The Clone Wars-The Episodes of 2008
Here is What You Need To Know:
I have been struggling with how to handle the problematic issue of reviewing The Clone Wars. Yes, I know I promised to review every episode, but let’s face it, that is just too painful. Instead what I have opted for is a quick episode guide. I’ll suffer less and you’ll suffer less. You can read my full review of the first episode of The Clone Wars- Ambush and I will give you quick mini-reviews of the other nine episodes below.
Episode Two: Rising Malevolence
Should you watch it? Yes. The Separatists have a really impressive new weapon called The Malevolence that can disable electronics. Jedi Master Plo Koon has to find a way to keep alive until help arrives. The space battles that follow are actually pretty novel. I was surprised as this episode was more intelligent than the first. Where human faces are concerned the animation is still weak.
Overall Grade C
Episode Three: Shadow of the Malevolence
Should you watch it? This episode sort of drags a bit at points, but it’s passable.
Overall Grade C-
Episode Four: Destroy the Malevolence
Should you watch it? This episode isn’t too bad actually. Lots of action in Destroy the Malevolence and an okay script this time out too. But there is a problem. The animation on Padme is so wooden. Argh! Why did they screw up the facial animation so much?
Overall Grade C
Episode Five: Rookies
Should you watch it? Actually yes, this is definitely one of the best episodes. The action is none stop and the script is tight enough to keep you engaged. You follow a group of rookie clones on a distant outpost that is attacked by a Droid Commando invasion. Someone even dies! Good one.
Overall Grade: B-
Episode Six: Downfall of a Droid
Should you watch it? Yes, this is a two-part episode that has improved writing. R2-D2 is lost during a space battle and must be retrieved immediately, for as it turns out his memory was never wiped. This means he has all sorts of very sensitive battle plan information that could be retrieved by the Separatists.
Overall Grade: B-
Episode Seven: Duel of the Droids
Should you watch it? The second part of a two-part episode, Downfall of a Droid, is really good. There are some great locations and some interesting battles. It looks as though things are improving.
Overall Grade B-
Episode Eight: Bombad Jedi
Should you watch it? The answer is, only if you hate yourself. Three words-Jar Jar Binks. Just as I was beginning to think that there might be some hope for this entire operation they go and throw Jar Jar at us. What gives? Why does Lucas hate us all so much? Seriously, isn’t it confusing? This episode is one of the worst moments in Star Wars history and that is saying something. Viceroy Nute Gunray takes prisoner Padme and Jar Jar is mistaken for a Jedi. Lucas hates us.
Overall Grade: D-
Episode Nine: Cloak of Darkness
Should you watch it? There is something really sick and twisted about following up such a terrible episode (Bombad Jedi) with such a good one. Cloak of Darkness is a lot of fun. Ahsoka and Jedi Master Luminara are escorted the captured Nute Gunray to prison so that he can await trail. Count Dooku sends his apprentice to liberate Gunray. We are then given a couple of great battle sequences. Cloak of Darkness is well-directed with a good, but somewhat predictable script.
Overall Grade: B+ (I was actually able to look past the 1996 level of facial animation, long enough to enjoy this one.)
Episode Ten: Lair of Grievous
Should you watch it? Why the answer, to my shock, is once again, yes. A Jedi Master named Kit Fisto, his Padawan and a group of clones find General Grievous’ hideout. Count Dooku forces Grievous to prove his worth by killing a Jedi. It’s all very entertaining.
Overall Grade: B+
Series Summary to Date
It is very difficult to get pass the complete failure of the facial animation. But the scripts have, overall, slowly improved. I am shocked, as I thought there was no hope. Part of the problem is that no matter how much the scripts improve, the facial animation will never allow The Clone Wars to be top-notch entertainment. The best the series can probably ever hope for is a solid B grade, but I must admit even this shocks me from where the series began. That stated, there is no excuse for the poor animation and the Jar Jar episode. Everyone at Lucasfilm should have more pride in the work!
Overall Series Grade to Date: C+