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SPOILER Angelman’s PT & Clone Wars viewing extravaganza

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' started by Angelman, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. StardustSoldier

    StardustSoldier Force Sensitive

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    This is a great idea for a thread. :)

    I want to rewatch the PT and TCW (and the rest of SW) again soon, so I may come back to this thread to report in.
     
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  2. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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    I watched through all of them and I found some bits and pieces in nearly every episode that I could relate to. Even if I have to admit that the quality difference between the first and last season is really huge. They did a lot of cool world building in TCW. The whole Rebels series is more in resonance with my own character though, so I'm not objective if I post, that Sabine, Ezra, Kanan & Company are the better "Cast and Crew" :D
     
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  3. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    The Mon Calamari Arc
    CW 401 – Water War: Alright. The Mon Cala king is mysteriously murdered and the Crown Prince (Lee-Char) isn’t accepted by the Quarrens. The Reps side with Mon Calamarians while the Quarrens receive Sep support. Civil war ensues. Despite this being a very fight’y episode, the politics and set-up is actually rather interesting.
    CW 402 – Gungan Attack: Meh. Reps ask Gungans to help with underwater warfare. Crown Prince Lee-Char doubts his own leadership. Loads and loads of fighting. Lee-Char finds his courage and leads his people. Beyond the rare character moments (featuring Lee-Char mostly) this episode is very boring.
    CW 403 - Name: Alright. Lee-Char & Ahsoka frees prisoners. Quarren boss realizes he’s been duped by the Seps who cares nothing for the Quarrens and gets his people to join Lee-Char. Quarren & Mon Calamari joint uprising and victory.

    The s4 opening arc was not my favorite thing. It had a lot of potential, and the technical efforts of pulling off an underwater arc must’ve been a milestone achievement for the team, but for me the story wasn’t all that interesting to be honest. My guess is that more effort went into the technical side of things while the writing was relegated mostly to uninspiring action beats.


    The Shadow Warrior Arc
    CW 404 – Shadow Warrior: Essential. Gungans suddenly allies with Seperatists to attack Thede! Turns out the Boss Lyonie (hey! What happened to Boss Nass?) is controlled by a mystical necklace. Great war-time intrigue and mysticism plot, topped off with an absolutely awesome Dooku & Magnaguards vs. Anakin fight in the finale. Star Wars at its best, this! (My guess is that lots of SW fans hate this episode 'cause Jar-Jar is in it, but this was really quite exellent)


    The Droid Arc
    CW 405 – Mercy Mission: Alright. R2-D2 & C3PO accompany clones on a mercy mission to Aleen. The droids trapped underground where angry ents dwell. Underworld gecko goddess gives eco-warning. Plus for great Aleena culture exposition.
    CW 406 – Nomad Droids: Alright. On their way home, R2 & C3PO crashes on an unknown world and are taken prisoners by the local mini-peoples. Turns out a bunch of Pit Droids are playing gods here, manipulating the locals *cough* Lilliputians *cough*. Much hilarity ensues. Pretty dumb episode, but quite charming and loads of fun.


    The Umbara Arc
    CW 407 – Darkness on Umbara: Alright. Battle over Expanse Region supply routes culminates in the Battle of Umbara. Cpt. Rex leads his men under the direction of Jedi Master General Krell who cares nothing of the troops. Interesting premise, but way too much random fighting for my taste.
    CW 408 – The General: Alright. Visually pleasing, but fighting, fighting, and more fighting; pixels shooting at pixels. Nothing changes; the premise is the same, the tensions are the same, the problems are the same. Nothing new is established.
    CW 409 – Plan of Dissent: Alright. More fighting. There’s a few more character moments in this one (Hardcase’s sacrifice and Five & Jesse’s desertion), pulling the conflict down to the character level. Ok.
    CW 410 – Carnage of Krell: Alright. Even more fighting. Clone companies are set up to attack each other. The plot thickens. Krell’s (not at all surprising) betrayal is revealed. End battle. After all this loss and pain and struggle, leading in betrayal and a dooming of the clones… the Republic sweeps in and win the battle after all, deus ex machina style (=conflicts mean nothing ‘cause the good guys are going to win no matter what; this could’ve been an arc to demonstrate that the Republic is in real trouble, but no).

    A solid arc, but it focuses on clone suffering and fighting at the expense of the core plot. It’s like if Saving Private Ryan was 2 hours of storming the beaches of Normandy and 30 minutes on the plot, rather than the other way around. You could cut most of the Umbara Arc content without losing anything, and it would’ve worked much better as a 2-episode arc focused on characters. All in all, alright.


    The Slavers Arc
    CW 411 - Kidnapped: Essential. The heroes are tricked and (in Kenobi’s case) captured, while trying to rescue the population of Kiros (Togruta colony), by Zygerrian slavers. Fantastic episode, with actual problems and some bad guys that can stand their own against the Jedi. A story is only as interesting and exciting as the bad guy (conflict) can make it, and this one sure does a great job!
    CW 412 – Slaves of the Republic: Essential. The heroes try various things, but everything fail. The Zygerrians see through their strategies and beats Kenobi & Anakin in battle. Anakin is given the choice to serve the Zygerrian queen as her loyal bodyguard or his friends will die.
    CW 413 – Escape from Kadavo: Essential. Kenobi, Rex, & Togrutans toil in slavery. Dooku arrives to acquire Anakin; Dooku in charge. Rescue missions and fighting; Republic forces arrive to save the day.

    Outstanding arc! This is SW writing at its best, with strong character arcs, interesting story beats, new faction introduced, real problems to overcome, and Anakin’s slide into darkness really, really earned. Probably my favorite arc thus far. The only grief I have with this is that I’m getting tired of the Reps pulling a deus ex machine victory in the end, cheapening the struggle (but that’s how CW roles, it seems – the goodies aren’t allowed to lose).



    The Friend in Need Arc
    CW 414 – A Friend in Need: Alright. Anakin & Padmé attend Seps & Reps peace-talks on Mandalore. Lux Benteri, son of deceased ex-senator Mina (see The Senate arc in s3) stand up to the Seps and is arrested. Dooku orders Lux’ execution, but Ahsoka rescues him and escape. Lux seek an alliance with the Death Watch to kill Dooku. Everything goes downhill from there. Ahsoka & R2 finally saves the day, but Lux sell them out by setting off in an escape pod.

    Great, beautiful-looking episode, but it doesn’t quite land where the set-up indicates. Still, decent effort.


    The Deception Arc (aka. Kenobi Undercover Arc)
    CW 415 – Deception: Alright. Kenobi fakes his own death to infiltrate the underworld to investigate an assassination plot against Councilor Palpatine. Anakin is left in the dark (so that he can become angry and slide into darkness). Disguised Kenobi infiltrates Cad Bane’s bounty hunter gang.
    CW 416 – Friends and Enemies: Essential. Disguised Kenobi joins badies on a heist. Anakin & Ahsoka goes on the hunt for Kenobi’s supposed killers (i.e. Kenobi’s new ID). Great stakes, great ‘acting’, great drama and lots of tension; Anakin’s flirting with darkness is quite excellent (although not quite earned as the reason for not telling Anakin about Kenobi’s death is a bit dumb – Anakin has been trusted with MUCH larger secrets before). It’s always great to see Palpatine manipulating Anakin.
    CW 417 – The Box: Alright. Disguised Kenobi and lots of other bounty hunters are put through a death-trap test to weed out the weaker links. Homage to “The Cube”. Completely unnecessary filler episode, but not bad. It has some great characters and nice scenes.
    CW 418 – Crisis on Naboo: Alright. Those bounty hunters who survived The Box go to Naboo to kill Palpatine at a ceremony. A rather convoluted attack occurs, which relies on some lazy writing to work, but ok. Lots of action.

    Overall a good arc. 415, 417 & 418 are just dressing for 416, but that one is RAD! Also, @Embo and His Pet Anooba is correct; Embo is a pretty darn cool character!


    The Ventress Arc
    CW 419 – Massacre: Alright. Ventress hides on Dathomir and is initiated as a Nightsister. Grievous attacks with a droid army. Mother Talzin makes a poppet from Dooku’s hair and tortures him with magick. The Nightsister eldest, Old Daka, releases the undead to fight. Nevertheless, Dathomir falls to the Sep attack. Talzin orders Ventress to go underground and start a new life.
    CW 420 – Bounty: Alright. Ventress joins Boba Fett’s gang of bounty hunters for a job to protect a monorail shipment. Ninjas are after it and fighting ensues. Turns out the cargo is actually the ninja people’s princess, who was kidnapped to be married off to a bad guy. Ventress & Boba does the right thing but falls out.

    Cool arc. Just a step on the path of Ventress's character arc, but pretty interesting developments.


    The Return of Maul Arc
    CW 421 – Brothers: Alright. Savage searches for his brother, Grievous at his heels. On a garbage planet, Savage has a dark fairy-tale experience (talking snake and all) as he finds a VERY broken Maul. Cool stuff; Maul is fantastically broken!
    CW 422 – Revenge: Alright. Savage brings Maul back to Mother Talzin. Maul is healed and gets new legs. Savage & Maul seeks revenge against the Jedi, and slaughter a lot of innocents + sends a taunting holo to Corruscant to get the Jedi’s attention. Kenobi & Ventress vs. Savage & Maul; K&V barely escapes.

    Alright arc. Nice plot and some powerful character moments


    THOUGHTS ON SEASON 4: The graphics have very much improved this season. This is particularly evident in movement, speed, and weight of characters and ships, etc. Huge leap forward, here. Also, this season was way more brutal and “mature” than what has gone before, so much so that it is almost jarring… as if we changed genres mid-show… but I definitely like the change. Great season!
     
    #43 Angelman, Feb 3, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  4. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Sensitive

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    mo
    a lot of people hate shadow warrior because gungans beat grievous, though i love this, because i dont want there to be a dumb species that is just incompetent.
     
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  5. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Agreed. The writing here was very strong, the stakes and tensions high, and... that end-fight was great! Very cool episode :)
     
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  6. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Resident Sand Hater

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    Ooh, I’m surprised that you thought Umbara was just alright. That’s usually one of people’s very TCW arcs. I definitely agree with you about The Slavers Arc though. From my point of view, it’s the second most underrated arc from the entire series (the first being the Crystal Crisis arc, since it was unfinished and is a little hard to find these days). It’s hands down one of the grittiest and darkest arcs of the entire show, and the animation is especially gorgeous in these episodes. Kiros and Kadavo both look amazing. My only qualm with this batch of episodes is that we don’t get enough focus on Ahsoka dealing with the fact that her people are being enslaved. It’s alluded to a couple times, but most of the focus is on Anakin and the Queen here.
     
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  7. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Umbara was a whole lot of beautiful fighting drawn out over 4 episodes with very little meat to it (most of which were bloody obvious within 1/3rd of the first episode). There were some interesting character developments and the premise is very strong, but the writing suffers for the benefit of things going boom. Nope, I thought this one was a big let down of what it could've been; this episode deserved to be a linchpin for the entire show! (But I understand that people who get more invested in the fighting than me thought this one was great).

    I also have a similar problem with the first arc of season 5, but that's for another time :)
     
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  8. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Here we are, at Season 5...
    This season, like the last, takes new strides forward in animation. Everything looks very vibrant and smooth, and the character edges a little more towards photorealism while remaining stylized still. Also, lots of good and evocative “camera work”.


    The Onderon Arc
    CW 502 – A War on Two Fronts: Alright. Onderon Seps gets some help from Anakin, Ahsoka, & Rex. Lux Bonteri is back and Saw Gerrera gets introduced. A bit boring and nothing new going on storywise; we actually spend over half the episode going over stuff the viewer already knows (for the benefit of new characters). Would’ve been meh if not for the impressive technical strides this season takes)
    CW 503 – Front Runners: Meh. Freedom fighting underway, supporting the deposed king vs. the Sep-backed usurper. Very weird writing where we’re happy to spend time watching people walking from point A to point B, and a much time is spent stalling and we go over the same stuff time and again. Typical sequence = we discuss plan of attack, cut to droids goofing about, cut back to heroes discussing the plan again, watch heroes walk from safehouse to action location, and now the heroes remind everyone of the plan a third time.
    [Checking, I discover that this poor mess was written by Chris Collins, one of the John Wick 3 writers, so that makes sense. Why does Hollywood continue to hire bad writers?]
    CW 504 – The Soft War: Meh. More of the same. We also get to see Saw Gerrera starting to go his own way. Also, the heroes had of a challenge in this one, which is good (saving the episode from an “Awful” rank).
    CW 505 – Tipping Points: Alright. Rightful king restored. The fighting continues as Reps won’t intervene in the affairs of a neutral planet. Anakin brings in Hondo Ohnaka for help (always a win!). End battle is though, Lux loses girlfriend, Ahsoka doubts herself, and Saw Gerrera is brutalized.
    Conclusion: High-staked concept with interesting characters absolutely destroyed by bad writing.


    The Younglings Arc
    CW 506 – The Gathering: Essential. Yoda & Ahsoka takes a bunch of younglings lightsaber-crystal hunting on Ilium. The kids all have strength and weaknesses, and face mortal danger. (Jeez, the Jedi are the worst! ;) ). All learn lessons and grow. Great world building and character moments <3
    CW 507 – A Test of Strength: Essential. New task; lightsaber crafting! Oh no, Hondo’s pirates attack! The kids, with Ahsoka & R2, outsmarts the pirates, but Ahsoka ends up captured. Great drama, character development, and good-old SW fun!
    CW 508 – Bound for Rescue: Alright. The youngling ship forced to land on Florum where the kids launches a rescue mission for Ahsoka. (We’re also treated to a beautiful cut-away space battle scene that rivals the opening of RotS). The kinds infiltrates Hondo’s camp disguised as circus acrobats.
    CW 509 – A Necessary Bond: Essential. Ahsoka & the kids escape but crash lands and are re-captured. Out of nowhere, Grievous appears and seizes Florum. Ahsoka & the youngling band rescues Hondo and escape on one of his ships.
    Conclusion: Just a fantastic arc that actually adds to Star Wars instead of being just a bunch of shiny filler stuff. Awesome!


    The D-Squad Arc
    CW 510 – Secret Weapons: Alright. Droids sent on a secret mission to steal a Sep Enigma Machine encryption module. Astromechs (including R2) and a funny new Pit Droid, but they’re lead by a tiny frog dude with a huge ego whose novelty value is quickly spent. The droids are great, the humor well-played, and the drama strong; if only this had been relevant for something bigger… (It seems that with TCW, everything must be random and nothing can matter to the bigger plot – actually, there is no bigger plot, just mostly a filler show to pass the time between AotC & RotS, with some noteworthy exceptions).
    CW 511 – A Sunny Day in the Void: Meh. Returning with the McGuffin, the droids crash lands on a desert planet (Abafar). R2 takes them all on a joyride. A completely unnecessary filler episode; we’re literally watching the droids trudge through a desert for an entire episode (you’ll lose nothing by skipping 511).
    CW 512 – Missing in Action: Alright. The droids arrive at a small town. There’s a clone here who doesn’t remember being a clone (set-up for Gregor). Gregor helps out and slays a bunch of Battle Droids and gets the gang on a ship off-planet. Like with 511, this is just a detour that you can easily skip, and Gregor’s introduction isn’t that important; watch it once, then skip it on re-watchings of TCW.
    CW 513 – Point of No Return: Alright. FINALLY returning with the encryption module, the droids find Battle Droids having taken over the Rep ship. R2 enlists several other droids to help and together they save the day
    Conclusion: Very interesting premise which falls through in execution. Lots and lots of forced slapstick and long stretches where nothing happens, but still, when it is good it is good. The end result is nothing special, but we do love R2.


    The Lawless Arc
    CW 501 – Revival: Essential. Maul & Savage wreaks havoc in the Outer Rim; Maul declares himself master and Savage his apprentice. Kenobi & Adi Gallia goes on the hunt. M&S recruits some Hondo pirates, and Hondo allies with the Jedi. Hondo re-recruits the traitorous pirates and M&S goes on the retreat; trying to fly, their ship crashes but no trace is found of M&S. Exciting, tension-filled, and high octane, and with loads of brilliant (Hondo) one-liners.
    CW 514 – Eminence: Alright. M&S are found by Death Watch and the two groups form an alliance, The Shadow Collective. Together, they bring the Black Sun and Pyke Syndicate to heel. The Hutts resist, however, and sends some familiar bounty hunters at the Shadow Collective. There is a big fight and most Hutts escape. Interrogating (and then murdering) a surviving Hutt, the Collective learns that the Hutts fled to Jabba’s palace. On Tatooine, Jabba bends the knee (is he like the last major Hutt standing?). With the Galactic Underworld now under their control, the Shaodw Collective sets their eyes on Mandalore. This one is a bit formulaic but effective enough; much action.
    CW 515 – Shades of Reason: Essential. As the Shadow Collective plot their attack, both Maul & Vizsla scheme to betray the other. With criminals now running wild on Mandalore, Vizsla confronts Duchess Satine in public and pleads the public to unite in war against the criminals. Satine is dethroned and jailed, and Vizsla turns on Maul and throws him in prison, too. The corrupt former Prime Minister, Almec, is put on the Mandalore throne as Vizsla’s puppet. Maul challenges Vizsla to single combat, which Vizsla can’t refuse; Vizsla dies and Maul claims power over Mandalore.
    CW 516 – The Lawless: Essential. Bo-Katan and her retinue refuses to bow to Maul and, together with Korkie and his teenage friends, rescues Satine. They don’t get far before being recaptured, but Satine manages to send a distress call to the Jedi Council on Coruscant. The Council won’t intervene, but Kenobi goes to rescue Satine nonetheless. Kenobi and Satine escapes only to be re-captured, and Maul murders Satine before Kenobi’s eyes. Bo-Katan frees Kenobi. Then Darth Sidious arrives on Mandalore, confronts M&S, killing the latter. Sidious spares Maul as he has “other uses” for him.
    Conclusion: Essential. A great, powerful Star Wars arc. This arc also causes Maul’s appearance in S:ASWS to make a lot more sense.


    The Wrong Jedi Arc
    CW 517 – Sabotage: Essential. Anakin & Ahsoka investigates a terrorist attack on the Jedi Temple. The Council dreads a rogue Jedi might be behind it, but the investigator droid on the case suspects a temple worker. The worker was full of explosive nano-bots, in effect a walking bomb, and his wife confesses to have fed it to him but refuse to say why. Mace Windu worries the war is growing unpopular with the Jedi blamed for the whole affair. This was a great crime puzzle episode, with real threat and consequences to the plot that informs and strengthens the PT.
    CW 518 – The Jedi Who Knew Too Much: Essential. Tarkin intervenes to insist the worker’s wife is tried by a military tribunal. Chancellor Palpatine want’s the Jedi’s role in the war reduced. The prisoner will only speak to Ahsoka, but when alone in the cell with her, the prisoner is Force choked by someone unseen, leaving Ahsoka to be named a terrorist suspect. Someone leaves a key-card outside Ahsoka’s cell and she, assuming it was Anakin, use it to escape, only to find loads of murdered clones about with her own lightsabers at the scene. She runs, but eventually meets up with Anakin who urges her to come with him and seek help from the Council; Ahsoka, no longer trusting anyone, refuses and runs off. This was a great mystical plot with strong character building; Ahsoka shines while Anakin grows darker.
    CW 519 – To Catch a Jedi: Essential. Ahsoka hides in the Coruscant under-city. Tarkin names her a terrorist, and the Council suspect her, too. Anakin & Plo Koon, each with their own clone squads, search for Ahsoka. She enlists Barris Offee’s help. Lots of running and escaping before Ahsoka runs into Ventress. Now a bounty hunter, Ventress first plan to turn Ahsoka in, but the rogue Jedi convinces her they’ve both been abandoned by their masters. Barriss sends Ahsoka to investigate a warehouse implicated in the bomb plot and Ventress takes her there. Ventress is ambussed by a female figure (Barriss) in dark robes who takes her lightsabers and disguise. Ahsoka loses her lightsabers fighting Barriss, but Barriss escapes. Anakin’s team find Ahsoka and stuns her; incriminating bomb plot evidence is also found. Again, a very strong episode with great action that matters and advance the story, and with meaningful character development.
    CW 520 – The Wrong Jedi: Alright. Ahsoka faces trial. Anakin (who’s sliding into darkness at this point) hasn’t given up and eventually captures Ventress who tells him about Barriss. Anakin finds and arrests Barriss, who is brought to trial. Barriss confesses she’s the terrorist, trying to hold the Jedi responsible for the war. Her name cleared, the Jedi Council apologizes to Ahsoka and calls her troubles her “great trial” (i.e. on the road to becoming Master). Ahsoka has had enough and quits the Jedi Order. This one was a bit exposition-y, with people standing around telling one another the plot, but still pretty good!
    Conclusion: Essential. One of the most important arcs of TCW.


    Thoughts on Season 5: I feel this is the season that TCW really starts to shine, becoming a worthy installment to Star Wars. The previous seasons have largely been filler content of varying quality, but with season 5 they began finding their strides and endeavored to tell actual SW stories, rather than just teaming sides up to fight one another. Cool stuff, this, still, I greatly prefer SW:Rebels (for reasons we shall discuss later).
     
    #48 Angelman, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  9. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Sensitive

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    and the robot in the jedi youngling arc is voiced by david tennant i think
     
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  10. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Force Attuned

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    I only watched TCW twice so it will be interesting to see it from someone else’s perspective
     
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  11. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Cool, thanks! This is my second viewing (3rd for Season 1, I think), and I'm coming at it from a fresh and different perspective this time around, trying my best to love :D
     
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  12. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hate me later. Work now.
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    Did "The wrong Jedi" make you cry at all, @Angelman ?

    It always gets me, as does the series finale & final arc.
     
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  13. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Sorry, no... but then again, I am a cold, heartless bast'ed, so... yeah ;)
    But it no doubt is very powerful stuff!
     
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  14. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Sensitive

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    good acting too
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 23, 2021, Original Post Date: Feb 23, 2021 ---
    do you think that the highs of cw are greater than the highs of rebels, but their lows are lower(mortis)
     
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  15. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Hm... that's a good and very difficult question.

    The two shows are so different -- one being a filler (in the best sense of the world ♥) that is free to add whatever world building and content it can think of, while the other is an actual self-contained story with structure, arcs, setups and payoffs to execute -- and I think an answer must be very much down to personal taste. One wants to entertain you while the other actually has something to say.

    The two shows attempt different things, and which one works for you depends on what "thing" is more important to you, I guess. For me, personally, Rebels is far more to my liking, a worthwhile story to immerse in. And, I don't think Rebels have that many lows (as in bad writing and stupid decisions), to be honest, while TCW sure do annoy me a whole lot more.

    And, in all fairness, Rebels benefit A LOT from Feloni and the crew already having TCW under their belt. It takes many of the best things from TCW without adding anithing new that is particularly bad. So in that sense, Rebels stands on the shoulders of TCW, but is better overall. Does that make sense?
     
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  16. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Sensitive

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    The thing I don't like about rebels is the characters. Zeb is a stereotypical tough guy with very little personality until later seasons. I feel like they could have replaced him with Rex from the beginning. Also, Ezra annoys the crap out of me, but to the writers credit, he is a consistent character, so the key that a live action Ezra is good will be if he annoys the crap out of me. Another reason is that the episodes for the most part are very predictable, and to me, boring. The rebels make a plan to get some weapons, or generators to help the rebellion, the plan fails, they improvise, they make the empire look dumb, and they steal the weapons or generators. Also, this series makes the Empire feel so small and weak. They can't even deal with these rebels. The Inquisitor had one job, but Thrawn does it better than he does, and that isn't even Thrawn's job! I do like Thrawn, but I feel like to up the stakes, other imperials should be at least somewhere close to as competent. Still a good show.


    Oh and Hera is amazing, I honestly feel like she is a better character than Ahsoka.
     
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  17. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    I see what you mean, but much of your complaint is a problem with all of Star Wars, and could easily be leveled at TCW, too.
    --Stormtroopers are stupid, which weakens the threat and tension of all conflicts. But at least they're not as stupid as the Battle Droids in TCW.
    --The TCW are just as formulaic as Rebels: Every other episode/arc starts with a Sep invasion somewhere that a could of main character Jedi must deal with. There's a complication of some sort, usually a trap or a deeper relevance to the conflict, and the Jedi get to duel with some bad guy. Finally, the Republic forces swoop in to Deus ex Machina an end to the conflict. But you do have a point that since TCW is not focues on anything, there is more room to try something completely different (which often leads to some quite dumb or boring episodes, but not always).
    --And the incompetent major bad guys syndrom? Well, in TCW Ventress fail so often and so badly it becomes a joke, and does Grievous ever manage to pull off a plot? These guys are there just to fail so that there's a rationale for why the heroes gets out of dodge every time. (And one thing that drives me crazy in TCW is how the Jedi heroes tend to forget about using the Force all the time; there are many dozens of times where Anakin or Ahsoke or Kenobi or someone COULD have saved the day by simply Force lifting a character to safety, or whatever is needed, but despite them solving the problem last episode, or sometimes indeed in the same episode, they all of a sudden forget about it an instead tries to grab hold of a falling friend or storms down the stairs to get to them and cary them upstairs or whatever). In Rebels, the incompetent Imperials syndrom is also, as you identifies, confounded by the hyper-confident super villain syndrom in the character of Thrawn... He sure is cool, but it is difficult to write a good story around him as Thrawn must be smarter than everyone else, but he cannot be allowed to win all the time (since that would logically end the show very quickly).

    As for the characters, I think the Rebels guys are actually quite interesting. They have more dept and range than even many live action characters.
    --Zeb, for instance, is more complex than Hondo (who's really a one-trick pony, albite a very loveable one). Zeb and his arc is my least favorite in Rebels, but he does have quite a bit of range (much more than Chewbacca, for instance).
    --As for Ezra, he sure starts out VERY annoying, but it is important to realize that, from a writing point of view, he has to be. The writers have to give the characters something he can grow from, which is also the reason why Ahsoka and Anakin starts ut as quite annoying characters. Heck, you can even say that about Luke, who is a whiny brat until his foster parents die and he goes with Old Ben on the quest. (Another example, if you're familiar with Dune, is how Paul Atreides begins the novel as a hard kid to like, until destiny finally catches up with him). This is how you set up a character to grow into greatness.
     
    #57 Angelman, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  18. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    The Order 66 Arc
    CW 601 – The Unknown: Essential. Clone Trooper Tup has a mental breakdown and murders Jedi Tiplee in a premature execution of Order 66. Dooku & Sidious realizes the grand plan is in jeopardy and has Tup kidnapped. Anakin, Fives, & Rex pursues, stealing Tup back and bringing him to Kamino.
    CW 602 – Conspiracy: Essential. Tup is examined by top Kaminoan scienties, and original cloning engineer, Nala Se. Jedi Master Shaak Ti suspects Spe brainwashing. Fives is examined too for reference. Behind the Jedi’s back, Nala Se warns Dooku and they agree to have Tup exterminated. Fives & medical droid AZI-3 intervenes and removes the “brain tumor”. Tup dies but Shaak Ti confiscates the “tumor”.
    CW 603 – Fugitive: Essential. Nala Se and the Kaminoans conspire to swap the “tumor”, but Fives & AZI-3 intervenes again. AZI-3 removes a similar, but healthy, “tumor” from Fives. Turns out the “tumor” is actually Tup’s semi-organic inhibitor chip, which has degenerated for some reason. Nala Se explains that Sifo-Dyas specified inhibitor chips to control clone behavior; nobody knew.
    CW 604 – Orders: Essential. Fives gets an audience with Chancellor Palpatine, and Palpy insists on questioning the clone alone (in his personal MedLab-turn-interrogation chamber, obviously). Off screen, Fives attack Palpy and escape when Shaak Ti comes to the rescue. Heroes pursue and corners Fives, who rambles madly about dark conspiracies involving the Chancellor. It all gets out of hand and Fives die.
    Conclusion: Wow! Here’s an arc that finally informs the PT plots in a major way. Here, they dare take their time exploring plots and themes, while at the same time never letting up the tension. One of TCW’s most important arcs.


    The Clovis Arc
    CW 605 – An Old Friend: Alright*. Rush Clovis enlists Padmé to access the Banking Clan vaults to secure evidence of BC corruption. Padmé gets arrested, Anakin arrives to settle things and gets pissy over her friendship with Clovis.
    CW 606 – The Rise of Clovis: Meh*. Anakin is pissy. Clovis & Padmé investigate. Anakin is pissy. Clovis & Padmé has a big, boring exposition lunch. Anakin bursts in just as Clovis attempts to kiss Padmé and Anakin gets even more pissy (blaming Padmé, obviously). Dooku conspires to make Clovis the new head of the Banking Clan.
    CW 607 – Crisis at the Heart: Meh*. Predictably, Dooku now demands Clovis’ support for the Separatist cause. Dooku Force-forces Padmé to shoot the Sep senator (this is quickly forgotten, however). Anakin arrives to clear things up. Clovis holds Padmé at gunpoint, making demands. Fighting occurs and P&C falls over a cliff, Anakin jumping after and holding them both. Anakin forgets about his telekinetic Force abilities and don’t lift the two to safety with the Force. Instead, he holds onto both, one in either hand, and they’re both slipping; how dramatic! For some reason, instead of doing the in-character thing and dropping his rival to his death (which would also be a logical and dramatic step on Anakin’s inevitable path to the Dark Side), Anakin holds on while both C&P are slipping, allowing Clovis a chance to sacrifice himself for Padmé and coming out the f***ing hero of the story. Whills damn this arc to the Dark Side!
    Conclusion: OMG this is awful… What the heck does Padmé see in Anakin? He’s a terrible, terrible husband. How did she ever have sex with him? (And she did at some point AFTER this arc, to become pregnant. That or Padmé is drinking alcohol while pregnant in this arc; either way, Anakin & Padmé are the worst). Actually, I have a new head-canon now; in my world, Sidious has brainwashed Padmé from the start to fall in love with and stay with Anakin despite all the reasons not to. To me, that’s the only scenario that makes any sense…

    *Would be given one rank lower if it wasn’t for the episode being technically well-made.


    The Disappeared Arc
    CW 608 – The Disappeared, Pt.1: Alright. The Queen of the neutral Bardottans pleads with the Rep to save her people from doom. She insist they send Jar-Jar Binks ‘cause she has a love-interest in him; Windu comes along despite the Bardottans distrusting the Jedi over their “kidnapping” of Force Sensitive children. Turns out there’s a Bardottan satanistic cult, the Frangawls, who are kidnapping Bardottan Force sages and sacrificing them to Kali in the Temple of Doom; “Kali ma, shakti de!” This episode is dumb but not poorly made. Also, Windu is pretty awful in this one; Jar-Jar is a way cooler character (which says something as “cool” is not an adjective often used on Jar-Jar).
    CW 609 – The Disappeared, Pt.2: Meh. Windu & Jar-Jar pursues the Frangawl cult leader through various market exotic scenes. There is no story progression, world-building, or character development, just a string of chase encounters that leaves everyone and everything at the exact same place at the end as they were at the beginning; pointless stuff. Arriving at a large multi-looking glass, astrolabe temple thing, W&JJ gets to stop the Satanists from sacrificing the Bardottan Queen. Turns out Mother Talzin was the hidden master behind the Frangawl Cult.
    Conclusion: Meh. Not terrible, but boring and pointless, and somewhat annoying. There ain’t a one reason to ever watch this again.


    The Yoda Arc
    CW 610 – The Lost One: Alright. The Jedi investigates the death and legacy of Sifo-Dyas. Turns out Sifo-Dyas always sought to create an army for the Republic but the Jedi Council forbade it and didn’t pay attention to what he was up to. The Pykes killed Sifo-Dyas on Dooku’s behest. The Jedi Council learns that Dooku guided the creation of the Clone Army, deciding to keep this a secret from the Senate to prevent panic and distrust. This episode is a bit convoluted, but interesting and PT-informing; cool stuff.
    CW 611 – Voices: Alright. Yoda hears the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn. The Jedi Council “knows” this is impossible as no one can keep their identity after death; they suspect Yoda has been corrupted by the Dark Side. Yoda goes on a Spirit Quest to figure things out. On Dagobah, Gui-Gon exposes to Yoda about the Force, teaching him about Force Ghosts. Yoda enters THE cave and sees glimpses of Sidious victory and the Order 66 massacre. Qui-Gon informs Yoda that the Force has chosen him to become a Force Ghost after death to preserve his knowledge. This episode suffers from being overly exposition’y, but what is exposed is actually quite interesting.
    CW 612 – Destiny: Essential. Yoda and R2 arrives at a Force Wellspring planet. Yoda encounters the “Five Priestesses” who puts him through various trials. Yoda encounters a darkly Gollum-Yoda who’s the product of Yoda now spending his “days in the decadence of war” (ouch!). Yoda disbelieves Gollum-Yoda. Next, Yoda experiences a Utopia where evil plots don’t exist, nobody has died, and Dooku is still a good dude. Yoda disbelieves this, too. The “Five Priestesses” sends him to Moraband. This is another exposition-heavy episode, but here we get it through engaging drama; show-instead-of-tell. This is how you do exposition. Great stuff!
    CW 613 – Sacrifice: Essential. R2 & Yoda arrives at Moraband. Yoda disbelieves various Dark Side specters, including Darth Bane’s specter. The “Five Priestesses” congratulates Yoda on passing the first tests, but the final challenge waits at the center of the Sith tomb; therein, Yoda will meet the Sith of today. Darth Sidious senses what’s going on and summons Dooku; the do some evil magicks, before Sidious declares it’s time to kick-off the endgame; Dooku is to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine (which, of course, sets up opening sequence of RotS). Yoda has a vision of him and Anakin fighting Dooku and a (a robes-hidden) Sidious; Anakin decapitates Dooku as per RotS; Yoda is juggling too many things and can’t defeat Sidious, who escapes. Yoda comes to and returns to Coruscant a wiser man, realizing that nobody ever wins and everybody always lose a war. Exposition heavy, but dramatic and great. Well done!
    Conclusion: This and the Order 66 arc does more than any other TCW arc to connect dots and inform the PT. THIS should have been the backbone of TCW, the gradual unveiling of PT plots. Instead, TCW chose to relegate these things to a pair of short arcs at the (then) end of the series run, focusing the main thrust of the show towards showcasing random action on more or less significant worlds. (There’s a lot of world building in TCW, but very little of it is relevant to the PT). Luckily, these two crucial arcs ARE very good! :)

    Thoughts on Season 6: Half this season is excellent, high quality Star Wars. Also, I think I prefere these shorter and more focused season.
     
    #58 Angelman, Feb 24, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  19. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hate me later. Work now.
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    The Order 66 arc is so tragic.
     
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  20. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Sensitive

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    I have a soft spot for the clovis arc
     
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