Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TV Report: Clone Wars

Is anyone out there still watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars? I'm enjoying this show as much as I ever did. Some of the recent political storylines have been a bit obvious and gone on a little too long, but this most recent story arc really redeemed the direction of this season for me.

This arc had a lot of things going in it--the return of Hondo (a great character because he truly has no allegiances), the return of General Grievous (a great villain that the show never overuses), Ahsoka being in the lead--but it also had a bit of lightheartedness after what's been a pretty dour half-season.


It involves Jedi younglings, so I know most people are out right away. The first of the four episodes introduces us to a group of younglings who go to Ilum, led by Ahsoka, to enter a cave in a Jedi rite of passage. Once in the cave, they have to use aspects of their faith in the Force to find a crystal to power the lightsabers they will have to build. The episode would have been great as a one-off, but they build it through four episodes and introduce us to a wonderful character who I'm very pleased to have as part of the Star Wars universe: Huyang.

Voiced by David Tennant as a sort of cross between See Threepio and Mr. Ollivander from the Harry Potter books, he's a droid master who provides instruction for the younglings as they build their lightsabers. The great sequence where he teaches the younglings about using materials that will make them feel strong and confident in the force--for example, the Wookiee youngling Gungi builds a lightsaber made of strong wood--is very much like the wand shop scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They show admirable restraint by not just having Huyang say "The lightsaber chooses the Jedi, younglings." But, seriously, it's a great scene, and one of a too-small number of scenes on the show of late that really feel like the Star Wars universe is a magical place. Yoda teaching the younglings to find their crystals was the same. It was nice to have a break from the political murkiness and the darkness of Darth Maul's resurrection and just enjoy some Jedi children learning about how profound the Force can be. It's like watching a child watch Star Wars for the first time. (Which is an experience I highly recommend.)

Also: Wookiee youngling. That was just cool. There was an Ithorian youngling, too, named Byph. I don't know why I love Ithorians, but damn, I sure do love Ithorians.

I wonder if Byph is the same Ithorian Jedi who fought General Grievous in Genndy Tarkovsky's Clone Wars cartoon...

*Checks Wookieepedia*

No, that guy was named Roron Corobb.

Good. Byph is still a youngling and I'm comfortable not knowing how he dies yet. Because, you know... all of these Jedi are going to die. Even my beloved Ahsoka Tano. And the show keeps toying with the fact that I know that...

4 comments:

Kal said...

I have been ranting about how great this show is for years. It's like they left Lucas out of loop and as a result the focus went back onto character. All that stuff with the Jedit Younglings has been terrific and I could watch an entire series staring just them despite the fact that they all will be dead soon.

Devilham said...

I have beeen LOVING this show...having just started watching it with my son (6 yrs old), we are really (or more to say I am really!) digging the story line as well. Ashoka is great, and I love it when she goes full on jedi, 2 sabres and force push...so cool. And your right about Hondo, he's a dangerous creature, and yet in this weeks episode he showed a bit of, I don't know if I'd call it honor, maybe humanity? Still felt he would let them all rot if it would have benefited him though. Great show, wish I had gotten on board sooner.

Jason said...

Personally, I like to think that not ALL the Jedi were exterminated... if we didn't see them die on-screen, that means they could be hiding somewhere, just as Obi-Wan and Yoda were. The Expanded Universe certainly had enough of them floating around, even if you discount two-thirds of the EU as crap. Which means, until I see Ahsoka get cut down by Vader, she's still alive and doing what she can to help people during the Dark Times of the Empire...

Hobgoblin238 said...

Nice review! Cannot wait for season 5 on DVD. Wish I knew how many it was going to run.