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!

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