Saturday, January 22, 2011

Clone Wars: Witches of the Mist

Let me start off by saying that I was really excited for these past couple of Clone Wars episodes and have been looking forward to seeing them since August, when they revealed the existence of Savage Oppress at Celebration V. And don't forget, I was really looking forward to seeing these episodes in theaters back in December (I even ranted about it). I'll admit that I didn't watch any of the other two episodes on tv, but I saw the first episode, Nightsisters, on before Friday's episode. Since I hadn't seen the other two, I wasn't going to bother watching Witches of the Mist until I could somehow watch all three episodes together. (Spoilers ahead: watch out)

And then I was duped into watching the episode. The Rebel Legion's Twitter account said "Don't forget to catch Clone Wars tonight. Why? Two words. REPUBLIC. COMMANDOS." And me, being the easily excited RC fan that I am made up my mind right away to watch the episode. Any episode that includes Republic Commandos must be a pretty badass episode. That's when I went and watched the first episode online. I should have taken the hint when Cartoon Network only had the first episode and not the second, Monster. But I went ahead and watched the last episode of the trilogy on Friday night.

Where do I even begin? I guess I'll start by explaining why I was 'duped' in to watching it. Well, that's because my beloved Republic Commandos were only on screen for less than 10 seconds. I probably should have realized that they wouldn't play a major role, but I really had hoped that my RC boys would have been more important players than just showing up on screen for a few seconds. I suppose most of my frustration with this episode stems from that. There's no other word for it; I felt duped.

The other problem that I had with the episode is that everything happened too quickly. That might just be the fact that I missed the middle part of the story, but I've felt that way about a lot of Clone Wars episodes. 30 minutes minus commercials just isn't enough time to get across a good Star Wars story. That's not to say that the writers haven't tried, though. There have been some pretty good episodes, and there are even more that I see what it's about and think that it's going to be a really fulfilling episode story-wise, but it then hits the problem that 30 minutes isn't enough time to tell a full story. I feel like the formula of telling a story arc over two episodes (like with Rising Malevolence and Shadow of Malevolence) is a much better way to have good Clone Wars stories and I really wish they'd return to that formula.

I do think that Katie Lucas did a pretty darn good job for a first try with these episodes. The first episode held together well and made me want to continue the story into the next two episodes. My biggest problem, once I got past my Republic Commando disappointment, was that it seemed like the writers were trying too hard to take awesome aspects from the books and shove them into their cartoon series. Overall I thought the appearance of the Nightsisters wasn't all that bad, and I was even pretty ok with Savage Oppress being Darth Maul's brother. I was even ok with the Nightbrothers since they mostly seemed to keep the fact that they were really there to serve the Nightsisters, in holding with Dathomir's female run society.

And that's where we get to the part I'm really really really absolutely not ok with. I can take a lot of bending and reshaping of the Star Wars universe, but there's a place I draw the line at, and that's bringing back characters who have been very obviously been sliced into two separate parts by a lightsaber. And that line stands no matter how much I love Ray Park and think it would be cool to see him as Darth Maul again. The fact that Mother Tavlin or whatever-the-hell-her-name-was gave Savage a pendant and told him to go to the Outer Rim and search out his kin who can teach him the ways of the Sith is so totally not ok with me. That takes the bending and reshaping of the Expanded Universe and completely and utterly shatters it with no regard for the fans who are left crushed and once again picking up the pieces of a fragmented universe. I can only hope that the crazy Russian accented Nightsister leader was really just setting Savage up to fall into some black hole at the edge of the galaxy and never return since he has ceased to be useful to them. I hope.

But that hope simply is just stemming from a Star Wars fan who has had to pick up the fractured pieces of the Star Wars universe and lovingly fit them back together to await George's (or in this case his daughter's) next universe shattering decision.

Katie has obviously learned much from her father.

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