skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
Having temporarily taken a break from lengthy space operas about terrible wars within ongoing franchises after finishing DS9, [personal profile] innerbrat and I have now started watching through Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I'm going to try to stop to write up about every ten episodes for anyone who is interested in following along on this moderately lengthy journey.

For the record, going in, here is my knowledge of The Clone Wars as picked up via tumblr osmosis:
- there are clones
- Anakin has an apprentice named Ahsoka and we all love her
- Obi-Wan might have a romance with a planetary leader because that's just what Jedi do, apparently
- there is a Complicated and Tragic plot about Ahsoka's ruined relationship with the Jedi order that allows her to survive to appear in Star Wars: Rebels

That's it! That's all I know. Other than what happens in

1. Ambush

I guess I sort of knew that Clone Wars was an anthology show going, but I didn't quite realize how much so until the series began with an episode ft. Yoda and Three Clone Buddies smugly demolishing Sith assassin Ventress and her droid armies in order to impress a potential political ally, with no protagonist-y protagonists as far as the eye can see. Which, as a way to set the tone, is actually sort of neat. The episode is also careful to introduce the concept that Clones Are Individuals With Individual Personality Traits; for example, these particular Clone Buddies are Focused On the Enemy, Nervous About Weapons, and Hasty. And one of them has different hair!

2. Rising Malevolence

Count Dooku is using a Mystery Weapon that destroys Jedi Alliance ships; One Jedi and Three Clone Buddies are adrift in space and probably doomed until Anakin and Ahsoka disobey direct orders to go find and rescue them, as is their wont. Our introduction to both Anakin and Ahsoka! Notable to me is the fact that Animated Anakin is a lot more square-jawed and bulky than Hayden Christensen has ever looked to me as a human person. Animated Anakin works out.

3. Shadow of Malevolence

Anakin leads a strike to take out the Mystery Weapon and save a clone medical transport while using fancy flying techniques, while Ahsoka is like "CLONE BUDDIES ARE GOING TO DIE TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH YOU." Clone buddies die trying to keep up with him. :( But the medical transport is saved!

At least three clone buddies died in the making of this episode. Relatedly, it's also when I start wanting to keep track of how many clone buddies die in the making of each episode.

4. Destroy Malevolence

First appearance of Padmé! ...tractor-beamed by General Grievous, who is running away from the failed clone transit medical attack.

PADME: Definitely do not stop attacking General Grievous, though! Militarily that is much more important!

I have a feeling this may be a recurring theme.

Anyway, Padmé manages to sneak out of her tractor-beamed ship and cause sabotage-y havoc on Grievous' ship before anyone actually comes to get her and hold her prisoner, because General Grievous is not very good at his job. Then Anakin and Obi-Wan turn up and they all jump around the spaceship for a while before destroying it, although Grievous escapes to Fight Another Day.

No clone buddies died in the making of this episode that I remember!

5. Rookies

All-clone episode! A bunch of trainee clone buddies are complaining about how boring it is on their minor station outpost, which means it is inevitable that their station outpost is suddenly invaded by droid commanders and all their superior clone buddy officers are killed. However, when Recurring Clone Buddy Commanders Rex and Cody turn up for a routine station inspection, they rally the remaining clone buddy troops to re-infiltrate the station. One clone buddy sacrifices himself heroically; all surviving clone buddies get a 'well done, son' from senior clone buddy commanders.

Favorite clone buddy from this episode: the one who reads training manuals for fun. Hope we see more of Hilariously Bureaucratic Clone Buddy in future!

Approximately four clone buddies died in the making of this episode, but their deaths were serious, meaningful and grieved by their remaining clone buddies. Except for the one who got hastily eaten by a giant monster.

6. Downfall of a Droid

R2-D2 is captured!!!! Obi-Wan tells Anakin to get over it and gives him a new droid; Anakin spends the next twenty minutes being AMAZINGLY SULKY about it.

AHSOKA: Look, I know you miss R2, but does that mean you have to be a dick to the new droid every chance you get?

That's it, that's the entire episode. This is officially the most entertaining I've ever found Anakin.

Also, this is where we learn that R2-D2's memory banks have never been wiped, which is ethically very good if you believe in droid rights and droid sentience, but tactically very stupid, as Obi-Wan points out because he does not believe in droid rights or droid sentience.

I'm pretty sure no clone buddies died in the making of this episode, but that might be because I was distracted by Anakin sulking his way through every single minute of it.

7. Duel of the Droids

OBI-WAN: Your job is to destroy R2-D2 before the enemy can extract valuable information from his memory banks! Definitely do not attempt to rescue R2-D2.
ANAKIN: So, this is the episode where we definitely rescue R2-D2!!

Anyway, it turns out that new droid is a SPY DROID who attempts to sabotage the mission, leading to Ahsoka attempting to fight Grievous by herself and Spy Droid getting into an amazing droid slapfight with R2-D2 on one of those tall bridges that Star Wars architects love so much.

This is also the episode where I start wanting to make a vid about R2-D2 set to one of those rap songs with a chorus entirely composed of "I don't give a fuck."

I don't remember if any clone buddies died in the making of this episode but I think Droid Sabotage took out at least one of them. :( Sorry, clone budies! I'll pay more attention next time!

8. Bombad Jedi

On the one hand: a Diplomatic Adventures of Padmé episode in which she coolly rescues herself from a hostage situation with pretty much no actual Jedi interference! ON THE OTHER HAND: prominently features Comical Jar Jar. >:( So, about 50% of a really enjoyable episode and 50% of a really cringey one, only mildly improved by reading it as foreshadowing of the Dark Lord Jar Jar theory.

No clone buddies died in the making of this episode! Because no clone buddies appeared in it to begin with.

9. Cloak of Darkness

This episode features Ahsoka and a female Jedi master named Luminara attempting to guard a valuable prisoner of war from a rescue attempt by Ventress, along with a bunch of clone buddies plus one non-clone buddy soldier. Luminara initially dismisses Ahsoka's concerns about Ventress, and then Ahsoka saves her life, and they bond while fighting Ventress together, and it's all really nice! Unfortunately they also fail the mission when the non-clone buddy soldier inevitably turns out to be a traitor and murders all his clone buddy comrades to steal the prisoner of war. :( Relatedly, at least four clone buddies died in the making of this episode. Plus one traitor non-clone buddy soldier, who is unsurprisingly murdered by Ventress after he's of no more use and might want inconvenient things like 'payment.'

10. Lair of Grievous

This episode introduces us to Jedi Master Kit Fisto, and I don't know why but as soon as he was introduced both Debi and I were like *___*!!!

(Technically I think both Kit Fisto and Luminara and probably numerous other Jedi who will appear in The Clone Wars series were all in Attack of the Clones, but I've only seen that movie once, on a plane, and also I didn't care about anything that was happening in it, so it's ALL NEW TO ME.)

DEBI: He sounds like a prince! He's definitely a prince, right?

I don't think he is technically a prince but he's definitely a very regal and handsome tentacle-headed animated Jedi alien and we hope he recurs with frequency. Also, he is voiced by Samurai Jack so NO WONDER we think he's a prince!

Anyway this is actually a sad episode, as Handsome Tentacle-Headed Jedi Master Kit Fisto reunites with his former fish-alien padawan, now a full-flown Jedi, but one who CANNOT CONTROL HIS ANGER OR DESIRE FOR REVENGE. They end up trapped in a space castle that shows lots of dramatic scenes of the life of a great warrior --

DEBI: I am sort of shipping Prince Jedi with this unknown great warrior.

- who turns out to be a pre-cyborgization General Grievous, because this is General Grievous' personal space castle lair --


-- and the fish-padawan angrily challenges Grievous to a duel, which ends tragically. :( We also meet Grievous' personal cyborg-touchup medical droid, who is the second best character in this episode because he is 100% done with everything, like an evil droid version of Dr. McCoy. Anyway it turns out this attempt to trap and murder a number of Jedi within a space lair was all basically Count Dooku's version of an annual General Grievous performance review. He gets a Meets Expectations With Room For Improvement.

At least five clone buddies died in the making of this episode, but so did a Jedi and Droid Dr. McCoy, so at least they weren't alone? Anyway, Handsome Tentacle-Headed Jedi Master Kit Fisto sadly escapes and we all breathe a sigh of relief.
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