If there's one thing Star Wars: The Clone Wars has had a lot of so far in its third season, it's Senate hearings. The first half of the season has been heavy on the show's signature intrigue, but outside of the first couple of episodes, a bit light on the action. For a show with "wars" in the title - twice - it may surprise viewers, especially the younger ones, to see more of the politics behind the war than the war itself in any one episode, let alone multiple in one season.When the show returns from its fall hiatus in January, however, the war drums will be beating once more, and louder than ever. At special screenings across the country, the next three episodes of the show were seen by fans and press alike on big screens in movie theaters, all to introduce a new character and give some much-needed background to another. Savage (pronounced sah-VAHJ) Oppress was first teased at the Star Wars: Celebration V convention in Orlando, FL this past August. While intriguing, fans knew only one real thing about the familiar-looking character: he is Darth Maul's brother. Maul was considered by many the bright spot of the first film in the "prequel" trilogy, The Phantom Menace. With his horned and multi-colored head and dual-bladed lightsaber, the character screamed visual flare and a true sense of power. As it happens, his brother shares those traits, and may wind up eclipsing them. The arc shown gives the origin story of not just Savage, however, but also of Separatist assassin (and secret Sith apprentice) Asajj Ventress. Ventress's origin has been mired in shadow, with a little revealed here and there in the show and in accompanying comic books. The three episodes that kick off the show's return promise "secrets revealed" and they pay off in every way. From infancy to the beginning of this very episode, the fan-favorite villain's complicated origin is shown in detail, and winds up all making perfect sense. Her own trials and motivations are finally laid out bare, and show a deeper connection to the greater Star Wars universe. Savage injects not just some straight action but also some of the aforementioned intrigue into the mix. His initial arc takes him through some truly shocking moments in these early stages of his development as a character, and you can bet kids (and a few adults) across the country will be playing "Savage" in the near future. The big twist at the end is a huge shock to fans of just the movies and tv shows in the Star Wars mythos, and a fun hat-tip to those who follow the huge expanded universe of the novels and comics. No matter what level of fan you are, when you see those final moments, you will be grinning with eyes wide open, anxious to see what comes next. The way it all ends seems to set up a massive three-way battle you won't have seen coming, which is teased inside. These episodes looked incredible on the big screen, as well. The multiple lightsaber battles, massive uses of force power previously rarely seen outside of video games, and a space battle to kick it all off showed off how truly "Star Wars" The Clone Wars really is. In addition to the episodes, a trailer for the rest of the second half of season 3 was shown. Massive. Explosive. Changed allegiances. It's safe to say that if the first half was about setting up the next era of The Clone Wars, the second half will be about tearing it all down. Are you excited for what comes next?
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS Gets SAVAGE
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