Friday, October 22, 2010

The Clone Wars Review: The Academy

Su cuy'gar, everyone. Instead of my normal greeting, I have a question.

When did Star Wars: The Clone Wars go from the coolest show on television to the most boring?

The answer? When Season 3 hit Mandalore.

I don't want to do this, hence the review coming RIGHT before the new Clone Wars episode is set to debut. But, "weekly" means "any time before the new episode premeres" so I gotta do this.
Man, this is gonna suck.

No, Luke. I am your SPOILERS!

So, we're back on Mandalore. Ahsoka and Anakin are flying there via Imperial Shuttle Prototype #3 (Which, despite not being the Twilight (the most unfortunately-named ship in the galaxy), manages to have its interior) Also, I notice they play a few bars of Ahsoka's Theme (Heard in the original Clone Wars film) as the ship flies in to the city. Nice touch.

Anyhoo, Anakin, charmer that he is, kisses Satine's hand (Oh you masher.) and presents her padawan. However, Anakin will not be staying, 'cuz he's got more interesting things to do than this stupid episode. Ahsoka meets up with a few of her students and takes her lightsaber (Because Mandalore is wimpy), Rex wisely tells Anakin to bow out before the episode drags on to total drivel, and Ahsoka heads to start teaching.

And apparently nobody on Mandalore knows the definition of the word "corruption" (Despite the fact that you could play a drinking game this trilogy of episodes every time someone utters the word, although said game has been known to kill people) because Ahsoka teaches them what it means.

New Mandalorians are idiots, who knew.

After class, the small group of students met earlier are hanging out in... the student lounge, I guess, I dunno, and are complaining about a food shortage. After some padding conversation they go to investigate. (Hehe, Arsoka)

To the warehouse district!

One of the students hacks the warehouse door really easily with a laptop, they all hop in, sneak around, quote Han Solo, and find some guys, and listen to them talking seedily. They record it using holocam, drop their laptop, and, of course, like idiots, reveal themselves. They try to escape, guards chase them, overly melodramatic chase scene, one of the kids gets caught but gets away when another one closes the door. The seedy-looking leader of the shady individuals picks up the laptop in question and we cut to commercial.

I order you all to take a pee break.

Anyway, the kids head back to the lounge, and determine that this is "bigger than we thought". OH REALLY. Seedy policemen dealing with blackmarket offworlders isn't IN YOUR LEAGUE?

Little shabla morons.

So it turns out one of the little brats is related to Satine, and they go to tell her about it. So ignoring all the padding, they tell her, and she Satine says that she'll take care of it. Hilariously, when she says "There'll be time to save the world when you're a bit older." I am reminded of a Dexter's Lab episode "Old Man Dexter", which I would much rather be watching than this crap.

Anyhoo. Padding padding padding, they talk to the Prime Minister with purple eyes. He says to meet them late at night with nobody around and to bring everybody aware of it along with the recording.

Do I even have to say it?

Anyway, it turns out these kids are COMPLETE idiots as when Ahsoka asks what's going on, they blatantly state they broke into the warehouse to do some snooping around. Ahsoka talks with them to pad out the length of the episode, and the super annoying bell rings and class is over. That night, they head to the plaza and are trapped. 'Cuz, y'know, it's a trap. The Secret Service goes to arrest them for "treason, conspiracy and corruption", and Ahsoka saves their wimpy non-Mando hides. They deduce that Satine's in danger and head down to her reidence... turns out she's been kidnapped.

Big... flippin'... surprise.

So they go down to the Prime Minister, and Ahsoka gets the kids arrested. And I laugh. So they go to prison and the Minister (no surprise) won't tell Ahsoka where Satine is, and he goes off to make a public statement while Ahsoka makes a funny face. She goes to "interrogate" the prisoners, talk privately in the cell, and continue with the plan. Ahsoka uses a mind trick on a guard to take her to Satine, where she is being held in a high-security vault. Mind trick again, she gets Satine down, yadda yadda yadda. Satine quotes Ackbar (I'd use the image again, but I risk being stale in overusing jokes) and it turns out she wasn't actually tricking the man, he was just acting. (To great effect, I loved that part.) 

Ahsoka (Hehe, Arsoka) is stunned, the kids sit in the cell. The minister tries to get Satine to sign a confession, some stuff is said, and a shock collar is put on Satine.

Aaand cue the part of the episode I've been waiting for since Satine's debut.

"I would rather die than sign your confession!"
"That can be arranged."

Anyway, the Prime Minister has his contractually-obligated evil speech, and it turns out HE established the black market due to lack of viable trade routes to get commerce from, even though BEFORE this they were doing fine.

I... I gotta agree with Ahsoka on this, that's... pretty stupid.
They bring the kids to where all this is going down, one of the kids almost gets the shock collar, and Ahsoka picks a good time to conveniently break free. I love what the cadets do here when they're freed, they just kind of flop on the guards like fish. Fight scene happens, blah blah blah (I swear, these just keep getting more and more boring, these fights) and a shock collar gets on the Prime Minister, and he calls off the whole fight. Satine mentions how she didn't bring Ahsoka there to teach as they put away the Prime Minister.

The next morning, it's time for Ahsoka to leave, Anakin picks her up from school (Haha) and they talk about how it was risky but Anakin would have done the same, yadda yadda, roll the credits. 

Wait, did something happen? No, we just wasted a good 22 minutes, not counting commercials. Why? BECAUSE THE WRITERS OF THIS SHOW FORGOT WHAT MADE THE CLONE WARS COOL IN THE FIRST PLACE, WHICH WAS THE ACTUAL CLONE WARS.

So how does this one stack up?

So enter another episode in a long and ever-growing list of boring, pointless episodes that go nowhere and do little more than make me question my fandom. Oh well, it's really too bad, I was expecting a HECK of a lot more from Season 3, SECRETS REVEALED. Y'know, now that I think about it, I don't think anything WAS revealed so far. Like, at all. I'd foreshadow the next episode, but I'm watching it right now! Sorry if I sound rushed at the end here, but I'm watching the boringness right now! K'oyaci!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Clone Wars: Corruption Review

Su cuy'gar, everyone! And welcome to- OW.

Ow! Sorry, I- OW.

Star Wars, you are HURTING ME. This episode was so awful that it is physically hurting me.

Okay, okay, sorry. But cut me some slack, this episode was BAD. I mean... REALLY REALLY... BAD.

I really don't want to review this one because it means I have to watch it again, but... I gotta take the good with the bad. So, let's nosedive right into this starcruiser-wreck of an episode.

You are free to use any means necessary, but I want them alive. No desintiSPOILERS!

So we begin the episode learning that Mandalore is in trouble because there is little in the way of supplies other than the black market. Padme Amidala is making a diplomatic trip to Mandalore for her new BFF, Satine (Hi, when did that happen). So Satine and Padme talk about politics, Satine greets Padme in a "traditional Mandalorian welcome" (And no, it is NOT a swift kick in the teeth like it WOULD have been if Vizsla were in charge). Okay, so I can accept that this is dumb, but Satine then goes on to say "We are a people of tradition".



Your government was established less than a MONTH ago you have NO TRADITION GOING ON.

(On a side note, when Satine and Padme are riding through the tunnel, on the walls you can see the six-sided shape found on the chest of the four-part Mandalorian chest armor. Nice touch.)

So, we cut to the loading docks where some rejected Egyptian god lizards are unloading what I can only assume is the Mandalorian equivalent of Mountain Dew, when the customs official (or something) says that his schedule doesn't call for any Mountain Dew, but one of the lizards bribes him into overlooking it.


Seriously, if the Death Watch was in charge we wouldn't have to deal with osik like this.
Anyway, back in Satine's council chamber, where Satine's right-hand man is having trouble keeping the... I dunno, I guess she has a ruling council now, under control. Padme steps in and says some words, but gets shut down because the Republic is more corrupt with Mandalore. (Pfft.) They argue some more, Satine shuts them up, meeting's over.
Back to the lizards at the warehouse! Here, they're making... bottled tea, and the lizard leader mixes some toxic dilluding agent with tea ingredients to make twice the tea at twice the profit (Or something like that.), but it's only toxic if the mixture is wrong. 


Cut to Satine and Padme at dinner and- PFFT Bahahahahaaaahh what the hell are they wearing hahahahahaaaahhh
(This shot wasn't taken of them actually at dinner, but it has both of them in one shot and oh my god her hat, that is so DUMB LOOKING bahahaaah)

Anyway, the next day they go to a hospital where there's, like, a million sick, poisoned children (More like less than a hundred, since they all came from the same school) and Satine and Padme decide to investigate.

 So it turns out that they deduce that the tea is tainted, so they go to test it in... the school has a poison test lab, I guess. Anyway, Satine monologues about corruption but all I can think about is how her hair is bouncier than it was in Season 2. Anyway, they deduce that it IS the tea that's poisoned, so they head to the docks to check the logs- and GASP AND SHOCK the tea isn't there. So the totally-not-suspicious superintendant tries to flee, but is captured. Satine threatens him to talk (Man, for a pacafist she sure can condone violence when it's convenient.) He makes the excuse that the school's budget was too low (And I chuckle because of the Wiscasset budget issue, anyone who lives where I do will understand why I find this funny) So he says he dealt with a middle man who they meet up with and get more information. So they head to the dock where a shipment is coming in of poison Mountain Dew. The customs official shows up again for his "inspection" but turns a blind eye for a few credit chips.


Again, Death Watch should have been in charge 'cuz it's pretty obvious Satine does not know what she's doing.

So the captain of the police or something heads down to the docks with them where some guards are guarding the warehouse (Very badly, I might add), they get in, undramatic gunfight happens, blah blah blah. Everyone is arrested, and Satine orders the warehouse burned down for no good reason other than she's pissed off, despite the fact that there might be evidence in there that could tell them how far the corruption is spread. (Boy, for a pacafist she sure can condone wanton destruction when she's annoyed.) So they head to the prime minister who decides to investigate, and Satine goes to see Padme off, suggesting an undercover Jedi could perhaps be of some use, in, and I quote, "more ways than one".

If it's Obi-Wan, I can guess what "more ways than one" would be.

And by more ways than one I mean in BED.

Too subtle? Well, whatever.
Padme says she'll talk to Master yoda, she leaves, Satine smiles and walks off, roll the credits. Whoo, what a rush!
So, how does it hold up?

IT DOESN'T. This episode really fell flat. It was stupid, unnecessary, pointless, not gripping at all, and devoid of any action or anything interesting while trodding all over established canon all over again. Satine pisses me off to the nth degree, and I hope Vizsla shows up sometime this season to shoot her in the face, and soon. Aside from the political allegory (Which you should keep out of Star Wars anyway), this story had NO significance AT ALL to ANYTHING. I mean, really, all I can think about while watching this episode is that, across the galaxy, clones and Jedi are fighting and dying and THIS is the crap we get to slog through while that's going on? Really? Last time I checked, this show was called, oh, I don't know... The CLONE WARS?! Dave Filoni, you have failed me for the last time.

I really was expecting more from Season 3. And the next episode doesn't look like it'll be any better, where Ahsoka shows up to whip some pansy New Mando kids into shape or something, but I'm not looking forward to this one either.


*sigh* Until next time, k'oyaci.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Clone Wars Review: Sphere of Influence

Su cuy'gar, everyone, and welcome to another Star Wars: The Clone Wars review.

I'll be honest, I'm late on this one for two reasons- One, it's been a busy week, two, I don't like this episode. I've honestly been trying to avoid reviewing this one because... really, it's kind of boring. This is one of those "Senate episodes" I tend to avoid if watching a season retroactively. But look at the bright side... Greedo's in it! In any case, this review won't write itself, let's dive right in.

Echo base, this is Rogue Two. I found SPOILERS!

Apparently Dooku's strategy for dominating the galaxy is "If at first you don't succeed, try it again next Friday night at 9 on Cartoon Network", 'cuz we once again, like last week with Ryloth, have a Separatist blockade around a planet. This time it's Pantora, the Hoth clone planet back in Season 1. Of course, we never go there, this IS a senate episode, after all. Can't have any ACTION or anything. Since the chairman died back in Season 1, a new one has been elected. His name? Baron N. Papanoida, but I like to call him George Bluecas, as, in the movies, the Baron was played by the famed creator of Star Wars. Of course, George does not voice the character (Since his voice can never break out of "Old man remeniscing about Star Wars" mode), but his voice actor does a fine job not sounding like Lucas. Good thing? Probably.

Anyway, skipping past the boring diplomacy stuff, Chairman George Bluecas' daughters are kidnapped. Ahsoka informs Padme and Anakin. Anakin says it's a job for the local athorities, but Padme says that perhaps the police can't do this on their own if the Seppies are involved. Anakin decides to send Ahsoka instead of, oh, I don't know, calling the CORUSCANT GUARD who's supposed to HANDLE STUFF LIKE THIS? Remember Commander Fox? Huh? The red clone troopers? Senate security troopers? Any of this a-ringin' a bell? Nope, because senate episodes can't have any action, these guys are completely sidelined in favor of one Togruta padawan who hasn't even gotten down mind tricks yet.


Now let me clarify that I don't hate Ahsoka. She's become a much more sympathetic character than the dumb "G!R1 P0W444HH" character she was back in the 2008 flick, and I know we haven't seen much of her in this season. But logically, the first people you should call for a SENATE kidnapping is the Coruscant Guard, also known as Senate Security Troopers. They kicked some serious ass back in the movie, so why not let them do their job? Ah well, PADAWAN DESPARATE FOR SPOTLIGHT COMING THROUGH.
So Ahsoka and Senator Chuchi (also from Season 1) are best friends now (Hi, when did that happen), and they head off to a Trade Federation ship to see if Bluecas' daughters are there (I find it disappointing that Ahsoka does not react to being called a servant girl again, considering she went bonkers about it in the film), while the Baron himself and his son (Who has a name but I swear they pulled Jake Sully from Avatar for his character model and chopped off the braid) decide to investigate closer to home. The police chief (who looks like the scientist from that one Bugs Bunny cartoon and whose voice reminds me more than a bit of Mel Blanc) says there is no foul play after a very careful thorough search for evidence... that missed the out-of-place statue with blood on it that pretty much tells them who the kidnapper is.

Pretty sure the Coruscant Guard wouldn't have missed that. (And no, I am not letting that go.)

So they find out Greedo did it (And got hit on the head before he could shoot first) as Ahsoka and Chuchi land on the Trade Federation battleship and Chuchi makes some comments about Pantora joining the Seppies (Which is all bantha osik) as George Bluecas and Jake Sully go to Tatooine to find Greedo. (Also, note Embo's cameo.) Baron Bluecas decides to hit up some Twi'lek ladies to find Greedo. Cut back to the Trade Federation battleship where Ahsoka and Chuchi are SnooPING AS usual, and pull one too many of the overdramatic "Bad guy is about to spot where they are but at the last second the good guy is somewhere else" trick. Back on Tatooine, the Twi'lek George talked to has found Greedo, who is rolling some dice in what I can only assume is some kind of gambling game, and he decides to "settle things more permanently". Back on the ship (Man, this episode jumps plotlines more than a jumping bean on a jackrabbit on a pogo stick.), Ahsoka and Chuchi decide to hit up the detention block, and Ahsoka iffily attempts a mind trick on the guard and... surprisingly, it works. Back on Tatooine (URGH.) Greedo finds and threatens George Bluecas, saying to dispose of them outside. (On a side note, the effects they use for Rodian's eyes in this show is really cool.) However, turns out George is something of a badass, as he whips out a knife, holds it to Greedo's throat, and says that they're going to talk to Jabba about all this mess.

Cut to the ship (OH MY GOD) where Ahsoka and Chuchi are wandering around the detention block... and it turns out they're being watched. On Tatooine (SERIOUSLY PICK A PLOT LINE AND STICK WITH IT), where we're now talking to Jabba about this, and George Bluecas tells him of his plight, and how Greedo is the kidnapper. He admits to it, and decides to take them to one of the daughters, who is on Tatooine. Back on the ship (no comment) they finally find Chi Eekway very anticlimactically, and she says that they were separated (But we already knew that). Back on Tatooine, Greedo, Jake Sully and George Bluecas walk into a cantina (And no, that's not the start of a bad joke) where Greedo, threatened at gunpoint by Jake, and the chairman's daughter is released- only to start a gunfight by calling him "Father", and revealing their identities. Gunfight happens, George is a badass again, yadda yadda yadda. Moving on. Back on the ship, the kidnapping Nemoidian tries to stop Ahsoka with six SBD's, only to chop them up, making the total times a lightsaber was swung in this episode a grand total of... eight. That and one fifteen-second gunfight is the extent of the action in this episode. So we go to the Senate, the blockade is lifted, more boring diplomacy, blah blah blah roll the credits. I stopped caring about halfway through.

So. How does it stack up?

Granted, I would watch it over, say, a Padme-centric episode (I really hate those) and the fact that Greedo was in it was pretty great. But other than that this episode was just... BORING. And a number of things just made no sense.




So I can't recommend this episode, really, unless you're a Greedo, Ahsoka or Pantoran fan. Or if you've ever wanted to see Jake Sully and blue George Lucas shoot up some bad guys in a cantina. Now, I might be taking it hard on this episode after, say, ARC Troopers, but really, I expected more from an episode with Greedo in it. (Specifically, a Han Shot First joke.)

Anyways, turns out the next episode takes place on Mandalore. Let's hope and pray some Death Watch hero shoots Satine between the eyes so some sense and justice can be brought to Mandalore once again.

Until next time, k'oyaci!