I’ve been trying to find a reason to give the Clone wars, and after I finished War of the Worlds I decided to scratch that itch. However, with this series I will not be watching them in broadcast order, but chronological order, as the first few seasons especially bounced back and forth through the Clone Wars timeline.
Watching them chronologically will make a more cohesive whole I think, and give a better picture of the war and those who fought it.
So that means we have to start with…
“A wise leader knows when to follow”
Cat and Mouse was written by Drew Z. Greenberg and Brian Larson. It first aired on 20 March, 2010 (UK) as part of season two.
Separatist ships are blockading the planet Christophsis, and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) and Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) are tasked with getting supplies through to a trapped Bail Organa (Phil LaMarr) and his forces.
To do so, Anakin takes control of a prototype starship, a stealth ship with a cloaking device, and consequently is determined to surprise the Separatist forces overseen by Admiral Trench (Dee Bradley Baker who also voices all the clone troopers).
What follows is a cat and mouse game that is reminiscent of classic submarine movies, and features a solid score by Kevin Kiner that feels very much like it fits the fabric of the Star Wars universe.
I love the way each episode begins with a newsreel voice narrator (Tom Kane) to set up the story, and plunge us into the war. I also enjoy the look of the series, while there is a but of a cartoon quality to the characters design (no doubt making them a little easier to animate), the space battles, ships, and a lot of the starscapes feel like things we’ve seen on the big screen in the Star Wars films.
This episode is smart, fun, and works decidedly better than the theatrical movie which launched the series.
“Truth enlightens the mind, but won’t always bring happiness to your heart”
The Hidden Enemy is part of season one, and first aired on 6 February, 2009, It was written by Greenberg as well.
On the surface of Christophsis, Kenobi and Skywaler are leading the clones against the battle droids of the Separatists, in an attempt to liberate it. Unfortunately, it seems the enemy is onto what they are up to, and are subject to attack.
The pair of jedi investigate behind enemy lines while a pair of clone captains, Rex and Cody, begin to suspect one of their own as the spy.
While Rex and Cody run down their suspects, and we learn some unnerving things about some of the clones, and realize that despite the fact that they are clones, they all have their own personalities.
Behind enemy lines, Obi_wan and Anakin encounter a sith, Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman) and a force and lightsaber duel ensues.
After the clones get the spy flushed, the episode concludes with the battle of Christophsis just getting started, which leads us right into the movie.
The Movie hit theaters on 15 August, 2008 and disappointed immediately, and watching it after two strong episodes, it’s obvious that this is not what should have opened the Clone Wars stories.
It was written by Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, and Scott Murphy. The one plus side tot he film, is that it introduces a padawan for Anakin to train in young Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), and doesn’t open with a moral.
This makes for a fun moment, as Anakin thinks she is there to be Obi-Wan’s new padawan, but upon realizing she’s his responsibility, the story plunges right into the final battle for Christophsis.
After the Republic claims their victory, Kenobi, Skywalker and Tano learn that Jabba the Hutt’s (Kevin Micheal Richardson) son, a young huttling has been kidnapped, and they are tasked to recover the baby in a hope that this could allow for an alliance.
Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Yoda (Kane) advise the Republic forces while our heroes learn that Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is behind the kidnapping and is looking to use the situation to turn the crime syndicate against the Republic.
Even the animation isn’t up to par with the episodes that precede it chronologically, though the space stuff looks pretty solid. Some of the dialogue is George Lucas clunky, and doesn’t hint at how amazing the series is actually going to be.
Things will pick up again next week when I dive into another selection of episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars!