Being a review of the second part of the season finale.
The Trandoshans have great, expressive, Jurassic Park-raptor faces. The first scene in which one chases Ahsoka down made me almost forget that they were sentient, until another pulled up in a warpainted hover platform and started talking to him. The fact that the platform had eyes and pointed teeth of its own painted on the front seemed a commentary on how appearance doesn’t actually match the nature of the thing behind it; the hover platform looks like an animal and isn’t; the Trandoshans sound like animals and aren’t.
The fights in both episodes of the finale are also very animalistic, without lightsabers and with a lot of tackling and crawling. Face-grabbing is a repeated theme. I’d suggest it was part of Ahsoka’s Togruta heritage getting her in tune with the jungle, but the other Jedi display it too. Anyway it was interestingly different. Ahsoka using the Force to make the Trandoshan pilot’s shots go wide was an inventive use of the Force that was also distinctly elegant and “human”, involving the hands and technology instead of the entire body.
There were a couple great shots here, one of the Cerean’s eyes widening as he’s about to get kicked off the side of a ship, and another of that same ship crashing into the beach, the entire forward section swinging around like a boom and displaying the ship’s name (in Aurebesh) before it slams into the sand.
The appearance of Chewbacca is of course a Big Deal and probably discussed elsewhere on the internet. For me, the Wookiee’s undeniable appeal is a little less undeniable. He just seemed to me to symbolize the presence of the OT in TCW, as did the scene immediately after his rescue when the Trandoshans are “combing the desert” stormtrooper-style outside the crashed ship. Chewie as a character just always flew under the radar for me. Let’s see if this episode changes that.
(Ahsoka, how do you speak Shryiiwook? How?! Someone please tell me this is explained somewhere. I thought Han and Revan were among the only humans to be able to pick it up. Wookieepedia tells me that there are in fact about thirty recorded individuals who speak it, and that it is a trade language, so they might have learned it in the Jedi Temple. Nevertheless I’m annoyed. I say that gives 'Soka another Sue point.The other lost Padawans can’t speak it...)
I like the little interludes with the creatures outside the base. Some of them parallel the stuff going on with the Padawans, which is interesting storytelling without words.
Apparently, if a mindtrick doesn’t work, smacking the guy on the head will make the next one go a little easier. That was amusing.
I didn’t see the episodes that introduced Sugi, but seeing her charge to the rescue with a cadre of Wookiees was pretty cool.
The Trandoshan’s trophies were nicely gristly; I saw an Ithorian head, and lekku, as well as...was that the Crystal Skull? And a KotOR-era Mandalorian helmet?
Ahsoka has some shamelessly cool kung fu poses in this fight.
The Trandoshan leader has one goal in mind; to avenge the death of his son. Ahsoka takes no responsibility for killing him, instead blaming “your own actions”-- the hunt itself. I’m not sure I agree with that logic. She seems to have this pathological inability to feel (or show) guilt about anything. She encourages Anakin not to blame himself for his actions either.
There’s a lot of Master-Padawan bonding in the scenes with Anakin. When Ahsoka says she survived because she remembered Anakin’s training, I thought that was nice but wished they had shown a hint of it during the fights themselves. Even if she had mentioned Anakin once it would have deepened the emotional aspect of the whole thing instead of making it seem like he was the only one worried. Yoda seems happy enough about the end result, though.
We don’t get to see what happens to Chewie after the episode, and we don’t get to see whether this is the alliance he and Yoda mention in episode III. Am I disappointed in the lack of references to other parts of the canon? Yes. Should I be surprised? No.
I also watched the trailer(s) for season four, which are available on YouTube last time I checked. And what do we see there?
1.) Ahsoka falling into an ocean, maybe on purpose.
2.) Gungans (who thought that was a good idea?) including Captain Tarpals. If any of them can be cool, I guess it’s him.
3.) Suggestions of episode three. The music is there, and one of the clones intones, “Someday, this war will end.” I wonder if we’re getting closer to the dark times of RotS.
4.) Clones being displayed like character selection options on Battlefront, showing off new armor.
5.) Kit Fisto a la Tartakovsky, which I can’t say I’m not happy about.
6.)A Besalisk (Dexter Jettster style) Jedi with two double-bladed lightsabers. I’ve expressed before that I think that’s a ridiculous concept for a fighting style, but TCW does tend to impress in regards to fights, and, well, the guy has four arms.
The Cartoon Network announcer triumphantly declares, “It’s Star Wars...what else do we need to say?” I think I could write a paper on that line alone.
1.) Does that imply that quality can fly out the window as long as it’s got the franchise name?
2.) Well...doesn’t it? I’m still watching the stuff. They win.
3.) The use of “we” might be common in Cartoon Network voiceovers, I’m not sure, but here it seems to imply a pre-existing audience of fans and overseer-creators, all backing this project and encouraging others to back it too.
So, sometime this fall I’ll have a Clone Wars to talk about again. Until then, it’s back to writing fanfic about Savage. Have you enjoyed the season? It seems like such a long time since the people at Celebration were eagerly anticipating the episodes to come in January.