Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Clone Wars: Season 1

*WARNING: What follows is the geekiest review you have ever read. You will witness the true scope of my lifelong love for Star Wars. Be advised!*

Now we're doing Clone Wars. Yeah I know, it took me awhile but it's high time we talk about this series and if you know one thing about me, it's that Star Wars is life. Now I will freely admit I was so against this show when it was on the air you thought I was on a boycott, I refused to watch this show. Cause what was the point? We already have a Clone Wars series from back in 2004, hand drawn animation, created by the same guy who did Samurai Jack Genndy Tartakovsky, fits between Episodes 2 and 3, perfection! Why do we need a damn 3D animated Clone Wars series?? Well after a long time, we're talking like two maybe even three years after the show was cancelled, I finally caved in and watched it on Netflix. In short, I was wrong. This is a brilliant series, it takes everything not so very good about the prequels in every way and improves it to where you love it. And what I kinda like about it is how not only can you pretty much watch whatever episodes you want in any order you want because the show was told through little chunks of story from all over the place in terms of time and space, and to fully understand it just Google "clone wars chronological order" and you will see what I mean. But not only that, the creators were pretty much given free reign to do whatever they wanted with the lore accumulated up until that point and could invent new things. When I heard Anakin had an apprentice, I practically howled betrayal but you know what, I think Ahsoka Tano is one of the best Star Wars characters ever. At first you think she's essentially the Scrappy-Doo of the series but through time you see her grow, develop, and become a great character. You grow to love and care about her very quickly! I feel I need to issue a personal apology to Lucasfilm and Dave Filoni, because I was closed minded and refused to see new Star Wars content. THAT is the true betrayal! They bring a lot of character to new faces and old favorites and that's really what the show is about, the old Clone Wars show was about showing the vast battles and more the spectacle and visuals than story and character. This show is all about the characters. Anakin is not a creepy, violent, utter piece of shit, he's a headstrong, capable, adventurous young Jedi who can leap into action, make a witty retort, and proves to be a great master to Ashoka. Obi-Wan is everything you love about Obi-Wan on steroids, he can make really bad jokes but you laugh regardless, he can be diplomatic, is very strong in the Force, and is a deadly combatant, it really would make Ewan McGregor proud. We get to know more Jedi that we see in the films briefly, and they have more prominent roles each with their own personality, style, and views on the war and the future, I swear you meet a Jedi Master for a grand total of about 4 minutes before he gets killed and you genuinely feel heartbroken. Even Jar Jar Binks has one episode where he isn't completely useless and stupid! Yeah who would have thunk right? And you actually give a damn about the clone troopers, they are not just cgi video game characters used for blaster fodder, they are their own people. If you watch season 1 episode 1, there's a scene where Yoda talks to them and gives them advice and tells them they are not things but living people and how important they are. Stuff like this happens all the time in this show, we meet tons of clones who all have identity and likeability. There was one mission where there was a squadron of clones in Y-Wings, and one got scratched on one of the wings and I legitimately flinched. I did not want to see any of them die, and these were clones you meet for the first time with no past experience. That's some mighty fine writing and characterization. But even the technicals are done well, the lighting, use of color, and each planet and ship having their own unique art design is something to be admired. I have no idea how people do 2D animation, hand drawn or not because that takes time, patience, and understanding of the craft but I am beyond words how you make a complete 3D animated show. The animation quality gets better and better through each season but even the first one has really good animation. I will say there are some episodes you can honestly skip, you can drop about 4 or 5 episodes if you so wish. But that's the beauty of the show, you can watch it anyway you want, I mean sure there is continuity but you still have that freedom to watch any episode arc of your choosing. I can say the best episodes of season 1 are, the Malevolence trilogy, Dooku Captured, the Ryloth trilogy, Clone Cadets and Ambush. So out of 22 episodes, I only dropped 5 episodes so that's not bad. And there's plenty to watch and experience so I'll be back tomorrow for season 2.

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