Clone Wars Weekly - The Continuing Malevolence
by Steve Fritz
Date: 17 October 2008 Time: 02:25 PM ET
Clone Wars - Continuing Malevolence
Tonight marks the end of the 3-episode “Malevolence” minarc. At the same time, it also introduces two characters who Star Wars fans should be very familiar with, Padme Amidala and C3PO.As previously announced, Anthony Daniels continues to voice the well mannered ‘bot. For the role of Padme, the powers that be at LucasFilm made one very interesting choice. They hired Catherine Taber (American Werewolf in Paris, Crank Yankers). She isn’t playing Anakin’s love interest like some damsel in distress, even though the situation she will find herself in warrants it. “She sometimes ends up in sticky situations,” says Taber, “but always for the right reasons, because she’s out on her own doing what she believes in. She doesn’t really require rescuing; she’s quite capable of rescuing herself. She can be kind of girly, and yet at the same time she’s completely willing to get her hands dirty if she needs to. Playing her is a lot of fun, because it’s very close to playing myself-although she’s been a queen and she’s a senator, so she may be a bit more refined.”
Still, before this adventure is through, Anakin and Ahsoka are going to have to run to her rescue, which can bring some interesting future issues along the way. “What was fun about this episode was that it was the first time in the Clone Wars that Padmé and Anakin are physically together,” Taber says. “In the movie, they only interacted via hologram, so this is a chance to see us together, fighting side by side. It’s sort of the Star Wars version of a date, and it’s always really fun to see these characters interact. Their secret relationship is so central to the larger Star Wars story, and every time they’re together it gives us a glimpse into what’s to come and why.” Yet the question has to be asked. What does the entrance of this ‘older woman’ mean to the young Ahsoka? At the moment, according to head writer Henry Gilroy, it doesn’t seem to be much. Then again, Anakin’s young padawan is an impressionable teenager and Lucasfilm is sure doing their best to make her master one dashing young fellow. “[It’s] big brother and little sister with a lot of spirited banter,” says Gilroy. “Like any sibling type relationship, there are times when they earnest and serious, like when Anakin is trying to teach Ahsoka how to be a better Jedi…his way. Other times it can be contemptuously playful like when they have a difference of opinion and neither one will back down. Like siblings, they care very much about each other, but there's a lot of pushing back and forth, but hopefully it's fun in that Leia/Han way.” We all know how the relationship with Leia and Han ended, don’t we? While we also know the final fate of Anakin and Padme, there’s still a few years before that happens. In the meantime, another benefit of this episode is we finally get to see General Grievous in some serious action. “I love Grievous because he really harkens back to the old serial villains of old, he'd twirl his mustache if he had one,” says Gilroy. “There's nothing redeemable about Grievous because his entire existence is selfish. He's all about getting more power for himself at any cost and that's something we'll explore in the series. He's an egomaniacal sociopath.” As for the completion of this 3-part arc, Gilroy sounds like he’s glad he done with it, but also glad he did it. “Writing the three-part stories are far more complicated,” he said, “because we really work to have each part have a strong enough narrative to stand alone, yet create enough tension to feel like somewhat of a cliff hanger so the audience will want to tune in next week. The one episode of ‘Ambush’ was originally planned to be the prologue to a much bigger story arc I had planned. It featured the Toydarians and the Jedi against the Geonosians in a giant 'hawkmen-style' air war, where all the Jedi were wearing jetpacks to fight with the Toydarians who have wings and can fly as can the Geonosians. George tends to think the same way, I think he's got some story in mind that uses Yoda's treaty with Toydaria.” “The Clone Wars is really an opportunity to tell those great old war stories, “ says episode scriptwriter Steve Melching. It’s really like a World War II tale of going behind enemy lines on pretty much a suicide mission. It’s the small band of heroes racing against time, and while you may think they’ll accomplish the mission, you still wonder if they’ll all make it out alive. “These are the great stories to tell – stories of bonding and heroism and sacrifice, and this was a particularly great opportunity to have Anakin and Ahsoka working together and coming together as a team, getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in the throws of battle.” And who knows? In between it all, there might be some other kind of heat coming out from the relationship between Anakin and Padme. Will it cause a reaction in Ahsoka? You’ll have to wait and see. Suffice it C3PO, and you, might be saying ‘Oh dear!’ by the time this arc is over.