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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. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    Well, Embo is pretty cool in it! (But then again, he's cool in anything ;) )
     
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  2. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hate me later. Work now.
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    I don't mind it either
     
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  3. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Force Attuned

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    I think the reason TCW worked so well was the great combination of Filoni and Lucas
     
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  4. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    And finally we come to the end of the PT extravaganza. It's been a very interesting and quite lovely ride, and I feel better informed on Star Wars as a whole, not just the PT era, after going over this with a fine-tooth comb over the last few months. All in all, the PT/TCW is somewhat wonky, but there's a lot to love, too :D We all have our favorites and preferences, and while this is not my favorite Star Wars, I do like it a lot and I can see why people with different preferences loves it even more.

    <3 SW <3


    The Martez Arc
    CW 705 – Gone with a Trace: Alright. Having broken with the Jedi Order, Ahsoka hides away in the Coruscant undercity. There she teams up with the Martez sisters, gets some outsider perspective on the Jedi and how their conduct influence the lives of common people, and helps the sisters out when their droid-repair job goes bad and a laborer droid goes on a rampage.
    CW 706 – Deal no Deal: Alright. Ahsoka comes along with the sisters on a smuggling job, transporting some unrefined spice from King Yaruba’s majordomo on Kessel to the Pyke Syndicate on Oba Diah. The women argue over the shipment while in space, Ahsoka insisting they shouldn’t be freighting narcotics while the older Martez sister (Rafa) is only after the money; the younger sister (Trace) freaks out and just spaces the spice. The trio tries to deliver empty containers and Ahsoka uses Jedi Mind Trick to make the Pyke boss to turn over the money. The rouse is discovered and the women thrown in jail.
    CW 707 – Dangerous Debt: Alright. In prison, Ahsoka learns how the Martez sisters distrust the Jedi because the destruction they wrought during Ziro the Hutt’s escape from prison a few years back (Ep.122 – Hostage Crisis) killed their parents. All the girls got for their troubles were a pat on the back and a “the Force will be with you”, and then the Martez sisters were left to fend for themselves. (#JediAreTheWorst). Much escaping and recapturing and re-escaping and re-recapturing occur, while Bo-Katana’s crew watches from afar. (There’s a weird inconsistency here in that the Pyke boss ordered the women immediately executed earlier, which prompts them to escape, but then when the women are re-captured nobody, including the Pyke boss, remember that order any more. That’s odd).
    CW 708 – Together Again: Alright. Ahsoka convinces the Pyke boss that the spice was stashed on a nearby moon. The sisters are sent to collect while Ahsoka remains in jail. The sisters attempt to con some Pyke stevedores out of some spice and then to sell it back to the Pyke boss. Meanwhile, Ahsoka escapes and sneaks about, eventually learning that Maul is the Pyke Syndicates’ “boss upstairs” and that he’s currently on Mandalore. Much complication occurs before the Martez sisters finally return with some spice for the Pyke boss, just in time to learn that Ahsoka is actually a Jedi. The trio gets away and returns to Coruscant. There, Bo-Katana approaches Ahsoka to enlist her help in taking on Maul.
    Conclusion: Nothing wrong with this one and the worst I can say about this arc is that it feels a bit random and unnecessary. …that, and there’s a whole lot of bickering going on in this arc; we could’ve done with a little less of that.


    The Bad Batch Arc
    CW 701 – The Bad Batch: Alright. Rex, Cody, and the Bad Batch goes on a SpecOps mission to investigate how the Seps have managed to program an algorithm that can predict the Republic forces’ every move. Rex recognizes certain droid tactics as schemes that he and Echo drew up in the past; could Echo somehow be still alive and be working for the Seps? After much fighting and troubleshooting, the team captures a Sep cyber center, only to discover the droids are NOT following a clever algorithm, but real-time instructions broadcast by Echo from another planet. This episode was very corny and fight’y, and the Bad Batch are 100% stereotypical and 1-dimensional caricatures, but they’re fun enough, nonetheless.
    CW 702 – A Distant Echo: Alright. Anakin, Rex, & the Bad Batch go to rescue Echo. They ally with some primitive locals (the Poletecs) and penetrate the Sep signal tower. Lots of fighting and sneaking and holo-chatting between Tambor and Rex. Eventually, Echo is rescued; huzzah! Much fighting; kinda boring.
    CW 703 – On the Wings of Keeradaks: Alright. The good guys try to fight their way out. Echo, now in mental possession of everything stored in the Techno Union data bases, finds them a way out. Returning to the Poletecs, the gang helps defend against the inevitable Techno Union attack. Much fighting; kinda boring.
    CW 704 – Unfinished Business: Alright. The Reps launch an attack on Wat Tambor’s forces. Echo devices a plan to smuggling him onto the Sep flagship from where he can manipulate the droid forces (basically reversing the trick he was forced to perform for the Seps while plugged into the signal tower earlier). Much back-and-forth fighting; eventually the good guys win. Echo is offered to join the Bad Batch and he accepts.
    Conclusion: This was simply a set-up arc for the Bad Batch show. It was not a very challenging few episodes, just loads of fighting and some espionage stuff. It’s hard to infer from these episodes what the Bad Batch will be about, but hopefully it will be more than just action beats and über-cool one-liners; we’ll hope for the best and see what happens.


    The Siege of Mandalore Arc
    CW 709 – Old Friends Not Forgotten: Essential. The Seps push hard on every front and the Reps are overwhelmed. (Tension and stakes right from the start!). Ahsoka sends info to the Reps that Maul is on Mandalore and that she and Bo-Katana’s crew are heading there to capture him. Bo-Katana’s crew can’t lay siege to Mandalore alone and asks the Reps for help. Despite Mandalore being a neutral world, the Reps invade, forcing the local fighters underground. Bo-Katana takes the throne room and captures Prime Minister Almec, while Rex & Ahsoka hunt Maul. Powerful drama and much excitements commence, and then Maul corners Ahsoka: “I was hoping for Kenobi. Why are you here?” (Ouch!)
    CW 710 – The Phantom Apprentice: Essential. A whole lot of fighting and dueling takes place, all of it pretty great. (Too complex to describe it all here). Maul predicts the Republic and the Jedi will soon no longer be a power in the galaxy as they’ll be replaced by Darth Sidious, and… Maul had a dream that someone named Skywalker would play an important part, too. Maul seeks to carve out as big a piece of the galaxy as possible before it all descends into chaos; he sends the various crime groups under his control to scatter and prepare. Maul and Ahsoka has an epic duel with huge stakes and great character moments. Maul attempts to recruit Ahsoka to his cause; “together we can defeat Sidious”. Ahsoka agrees if only Maul reveals what he wants with Skywalker: “He’s the key to everything and has long been groomed to become Sidious apprentice”. Ahsoka declares that a big nope, and they fight a whole lot more. Eventually, Maul is captured!
    CW 711 – Shattered: Excellent. Mandalore has been liberated and Maul captured. The Jedi Council discuss, over holo-zoom, to thrown an actual coup to take over the Republic. (Wow). Ahsoka, Rex and the clones are to return the captured Maul to Coruscant, but mid-flight the clones are given Order 66. Ahsoka slips away and frees Maul before the clones can kill him; Ahsoka & Maul goes their separate ways (aboard the Star Destroyer). Ahsoka recruits a bunch of astromechs and together they discover the Inhibitor Chip plot. They capture Rex and super-quickly remove his Inhibitor Chip. Aggressive clones storm the medical chamber and Rex, back to his old self, saves the day.
    CW 712 – Victory and Death: Excellent. Maul mauls his way to the Star Destroyer engine room and sabotages the hyperdrive. The ship drops out of hyperspace and falls towards a large moon. Rex, Ahsoka, & the astromechs attempt to escape on a shuttle, but the clones want nothing of that; they are prepared to go down with the ship as long as it kills the “Jedi” onboard (i.e. Ahsoka & Maul). Maul appears and eventually escapes on the only available shuttle. All the heroic astromechs die (noooooo!), but Ahsoka & Rex manages to escape the crashing Star Destroyer aboard a Republic Y-wing bomber. Landing to check the crash site, Ahsoka mourns the fallen clones and leaves her lightsaber at the site. Epilogue: A while later, Vader arrives on a Lambda shuttle with some Stormtroopers, finds the lightsaber and sees a convor bird flying overhead… The End.
    Conclusion: Yep, we all know that this is the best TCW arc. Fantastic stuff, and an arc that actually matters and informs the Skywalker Saga. Great!


    Revenge of the Sith
    Act 1 (Coruscant): Alright. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in this act; the Battle of Coruscant is great (and the buzz-droids are a very clever way to endanger the heroes on a small scale amidst all the huge battle stuff); meeting Grievous again, he has benefited enormously from the added TCW context, I feel; R2 getting into trouble over Kenobi’s comlink is comedy gold!; McGregor is very good in this one; Grievous escape is a fantastic scene; Anakin being forced by Palpatine and the Jedi Council to spy upon each other is interesting and the opera scene is indeed quite good. This act is almost fantastic, but suffers in some places.

    Hayden Christiansen’s acting is weirdly wooden even in highly charged scenes; he almost seems bored and disinterested! While Padmé & Anakin’s reunion is bearable, and the actors almost manage to muster some chemistry, the rest of their romantics are terrible. Also, there’s some wonky CGI stuff here and there.

    Act 2 (Kashyyk & Utapau): Alright. Battle of Kashyyyk is cool (and Yoda casually leaning out of a blaster bolt’s way is awesome!). The Utapauans being terrified of Grievous is some first class stage-setting for the upcoming duel; it adds much drama to the thing. The varactyl/monocycle chase is unnecessary filler. While the scene isn’t awful, it is criminal that the crux of the PT – the revelation that Palpatine is the Sith Lord behind everything – amounts to just a conversation in a hallway; that is unimaginative and bad let’s-get-this-out-of-the-way writing. Anakin meditating in the Jedi Council chamber and coming to the conclusion to save Padmé (i.e. the quiet moments at the height of the war) is actually pretty damn good! (Credit where credit is due; you nailed that one, Hayden!). Anakin doing the right thing for the wrong reasons (saving the Chancellor) is better than I have given it credit for in the past. Order 66 falls a little flat since we don’t know anything about the Jedi who dies (and I am sure it is more powerful if you’ve read all the comics etc., but that doesn’t help the film). The Fall of the Republic/Rise of the Empire is alright.

    Act 3 (Coruscant & Mustafar): Meh. The necessary, but pacing-stopping, exposition moping-up is better than it could have been; good job there, Lucas. Anakin going to Mustafar to end the Separatist leadership is cool, but Padmé following him (with Kenobi hiding in a closet) is weak writing (and Padmé is one insane woman). (IMHO, Padmé should’ve ditched Anakin when she learned about his atrocities, running away with Anakin pursuing her across the galaxy, eventually ending up on Mustafar with Kenobi watching up with them just in time to protect Padmé; this would have added tension and context to the end-fight, giving both Kenobi & Anakin something to actually fight over).

    The climactic duel between Kenobi & Anakin has no stakes. Every plot and arc has already been resolved and we know how everything must end; the pair fight just to fight, a shiny spectacle totally devoid of meaning and power. This is writing 101 – a finale is only as powerful as what is at stake. Here there are no stakes. (By comparison, it is as if at the final battle of RotJ, the second Death Star had already been dealt with, the Empire lost and all the good guys are safe, and now Luke and Vader and Palpy just fight to prove he’s the most bad-butt dude).

    Conclusion: RotS is frequently good, but while TPM had a weak middle part, RotS has numerous weak moments throughout, souring the whole thing for me. This movie comes so close to being excellent… It is unfortunate that Lucas surrounded himself with yes-men instead of allowing himself to be challenged by better writers and storytellers than himself (like he did with the OT). RotS lets you down by a thousand small cuts and lazy decisions, made even more frustrating by the fact that the script is a single proof-read and edit away from shining brightly! Oh well, to each their own :)
     
    #64 Angelman, Mar 1, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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