Tag Archives: star wars the clone wars

Action, Politics, and a Really Cool General: “The Soft War” Review

The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 4 Review

Hello and welcome back to yet another The Clone Wars review here on the Star Wars Report! In The Soft War, our rebels of Onderon attempt to save the former king from execution to gain the support of the people in the most substantial episode of the arc, and possibly even the season!

Like last week, the rebels have been trying to get the people to back their efforts against the Separatists. Now the rebels are going more public with their efforts. First by broadcasting their intentions, followed by an attempt to save the king from execution. The theme of the episode, I found, was about finding a new approach. Previous attacks by the rebels have made the citizens unsure about their movement, but saving their king from execution really resonated with the people, including some government officials, and got the rebels the support they needed.

What made this episode so great was a new character, General Tandin. Even when he fully supported the Separatist regime, he had more logical answers and effective solution ideas than any other character. If he really was a villain, he would’ve been a true challenge for the rebels. It was the droid that seemed to stomp on all of his ideas, which brought in another conflict into this arc that was my favorite concept so far. It basically explored what would happen if you threw a droid general and a human general in a room together. What is a machine’s logic is directly compared to a human’s when put into the same situation? In the series so far, none of the Separatists really seem to question any orders when they are given. There aren’t too many Separatist tacticians out there; that’s probably why they trained droids to do all the strategy for them. So it’s interesting to see the one Separatist who knows his stuff  well enough to challenge a droid general.

Sort of stemming from the ending of last week’s conclusion where Saw is upset that Steela was named leader of the group, the team members aren’t as happy with each other as before. This sets up Saw’s plan to go alone and try to save the king before the execution. He fails, but I thought it wasn’t completely unnecessary to show this outside of showing more of Saw’s instinct. It gave the king a chance to learn more about the rebels before the execution, whereas before he seemed confused about who the rebels were, what their intentions are, and why Rash believed he was in league with them. Saw also gets to learn why the king was overthrown, which is a pivotal part in convincing Tandin to join the Rebels, and without him, the whole movement would have failed. So now I can see what Saw’s importance is as a character.

The climax we saw was a big game changer, starting with Tandin’s rescue and betrayal of Rash. The rebels will now have an entire military to fight the Separatists in the next episode. They also managed to rescue the king and gain the support of the people. I found it odd that they didn’t try to reclaim the city’s capitol right then in what seemed like a coup. They ran away, leaving King Rash in control of the palace with the droids. What was so pivotal though is that Ahsoka didn’t need to get involved. Obviously, the rebels passed the test of the Jedi of whether the tactics they used on Onderon would work on their own without Jedi interference. It’s a huge stepping stone that will have to be proved on a much larger scale by next episode, where the Separatists will try to take total military control of the planet.

That’s going to wrap up my review for this week! I loved this episode; it had it all. Good action, good plot development, and it still leaves you at a cliffhanger. Please let us know what you thought of the episode by leaving a comment below! Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you…always.

-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

 

Insurrection Inside Iziz: “Front Runners” Review

The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 3 Review

Hello and welcome back to another The Clone Wars review here on the Star Wars Report! This review is will be reaching you after the next episode has already aired, so this will be a good opportunity to look specifically at what will be important for The Soft War that aired just a few days ago. So, let’s dive into the episode and find out what worked, what didn’t, and what has changed over the course of the arc so far! This review is about the episode Front Runners, where the rebels test their tactics inside occupied Onderon, trying to gain enough momentum to free it from Separatist rule.

A War on Two Fronts ended with the rebels infiltrating the capitol city of Iziz, planning on taking the fight to the droids. This episode begins with the rebels doing just that, and continues throughout most of the episode. During all this, they keep bringing up the need to gain the people’s support, which seems to become the main issue for the next few episodes. If you remember last week I talked about introducing the fine line between revolutionaries and terrorists, and now by watching the episode, I thought it was very cool how they handled it. They’ve infused the two to be one and the same. The fine line between what these rebels are, terrorists or revolutionaries, depends entirely on how they are viewed by the people of Onderon. It creates not only a conflict between the rebels and the Separatist government, but also a political struggle between the new king, and the old one. Who can better gain the will of the people when the two forces are colliding in the streets of Iziz?

Since we were introduced to those political struggles in the episode, we were also introduced to the former King Denup, as well as the new king. Hearing just the perspectives of Denup as opposed to the king’s almost typical totalitarian king type personality made it a little more interesting than the usual discussions with Separatist leaders. Denup was able to sum up the ideals of the episode nicely, making most of his views about the “will of the people” on deciding who wins, rather than personally objecting to the new king’s rule out of rage, or even accepting total defeat.

Most of the ongoing character arcs such as the situation between Lux and Ahsoka were not in the forefront of the episode, but there’s really one thing I would like to point out. I liked seeing that Anakin was relating with Ahsoka, and showed that he understood what she was feeling by offering his wisdom. Ahsoka has grown so much as a Jedi that it’s rare that we see the Jedi teacher in Anakin much anymore when on a mission with his padawan. It also shows that there’s still room for Ahsoka to develop and learn. I sure hope there are more moments like these in the season, it worked very well.

Lastly, I have been loving the designs for the people of Iziz. They have a very Roman feel to them, especially with Rash. Nothing says supreme ruler like designing a character that looks like Caesar. Random thought: the rebels really stood out compared with all the citizens, which was quite odd. You would think they’d be spotted immediately as rebels since they’re the only ones wearing armor on a planet where the civilians all wear a similar type of non-armored clothing. Even if the droids can’t distinguish them, the citizens should probably be able to.

And that’s going to wrap up this review! All in all, I liked the episode; it built on some cool things that we’ve never really delved into before here and there, but overall I felt like not enough major events happened that really impacted the story arc. I know this is a week late, so looking at the other episodes we’ve seen so far in this arc, what do you guys think of Front Runners in comparison? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you…always.

-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

 

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

 

Hunting For Fighter Pods

Hunting For Fighter Pods

The month of September was spent looking for my new favorite line of Star Wars toys. The Star Wars fighter pods series is now in its 3rd wave as of this month in the United States. Series 1 originally was released in February of 2012 and the 2nd wave began hitting stores in August 2012. I began hunting them down in September and my quest was to find as many of Series 2 as possible before the month was out. I consider myself very lucky because I actually was able to get my hands on every figure that was not in a special exclusive pack.

In the midst of hunting down Series 2 I also was on a quest to complete my Series 1 collection. I was actually able to find the last set that I needed to complete the set of vehicle launchers, the Jedi Starfighter. I am missing a few figures from Series 1 still but not many. The one thing that is hindering that collection is the exclusive Darth Maul tin that can be found at Target. I have been looking at my Target stores but I have yet to find the tin. For obvious reasons the tin is needed so that I can complete the collection however, I really want the pack for the Darth Maul figures and Ziro the Hutt.

This is how I went about collecting Series 2. I first went out to a Target that I know does not get a lot of toy traffic just to see if they even had any fighter pods in stock on the shelf. To my surprise they actually had quite a few of the 4 packs. They did not have the blind mystery bags or any of the vehicle packs. So I grabbed a few and began checking them off of the checklist that they give you in the package. The next time I went out to get some I went to a bigger Target that was more likely to have more product but also gets shopped more. Turns out the selection was pretty sparse but they did have mystery bags, the 4 packs and that is where I found my series 1 Jedi Starfighter. I picked these up and was very excited to open the mystery bags. There are 6 exclusive figures in this wave that can be found in the mystery bags and I was fortunate enough to get 2 of these figures. I picked up 4 mystery bags and I got 2 exclusive figures. The 4 packs I got were mostly new figures but it was at this point that my duplicates started accumulating. I made a video to show the opening of the mystery bag figures and it can be found right here.

The next outing to find the ominous fighter pods was with my 11 year old nephew. We first went to Toys R Us and that was a pretty disappointing trip. Not only did they only have a few series 1 fighter pods but their selection of Star Wars merchandise was not that impressive. I have begun to really not hold much stock in Toys R Us or at least the one closest to me as it is always trashed and does not have much in stock. They did have the Ewok set though which I almost bought. My only reasons for not picking it up are because I am on a fighter pod only mission.

From here we went to a different Target and we were able to find a few 4 packs of Series 2 and the BARC Speeder Bike/Pirate Speeder Bike Pack. The next day and last day of the month I went one more time to one of the Targets I had been to already and I found a spectacular find, Series 3 mystery bags! There were only 2 but I was shocked and very excited so I picked them up and 2 more 4 packs.

These last 4 packs would complete the collection of individual figures with hologram Palpatine and a Shock Trooper. It is safe to say that the one major dealer I did not go to was Wal-Mart and had I gone to  one I may have been able to find the other vehicle packs that I am missing and possibly more blind bags. I believe I am missing 8 figures in total from Series 2. The figures I am missing are exclusive to the vehicle packs and the mystery bags. I am also fortunate to have my hands on 4 figures from Series 3. All this means for me is that October may be a month of hunting down Series 3 and I am still looking for that Darth Maul Tin from series 1.

The most interesting thing I found with Series 2 was that there is a variant of Cad Bane. I first found out about this via Adam Pawlus at Galactic Hunter.com he posted some pictures of it so I knew to be on the lookout and I was actually able to get my hands on both versions.

It is still unclear if this was done on purpose but the version that has silver guns and silver bands on his hat was in a 4 pack and the version with black guns was in the speeder bike pack. However, I did see the Cad Bane with black guns in a 4 pack as well. If you can find both I would definitely try to get them both.

It was a fun month of hunting but it looks like I am in for another month of it with wave 3. I will keep you updated over at Fangirl Next Door with videos of my collection, pictures and updates. If you are looking for these cute little guys then happy hunting they sure are fun to knock over!

Teresa Delgado

Star Wars nerd at heart and a pop culture fanatic. Fangirl blogger, movie and book reviewer. Avid reader and film goer.

I love penguins!

Mauling Everything Savagely: “Revival” Review

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.

Back in black!

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!

~ Ryan