And not the energy drink.
Su cuy'gar, everyone, and welcome to another Star Wars: The Clone Wars review!
Apparently, in a galaxy far far away, there is no greater fear than that of tattooed stuntmen with horns on their heads that jump and flip and wield double-bladed lightsabers. How do I know this? Well, because Darth Maul's fame refuses to die. I don't entirely know why. He's not particularly iconic like Boba Fett or Darth Vader. He's not particularly powerful like IG-88. I suppose it's because the little kids who saw Episode I were scared to death of him, and the older viewers saw the only threatening villain in the entire film, therefore instant awesomeness. Personally, I never got either of them. I was never particularly frightened by Darth Maul as a little kid when this film came out and I never really got hooked by any potential awesomeness of his. He didn't have the presence of Boba Fett or the raw power of Darth Vader, or authority and raw evil of, say, Palpatine. But something about the tattooed terror struck a chord with some dudes, so Maul is something of a fan favorite now. And despite the fact that a few sources have elaborated a bit on his past, Maul is still something of a mystery. However, this episode pretty much has nothing to do with Maul, the marketing is just capitalizing on his status as a freakshow villain and that ticks me off. See, this episode deals primarily with the Nightbrothers, the clan from which Darth Maul was taken by Sidious as a young child. (According to Wookiepedia.) In any case, here it is, Monster!
Tom Kane tells us of what happens in the last episode and reminds us of how easily duped Count Dooku is (Seriously, RIGHT after he has Ventress killed off, he's attacked by invisible Jedi (a tactic he KNOWS the Jedi would not stoop to), and then IMMEDIATELY contacted by the HEAD OF THE NIGHTSISTERS? Is Dooku really that stupid?), we see him land on Dathomir and speaks with Mother Talzin about a new apprentice, and she mentions Darth Maul, and offers to provide another apprentice, of Maul's calibur. As Dooku stupidly mentions his weakness in front of her, he agrees and leaves Dathomir. Once he's gone, Talzin and Ventress plot to use the new apprentice to attempt to kill Dooku. Ventress then proceeds to make her way to the far side of Dathomir, where the Nightbrothers live, the clan in direct opposition to the Nightsisters, and the apparent origin of Darth Maul. Heads of each tribe line up so Ventress can select one, as apparently the Nightbrothers aren't on equal footing with the Nightsisters, who are seemingly superior. I'm... not entirely sure how that works.
Ventress slaps around the Zabracks and selects a handful for what are essentially gladiator games. The The first game essentially pits them all against Ventress, and after a cool fight scene, their numbers are thinned to four. The fight ends with Savage demonstrating caring for his brother Feral, and Ventress punches him for being "pathetic". The second is more or less the same, but turns out the lights to "see what cannot be seen". Two more are killed before the final challenge, where only Savage and Feral remain. (I'm likin' these names.) Another fistfight is incurred, but this time with MOVING PLATFORMS to shake stuff up. After Ventress almost kills Feral, the two fight, and Savage gives himself up to Ventress to spare the life of his brother.
Savage is then taken back to the Nightsisters village and beef him up with their magic. He is turned into a savage and oppressive being (Haha, see what I did there?) and nearly strangles Ventress to death. As a final test, he is forced to kill Feral- the very brother he swore to protect. In an act of pure wickedness, he snaps his brother's neck. He is given a new weapon and brought before Dooku as his apprentice, who accepts him without hesitation. (Man, Dooku's kind of an idiot sometimes, huh?) He is then unleashed upon Devaron, where he slaughters everyone, Jedi and Clone alike. Notably, after Savage kills the Jedi, we do not see the tip of Savage's blade, therefore, we don't see any blood. Savage then returns to Dooku, and officially takes Savage on as his apprentice.
Whoo! What a rush, huh?
Anyway, this episode was pretty no-surprises, but it was still REALLY GOOD. I enjoyed it, and I liked seeing a little of Darth Maul's heritage, as well as Savage having some... *gasp* CHARACTER! This is madness.
In any case, the commandos had better be used more than that dumb two-second clip we saw at Celebration V. Until next time, k'oyaci!