Clone Wars Weekly - The Story So Far...

As there will be no new episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars this week, one guesses there’s no Jedi equivalent of Halloween, it’s time to look at how the series has done in its first month.

This is an episode-by-episode breakdown of how the series has done since its debut on Friday, October 3. Like many new shows, the consistency has been a tad uneven, but overall highly entertaining. Here we go:

October 3 – “Ambush”

Writer: Steve Melching

Episode Director: Dave Filoni

This episode primarily served two purposes. The first was to introduce the overall format of the series. The second was to give a proper introduction to Yoda and a bit on the Clones. In the grand scheme of George Lucas’ overall plans, “Ambush” did its job.

As anyone who’s following the show knows, each episode now starts with a faked news announcement describing the state of the galaxy. While one may find the actual announcer a tad over-the-top, it moves quickly and it’s time for the real adventure.

On the other hand, it does a pretty good job of introducing how Yoda will be played. As Melching and Filoni stated in past interviews here, he’s more like the joking imp of Empire Strikes Back than the more weary and wary leader of Attack of the Clones. The way he particularly handles Douku’s main assassin, Asaaj, is particularly effective.

The first theme about the Clones, that each one is an individual, with individual personalities and skills, is also introduced. Last but not least, remember the treaty Yoda gets with King Katuunko. According to our interviews it will be important in the future.

October 3 – “Rising Malevolence”

Writer: Steve Melching

Episode Director: Dave Filoni

The first mini-arc of the series revolves around Anakin and Ahsoka. It also introduces the character of Jedi General Plo Koon.

From the get-go, it’s now pretty obvious that the initial friction the Jedi and his padawan had in the movie is basically over. Anakin has taken on the role of older brother/teacher fairly well, much to the regret of some members of the Jedi Council. The reason for these regrets is Ahsoka is becoming as impulsive and rebellious as her mentor.

There are also two solid subthemes that beg further exploration. The first is Ahsoka’s past and what exactly does Plo Koon have to do with it. The second is further exploration of the character(s) of the Clones.

Otherwise, this is a solid story, even if it does bare some resemblance to the old movie “Lifeboat.” The idea that it’s actually based on the Allies experience with the Nazi super-battleship The Bismark should also not be forgotten.

October 10 – “Shadow of Malevolence”

Writer: Steve Melching

Episode Director: Brian Kalin O’Connell

The Malevolence arc continues as General Grievous’ superweapon now sets its sites on a Clone medical facility. Anakin, Ahsoka and Plo Koon lead a sneak attack on the ship, and we learn one very important thing…the future Darth Vader doesn’t really think things through. Yes, by the time all is said and done, the mission is a success, but at considerable cost due to one important Anakin oversight.

Still, as far as battle sequences go, O’Connell does one hell of a job. Here’s to hoping he gets a few more.

October 17 – “Destroy Malevolence”

Writer: Scott Murphy/Steve Melching

Episode Director: Unknown

Probably the one episode that made me sit back and wonder if it was really necessary. Yes, it does truly introduce Padme and C3PO to the party, but one has to wonder if they really were as dumb as they were when they fall to Douku’s little trap.

The other thing is Grievous really that dull a knife? Yes, he is being a good general and following his Lord’s orders, but still. One is left with the feeling this arc really should have ended with “Shadow” when all is said and done.

October 24 – “Rookies”

Writer: Steve Melching

Episode Director: John Ridge

When we interviewed Tom Kane, the voice of Yoda, last September, he did warn that while the first episodes have their moments, this series really doesn’t kick into high gear until the fifth or sixth episode. Looks like he’s right. “Rookies” is truly the best of the lot, at least so far.

The sub-theme of the Clones is reintroduced in this episode, and really given a thorough examination. If one wonders if each Clone is an individual, there’s no better way to display the final results than to focus on seven of them with barely a Jedi or any other Republic character in sight, and that’s exactly what you have here.

This episode packs some solid character development, but also has some fine plotting as the severely under-gunned seven clones try to outwit General Grievous and protect their home world. Here’s to hoping there are a lot more episodes like this one.

Next Edition: Droids. Droids. More Droids.

Clone Wars Weekly 10: Voicing ALL the Clones

Clone Wars Weekly 9: The Continuing Malevolence

Clone Wars Weekly 8: Continuing the Story

Clone Wars Weekly 7: Debut Week

Clone Wars Weekly 6: Writer Henry Gilroy, p3

Clone Wars Weekly 5: Writer Henry Gilroy, p2

Clone Wars Weekly 4: Writer Henry Gilroy, p1

Clone Wars Weekly 3: Creating a New Clone Wars

Clone Wars Weekly 2: From Big Screen to Small

Clone Wars Weekly 1: Director David Filoni

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