no idea what is going on in the show. There have been 88 episodes of the show so far, not to mention the theatrical movie release, so it would almost impossible to catch completely up before Saturday.
Well you don’t have to watch all 88 episodes. Based on what we have learned so far about Season 5, I have come up with a list of 17 episodes that should cover the major players and plotlines important to understanding what is going on in Season 5. These aren’t necessarily the best episodes that The Clone Wars has to offer (although some on the list are great) but these 17 episodes should get a new watcher or even a fan who needs a refresh ready for the new season.
Season 1 Episodes 11 and 12: “Dooku Captured” and “Gungan General”
Most of Season 1 of The Clone Wars was really hit and miss for me. It seemed the show was trying to find its footing and really wasn’t sure who its target audience was. The animation was still an obvious work in progress. There were some episodes I enjoyed and a bunch I really didn’t care for. Admittedly these episode are two that weren’t my favorites especially Gungan General. The reason I have them on the list is they are the episodes that introduce us to the great character Hondo Ohnaka. Hondo is a Weequay pirate who has a run in with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Count Dooku in these episodes and becomes a recurring character in future seasons. Based on the Season 5 trailers we will be seeing even more of Hondo.
Season 2 Episode 4: “Senate Spy”
Ok. Bear with me here. This one wasn’t one of my favorite episodes but I believe it will be important to Season 5. This episode introduces us a former love interest of Padme’s and shows us how jealous Anakin can get. Judging by some preview clips that were shown, Rush Clovis will be returning to The Clone Wars in Season 5. It will be very interesting to see what his role will be and if Anakin can keep himself from strangling him.
Season 2 Episodes 12, 13, and 14: “The Mandalore Plot”, “Voyage of Temptation”, and “Duchess of Mandalore”
When these episodes were announced many a fanboy head exploded. The Mandalorians are coming to The Clone Wars! We were introduced to a new version of the Mandalorians than we were used to though. The main Mandalorians were pacifists. Huh? Inconsistencies with existing canon aside, these were some very solid episodes. We do get to see some Mando warriors in action using jetpacks and rockets and all the other stuff we always wanted to see Boba Fett use in Return of the Jedi. We are also introduced to the character of Pre Vizsla, who will have a prominent role in some of the major plot points in Season 5. Oh, and we are also introduced to Obi-Wan’s former “girlfriend”, now the Duchess of Mandalore, who will also be featured again in Season 5.
Season 2 Episode 17: “Bounty Hunters”
This episode tells the story of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka helping a group of Felucian farmers learn to stand up for themselves. Who are they defending themselves against? Why pirates led by Hondo Ohnaka, the bad guy we love to love. The Jedi are assisted by a group of bounty hunters which include the female Zabrak Sugi and the fan favorite Embo. Both Embo and Sugi can be seen in the Season 5 trailers and clips that have been released so far. Interestingly Embo doesn’t seem to be so benevolent anymore since the one clip shows him trying to hunt down Anakin, Padme, and Rush Clovis.
Season 2 Episode 22: “Lethal Trackdown”
This episode is one of my personal favorites. It is actually the finale of Season 2 of The Clone Wars and is the final episode of a three part arc. But you can get everything you need to know about the first two episodes in the 30 second recap at the beginning of the episode. There is so much cool in this episode including Boba Fett, Slave I, Plo Koon, Aurra Sing, and Bossk, but the reason I have included it on this list is because it gave us further characterization of the pirate Hondo Ohnaka. Maybe he isn’t such a bad guy after all?
Season 3 Episode 10: Heroes on Both Sides
Another character who has been featured in clips from Season 5 is Lux Bonteri. Lux was introduced to us in this episode as the son of Separatist politician Mina Bonteri. Lux is near in age to Ahsoka and there is some subtle flirting. Look for a budding relationship between the characters in future episodes.
Season 3 Episodes 12, 13, and 14: “Nightsisters”, “Monster”, and “Witches of the Mist”
For me, this is where the show really hit its stride. The animation is markedly better at this point in the series and the action in this trilogy is amazing. I LOVE these episodes. We have seen the character of Asajj Ventress in previous episodes but these episodes are where we really get to know her. We are also introduced to the very important character of Savage Opress. He is like Darth Maul on steroids. Literally. My guess is both Ventress and Opress will be playing major roles in the upcoming season.
Season 4 Episode 14: A Friend in Need
Remember earlier when we were talking about Lux Bonteri? Well he is back in this episode and he has a chip on his shoulder. Of course Ahsoka is featured as well so we can see some progress in their relationship. This episode also gives us more Mandalorian action and more of the character Pre Vizsla who will feature prominently in Season 5. A brand new character who is introduced in this episode is the female Mando named Bo-Katan. We don’t get much of her in this episode other than seeing her really cool armor design, but based on clips from Season 5 we will be seeing her in an expanded role. This episode also contains the single coolest lightsaber move in the entire series. Watching this episode is worth that alone.
Season 4 Episodes 19, 20, 21, and 22: “Massacre”, “Bounty”, “Brothers”, and “Revenge”
This is the 4-part season finale of Season 4 of The Clone Wars and the latest episodes released so far. The first two episodes, Massacre and Bounty, are important for further characterization of Asajj Ventress. She is no longer a one dimensional bad girl and it is hard to tell exactly where her loyalties lie. In a Season 5 trailer we get a number of clips of Ventress in a disguise fighting Ahsoka. It will be very interesting to see how things get to that point.
In the final two episodes, Brothers and Revenge, we get the return of Savage Opress and more importantly the return of his brother *SPOILER ALERT* Darth Maul. Yes Maul lived through being cut in half and he is out for revenge. From everything we see about Season 5 and from things that the creators have said in interviews, Darth Maul will play a very big role in Season 5 and his brother will be right there beside him. If you don’t watch any other episodes in this list at least watch these four before starting Season 5.
17 episodes isn’t that much. If you start today you can watch 3 or 4 of these episodes a day (they are only 22 minutes each) and be caught up by Saturday. If you don’t have the DVDs or Blu-rays you can always buy the individual episodes on iTunes and watch them that way. Go have a Clone Wars marathon and get ready for what looks like an amazing Season 5!
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!