Want fun, but constructive blogs from fanboys with a lot of passion? Then you should read the Reckoning Reviewer's blog. Here you can see film reviews, top lists, and opinions on various topics. Everything here is 100% fanboy thoughts, and no less. Whether he's gushing all over his love for Star Wars, or raging about the latest crapfests, there is always personal fun to be had.
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  1. Bounty Hunters
    "You don't have to look tough to be tough." - Ahsoka
    After crashing on Felucia, Ahsoka, Anakin and Obi-Wan find a village of farmers who have hired bounty hunters Sugi, Embo, Seripas and Rumi Paramita to defend a valuable crop from pirates. Obi-Wan tries to keep the Jedi from getting involved, but when the pirates turn out to be led by Hondo Ohnaka, things do change. The Jedi train the villagers to defend themselves.
    Another episode of the Clone Wars that really shows a ton of creative greatness in it. Bounty Hunters is an episode I remember for a number of reasons as a really great episode.
    For one, it shows a side of Star Wars canon not shown before this point in time. In Star Wars we have seen a lot of bounty hunters, and most of them are shown as the villains, but this episode was a different step. The bounty hunters shown in this episode are actually honorable warriors, sticking to their contracts and not breaking them no matter how much they would be paid if they did. Sugi and her crew were so great in this episode, and really stood out among the many bounty hunters shown in the series, especially Embo, voiced by Dave Filoni himself. I love how intensely awesome they made Embo in this episode. Seeing him take down pirates and using his hat as a weapon never gets old.
    We also get the return of Hondo, who is even more fun and likable in this episode than before, even when he is threatening the villagers and fighting Anakin on his tank, he always has this hilarious charisma about him, and a lot of that is thanks to Jim Cummings' great voice acting.
    I also really liked seeing the Jedi training the villagers, and how they worked with the bounty hunters as well while doing it. You could say this does subtly build up to a future event in the series, or you could look at it as its own thing. Either way, it is nice to see how the Jedi train the citizens to fight for themselves so that in the future they won't be taken advantage of by more people like the pirates.
    The dynamics between the Jedi and bounty hunters are great. We see Obi-Wan at first being a little uncertain about Sugi's motives after his past experiences with bounty hunters, and how she shows that she keeps the interest of the farmers in check as well as her profit.
    But the real great moment comes between Ahsoka and Seripas. At first, Seripas is this big, hulking robotic dude, but then it's revealed that inside he's actually a weak little alien dude like in Men in Black. Ahsoka's line which I quoted at the start is one that really sticks to me, since when she first started out, she was underestimated by even her own master, but now they know how great she is, and I keep saying it over and over.
    Bounty Hunters is a really well put together, impressive episode from start to finish. It has so much to love about it from all the wonderful aspects to enjoy, from characters to animation to just plain awesomeness. All wrapped up with a new and refreshing take on badass bounty hunters.

    The Zillo Beast
    "I said order them to stop!" - Mace Windu
    To win the Battle of Malestare, Chancellor Palpatine sends the Republic's latest doomsday weapon, the electro proton bomb. The bomb obliterates the entire droid army, winning the battle, but creates a sinkhole that unearths a creature long thought to be extinct. The Zillo Beast, a giant monster with an armored hide so strong that not even a lightsaber can cut it. The Dugs, led by Doge Nakha Urus want the beast to be killed, but Mace Windu wants to save the beast, being the last of its kind, and an innocent life form. Unfortunately the Dugs have very valuable fuel that the Republic wants access to, and the Dugs won't give it up if the Jedi don't help.
    Who else thought Gareth Edwards would be directing a Zillo Beast movie after he did Godzilla? Just me? Oh.
    Anyway, the Zillo Beast is as big of a giant monster movie fan project as could be shown. Star Wars is home to a lot of interesting creatures, and this episode introduced the Zillo Beast to us. Its design is pretty interesting, as well as its special ability to be almost indestructible. We've always seen the lightsaber as the ultimate weapon in Star Wars, being able to cut through anything, so we were caught by surprise when it wouldn't cut the Zillo Beast. It immediately gets you wondering how such a powerful creature got pushed near extinction, and thankfully the episode answers it.
    I also kind of find it interesting for moments when Anakin and Mace Windu have to work together. Windu doesn't like Anakin obviously, as shown in the movies, but in the show Anakin does respect Windu and tries to get along with him despite his criticisms.
    Speaking of Windu, this might be one of his more personal episodes. Sure in Liberty on Ryloth he is seen as the stoic badass on the battlefield, but here we do see more about his character, more of his own beliefs, and his need to save the Zillo Beast. It's moments like these that show Windu's wisdom.
    We also finally see the Dugs on their homeworld on Malestare, and how they seem to be a species of warriors, as shown in the huge battle at the start of the episode where they join the clones against the gigantic droid army before the bomb is used on the droids. Whenever that thing goes off it is a spectacle as that gigantic wave of electricity hits everything around it.
    Regarding the character of Doge Urus, my mother really wanted him to die. He was a big jerk with how he really wanted to kill the Zillo Beast, and seeing his fear of it you can see where he is coming from. Still, he is a pretty big jerk with not a lot else to him, and I think it may have disappointed my mother when he survived.
    The episode does end in a pretty ridiculous way, as after the Jedi beat the Zillo Beast, Palpatine decides to bring it to Coruscant for study. I know he is secretly evil, but come on, bringing a giant monster to a planet that is just one big city housing billions of people? That is a pretty questionable plan for someone trying to keep the public and senate under his control.
    Still. A really fun episode with some giant monster fun, a good look at the wisdom of Mace Windu, and some exciting new details about the universe.

    The Zillo Beast Strikes Back
    "How can it be a plan if it's improvised?" - Mace Windu
    With the Zillo Beast captured and transported to Coruscant, Palpatine looks forward to unlocking the secrets of the beast's indestructible armor to improve the Republic's battleships. He decides to kill the beast for further study, but the Zillo Beast manages to break free from containment and go on a rampage through Coruscant. Though the Zillo Beast seems to be personally coming for Palpatine.
    The title of this episode alone did get my mother laughing. It is predictable what direction things will take once you put the Zillo Beast on Coruscant. The episode does have some funny moments, some intentional, and some moments where I don't think my mother was supposed to laugh.
    The episode is more or less kind of like what the previous episode was like, with giant rampaging monster fun that looks great. When the city is getting destroyed, it is very well animated, and I love one little detail about the scene when the gunships shoot at the beast, but their shots keep bouncing off harmlessly.
    Other than some monster fun, sadly the episode doesn't offer a lot. When the Zillo Beast is on screen it is interesting, but whenever they cut away from the beast and go to Anakin and Padmé trying to convince Palpatine not to kill it, it's not boring, but it's not exactly what we came for. It's just kind of there.
    I remember my mother kept yelling at the screen for the Zillo Beast to eat Palpatine over and over. I'm glad she's getting into the show, but she doesn't have to yell at the screen every time the Zillo Beast and Palpatine are in the same place. I get it, they would've been spared a lot of pain if that happened.
    You still have to wonder though how there wasn't a big outcry over Palpatine's leadership after the whole disaster with the Zillo Beast. It was his idea to bring it there to be studied in the first place, when he could've picked a far less populated planet to do that on safely. I've seen people publicly humiliated on larger scales for less, but they seem to give him a free pass for bringing that creature there.
    But the death of the Zillo Beast itself was so brutal and so beautifully done that it really makes you feel for this creature in its final moments as it is suffocating on the poisonous Malestarian fuel. Such great tragedy with the score, the amazing sound design of the creature, the animation, it takes your breath away. No pun intended.
    Still, the episode is pretty fine. It isn't one of the Clone Wars best episodes, but it's definitely not among the worst.
  2. Holocron Heist
    "You may have Madame Jocasta's shape, but not her skills!" - Ahsoka
    After a losing battle on Felucia, the Jedi Council is disappointed in Ahsoka for her disobedience in the heat of combat, and assign her to archive security for the time being. Meanwhile, Darth Sidious has hired a bounty hunter Cad Bane to break into the Jedi Temple and steal a holocron. Bane agrees to the mission, and with the help of his techno-service droid, Todo-360, and the Clawdite, Cato Parasitti, they infiltrate the temple, but the Jedi know they are coming. What they don't know is why.
    The second season of the series was titled "Rise of the Bounty Hunters" for all of the bounty hunters brought into the show. Of course not every episode focused on the bounty hunters, but it was a significant time for them. Cad Bane was introduced in the episode Hostage Crisis, which aired in season one to let us know what he was capable of, but takes place further down the road. Now onto the rest of the episode.
    This episode was a first for a lot of things in the show. The first time we see Felucia, which is one of the planets shown in Revenge of the Sith, and it is a rather beautiful looking planet, I must say. The first time we see a holocron in all of Star Wars, which is a big thing because holocrons are pretty important devices of knowledge. The first time we see the Jedi Council chambers, but at the time not all of the members had gotten animation models, so it was rather incomplete.
    And I'm just going to say it now, we never see the full Jedi Council seated together in the series. They get up to eleven members, and there are twelve seats on the council. We do see more Jedi Council members throughout the series, but you can guess what happens when I said that twelve are never seated together.
    It is also chronologically the first time we see Cad Bane in the series. It does make an impression when Darth Sidious himself wants to hire a bounty hunter. From that moment you do have to wonder about Bane's qualifications. We see that he was able to kill a Jedi, so I guess that works.
    It is further explained that Bane did work for Sidious's former apprentice, Darth Maul in the recent comic series. It isn't required knowledge for casual viewers, but it is some cool information for fans nonetheless that adds to why Sidious is hiring him.
    Bane himself does have a great design. He is a Duros, one of the background species from A New Hope, and I think it's really cool how the show did take a character, make him into a species that was in the background, and make something of them. Bane is a character that does get more charisma in other episodes like Hostage Crisis, and we do see that he is a skilled bounty hunter, but in this trilogy of episodes all that we get from him is that he is good at his job, and he looks cool.
    His droid, Todo-360 on the other hand, is a fun character. He's voiced by Seth Green of Robot Chicken, and you can tell how much fun he's having as this character. He does a really great job of making Todo fun and likable through the vocal performance. Todo is the kind of character who seems to think he is a special little guy and wants everyone to know it, and when he gets disrespect he gets annoyed.
    I also liked the look of Cato Parasitti, and all the cool little details they put into this character. She's the same species of Zam Wessel from Attack of the Clones, and we know that Clawdites are shapeshifters. What they do with Cato is give her a special suit to help her mimic the clothing of the person she changes into, and a helmet that I assume disguises her voice to match theirs, and all she has to do is touch them. That is a really great creation of the show.
    The infiltration of the Jedi Temple is pretty cool, how everyone has their specific assignments on the job, like a spy movie, only this time, the villains are the ones the episode focuses on.
    And of course, what is a great aspect about the show is Ahsoka (as usual). I really liked the Battle of Felucia at the beginning of the episode, and the amount of skill and beautiful movement put into Ahsoka's lightsaber deflection on top of that turbo tank. She always gets awesome moments. I really like how the show gave her a moment where he was so confident that she was going to win the battle, but when Anakin orders her to retreat from the battle, and we see the droids coming in around her tanks and blowing them up from her point of view, the look on her face when she realizes her mistake is beautifully captured, and when she has to admit to it in front of the council, Ashley always does such a great job voicing her.
    Ahsoka also gets an awesome moment in the library when she duels Cato disguised as Jocasta Nu, and dominates her. It's just really awesome to see Ahsoka owning people.
    The episode does have a very weird moment in it when Mace Windu refers to Bane's next target as the "kyber crystal". Of course, we know that the kyber crystal is the name of the crystal that powers lightsabers, so hearing Windu refer to it as a different thing all together is very weird to hear. Maybe there was a meeting on deciding what to call the memory crystal in the next episode, and someone referred to very old concept art to name it, but when someone came up with the idea to instead use that name for lightsaber crystals, it was too late, the line had already been recorded, and there was no going back. In later episodes, the crystal is simply referred to as a memory crystal, but the mistake has already been made.

    Cargo of Doom
    "You will never get me to unlock the holocron!" - Bolla Ropal
    Cad Bane has captured Bolla Ropal, the Jedi Master holding a memory crystal which can only be read by a holocron. Ropal refuses to open the holocron for Bane, and his killed for his defiance. Ahsoka and Anakin board the Separatist frigate Bane is on, and go to get the holocron back from him, but Bane hatches a more nasty plan to unlock the holocron.
    Well, Bane is a d*ck in this episode. There is no denying that. I know he's a villain, so villains can be d*cks, but...Bane is a d*ck. Motivated for his money, sure, but...you get the idea, he does something d*ckish. Moving on.
    Cargo of Doom, has some high points, has some points that aren't so high, has some good stuff, has some mistakes (I'm looking at you, Captain Rex, that was not an AT-AT, that was an AT-TE! You guys had time to fix that, but you didn't.)
    There was some great action with this episode for sure. The scene with the AT-TEs (not AT-ATs, know your walkers, Rex) being dropped onto the frigate to board the ship was very creative and fun. I love the scene where Anakin suggests it, and Yularen is seriously rejecting the plan, but Ahsoka and Rex find the plan to be genius. Then when the tanks are sent down, the droids aren't prepared for it at all, and they run, that was a pretty funny detail.
    The zero gravity battle is also pretty awesome. I loved seeing the Jedi use their great combat abilities while floating in the air, the droid parts flying up when they're destroyed, how the clones used their magnetic boots to stay still during all of the chaos. The animation is noticeably beautiful. Season one had some great animation, but here, you could tell how quickly the show improved the look of everything with each passing season.
    There were some really cool details about this episode too. For instance, Ahsoka's new space suit was nice. It only shows up in this one episode, but I do like the details on it, like how Ahsoka seems to be wearing a clone trooper belt. It seems like the suit was a last minute thing for them, like they were about to board the walkers when Anakin realizes Ahsoka isn't exactly dressed for space, so he gets her a body suit. (That didn't really happen, but I can just imagine a fan made comic of a scene like that being made.)
    Another awesome detail is when Ahsoka deflects Bane's blaster shot back at him and it hits his arm, you can see some blood flying from the wound and hitting the wall. That is a very cool detail leading into the next episode, and one of the many reasons this isn't a kid's show.
    Then there is also the brutal death of Bolla Ropal, the Rodian Jedi. The brutal nature of that scene of his death by electrocution is so impressive, how they put all the details of seeing the life leaving his body so painfully. The droid who was ordered to shock him even feels bad for him, and the sad way he talks really puts some emotional weight onto this scene. This is drastically different from all the funny stuff we get from the droids, in fact, my mother laughed so loud at the droid humor in this episode specifically.
    Now that I have covered the positives of the episode, here we go with what I didn't like. Bane being a d*ck in a specific scene. The scene where Ahsoka gets captured. You guys know I love her, and get uncomfortable when she is mistreated, but I can't help it. Though you could say the predicament helps me grow closer to Anakin and relate to him, because I probably would've done something similar in his shoes.
    Still, Bane, that was not cool!
    That one scene does make this episode a little bit less easy to watch than the rest of this trilogy, but overall it does have more highlights than it does have "Bane being a d*ck" moments. The scenes that stick out do really stick out, and it's hard to be mad at an episode that put so much hard work into its wow factor.
    But still, the ending of the episode feels ridiculous to me. When we see the clone, Denal shooting what looks like Bane before hopping onto the Separatist shuttle with the Jedi and clones, it feels very obvious that it's Bane in the suit. Because, come on, if Ahsoka and Anakin didn't kill him on that mission, it's not possible for a clone to be the one to do it. Anakin even still feels Bane after thinking he saw him die, that should point to the obvious thing that he isn't dead. My mother even started yelling at the scene because it got her worked up.
    Still, Cargo of Doom, has some good looking things, but other things that are harder to watch.

    Children of the Force
    "I sense something, Master, and I don't like it." - Ahsoka
    Cad Bane, having survived the battle on the frigate, escapes with the unlocked holocron. Darth Sidious hires him for a new job, to capture Force sensitive infants from the list, and bring them to Mustafar. Ahsoka, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Mace Windu work together to capture Bane, and save the children.
    When this episode came out, I had no idea that it was building up to something in the future of the Star Wars universe. But as time goes on, you see new stories coming into view, and it makes you think back to other moments, and realize the genius connections. I shall get to that later.
    One thing the episode has in it that works really well is the variety of planets we see. Rodia, Naboo, Mustafar, the different worlds of Star Wars are a very interesting part about this massive universe, and this season we have seen each planet reveal more about itself. We see another Rodian city with new character models, another Gungan city above the water this time with more Gungan variations, and we also see one of Cad Bane's hideouts when Obi-Wan and Mace Windu go there together, and all of the traps it has inside of it.
    It is kind of interesting seeing Obi-Wan and Windu working together, because Windu always seems like a Jedi with trust issues, and seeing him work with a Jedi he seems to trust is intriguing. It's not a huge part of the episode, but it's still interesting nonetheless.
    It's also deeply satisfying to see Ahsoka take down Bane after last episode, and get back her Padawan braid. I was so happy to see that score settled, and honor restored.
    You could say there isn't a lot going on in this episode, but still, it is pretty exciting in my opinion to see the Jedi having to work together and save their future generation.
    Also, the episode actually does a great job at building up for the future of the franchise. We see Anakin, Obi-Wan and Windu working together to overpower Bane's mind since a Jedi mind trick won't work on him. It's actually similar to how Kylo Ren uses the Force to painfully pull information from Poe Dameron.
    Then Darth Sidious's plan to enslave the minds of the children Bane captured is another thing for the future of Star Wars. He mentions the use of Force sensitive spies working for him, and thinking back on that how, it sounds very similar to the Inquisitors we see in Rebels and in the Ahsoka novel. While not exactly the same since the Inquisitors are all adults, many of which appear to be Jedi Temple guards originally before the time of the Empire. The Inquisitors are not only Jedi hunters, looking for survivors of the purge, but they are also tasked with tracking down Force sensitive children, possibly to make into more Inquisitors.
    It's awesome to see how much influence the Clone Wars has in the Star Wars universe, especially its lore. Children of the Force may not be one of the most action packed, or emotional episodes of the show, but there is no denying that it has kind of an influence on the future of Star Wars.
  3. The Innocents of Ryloth
    "I am a droid. I am always right." - TX-20
    Obi-Wan takes a small group of clones with him to the city of Nabat on Ryloth after Ahsoka breaks through the Separatist blockade for him. While Obi-Wan and his group infiltrate the city, the tactical droid leading the droids, TX-20 is using the Twi'Lek villagers as living shields to protect his proton cannons. Meanwhile, two clones, Waxer and Boil have discovered a little Twi'Lek girl named Numa, and try to protect her.
    While I do have a preference for the first episode, I do think that the other two episodes on the Ryloth trilogy are also really great episodes, making the whole arc pretty solid.
    The episode has some great action for starters, like the opening scene where Obi-Wan and the clones first infiltrate the city. Here we see how well Obi-Wan and the clones work together when they throw their droid poppers and Obi-Wan uses the Force to make sure they hit their targets.
    Obi-Wan in general does have some great moments in this episode where we see more of his abilities. We see that Obi-Wan can speak the language of the Twi'Leks, which I thought was a pretty cool thing they added. I believe somewhere in the legends material Obi-Wan did learn other languages from his travels with Qui-Gon, so it's cool to see that the Clone Wars included that and officially made that part of his character canon. We also see him using the Force to attract the gutkurr to him when they attack the clones. That is always an interesting Force power to me, if I was a Jedi I would probably make some creature my pet that way.
    However for all of Obi-Wan's cool moments, surprisingly the episode isn't about him. It focuses more on the two clones Waxer and Boil introduced in this episode. What was really interesting about this episode and these clones is their interactions with the young Twi'Lek, Numa. Boil was more of the soldier who only cared about the battle, but Waxer was a nicer clone who was more willing to help her. It's very interesting how they have to gain her trust at first, and as time goes by Boil does seem to warm up to Numa as the episode goes on and he sees how much the war has effected her.
    Catherine Taber also voices Numa, which is pretty surprising how she is able to convince us that she is a small child in this episode. I really have to hand it to her for her convincing performance and capturing her innocence, it was a shock for me when I learned Padmé was the one voicing this kid.
    What was really the highlight for me was the villain, the tactical droid TX-20. Sure he's a droid, but he's one of the more evil droids in the show. That voice provided by Corey Burton really sells how cold and calculating TX-20 really is, as one of the most memorable droid characters from the show. Anytime we see him on screen I can pretty much sense how much fear he puts into the Twi'Leks as he watches over them, and he also has this badass confidence when he plans to defeat Obi-Wan.
    Innocents of Ryloth is another great episode to be remembered from the show, for a lot of things it manages to accomplish, being able to make clones interesting characters and a tactical droid very threatening.

    Liberty on Ryloth
    "The chard ruins of Ryloth will demonstrate to the galaxy, the cost of a Republic victory!" - Count Dooku
    While Ahsoka battles droids in the sky, and Obi-Wan frees villages, Jedi Master Mace Windu leads a final push to liberate Ryloth from Wat Tambor's iron fist once and for all. To reinforce his army, Windu calls on the freedom fighters led by General Cham Syndulla, who doesn't trust the senator of Ryloth, Orn Free Taa.
    A great arc always needs a strong conclusion, and Liberty on Ryloth is that conclusion to make this trilogy of episodes go out with a bang.
    When Mace Windu does something in the show, it is a pretty rare occurance. Not as grand as when Yoda does it, but he was still a memorable Jedi from the movies thanks to the lengths that Samuel L Jackson and the Star Wars team have gone to make him stand out (I know he's voiced by Terrance Carson in the show, but he still had that influence). It's interesting what the show does with him here, such as showing his signature ability, shatterpoint, along with some of his other skills as a Jedi Master.
    Cham Syndulla was an interesting character, taking the war into his own hands (which we have seen in Supply Lines previously). I really liked his little rivalry with Orn Free Taa, even though they have the same goal in mind, they both have concerns about each other. Cham wants Ryloth to be a free world without the clones left behind, and Orn Free Taa thinks Cham wants to take his power from him. So the two of them have to make a deal to help win the battle.
    Also, come to think of his, Cham's army is kind of a build up to the Rebel Alliance. Hell, Cham's daughter, Hera was a main character in Rebels, and Cham does make an appearance in that show. I even heard that he tried to kill both Sidious and Vader in the canon novel, Lords of the Sith. I should probably read that book.
    Of course, one thing I really love about the episode are the villains. Wat Tambor is a fun character. We've seen him in the movies where his suit seems to malfunction during his sentences, and Matthew Wood does a great job with his voice. I do love how greedy Tambor is, really wanting all the treasure he can get before he has to leave the planet, and that he is still a pretty capable tactician towards the final moments of the battle.
    His tactical droid TA-175 is another character I remember a lot from this episode. Throughout the episode he does act like Tambor's advisor, but he was secretly only really loyal to Dooku the whole time. It leads to a pretty awesome moment where TA-175 betrays Tambor and leaves him to die on Ryloth due to his own greed to have all the treasure. I remember back when watching this episode wondering what we would see from TA-175 in the future, if he would be the new leader of the Techno Union after Tambor's capture, possibly return as a major villain in a new arc, the possibilities were out there, he even got his own action figure. But this is the only time we see TA-175 in the show, and looking back on it, it is a pretty big missed opportunity. We saw from TX-20 that tactical droids can make good villains, and we got some cool tactical droids in the future of the show as well, but this specific droid never came back.
    And the action does have to be the best part. Not only do we get some awesomeness from Mace Windu, such as this amazing scene where the plasma bridge deactivates under him but he does get back up and make two droid STAPs crash in the air, but it is also really great when we see the Twi'Leks and clones working together in the final fight. It's overall a very satisfying final battle, and one of the few times we got to see how cool Mace Windu was in the show.
    A satisfying conclusion to a satisfying trilogy, and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more episodes with my mother as we work through the show.
  4. Blue Shadow Virus
    "Leaving so soon, Doctor?" - Anakin Skywalker
    When Separatist droids are found on Naboo, Padmé returns to her homeworld to see if they are up to something again. She and Jar Jar find themselves captured by Dr. Nuvo Vindi, an insane scientist who has revived a deadly disease called the Blue Shadow Virus, and he plans to start a galaxy-wide plague with it. Ahsoka, Anakin and Obi-Wan arrive on Naboo, and they must capture Vindi without detonating any of the bombs containing the disease.
    First time back on Naboo in the show, I always love seeing this planet. Naboo has to be one of the most beautiful looking Star Wars planets from the movies, with its mixture of an aquatic environment, its large cities, the grasslands, the forests, the lakes, Naboo is a great world. It's one of those planets that I really wish was real so I could live on it.
    This episode is pretty interesting, there is a lot to love about this episode. Sure, it does take till the third act for the exciting action to get started, but when it does get started, I love it. I love seeing the Jedi raiding this base underground, and cutting through the droids. I also love the race to deactivate all of the bombs. The need to be careful as they capture Vindi to make sure he doesn't release the toxin. The climax is very awesome all the way through, and I probably should've closed with that.
    However, leading up to the climax, there is still interesting stuff they show us in the episode. There is a cool scene where they cut open a tactical droid's head to blind him while trying to find out information, so he would think we was on a Separatist ship. I do love learning more about the things they do in this universe, learning is a lot more fun with Star Wars.
    We also see Peppi Bow for the first (and I think the last) time in the show. She doesn't have a lot going on, but I do think she is amusing when she beats up Vindi at the end, and I do like her design. I think she may be the first female Gungan we have seen in Star Wars.
    What is also really great is seeing Ahsoka's infiltration of the base in the first place. She has a great mastery of stealth in this episode when she's avoiding the droid cameras, and when she uses the Force to drop a grenade on the base. It's always so great to see Ahsoka's abilities as the show goes on and see her getting stronger and more experienced.
    Anakin also has a lot of character growth as the series progresses. Matt Lanter is my favorite pre-Darth Vader representation of Anakin, and in this episode it is great to see his attachments start to make him worry and his need to save them. We also see how subtly he is slipping towards the dark side, when he is really ready to kill Vindi when he is captive.
    Speaking of Vindi, it is about time I talked about him. He is one of the weirdest characters of the show. He just loves diseases and has a crazy laugh. I really don't know why someone would love diseases that much, especially to the point where he wants them to be the sole living things on whole planets. In the end though, his weirdness does make it very satisfying and amusing when Peppi beats the crap out of him.
    I really enjoyed this episode, but unfortunately, my feelings of enjoyment do not really carry over to the next episode.

    Mystery of a Thousand Moons
    "By the way, your Padawan was brilliant." - Padmé Amidala
    After the capture of Nuvo Vindi, his butler droid activates one of the bombs with a capsule inside, unleashing the Blue Shadow Virus in the lab. Ahsoka, Padmé, Jar Jar and a few clones are still inside the base, and most of them are infected with the disease as battle droids try to escape, and spread the plague across Naboo in the process. Thankfully, a cure exists made from reeksa root, which is found on Iego, the world of a thousand moons. Anakin rushes to find the cure with Obi-Wan, overtaken by worry for the two people in the galaxy who matter to him the most.
    I am sure you guys remember this episode as an entry on my list of least favorite episodes of the show, how it ranked at the bottom of the list, just barely on there. It is impressive that it took the show twenty-one episodes for me to dislike one of them. But as much as you may be prepared for me to unleash fury on this episode, there is more to like about it than I led on in my list.
    For one, Ahsoka does have some great moments in this episode, even though I wish she didn't get sick. There was a cool scene where she jumps on top of a destroyer droid and sneaks her lightsaber inside to destroy it. That's the first time I've seen a trick like that done in the show, and I love that great display of skill.
    There are also some cool ideas with the lore of Star Wars explored here. We see Iego which was mentioned in the Phantom Menace, and it is an impressive looking planet. A thousand moons, a ship graveyard floating above it, a city built on a big rocky canyon with the giant plant, the reeksa, there is actually a lot more good lore building that I kind of overlooked when making my list. The Angels are introduced too as an actual species in Star Wars, and the Angel they show looks great!
    We get more dark Anakin moments, which are great to see, as they subtly hint at his future.
    And at the very least, this is the last time we hear BJ Hughes as Jar Jar, so yeah, Jar Jar's voice goes back to normal after this episode. You may now sigh with relief.
    Now onto the negatives, as you may have seen me cover before in the list. The episode feels pointless to have. The plot line could've been wrapped up in the previous episode, there wasn't exactly a demand to see more after that. They could've easily done something else with Iego, especially with the Separatist security system, Drol.
    Also, after the last episode, there were a few inconsistencies with this one, like how the bomb went off right away when in the last episode they had plenty of time to disarm them all. It just feels off to me.
    It's hard to see Ahsoka sick because of how much I love her, but that's just me, and I get worked up like that sometimes.
    What also confuses me is why the Separatists bothered to put an energy field above Iego if it's a planet that people don't really care about. We haven't seen them do something like that for other planets and systems that they control like Lola Sayu, and that's a planet that has a lot of value. You'll see why later. I wish they would've explained themselves better, like Iego being a valuable planet for a resource or trade route it possessed, or something, or maybe that the Angels were magic and they wanted to use them for something, I don't know, there are a lot of reasons they could've made for an Iego episode.
    A theory that would make the most sense is if Vindi suggested the creation of the energy field above that planet for his work to be successful. If he knew a lot about the plague, he probably knew its cure, and would want to keep people from leaving the planet with it should they also learn about it. That would probably justify the episode because that would be genius. But the hole in this theory is that I don't think Vindi would be considered important enough to have such a high order like trapping people on a planet. He's freaking crazy, I don't know if Dooku was totally behind the whole idea of Vindi's plague in the first place.
    Still, the episode is probably not as bad as I made it out to be in my blog. I did forget about a lot of the good stuff in the episode, that I actually was surprised when I saw it again with my mother. So you could say it has grown on me a little, still a pretty weak one compared to the rest of the series, but not terrible. It just could've used improvement.

    Storm Over Ryloth
    "I lost so many of my pilots." - Ahsoka
    The Jedi return to Ryloth to free the planet from the grip of Emir Watt Tambor. Ahsoka leads the attack on the blockade with Blue Squadron for the first time, but Captain Mar Tuuk was ready for the attack, and caught the fleet in a trap. Ahsoka escapes the battle, but in the process, the fleet is badly damaged, Admiral Yularen is injured, and more than half of Blue Squadron is killed. The defeat hurts Ahsoka, but Anakin puts her in charge of their second attack when he comes up with a new strategy.
    Well, my mother decided to do a weird thing today, she started this three part director's cut arc, knowing that she wouldn't stay awake to finish it. But I like to think it's a good sign. She seems to me getting into the show so much that she wants to watch as many episodes as possible before her bedtime.
    I really do love this episode a lot. The Ryloth trilogy was a big moment for the show, even bigger when you watch the episodes in the correct order. While it wasn't the season finale when aired on TV (that takes place much later in the timeline with Hostage Crisis), it chronologically could be considered the season one finale if you arranged the episodes in the proper order.
    There is so much great emotion in this episode. I keep saying over and over how much I love Ahsoka, so you can guess with this episode being the Ahsoka-focused episode of the trilogy that I love it the most, and you would be right. In this episode we see Ahsoka in a sad moment in her life, she led her first squadron, and lost so many of them because she got overconfident. It's really effective how the show pulls you in and feels how she is feeling. The animation to express Ahsoka's sadness is beautiful, and Ashley does amazing as always to get us to sympathize with her.
    One powerful scene is when Anakin talks to Ahsoka after it. He doesn't yell at her, he is understanding and effectively consoles her, letting her know that it wasn't her fault, and that she will lose her troopers in the war.
    Also, when Ahsoka has to take command of the Resolute as Anakin goes to attack the fleet solo, she does such a great job. We see her a little worried about the whole battle at first, but soon we see her grow in confidence, and put together a really awesome battle strategy for quite possibly the best space battle in Star Wars history. There isn't anything like it when she puts the Resolute on its side and uses Y-wings on the frigates for ultimate destruction.
    Aside from Ahsoka's great awesomeness, there are still other enjoyable things. Mar Tuuk was another interesting character for his eyepiece, and his interest in Anakin gives him a drive to be the one to accomplish his feat of victory over him. He's not one of the most memorable villains of the show, certainly not as interesting a fleet leader as Admiral Trench, but he still got the job done.
    Either way, this was a really spectacular episode filled with great emotional moments with Ahsoka, and more awesome development for her. This is certainly one beautiful episode to remember.
  5. Jedi Crash
    "I get so confused sometimes. It's forbidden for Jedi to form attachments, yet we are supposed to be compassionate." - Ahsoka
    After saving General Aayla Secura from the Battle of Quell, Anakin becomes wounded in an explosion. While retreating from the battle, Ahsoka, Aayla and their clones accidentally crash land on the planet Maridun, while Anakin is still seriously injured. Ahsoka and Aayla look for any signs of life to help Anakin, while the two Jedi discuss the attachment between master and apprentice.
    This episode is very deep. It is one of the major moments for the growing friendship between Ahsoka and Anakin through the war. We've seen them getting along, bond on the battlefield, and act very much like siblings, but this is the first true time where we see how much they need each other. I don't think Anakin was ever this close with Obi-Wan.
    We see so much great voice acting on behalf of Ashley Eckstein in this episode, and she's always great as Ahsoka, but this was indeed a great moment for her. Her determination to see Anakin saved never wavers, but at the same time, she never lets it break her, she still listens to Aayla for advice when she needs to, and we get a really great moment between the two.
    This episode is the introduction of Aayla Secura in the series, and as shown on many "hottest Star Wars women" lists including mine, we can see why she's a fan favorite. Aayla really relates with Ahsoka in this episode, using her wisdom as a Jedi Knight to guide Ahsoka in her time of worry, and her experiences as Quinlan Vos's Padawan to teach her that her attachments are nothing to be ashamed of, but she must still let go of them. There is a great, brief moment where Ahsoka and Aayla talk about this, and it really says so much in just a few seconds, with this small moment of quiet adding to the importance of the dialogue.
    The episode also introduces us to the Lurmen, a very pacifist species that really wanted out of the Clone Wars. Now this isn't the first or last time we've seen people in the show just want to be out of the war, but still good hearted at the same time, but what they do with them is pretty deep. According to the Lurmen, despite the Jedi's good intentions, they aren't really peacekeepers because they do partake in the violence, they are still responsible for their actions in the war.
    It isn't said in the episodes, but the Lurmen were originally from Mygeeto, which is a planet that is a part of the Clone Wars, has been a Republic target for a while. This does explain why they don't believe either side of the war is innocent, but this also could've been spoken in the episode, but in the bigger picture of the series, it isn't needed exactly.
    Another really great episode from the series. The characters are great, the episode looks great, and of course the music sounds great as well. I don't usually talk a lot about the music, but the Clone Wars does have some great score to fit with the different worlds and characters. The track for this episode, the theme for Aayla is available on the soundtrack of the show, which you can get on iTunes, and I am listening to it right now as I write this.
    It's another really memorable part of the series, and I always have something to admire.

    Defenders of Peace
    "Sometimes it takes courage to stick to one's beliefs, young Padawan. As any Jedi knows." - Aayla Secura
    While Anakin has been treated by the Lurmen villagers, General Lok Durd of the Separatist Alliance arrives on Maridun. However, he isn't there to conquer the Lurmen, but to destroy them. Durd has brought his latest invention, the defoliator tank, which can destroy organic matter but leave machines unharmed. Ahsoka, Aayla, and Anakin must defend the Lurmen from destruction, despite the wishes of Tee Watt Kaa (the old Lurmen, not the sexy lady snake from the Jungle Book) to stay out of the war.
    While Jedi Crash was a great episode for the characters, this episode also has that, along with some really great action. I will get to that.
    Another character that makes his first and last appearance in the show is Lok Durd, voiced by George Takei. Yes guys, I know he was in Trek, in fact he is the first actor from Star Trek to make the right choice and join the cool side in Star Wars. He does have a very distinct voice, which does blend well with the pompous, fat, Nemoidian general, that does make the character entertaining. Also, even though people could joke about Lok Durd all day, he actually is a pretty brilliant man.
    The DDT tank introduced in the episode is an awesome weapon. The Republic has EMP weapons like droid poppers or stun cannons that can safely disable droids without accidentally hurting the clones or innocent bystanders. It makes sense for the droids to have something that does the opposite, and destroys everything except their own army.
    A good aspect about this episode is the conflict between Tee Watt Kaa and his son, Wag Too. Wag Too, who has seen the good in the Jedi and the evil of the Separatists starts to see the war from their perspective, and is starting to go against the neutral beliefs of his father. This does feed into the opening quote at the start of the episode, which is what the Clone Wars always does, but this is the first time I'm addressing it. "When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side." The Lurmen are put into a situation where they can't stay neutral, and they are forced to change no matter how hard they try to stick to their traditions.
    The final battle is awesome, where the Jedi and clone officers face Lok Durd's entire army. It's a great moment of showing off their combat skills and pure awesomeness when taking down the droids in very flashy and spectacular ways. What a climax for this two-parter.
    Defenders of Peace is another really great episode to show not only more of the deep stuff we love about Star Wars, but also a great big battle to make a satisfying conclusion.

    "To die for one's people is a great sacrifice. To live for one's people, an even greater sacrifice." - Riyo Chuchi
    After losing contact with a Republic base on the snow planet Orto Plutonia, Chairman Chi Cho of Pantora decides to personally investigate with Anakin and Obi-Wan. While the planet is originally thought to be uninhabited, the Jedi soon discover that isn't true, and it is the homeworld of the Talz. The chairman refuses to allow the Talz to have the planet, and is willing to start another war, between the Pantorans and the Talz.
    One thing the show does that I really love is showing the homeworlds of certain species in Star Wars that the movies never got to show us. Ryloth, the homeworld of the Twi'Leks, Rodia, homeworld of the Rodians, Toydaria, homeworld of the Toydarians, and Orto Plutonia, homeworld of the Talz are a few examples of those planets. It's very interesting to see the lifestyles, climates, and traditions of some of these species we had been introduced to in the movies, but never got to see in their home environments.
    Here, we finally do see the Talz in their home environment, see how these species typically live, things like that. Thi-Sen, leader of the Talz is one of those characters that is only in the show for one episode, but I do remember him well from his appearance here. He doesn't say much we can understand, but we can see his emotions through his body language and his tone of voice.
    Another character that the show introduced is Senator Riyo Chuchi (who sadly didn't make my "hottest Star Wars women" list, but I only had ten spaces and there are a lot of hot Star Wars women). Here is a young character who is really inexperienced, and doesn't have a lot of confidence. She is a really likable character, and what really works about her is how she has to grow through this episode. Early on we see that she is submissive to her superiors like Chairman Cho, so whenever she feels like commenting on silence, as soon as she gets talked down, she immediately goes quiet as if she's afraid to question him. So when Chuchi does have a lot of pressure in restoring the peace between the Pantorans and Talz, it's a really big moment for her, and you have to wonder if she can do it.
    There is one big action scene in the movie between the clones and the Talz, and it does have some cool stuff in it when Captain Rex has to jump out of his freeco bike and fight the Talz in self defense.
    As for problems with the episode, it is kind of a shame that the Jedi can't get involved with this. They are the only one the Talz trust, and they can't take action to stop Chairman Cho when he goes crazy and tries to kill all the Talz because that would be treason, apparently.
    Anakin's presence in the episode feels very pointless other than to have C-3PO there to be a translator for the Talz later on, and to bring his clones to fight the Talz. Also, where is Ahsoka?! Why isn't she there? Shouldn't she be allowed to come along for something like this? Especially since later on we learn that she and Chuchi are good friends, it would've been great to see her and Chuchi talk to each other, have Ahsoka console her friend and build her confidence, even stand up to Cho when he's being a d*ck.
    It probably should've just been Obi-Wan there without Anakin, and his own clones there instead of the 501st. But they probably wanted to sell some Anakin and Rex action figures. (Yes, they made action figures of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Rex in snow gear from this one episode. Where's Ahsoka's snow suit action figure?!)
    And the big thing is Chairman Cho. As far as villains in the show go, Cho is one of the weaker ones. He is one of those characters who is just a jerk all the way through, and doesn't have any viable reasons for it. Cho was so unlikable, that my mother was actually really happy when Cho died. I have not seen her so happy about a character dying in the show so far. I guess if Dave Filoni wants us to be happy that he died, he succeeded.
    Still, I might be giving it a little bit of a harder time over missed opportunities and such, but I do still like this episode for some of the things it does. Chuchi was a good character, it was great to see more about the Talz, and the scenery is beautiful. I guess I love snow a lot. I am going to miss it now that I live near a beach.
  6. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
    "So when the credits rolled, I noticed that the comic the mice was based off of is named Valerian and Laureline. Now why isn't Laureline's name in the title?!"
    Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a movie based off another comic I have not read, and it's surprising that there isn't a big sale for the comic right now at my local comic book store. I guess there was no competing with Darth Maul's latest comic.
    In the future, humans have gotten into contact with aliens a lot with this satellite system that connects together, but eventually it gets too big for them to keep above Earth, so they send it away into deep space, and it is called the city of Alpha. Now, Valerian and Laureline are agents working for the Alpha government, and they bring back a creature on one of their missions that is the last of its kind. This brings them into contact with a species that no one knew existed until it attacks them, and now they're on a mission to find them. Pretty simple story, complex resolution. Pretty fun movie.
    Now, this movie is very visually impressive. I mean, there are so many great-looking effects in this movie, a lot of awesome CGI. The effects bring this universe to life in a very brilliant way, and a lot of great concepts are put to use, such as the different civilizations and other worlds we see. The effects kind of give the movie the feel of something like Avatar. I don't know whether or not it should be seen in 3D, but it looks like they were going for that.
    The opening of the movie does do a good job at pulling the audience into the universe this movie makes, and it's very interesting to pay attention and look at the interesting little details they have.
    Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevinge have good partner chemistry going on with each other. They are pretty back and forth, and they carry the movie well. But I can't help but think that the movie shouldn't just be called Valerian and Laureline, because the movie is kind of about both of them, not Valerian over Laureline. Sure, you can argue that Valerian is in charge of the movie's plot device, but they both are the main characters, they should have the title. Is there going to be a feminist outbreak now?
    Still, technically speaking, they are both the main characters, there are even points in the store where one of them would disappear, and the other would be the focus for some time.
    Rihanna was also in this movie, I guess she's determined to not let her acting job sink after Battleship, and it turns out her character was pretty interesting. So Rihanna gets one point I guess, and it turns out that she is still under thirty, so once again I apologize for getting her age wrong years ago.
    One problem I could say the movie has is that it's a little long. It didn't feel as dragged out as Spider-Man Homecoming, but after a while I did get a little impatient, and started to ask to movie to either wrap up or show us something cool. Thankfully it did show us something cool, so I can't be too mad.
    One thing about the movie that one could either consider a positive or a negative is that looking back at it, it does feel like a comic book. I haven't read the comic, so I don't know if it's a shot for shot adaptation of the comic, but it does feel like multiple issues of a comic arc were put together and brought to life for the movie. In some ways that does feel good, because comic books are fun to read, and it does give the same intrigue of bringing you into a comic as you look it over. On the other hand you have to wonder if it would've worked better as an animated series.

    Either way, Valerian is a visually impressive film that I would recommend watching mainly for how great it looks, but like Avatar, it could've used a little bit more substance to go with the style. I give it a 6 out of 10 so it's worth watching.
  7. Dooku Captured
    "So, which part of the situation did you have under control? The blocked entrance, the poison gas, or that gundark behind you?" - Ahsoka
    Anakin and Obi-Wan have found Count Dooku, but unfortunately they all crash on the planet Vanquor, and the Jedi lose track of the Sith Lord. Meanwhile, Dooku has come across a crew of Weequay pirates led by Captain Hondo Ohnaka, and it turns out that they want to take advantage of Dooku's reputation for a ransom.
    That is right, people, my mother and I watched five episodes in one night (though the site was trying to stop me from doing this in one blog). I was surprised she had the energy to keep going for that long, since she usually watches three episodes at most and calls it a day. But here we have two more episodes to satisfy you all.
    So, compared to most of the episodes we have gone over so far in this episode, not a lot happens in this one. The title of the episode pretty much tells us how it goes, and you can kind of see it as a build up episode for the next one. Does that make the episode bad? No not really. There is still stuff to enjoy.
    The brotherly chemistry between Anakin and Obi-Wan is enjoyable in this episode. I do like their back and forth conversations.
    We also finally do see what a gundark is in the Star Wars universe, having previously only heard of them in the movies. I do like how the show gives us a look at things we've only ever heard of in the movies, but we wonder what they really look like.
    Ahsoka really steals the show of course. She's barely in the episode, which is a shame, but when she is on screen, especially when she saves both Anakin and Obi-Wan, I absolutely love it, she's so funny and cute in this scene. She should've been in the following episode.
    We also get the introduction of Hondo Ohnaka and his pirate crew. While he doesn't do much in this episode, hell, they don't even say his name in this episode, Hondo does go on to be a fun character in future episodes of the series, where he's given a lot more to do. I'm grateful this episode gave us Hondo, he's a gem.
    My mother seemed to be happy that the pirates travel by flying saucer too.
    But in the end, let's be real. This isn't a very eventful episode. The title shows the only major event that happens in the episode. Dooku Captured, he gets captured, that's the most major thing in the episode other than the Jedi beating up a gundark. To fully appreciate the episode, you'd really have to watch it back to back with the following episode, otherwise you wouldn't be satisfied.
    Let's be clear, I don't dislike this episode, I think it's fine. It's not a strong episode, but it has its moments. I did laugh when I first saw that Jawa jumping into a fight to beat up a pirate, and if it weren't for this episode, how else would we get our introductions to Hondo and the gundarks?

    The Gungan General
    "You want to deactivate the cell bars and go out drinking." - Obi-Wan Kenobi
    Anakin and Obi-Wan wake up in a prison cell next to Count Dooku, after Hondo Ohnaka and his pirates drugged them to triple his profits. As the Jedi and Sith are forced to work together to escape Florrum, the Republic team delivering the ransom has been shot down by rogue pirates, killing Senator Kharrus. Jar Jar Binks takes command of the clones and goes to finish the mission they started.
    Here it is people. One of those episodes where BJ Hughes voiced Jar Jar instead of Ahmed Best. I guess after all the years with Ahmed Best voicing Jar Jar, you get used to hearing him this one way, so when BJ Hughes took over for whatever reason in future episodes, it sounded less like Jar Jar, and more like a bad Jar Jar impression. No disrespect to BJ Hughes, I'm sure he's a nice guy, but when Jar Jar sounds off, and I want the original actor to return, that isn't a good sign.
    So, can this episode offer us more excitement to make up for the weird sounding Jar Jar? Well, it is more eventful than the last episode, but then again, Dooku Captured did have that really great scene with Ahsoka, but this episode does have more of a selection offer.
    Seeing Anakin and Obi-Wan forced to work with Dooku to escape is just really interesting to me. Anakin sees Dooku as his nemesis in the war, Obi-Wan and Dooku have a connection because Dooku trained Qui-Gon, his own master, so the three of them have really good chemistry together. It also leads to some funny moments between the three of them when they try to escape, especially possibly the funniest use of a Jedi Mind Trick, until Rey topped it many years later.
    We also learn more about Hondo in this episode, and how he's not a bad guy, just a greedy one. He even wants to be friends with the people he kidnaps. He's just so friendly, I don't know how I could say no to an offer like that. Jim Cummings does a great job voicing Hondo throughout the series, I couldn't picture anyone else doing his voice.
    Still, the episode does have some things that do pull it back, such as when the Jedi escape, Obi-Wan's lightsaber comes out of nowhere, and it's specifically shown in the last episode that he comes to Florrum unarmed.
    Also, the episode doesn't have a lot going for it in terms of action, but then again, neither did last episode.
    Still, I do think this episode is decent. I mean, it's clear that the show has done a lot better, but for what it's worth, they could've made worse episodes. I think there's enough enjoyment to be had with this episode to even out its shortcomings.
  8. Bombad Jedi
    "Meesa not a Jedi!" - Jar Jar Binks"
    Padmé goes to the planet Rodia to ensure her old friend, Senator Onaconda Farr that the Republic will still help his people, but Onaconda has already given up, and has agreed to work with Viceroy Nute Gunray for food and protection, in exchange for Padmé. Jar Jar Binks and C-3PO know Padmé is in danger, but when Jar Jar dresses in a Jedi robe, Gunray confuses him for a Jedi, and the chaos ensues.
    Well, here is another Jar Jar episode, and one centered around Jar Jar, so sorry, no Jedi in this episode. Anyway, the Clone Wars still does a better job with Jar Jar than the first movie did. In this episode, there are admittedly some funny moments with the character. It's not like all around laugh out loud moments, but there are moments where I did chuckle, mostly towards the end of the episode like when the super battle droid tries to kill Jar Jar and the kwazel maw is chasing Jar Jar at the same time, or when the droids think Jar Jar is going to attack them and Gunray panics at the sight of him. C-3PO does also make a good companion for Jar Jar because 3PO is funny for this kind of situational humor they do together. I guess some characters are better in animated form than live action. Still, there are some moments with Jar Jar that are kind of impossible stupidity in the show. For instance, in this episode when putting on the Jedi robe, his eyeball gets stuck in the sleeve...but it has no sleeves, it's just a hood and a cape!
    The episode does have some good stuff to be proud of though. I really liked seeing Rodia, the homeworld of the Rodians like Greedo and many others for the first time in the Star Wars canon. It's a very creative world, with a nice swamp environment and cities concealed in glass domes. I really love seeing different worlds like this finally brought to life in this ever expanding universe.
    Onaconda Farr was also a great character. He is driven to desperation, and doesn't like what he has to do, but he still feels he has to put his people first in this case. We get a lot of great emotional expression through his eyes and his voice by Dee Bradley Baker.
    Tom Kenny also does a good job at voicing Nute Gunray. He does have the feel of the character down, and succeeds in getting across his slimy villainy.
    There is also some great action in this episode, like when Padmé fights the droids, and when the kwazel maw emerges and attacks the battle droids, but what was really special about the episode is the ending. It has a very satisfying feel of justice to it when Padmé and Onaconda arrest Gunray together.
    Still, for some reason I can't help but feel that if Jar Jar wasn't around Padmé would've been just fine. She got out of her cell on her own, and was able to handle the droids well enough. Jar Jar was the one who destroyed her ship, so if he wasn't there, she would've probably been able to escape.
    Still, the ending of this episode is enough to say that even though Jar Jar got in the way a little, everything kind of worked out for them.

    Cloak of Darkness
    "Rescue? Maybe they're here to make sure you won't talk." - Ahsoka
    After the capture of Nute Gunray, Ahsoka and Jedi Master Luminara Unduli escort him to Coruscant. However, Count Dooku sends Asajj Ventress to infiltrate their ship, and either free Gunray or silence him.
    Cloak of Darkness is another really great episode I can't help but admire. It has a lot of amazing stuff to admire. Great characters, exciting action, beautiful animation, all around it is a badass episode.
    I always love seeing Ahsoka as you can tell, she's always awesome, and it is interesting seeing her partnered with a different Jedi. Even though Anakin is her master, I always get intrigued seeing Ahsoka allied with different Jedi like Plo Koon, or in this case, Luminara Unduli and seeing how their team dynamic goes between the influence Anakin has on her, and the more serious, by the code Jedi. We get to see how Luminara is trying to pass some wisdom onto Ahsoka when she underestimates how much security Gunray needs. There is an especially awesome scene where Ahsoka holds her lightsaber to Gunray's neck just to get him scared enough to talk, and Luminara shows concern for how Ahsoka used terror on a prisoner.
    Speaking of Luminara, it is great to see her in this show. She has an experienced older-sister kind of feel to her character, and I really love her wisdom and confidence within herself. She's also really clever, like how she is able to get Gunray to slip about his part in the war, and how she tries to make Ventress angry purposefully so that she can make a mistake in her attacks. Also, I think my mother has a woman crush on her.
    What the episode does really well is showing the difference between the Jedi and the Sith. We have Ahsoka and Luminara on their differences, Ahsoka being trained with a different style of teaching than Luminara teaches her own Padawan, Barriss Offee. We also see the Sith's strict methods of commanding, Dooku lets Ventress know that if she fails him again she will be unworthy of being his apprentice, and that drives her to succeed for her master.
    Ventress also has some really evil moments in this episode. Nika Futterman definitely loves this role, I can tell from scenes like when she is fighting Luminara that she's soaking up every juicy ounce of the evil. Got to love commitment.
    The action in this episode is especially epic. When Ahsoka and Luminara fight Ventress together, it's really exciting to see the differences in their fighting styles which makes for some epic choreography. We also see the first time Ahsoka truly fights Ventress alone, and it is awesome how she is able to get the upper hand, which does force Ventress to rely on trickery later. It's kind of a shame these two haven't fought since this episode. There is so much gorgeous imagery as well in these fights. The final duel takes place in the burning engine room, and that is just too epic for words. It's no Mustafar, but I do love it!
    Overall, this episode is just full of nonstop excitement. You can see why I consider it one of my favorites of the show. It's an awesome look into the Jedi and Sith, and it always keeps me glued to the action.

    Lair of Grievous
    "I wield great power, Jedi fool!" - General Grievous
    Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his former Padawan Nahdar Vebb track the escaped Nute Gunray to Vassek, where they hope to recapture him. However, they don't find Gunray, but instead they are in the home of General Grievous himself, as a test set up by Count Dooku. Grievous returns home, and is not at all pleased with the Jedi and clones in his house.
    Another favorite of mine! You guys know I love General Grievous, so you bet I was excited when I saw the episode title "Lair of Grievous" back in 2008. I was pumped for seeing an episode with more Grievous. Little did I know that after this point Grievous would have a lot less appearances in the series. This was a very confusing move on behalf of the show, Grievous is technically the main adversary in the war, he is the one who kept the war going as the supreme leader of the droid armies.
    This episode does have a lot of great moments showing how badass Grievous is, and it really brings the excitement when he comes home and is immediately ready to fight two fully trained Jedi. Even when his legs are chopped off, he still won't go down and makes some awesome kills in his escape, and that's just the beginning.
    The episode has a really great atmosphere that never lets up. The Jedi are in the lair of their greatest enemy (besides the Sith), and are completely out of their element while Grievous has complete mastery over his domain. We also get more subtle hints of Grievous's backstory from looking around his home. Statues of Grievous as a Kaleesh warlord are depicted as a shrine to his greatness, and from there we learn that Grievous voluntarily improved himself with cybernetics overtime until he barely had any of his old self left, rather than in the legends material where he was crashed then reassembled.
    We also see more about Grievous's crew. We knew about the MagnaGuards already, they're awesome, but we also get the first (and last) appearance or 4AD, Grievous's medical droid who is the only one he allows to give him crap because he puts him back together. We also see Grievous's pet roggwart, Gor, who appears to be one of the only beings Grievous cared for. I know how attached you can get to your pet, so I feel for Grievous.
    Dave Filoni has said that Grievous did want to be a Jedi originally, but because he lacked Force sensitivity, it never happened for him. So he had himself enhanced to be better than the Jedi. Got to love determination.
    We also see Kit Fisto in this episode, and I've always loved this Jedi ever since he knocked down C-3PO with a smile on his face. This is a Jedi Master who knows how to enjoy life, and there's always a great likability about him the way he smiles even against the threat of his doom. I'm really glad the show let us know more about Kit Fisto, it's great to see a very positive Jedi, and one who can even be Grievous's equal in combat if the situation calls for it.
    We also meet the former Padawan, Nahdar Vebb, and we all know where this leads. My mother knew where it was headed even when he was just introduced. But even before the inevitable demise of Nahdar, we do see through him how much the war can effect the Jedi. Nahdar immediately shows signs that he is getting carried away easily with impulsive uses of his power, and how quickly he gets frustrated every time they lose to Grievous. It shows that during a period of war, there is a danger of the Jedi losing their way, even for them to fall to the dark side, and it really does foreshadow a lot to come in the future of the war.
    And the action scenes, you know I'm going to love them. They really bring the intensity with this episode and show the skills of both Grievous and Kit Fisto in spectacular ways. The fight between Grievous and Fisto is one of the most incredible fights in the show, and who knows how it would've turned out if the fight had been played out to the end?
    I say General Grievous has certainly passed his test in this episode. Lair of Grievous is one of the best stories of the show, what more could I want?
  9. Rookies
    "The destruction of Kamino will stop their production of clones for good!" - General Grievous
    On the moon of Rishi, the clones of Domino Squad are assigned to watch over an outpost keeping their home planet Kamino safe from Separatist invasion. A group of commando droids sent by General Grievous capture the base and they drive out the rookies. Fortunately for the clones, Captain Rex and Commander Cody have arrived to inspect the base.
    I remember that among a few people this episode is considered a fan favorite. My thoughts on this episode is that it's good, but I wouldn't consider it one of my favorites. Definitely not in my top twenty, but for a clone based episode it actually does get the job done.
    In terms of development for the clones, it is better to watch the episodes in chronological order as I've stated a few times. Clone Cadets established the clone characters to the point where when you reach this episode you already know who they are and their differences.
    However, the focus of the episode is about the rookies becoming greater than themselves, banding together against a stronger threat. It does help to follow the inexperienced characters because in a way we do see through their eyes with everything going down. We see how much scarier the droids are to them when there isn't a Jedi to lead them, we see how much authority officers like Rex and Cody hold when they walk onto the scene, and when Rex touches Echo's armor with the blood of the Rishi eel he killed earlier, you get a sense of how much of an impact this will leave on the clone's life through the war.
    This episode also truly introduces the commando droids in the series (even though we do see them in the training program on Kamino in Clone Cadets). These are really awesome droids, built with a better hide and more combat capabilities, and also the ability to disguise themselves as soldiers like the clones if they have to. I love how the series introduces new aspects of the war that we haven't seen from the movies to show more information about his historic period in time.
    The action is pretty cool too. I love how it shows the different kinds of strategies the clones and droids use when they capture the base. The droids focus on overwhelming their enemies through superior numbers and weapons, but the clones carefully think their moves out, like when Rex tricks the commando droids to let them back in by pretending to be one, and their use of their environment to cover themselves while they shoot.
    There are still things that I do think have a lessening effect on the episode. For instance, when Cutup is eaten by the Rishi eel, he just seems to be forgotten afterwards, and the clones don't consider checking the eel to see if he was alive in there. I heard some people bring up the counter that they could've done it off screen, but since they bothered to name the clone, I think they should at least be able to confirm whether he's alive or dead.
    Also, when Hevy does have to sacrifice himself, I don't feel as much emotional pull as I do, which is a shame because the show has had two episodes to develop him, and yet out of all of Domino Squad he feels like the least memorable clone of the group.
    Regardless of that, as clone based episodes go, this is actually a well done story. I enjoy the scenes with Grievous in his ship, I love that they introduced the commando droids, and this episode actually does set things in motion for the show in terms of clone characters.

    Downfall of a Droid
    "And best of all Master, he's gold! A gold droid, for gold leader, of gold squadron!" - Ahsoka
    At the Battle of Bothawui, Anakin loses R2-D2 during all of the fighting. He is determined to find R2 no matter the cost, refusing to lose him, even when Ahsoka tries to cheer him up with a new droid, R3-S6. Meanwhile R2 has been taken by a Trandoshan smuggler named Gha Nachkt, who plans to sell him to General Grievous, along with all of his memories that were never erased.
    Am I the only one wondering where the additional footage for the episode went? Even though the season 1 DVD set comes with director's cut episodes, this is not one of the episodes they extended. I feel like we've seen more footage for the episode on the special features for the Clone Wars movie that was cut from this episode. Additional scenes with R2-D2, additional dialogue between Ahsoka and Anakin, but yet we never got that put back in the episode. I can understand them taking things out to shorten it for the TV airing, but this is the episode I keep wondering where the extra footage went!
    Anyway, continuing on. Downfall of the Droid is an episode that looks vastly different in terms of animation. It's not a criticism, but when compared to the rest of the series, something looks a lot different than the other episodes of the show. I don't know if it's the lighting, or a different budget, but it is noticeable.
    This is still a good episode. Right from the start we get one of the most creative space battles I remember from the show. The Battle of Bothawui is a lot of fun, with both sides of the fight using very unique strategies to outsmart each other. Grievous's use of the asteroids, and Anakin's use of the AT-TEs are both creative ideas for this particular battle that shows just how fun a space battle can be.
    I love how Ahsoka tries to cheer Anakin up in this episode. She is such a sweetheart. Even though she is new to being Anakin's apprentice, she still understands how much R2 means to him, and is trying to help him move on in the event that R2's lost forever, and she supports his need to look for R2 even when everything else seems to point to his destruction.
    There is also a really great action scene with the Jedi and the IG-86 assassin droids in the cargo hold of the Vulture's Claw. The music combined with the movements of the characters in the action is just a very great combination, and we see how different these droids are from other droids the Jedi had to fight.
    Ron Perlman is in this episode as Gha Nachkt, yes, that Ron Perlman from Teen Titans, Pacific Rim, a bunch of other movies and shows, he's kind of a big deal. Though admittedly his role is pretty minor, and the character kind of disappointed me...he is one of the only Star Wars characters to make a certain sound...that was put into the episode without Dave Filoni knowing at first. Can't believe I made a note of that. Though Gha Nachkt does have a cool ship.
    Missing footage that I wish was put back in aside, I think this is a solid episode of the show. Ahsoka is just so lovable in how she cheers Anakin up, I wish I had someone like her to cheer me up.

    Duel of the Droids
    "Sorry to interrupt your playtime, Grumpy, but wouldn't you prefer a challenge?" - Ahsoka
    Ahsoka and Anakin have found Skytop Station, General Grievous's secret listening outpost on Russan. Their mission is to destroy the outpost, but Anakin has another mission, to rescue R2-D2 who is on the station. Meanwhile, Ahsoka is left to lead the mission, and fight General Grievous once he learns they are there.
    This is probably one of my favorite episodes of the Clone Wars, not going to lie, it's pretty epic. The excitement I get from this episode is incredible, how even in the early days of the show it gave us such great stories, characters, and memorable moments in the Star Wars saga.
    Grievous is so great in this episode. I always do love seeing this character in the show, and it is a lot of fun to see his interaction with R2. He is usually so violent with his droids, but around R2 he treats him like a little dog and that is fun to see. I also love the scene where Grievous ends up killing Gha Nachkt for demanding more money. It shows that when you make a deal with Grievous, you should play it safe and be satisfied with what you get.
    The mission aboard Skytop Station is exciting from start to finish. Ahsoka and Anakin get their moments to shine in this episode through Ahsoka's mission to destroy the station, and Anakin's to find R2. Both of them are really great.
    Ahsoka's duel with Grievous is awesome. She's still a young Padawan at this point in the war, but how she is able to stand her ground against Grievous who has already killed a lot of Jedi during the war is impressive. We see her use of her agility coming in handy against Grievous's immense power and advanced training.
    The action overall in this episode is awesome, and there is a lot of it to go around. There's the hangar fight scene which has a really great moment with Ahsoka destroying two vulture droids on her own, the scene where Anakin fights the MagnaGuards. Even R2 gets to fight R3-S6.
    On the subject of R3, I think he is what a lot of fans would've preferred Jar Jar to be. In the previous episode R3, or Goldie as Ahsoka calls him seems to be an incompetent or defective droid that always screws up. When I first saw that droid I got suspicious when he kept screwing up, and only managed to get things right at the last moment. Then when this episode came around and we saw that he was a spy for Grievous all along, it made a lot of sense, kind of like how that Darth Jar Jar theory was going around for that period of time people thought he was a Sith in disguise.
    This episode is all around pure excitement. It's one of my favorite episodes of the show, and as the blogs progress, you'll see more of my favorites as they come along.

    Next time will be a three-part arc, that also kind of isn't an arc. I'm sure my fellow Star Wars fans know what I mean.
  10. War for the Planet of the Apes
    "Got to love that motion capture work. Is it wrong that I'd love to see Caesar and King Louie from the modern Jungle Book fight?"
    War for the Planet of the Apes is the final chapter in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy. I at least hope it's just a trilogy, because there aren't many franchises that are just trilogies anymore.
    There has been a war going on between humans and apes for a long time, with a group of human soldiers afraid that the apes could replace their species. Caesar, the leader of the apes just wants the war to end so that his people can be saved, but the humans will not leave them alone, so he takes it personally.
    That is as much as I can say, because talking about the plot of this movie is really hard without going into spoilers.
    With that being said, this trilogy is actually a pretty impressive trilogy, it's one of the rare ones that just keeps getting better with each installment. We had Rise, which was just kind of okay to me, we had Dawn which I thought was a lot better, and now War is the best of the trilogy in my opinion.
    What can really be said about this movie without giving a ton of details away? The trailers of this movie gave away a little more of the movie than they should've, but I'm not going to hold it against the movie as it is, because there is still a lot to discover with this movie. It'd be a disservice to go into too much detail.
    Andy Serkis does great as always. He really is the master of motion capture ever since he was Gollum in Lord of the Rings. He really works well with being so expressive as Caesar, bringing the character literally to life as always. You can tell he's really acting his ass off in that tight suit they always wear for motion capture. A lot of people say he deserves an Oscar, but he already has the support of the people, so that's more important than a golden man statue any day.
    The effects overall are impressive from start to finish. The apes look incredibly real. It's like you can reach out and touch them. It's super convincing, like, at times you could mistake the apes in the movie for real life apes on the set with the humans.
    The movie also takes a big gamble by having human characters absent from the movie for a long time. The human aspect has always been strong in these movies, so it's mostly up to the apes to carry the film, and thanks to the previous film, Dawn, they did build up Caesar's character enough, and his relationship with his people that it actually works for them to be all we see for a while.
    Caesar's journey with his ape friends actually is investing, because it's so believable that they have a connection. We get more Maurice in this movie, he's a great character to watch as well because from the first movie he has always been one of the more developed apes, and he gets his moments to shine, I'm happy about that.
    Woody Harrelson is also in this movie as the human villain, he's awesome. We do see that he has kind of been driven to insanity because of this war, but it is a very human thing how they show it. You could put yourself in his shoes, see from his point of view, and it's something that you would probably understand him for through his eyes.
    There's also a little human girl in the movie that without giving too much away, has no dialogue and has to communicate with the apes without speaking, and she does a great job at it. Of course it sounds easier to be able to act without any dialogue, but trust me, it's harder than it looks, you have to rely completely on physical expression to let the audience know how you feel. This little girl really sells it.
    Even the comedy relief isn't that bad. The character literally named Bad Ape seems like the kind of character who could've been the Jar Jar Binks of the movie, but he's not, don't worry. He's actually funny, and he doesn't get in anyone's way. He has his uses.
    There's just a lot to appreciate about the movie's story, it does a lot of things that you wouldn't expect to work, but they do. I actually ended up getting attached to a bunch of apes. I don't think King Kong had this much emotional impact, and that was also a character Andy Serkis played.

    I will have to end the review here, because this really is a movie I can't fully describe without giving something away. There is a lot to discover with this movie, I don't want to rob anyone of surprises. It's no doubt a better movie than Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    I give War for the Planet of the Apes a rating of 10 out of 10 it's Awesome Epic Explodiness to the EXTREME!!!

    I do hope that this is the last film they do, because there aren't enough trilogies these days, it wil, be nice to just have a solid film trilogy.
  11. Rising Malevolence
    "That is one big cruiser crusher!" - Ahsoka
    We have made it to the first true arc of the Clone Wars. The Malevolence trilogy. In the future when we come across multi-episode arcs like this, I will do my best to make sure they are all watched together at once, though my mother may have trouble sitting through four episodes in some cases.
    Jedi Master Plo Koon narrowly escapes the destruction of his fleet when he discovers the Malevolence, a massive starship with a dual ion cannon to neutralize power to entire fleets. Ahsoka and Anakin go out to the Abregado system to find if Plo and anyone else survived. Meanwhile, General Grievous is determined to make sure no one survives an encounter with his new ship, and has a hunting party of rocket droids searching for survivors.
    This episode does a great job introducing to the Clone Wars story arcs. Eventually the show did reach a point where there were no more stand alone episodes, just story arcs, but back in the early days of the show, it felt like a big event when three or more episodes were linked together for a larger story. Eventually everything was a big event.
    The Clone Wars has done a great job on many fronts, but one of the tasks they had was to give more character development and screen time to characters who were background characters in the movie. One character who got the best treatment was Plo Koon. Dave Filoni stated many times that Plo Koon is his favorite Jedi, so it had to have been a lot of fun for him to make episodes giving attention to Plo. We see him as a very wise, compassionate, sage-like character who is strong in the Force and a powerful warrior if needed. A good chunk of the episode is about him and his surviving clones Wolffe, Sinker and Boost having to survive, but while the clones are certain they're doomed, Plo knows that there is still a chance they will be saved. The subtle development of Plo goes a long way to have us feel sad when we see the character apparently perish in Revenge of the Sith. James Arnold Taylor does the voice for Plo Koon, and he really does a great job with this character, which has a lot of inspiration from Gandalf, and it really fits with Plo well both through his design and his wise persona.
    We also learn more about Ahsoka in this episode, and her closeness with Plo. The entire time she doesn't lose hope that Plo survived the attack, and is determined to save him. This is because when Ahsoka was a child Plo was the Jedi who found her and brought her home to the Jedi Temple.
    Later we learn that there is more to the story in Ahsoka's novel. We learn that in her past, someone disguised as a Jedi tried to steal her and use her power for themself, but Plo rescued Ahsoka. The episode gets even deeper when you consider that Ahsoka is paying her debt to her friend here.
    The Malevolence battleship itself is awesome. I really love the massive shark-like design that it has, and all of that pure power it has.
    The score for the episode is very well done. It is very appropriate for the quiet scenes with the characters in space, but whenever the Malevolence comes along the theme becomes more intense to bring across how imposing the ship is.
    Rising Malevolence is a really great episode, a moment where the Clone Wars took a breather from exciting battles to let us better know more about Plo and his relationship with Ahsoka.
    As for comments from my mother, she did kind of yell at the medical droid a few times.

    Shadow of Malevolence
    "The care these Jedi show for their troops is a weakness!" - General Grievous
    After surviving the Malevolence, Anakin and Ahsoka plan an attack to destroy the ship, and hope to bring General Grievous down with it to shorten the war. Grievous already has his sights set on a new target, Kaliida Shoals, a medical station treating over 60,000 wounded clones. If the station is destroyed, not only will the wounded clones be killed, but future wounded clones will be vulnerable. Shadow Squadron will have to meet the Malevolence there, and the battle will begin to defend the station.
    While the first episode of the arc was more of a character development type of story, you could say that this episode helps to build the universe around them. While it doesn't have the same atmosphere as Rising Malevolence, it is still good to see what Shadow of Malevolence does.
    For instance, the introduction of the Y-wings is a great addition to the Star Wars canon. It shows where the ships from the time of the Empire came from, and I think it's really interesting to think about how these models carried over from the Clone Wars to the rebellion.
    I also like the sequence involving the Kaliida nebula where the giant Neebrays live and the squad has to evade them without losing anyone. It's interesting to show more about the wildlife of Star Wars, and how some species are able to live in space somehow.
    It is true that not a lot happens with this episode until the actual battle with the Malevolence, which is a pretty cool one, but not something on the same level as future space battles in the show as we are sure to discuss deeper in the series, but what keeps the episode from ending up being boring are the characters keeping us entertained.
    I really enjoyed the time with Ahsoka, she has a few funny lines in this episode, and as you know I always love her.
    General Grievous is also awesome too in this episode, and it's very amusing to see how he commands his droids when he knocks off one of their heads for not being able to hit anything. I always do love seeing Grievous in the show, the character is just so interesting, because he's not Force sensitive, but he improved himself so much cybernetically to match and overpower them in combat. Since I saw this character's introduction I've had a deep fascination with him and his power, but I also like seeing his interactions with his battle droids, particularly his temper towards them.
    Still, one part of the episode that does confuse me is how the Republic has no defenses for their medical station. Sure, one could argue that since they have it hidden somewhere that they wouldn't need to have ships protecting it, but Anakin was quick to figure out that it was going to be a target. Yet still, they don't even send some starfighters to defend the station if they have to, and leave the work to Shadow Squadron. Maybe after they get attacked the first time they increase their defenses, but still, it's kind of something they needed to consider in the first place.
    Even though the episode doesn't have a lot going on, it still keeps me entertained, I still like it, mostly for the universe building stuff and the fun characters.

    Destroy Malevolence
    "My lord, they will never capture me or this ship!" - General Grievous
    With the Malevolence heavily damaged from Shadow Squadron's attack, it is forced to retreat slowly as Obi-Wan's fleet bombards it with cannon fire. However, Senator Padmé Amidala arrives onto the scene, believing she is on a diplomatic mission, but gets captured by the ship, forcing the Jedi to call off their attack while the droids fix the Malevolence's hyperdrive. Anakin and Obi-Wan board the Malevolence to save Padmé, but General Grievous is prepared.
    The Malevolence trilogy concludes with an exciting final chapter. This is where everything comes together in a really big climax. It's exciting that after all of the time we've seen the ship from the outside, we finally get to see more of its interior.
    The inner design of the ship is really incredible, we see that it's so massive that it has its own train system, where we do have some cool action, and there are some great looking action scenes, such as the train scene where Anakin has to save Padmé with the Force. Or when Grievous has Obi-Wan cornered in the hyperdrive, and he uses the Force to have the destroyer droids knock all of the other droids down. We also finally get to see the first time Grievous and Obi-Wan face off, and it's pretty exciting, it is a brief moment, but the way Grievous launches himself at Obi-Wan, smashing every crate in his path is just awesome, and we see the difference in their fighting styles, how Grievous focuses more on power while Obi-Wan focuses on self defense and evasion.
    I also really like Padmé in this episode. Catherine Taber does a really great job at voicing Padmé through the show, bringing the same gentleness into her voice that Natalie Portman brought in the movies. She is a really worthy Padmé, and I heard that they had a few voice actresses that they were considering for the role. It's great to see Padmé using her intellect and survival skills while she's on the ship, avoiding capture from Grievous and the droids.
    There are also some really funny droid moments in this episode. The battle droids are funny as always, but we also have C-3PO in this episode, and it was so hilarious when he was hit by the train and ended up being pulled away by it. Oh, Anthony Daniels, what would we do without you?
    Another interesting thing to note about the episode is the alternate dialogue in it. By that I mean that in some places where the episode aired there were some changed out lines. This is also shown in the DVD release called "A Galaxy Divided", which shows a different version than the entire season 1 set.
    When Anakin leaves to go rescue Padmé, there is a little exchange between Ahsoka and Plo.
    Main version:
    Plo: There he goes again, craving adventure and excitement.
    Ahsoka: You get used to it.
    Alternate version:
    Plo: I'm afraid Master Skywalker is taking a terrible risk.
    Ahsoka: You get used to it.
    And later when Anakin saves Padmé.
    Main version:
    Anakin: Jump to me! I'll use the Force! You have to trust me!
    Alternate version:
    Anakin: Jump to me! (Pause) You have to trust me!
    Personally I do prefer the alternate versions of the dialogue. For one, the first scene does add a sense of humor to Ahsoka's response, and the second scene relies on Padmé trusting Anakin to catch her without him saying that he will.
    Out of this whole arc, this is the most action packed episode and the funniest, and my favorite of the three. Destroy Malevolence is a solid way to end off the first official episode trilogy of the Clone Wars.

    See you guys next time for some stand alone episodes...okay, just one stand alone episode and two episodes put together.
  12. Spider-Man: Homecoming
    "My deepest apologies to anyone watching the movie in the same theater with me. I know it is unprofessional and kind of rude for me to shout at a screen, even during an end credits scene, I had a moment or two where I lost my self control. I know I'm not the only person who was behind when this movie first came out, some of you were probably watching it for the first time too, and I just cracked. If I ruined anyone's moviegoing experience, I am so sorry, in the future I won't do something like that again. With that in mind, enjoy the review.
    Spider-Man: Homecoming is another film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first Spider-Man movie within the universe itself...and it exists. I really miss Andrew Garfield, okay?!
    So yeah, last time we saw Spider-Man, which was in that monstrosity, Civil War, he really let me down, so that hurt my anticipation a lot. I had very little anticipation left, and it got to the point where my mother couldn't even tell me what movie I was going to see when we went to the theaters, all I knew was that it was either this or War for the Planet of the Apes, and that it was my first IMAX experience.
    That is right, sadly my mother didn't take me to see the Last Knight in IMAX, so this was my first IMAX experience. Before I get to my feelings about the movie itself, let me just say that the experience wasn't as epic as it was built up to be. Sure some stuff did look cool in the new format, and I love the use of the surround sound, but other than that, it wasn't much different to me than seeing a movie in 3D like normally, and there were a couple of moments where I thought the focus was going in and out. Maybe it's just this movie and if I see a different movie in IMAX they might make more proper use of it.
    Now I know you're all waiting for me to start, so here it is.
    Two months after the disaster that was Civil War, Peter Parker is an intern for Tony Stark, trying to prove himself as an Avenger by doing his job as Spider-Man, all while trying to keep his home life and school life balanced. At the same time, the Vulture is selling high tech weaponry from many battles in the franchise to criminals, and Spider-Man really wants to stop him.
    So the movie...isn't complete sh*t. It's not good, but not as bad as my deepest fears thought it would be. At worst I thought it would've been close to Civil War bad, but it isn't complete sh*t, just bad. But that's still bad!
    I'm not happy with this. I am a huge Spider-Man fan, Spider-Man wasn't just an awesome superhero, but he was also kind of a role model to me growing up. Most of the comic books I've read in my life have to be Spider-Man related, the Amazing Spider-Man is one of my favorite superhero movies, Spectacular Spider-Man is one of my all time favorite shows and I was so sad when it ended up getting cancelled. Spider-Man means more to me than possibly any superhero, so when I have negative feelings about a Spider-Man property, I feel really bad about it. Spider-Man: Homecoming is my least favorite Spider-Man movie, not the worst movie with Spider-Man in it, but my least favorite movie titled "Spider-Man...something".
    A sad thing is that the movie doesn't start so bad. When I saw the Marvel logo and heard the Spider-Man theme playing, it felt so great to hear that music in this franchise.
    Tom Holland wasn't even that bad either. At first I was worried that he was going to get on my nerves when I first saw him in the movie, fresh after Civil War, but he turned out to be an okay Spider-Man. Emphasis is on "okay", because I've seen a better Spider-Man, and a better Peter Parker.
    Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man is the best part of this movie of course, because he's Iron Man, and he's always awesome. In this movie he doesn't appear a lot, but when he does appear he has a good mentor feel to him, as if he has gained a lot of wisdom over the course of the universe, and he wants to pass that wisdom onto Spider-Man. He is to this movie what Wonder Woman was in Batman v Superman, a character who is barely in the movie, but it so powerful if they got involved the crisis would be over quicker, plus they can make a better movie.
    Michael Keaton plays the Vulture in this movie, and he does a pretty good job for the different take on the character. I mean, Vulture has changed a lot over the years from the flying jewel thief in the comics to the vengeful inventor in the Spectacular Spider-Man, to this newer take on the character. I appreciate having Michael Keaton in a superhero movie again, I like him as an actor a lot, I think he was a good choice, but I can't help but get kind of a Norman Osborn vibe from his design.
    Also, Vulture's not the only villain in the movie, Shocker is there, not much to say about Shocker, but also the movie also throws in a few Spider-Man characters as background fodder in very questionable ways. There are characters in this movie that look like important Spider-Man characters given insignificant rolls, characters that feel like they could've done more with, and some characters that were just poorly casted.
    For example, Flash Thompson, Peter Parker's bully in this movie is like the anti-Flash Thompson. I know over time characters change, and we've seen two versions of Flash Thompson in two different continuities already, but I really don't buy that this guy is a bully, and I sure as hell don't buy him as a possible Agent Venom. They could've cut Flash out of the script all together and made this guy a completely new character, but they just named him Flash randomly because he is mean to Peter Parker.
    The comic relief in this movie was also very forced, and not at all funny. He's another example of a character I think should've been cut from the script.
    Then there is a name drop in this movie that...well, the most calm way I can describe it is with a picture from one of my rage idols.
    That is all I am going to say. I did not like that lazy name drop.
    There is one casting that I did like, and that was Aunt May. That's one new take I don't mind for a character, because it both makes sense for Aunt May to be younger, and for another...I like the idea of a cougar Aunt May.
    Another weakness the movie has is the high school setting. I've said before that I really don't care about high school drama, that part of my life was a long four-year period of torture, and I don't like being reminded of that. I don't like seeing Spider-Man do school stuff, maybe I could forgive it for a TV series, but in a movie it is not appealing. Peter Parker is like super smart, I think that it is possible to have a younger Spider-Man and not have him in high school, you can just say that he skipped a few grades.
    Also, the pacing of this movie really drags along. It feels like the movie was trying to put too much in itself with the high school stuff that isn't interesting, and there are some scenes that just didn't need to be in there at all, and for a long time things don't pick up, and when they do start to do something with the movie, it is literally painful. I have sat through a lot of long movies, and this one is another one of those where I felt like my bladder was going to explode, and I did go to the bathroom before the movie started, so I can't be the only one at fault! It is my mission to sit through the whole freaking movie to give it a fair review, and the movie had to have been two and a half hours long!
    Now here comes my thoughts on the action, brace yourselves!
    It's better than the Craptain America action, that's for sure. I mean, some parts aren't that impressive, but there is a scene on a boat that is a good scene. But then there's the climax which is very underwhelming, I wouldn't even call it an action scene, I would just call it a "thing happens" scene, because that's all I saw. A thing happening, no fight, just a thing.
    Then there is the after credits nonsense. I call it nonsense this time, because there is a mid credits scene, and I heard there was an after credits scene too that I should stick around for, so I finally had my bathroom break while the credits were rolling, then I came back, wondering what they could possibly tease after the mid credits scene...
    Guys, it is the worst post credits scene I have ever seen! It purposefully trolls the audience that waited patiently for this mystery scene, not knowing what they were going to get, and gave us the biggest "f**k you" they could possibly give!
    That is the full story behind my opening quote. That made me snap unprofessionally when there were people both behind me, and in front of me, not to mention right next to me!
    I really feel bad after my moment of outrage, I try to be above that kind of behavior, but I just lost control, so I'm sorry guys, a Spider-Man movie actually made me snap!
    So for the first time, I'm giving it two ratings, one without the after credits scene just to be merciful, and one with the after credits scene because that was not pretty!

    Without the after credits scene it gets a 3 out of 10 which is wasteful.
    With the after credits scene, I give it a 2 out of 10, it's freaking sucky!

    So yeah, another weaker installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a tragedy that I actually hated a Spider-Man movie. I didn't even hate Sam Rami's first Spider-Man movie, but this movie pushed me too far.
  13. Hello everyone. Now I am sure you guys are all asking the same question right now.

    "Where the hell is the Spider-Man: Homecoming review?!" - My whole audience.

    Well everyone, the Spider-Man: Homecoming review will still come. My mother is back in town, but she brought my father with her, so he's staying for a few days before we can do anything because he doesn't have the same interests as I do, so we don't hang out a lot. I don't know when the review is going to get done, with my luck my review of War for the Planet of the Apes will probably be up first.

    But now that I got that question out of the way, I feel like answering some more questions you guys have about me. I don't remember if I've done a Q and A on this site before, but it could be fun to see what you guys are curious about. As of right now through the rest of the month of July, I'll be accepting questions from you guys, and on the 31st I plan on answering those questions with a new entry.

    So down in the comments, please ask whatever you guys like, whether it be about movies, TV shows, any interests I have, or just things you want to know about me in general. I'll answer what questions that I can, but I won't answer something regarding extremely personal information, but I'm sure you guys know how that works. Also, I appreciate variety in questions, so if someone else has asked a certain question in the comments, I am already going to answer that so try not to repeat their question. Also, ask as many questions as you want, it will make the answer blog a lot more interesting that way.

    So enjoy the rest of your day, I look forward to reading what questions you have for me, and don't worry about the Spider-Man: Homecoming review. I'll get it done when I have the chance.
  14. Clone Cadets
    "If these cadets can't get past their short-sighted selfishness, they will never come together. Unity wins war, gentlemen." - Shaak Ti
    Clone Cadets is pretty much the episode for the clone fans, to go further, this was the episode made for the fans of the episode Rookies, which takes place further down in the timeline, so I will wait to talk about that episode when the time comes.
    Five clone cadets in a team called Domino Squad are having a hard time working together, and are doomed to fail their final exam needed to join the army. Sergeant Bric, a bounty hunter contracted to train the clones has already given up on them, but El Les, their other tutor still believes in them, and really wants them to pass and become official clone troopers.
    As an episode focused on the clones, a lot of this episode has to be carried by them. Dee Bradley Baker does a great job in voicing the clones in the series. He does more than just the same voice over and over again, he always makes sure to have little subtle differences in the way the clones talk, so a nerdier clone's voice like Echo would sound softer than an officer like Commander Colt, who brings more authority with his voice. The man does have a lot of talent in this field, as even when the clones are out of their armor with their different numbers, you can tell which one is which from their characteristics and their tones.
    I also really like seeing more of Kamino, the glimpses of the different parts of the main cloning facility, the constant storms, and most of all the training center where we spend a lot of the episode seeing the clones fight the practice droids.
    We also get another look at Lama Su, the prime minister, and we learn more about him about how he only sees the clones as his property and has no problem getting rid of a group that's defective, opposite to Shaak Ti who values all lives. I do love that we get to see Shaak Ti, and you can guess why from my list of Star Wars hotties, and there is a special scene where she passes some wisdom onto Echo and Fives when they try to get transferred out of Domino Squad.
    Admittedly there is still the deformed clone 99 who was rejected for being overall unfit for battle, and he has a pretty cheesy scene with Hevy towards the end. I'm sorry, I know some people like this clone, but I think the scene wasn't exactly earned between Hevy and 99, as there wasn't enough for me to gather they had a friendship.
    But I still think it is a good episode, and people who are bigger clone trooper fans probably appreciate it a lot more.

    Supply Lines
    "For the Republic! For the Twi'Leks!" - Ima-Gun Di
    During the Battle of Ryloth, Jedi General Ima-Gun Di is being overwhelmed by the droid army, and the Twi'Lek freedom fighters led by General Cham Syndulla are low on food and medical supplies. To help bring quick aid to the Twi'Leks, Bail Organa and Jar Jar Binks go to Toydaria to convince King Katuunko to help the Twi'Leks, but Senator Lott Dod of the Trade Federation tries to convince Katuunko not to help the Republic if Toydaria wants to remain neutral in the war, and keep their own contract with the federation.
    First off, yes we must address the Gungan in the room. Jar Jar Binks is in this episode, and while I don't find the character as annoying as most Star Wars fans do, I understand the hate. But thankfully, as is with the majority of the show, Jar Jar is actually more toned down than he is in the Phantom Menace. In this episode he doesn't really have a moment where he is obnoxiously clumsy, and he actually does act like he should when he and Bail are before Katuunko. So Jar Jar isn't bad in this episode, actually. Sure the dinner scene is a bit much, but other than that, this is how Jar Jar should be more often. And thankfully he is voiced by his original actor Ahmed Best, you will see why later, believe me!
    I also liked the introduction to Toydaria in the series, the good look at the homeworld of Watto's people, where it is a big swampy world, but the buildings of the civilization are always floating like the Toydarians themselves. When my mother heard that they were going to Toydaria, she was expecting a planet of Wattos being greedy and gambling. (I am a little concerned for her already associating that stereotype with them.) But it is furthest from it in this episode, the Toydarian society is much more sympathetic to other species, you can tell they feel for the Twi'Leks when they hear about their dire situation, and Katuunko is a very respectable king. He's concerned about his own system's neutrality, but even then he still won't let Ryloth suffer over it.
    We also see Lott Dod in this series for the first time chronologically, and while he pretends not to be like Nute Gunray, and that the Trade Federation is neutral, you can tell that he really just wants the war for his profits, and he is very smooth about it actually when he makes his speech to Katuunko.
    The real meat of the episode is the stuff on Ryloth, because we see how intense the takeover of Ryloth is, with all the explosions, the small Republic army fighting hard against the overwhelming forces of the droid. This is actually the first time chronologically that the show depicts the Republic in a losing battle. Before that we did see some points where the Separatists seemed superior, but in the end we knew that the heroes would overcome them. This is the first time the battle was definitely going to end in defeat, at least for now, but Ima-Gun Di (his name says it all) and his clones willingly make a last stand so that the Twi'Leks can escape. And that last stand is awesome, especially towards the end when General Di and Captain Keeli are standing side by side when the droids are closing in on them, about to finish them off.
    I think Di may be the only Jedi killed by battle droids in the show, which is impressive for the droids, but for Di...I don't think any Jedi wants to be the one killed by battle droids.
    So I would say that this is a mostly great episode. We may know the outcome, but it's the journey itself that is great. When we return to Ryloth in future episodes, I know it will be fun.

    "Size is not everything. Hmmmm? Smaller in number are we, but larger in mind." - Yoda
    On Rugosa, Jedi Master Yoda is supposed to meet with King Katuunko to discuss the building of a Republic base on Toydaria. However, Asajj Ventress has arrived on behalf of Count Dooku to convince the king to join the Separatists instead. She proposes a challenge to have her droid battalion capture Yoda, with the outcome determining which side of the war Katuunko will join.
    I have such fond memories of this episode. When the Clone Wars first aired on Cartoon Network, this was the very first episode they showed, and they did pick a good one to show us right away, because the episode is both action packed and really funny.
    Yoda is a character that the show really has to use sparingly because he is so powerful. If Yoda was put on the battlefield so often, it would lose its impact since he is the grand master of the order, and should only really have to come out in certain situations. The show understood this well, and we knew that this would be one of the only times we saw Yoda in action for the show, and it is a lot of fun. I love seeing how Yoda handles the droids in this episode with the three clones Thire, Rys and Jek. He uses different tactics each time, keeping the audience excited when he tries something on the droids.
    Yoda is always so creative with how he uses the Force to deal with the droids, especially when he lifts up a super battle droid and has it turn on the other droids before they shoot it. When he charges the AATs full on is an amazing scene, it's when we see Yoda go into his beast mode!
    I also love the funny moments with the droids. They're really amusing as the episode gives them a lot of time to humiliate themselves and exchange a lot of fun dialogue with each other. I think a lot of it comes from the droids having to go against Yoda, you know these guys are doomed, so they might as well make you laugh before they bite the dust. Matthew Wood does such a great job on the voice, it's perfect for comedic episodes like this.
    The episode doesn't have a ton going on, just really the things that I already went over, but that is part of the beauty of this episode being used to introduce the show to television, it is simple, and only really gave us a taste of what was to come, because after this episode, the Clone Wars immediately got deeper. So you could say this episode is like sampling the cake, but not actually eating the cake. Next time we really will eat the cake.

    And a heads up guys, unfortunately my mother will be away for a while, so for a few days these blogs will be on hiatus. This also means that she can't drive me to Spider-Man Homecoming, so that will be my reason why I won't review it when it premieres, it's not because I'm boycotting it. It's just that I don't have the means to get to it.
  15. The Theatrical Premiere
    "So, this is where the fun begins!" - Ahsoka
    Ahsoka Tano, a newly assigned Padawan learner arrives on Christophsis to begin her training under Anakin Skywalker. While Anakin at first doesn't want a Padawan, she impresses him by winning the Battle of Christophsis. With Anakin accepting his new role as Ahsoka's master, the two of them go to Teth, where Jabba the Hutt's son Rotta is being held hostage in a scheme to align the Hutts with the Separatists.
    Things are going pretty well with guiding my mother through the series, she is beginning to see the importance of watching the series in chronological order rather than by airdate.
    The Clone Wars movie was released back in 2008 as a pilot for the series, as a way to both get attention for the show when it aired on Cartoon Network, and to help fund the animation budget.
    It was a good way to start off the show, as both of those reasons were helpful. The movie is basically four episodes put together for a theatrical run.
    One thing it does great is introducing Ahsoka, my favorite character, as many of you are aware, and she really has a great introduction. When we first meet her, she's smart, funny, enthusiastic, skillful, overall just brilliant. She gives a really great impression from the start, and pretty much outdoes Anakin a lot, and I absolutely love how she fits in so well with the crew when she is still new.
    The movie also delivers on the battles. The Battle of Christophsis is done really well from our first real look into the combat in this war, seeing the massive droid army closing in on the grouped together clone army on the other side. I also loved the Battle of Teth which is literally an uphill battle, where Ahsoka and Anakin have to climb up on vines to fight the droids with the clones. There is plenty of exciting action to go around.
    The lightsaber duels are there too and their great to watch. The two major duels in the movie are Obi-Wan vs Asajj Ventress, and Anakin vs Count Dooku. They bring a great taste of what is to be expected in the show with really fierce animation. There was also the deleted duel between Ahsoka, Anakin and Ventress that featured a jungle rancor down in the dungeon. It was probably cut for time's sake, but when you see the deleted scenes, and know where those scenes go, you can tell from the actual film that there is a good chunk of it missing. But seeing Ahsoka take down a jungle rancor is awesome!
    Also, in the movie we do get some of the original actors to reprise their roles before the voice actors take over for the show. Christopher Lee returns as Count Dooku, and Samuel L Jackson plays Mace Windu. While Windu's role is pretty much a cameo to please his fans, Christopher Lee has a full on role as Dooku, and he does great as always, bringing across the dignified intimidation of Dooku through his powerful voice. I really miss Christopher Lee, he was a Dark Side treasure to us all.
    The film does have some drawbacks, particularly Rotta the Huttlet, who does what any baby really does and cries a lot. It's not completely irritating, it's not like how most people view Jar Jar Binks, but Rotta is not particularly amusing. Then we are left to wander what happened to Rotta because in the following Star Wars films where we see Jabba, Rotta is nowhere to be found. There might be fan theories on the subject, but I'm still curious for the canon explanation. Ahsoka did have to carry him on her back through the desert of Tatooine and fight three MagnaGuards, so I think she is at least owed an explanation.
    Another kind of fun addition is Ziro the Hutt. I heard a lot of mixed feelings about this guy, some people absolutely hate him, some people actually do admire him and think he's amusing. I lean more towards being amused by him, but he really shouldn't do drugs. I just have to get that out of my system.
    Overall, the Clone Wars movie is pretty hard to review as a movie because when you look at it, it is four episodes of a TV show, like the Darth Maul Returns DVD that was released at Target. It would be interesting if there was an option to watch each different section of the movie as four different episodes and review them as they are instead of grouped together, just to see what it works as better, TV episodes or a movie.

    I know that ironically I have been reviewing this in film form, but it is an instinct. I'm going to skip the rating, because I don't give TV episodes ratings like I do for films. Still, I am looking forward to talking about individual episodes once again, so that I can talk more in depth.