Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Clone Wars Have Begun

One question: why didn't anyone tell me I had to watch The Clone Wars?

I guess I heard about it more a couple years ago when the sixth and final season was released exclusively on Netflix, so they were advertising it quite a bit on there. But I thought, oh, an animated series, I probably don't really need to or want to watch that. How can it really be that great?

But then when I decided that I was a Star Wars fan and should therefore act like one, one of the things that I decided went under "acting like one" was to watch even an animated series from this universe. I remember it was last October that I watched the movie that served as a pilot to The Clone Wars; I didn't consider it that great, as I'd expected. But I was determined to keep watching. I watched the first season rather slowly, it would seem: I hadn't realized it took me nearly a whole year to watch the whole show.

As you move through the first couple of seasons, you begin to realize that there are some good episodes or good moments scattered among the more mediocre content. Sometimes it is "just an animated series" and sometimes it's pretty good. And then by the time you're making you're way well through Season 2, you begin to realize that those good episodes are well worth it.

Stellar, absolutely stellar are some of the moments in this show. All the depth of theme that's in the movies, all the drama and tragedy, all the analysis of human behavior and decision-making and resolve. I got used to the formula that also exists in many other TV shows: you'll get a really good episode or set of episodes and then a bad or mediocre episode or set. The mediocre episodes could have good moments, too, but they were slower for me to move through.

And, oh, the end of Season 5, as I've mentioned, was just . . . touching. Definitely not something I would have wanted to miss. So if you're like me and you say you like Star Wars but haven't watched The Clone Wars yet, do watch it.

Now on to specifics (with some possible spoilers toward the end if, you know, you haven't watched but want to watch).

What sometimes made it difficult to keep up with the show was its scattered nature. It sets out as if the focus is on Anakin and Obi-Wan, but it isn't really. Some episodes they only appear briefly in and some they aren't in at all. Some episodes focus on the Clones, some on the droids, some on other characters (both minor and less minor). It's a big set of characters, which helps to establish this universe as a real place but also makes it a little difficult to want to follow along with everyone when you have your favorite characters that you'd rather hear about instead.

There were some good characters introduced in the series, though. Satine was an interesting character, as was her place within the show: basically she is there to provide a way to compare Obi-Wan's reactions to certain events with Anakin's reactions to the same type of events (but centered on a different person, of course). Cad Bane kind of scares me, and I'm not sure if that's in a good way. Hondo kind of grew on me, though (by the way, I hate auto correct and apologize if I don't catch any of its "corrections" of names that I spelled right when I typed them out). Ventress grew to be pretty . . . interesting. Ah, yes, and then there is Ahsoka.

If you ask me, I say The Clone Wars is all about Ahsoka. Her energy, devotion, and kindness make her the type of character you like from the start. Seeing that T-shirt saying "Ahsoka Lives" and seeing her brief appearances in Rebels, I thought that it would appear that she died at the end of the series. I was sure that would happen. So I was surprised (and even kind of frightened, I guess) by how events unfolded: that was tragic. And then that final bit of her walking away, oh, so beautiful and, oh, so sad. I was almost crying. Seeing Ahsoka so put down--because the ones she had put her trust in (her entire life) hadn't trusted her back. So that was wonderfully done. I was just disappointed that there wasn't something more in Season 6 because I was kind of expecting something else and I wanted to see more of her character. But I guess that's why she's in Rebels now.

I've hardly covered any ground and yet I've already talked too much for one post. So I'll leave it at that. A lot of what I considered fluff in this series and also a lot of wonderful moments that were well worth watching. New characters, familiar characters, a bit of action, some mystery, some philosophical pondering, and also just a longer look at more of the people and places that inhabit this universe I once might have thought I knew so well.

Can we please forward two more weeks until Season 3 of Rebels starts airing again so I can get more of my Star Wars animated series fix?

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