And now, what you’ve all been waiting for...Clone Wars reviews. This post contains SPOILERS for “Padawan Lost”, the first episode of the two-part April 1 finale.
This episode starts out with a reference that tells the more widely read viewer exactly what it’s about-- the koan’s mention of “dangerous game” . “The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story by Richard Connell (yes, I had to Google that, although I remember reading the story in middle school). In the story, the main character is pursued by a hunter who believes humans are the most satisfying prey because they can fight back. The episode, in which Ahsoka is set upon by a pack of Trandoshan hunters, also calls to mind battle royale stories such as “The Hunger Games”. So for once, I liked the koan. They better have done it on purpose.
We see Plo Koon, Anakin, and Ahsoka divvying up responsibilities in a battle against Grievous and his droids, presumably immediately after the Citadel fiasco where Master Plo lied to cover up Ahsoka’s impetuousness.
The Felucian landscape is beautiful and detailed, with insects crawling around the inside of golden pods reminiscent of something from Avatar. Also cool are clone troopers with jetpacks and striped masks.
The dialogue is about as subtle as usual. A Snivvian prisoner flatly explains that “These are Trandoshans. They’re going to release us and hunt us down for sport,” about which Ahsoka sounds about as disappointed as if she’d broken a nail.
The Trandoshans themselves are pretty, especially the white striped one, and the voices are modulated with reptilian hisses and gurgles. But the main voice actor hams up his role like a wannabe warder from last episode channeling a Buck Rogers villain.
I liked the fellow “younglings” Ahsoka encounters-- a human named Kalifa, a Twi’lek, and a Cerean. They inhabit a tree home that reminded me of the Lost Boys’ fort in Neverland. Unfortunately we don’t get much of a sense of character from them, nor of how long they’ve been on the Trandoshan’s private hunting ground. I’m predicting right now that whoever Ahsoka grows closest to is going to get killed off in the next battle scene.
And now we come to the third time a Jedi Master has left Ahsoka to die. Plo insists that he and Anakin must leave Felucia, although the Chosen Angstpot refuses to like it. (Maybe Plo’s just trying to cover his own deception, eh?)
There were adorable little things in the background at 09:44, and then we’re treated to the sight of a Trandoshan seated in a wampa-skin chair.
I liked the dirt in this episode. Whatever filter they threw over the characters really works to make the place feel dusty.
Ahsoka is very empowering in this episode. From cocky lines like responding to “Don’t overestimate your abilities,” with “I’m not,”, to stopping her fellow Jedi hopeful from killing one of the hunters, she plays a mentor figure. I have to resist...cheering her on. And that’s weird for me. At the same time as I want to see her brought down a peg and not be such a blasted Mary Sue, I can’t argue with a character telling others to believe in themselves when they prove that they can prevail against a scary situation, especially when it’s so-called girl power. Because of Ahsoka, Kalifa goes through the kind of transformation I wanted to see in Ahsoka, becoming strong in herself through growth instead of being that way to start with.
But Kalifa still can’t save herself without Marysoka, and...
Prediction correct. Except for the "next battle scene" part.
I’ll move on to the next episode later and talk about them as a whole. As for this one, it did have a nice slow moment of dialogue at the end, but that dialogue was so muddled that it was practically a placeholder. And Anakin noticed. I give it a resounding “meh”.