Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.16

“Altar of Mortis”

It had seemed that the previous episode had wrapped up the storyline pretty well so I wasn’t expecting the Son to kidnap Ahsoka and force our other two heroes to crash back down on the planet. In a way I think they should have moved on in storyline and used the slight dangling plot line of the old man struggling to keep balance as a way to return later on instead of using it all now.

But hey there were a lot of cool fights in the episode that made it a definite worthy watch. Ahsoka is bitten by the Son and the dark side and turns towards the dark side. Anakin pursues them, hell bent on saving his apprentice while Obi-Wan thinks it wiser to find the Father to gain his help in defeating the son.

Obi-Wan’s journey leads to a confrontation with the son and the Father is hurt. The daughter come and shows Obi-Wan an altar that contains a powerful sword that can control the son.

Meanwhile Anakin vs. Ahsoka. It’s cool to see initially but Ahsoka really holds her own for way too long. Anakin should have been able to dispatch her much quicker even if he doesn’t want to hurt her.

Everyone is eventually reunited and unfortunately the daughter sacrifices her life to save a mortally wounded Ahsoka and the son escapes with the sword. So now we know it’s a trilogy of episodes even if this one feels a bit slow as if they dragged the story out a bit too long.

B

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.15

“Overlords”

Wow! Now this is what I was talking about when I heard about the Clone Wars cartoon. A story that was at once fun, memorable, and deeply rooted in the mythology of the Anakin Skywalker storyline. Traveling to a mysterious planet that just emanates the Force, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka investigate.

While there, they meet three very special people. A Father and his children, a daughter steeped in the light side and a son who is a dark side warrior. Here the father keeps balanced. He is very interested in the Chosen One. And he’s not alone. Anakin is separated from his master and apprentice and he goes on to meet the father. Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are met by visions in a cave. Ahsoka by an older version of herself claiming that she has been touched by the dark side due to her involvement with Skywalker. Now most of us are fairly sure Ahsoka will die before Episode III or else it wouldn’t make sense. And yes, technically they could send her to some far off land and have her either survive the Jedi Purge or be killed off screen but that would be cheap.

But it is Obi-Wan’s vision that is most interesting. His vision is of Qui-Gon Jinn (actually voiced by Liam Neeson!). Interesting conversation abounds about young Anakin and the destiny of the Chosen One as well as Obi-Wan’s own destiny.

Anakin is visited by his mother’s spirit which eventually reveals itself to be the Son messing with his mind. Anakin finds the Father who tells him point blank that he will be tested.

The test happens in a large courtyard where the daughter and son take Obi-Wan and Ahsoka on opposite sides and the father tells Anakin that he must let go of his mother’s death and choose to free only one of the taken. Anakin forces the wills of the two and frees both in a dark and powerful demostration of the Force.

The father says he passed the test and he needed to stay behind and replace him or else the galaxy could be lost but Anakin can’t do that so they attempt to fly away.

It’s a great episode mostly because it’s actually important to the storyline. And I’m not belittling other episodes which can be fun, but they are usually non-essential to Anakin’s storyline.

A+

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.14

“Witches of the Mist”

The continuation of the Savage storyline. Becoming aware of Savage’s existance, the Jedi Council is none too pleased, and they ispatch Anakin and Obi-Wan to Dathomir to ascertain more. The more involving the male Iridonians which live under Night Sister rule on Dathomir. They get to fight some Iridnians while Dooku is off further training Savage in the ways of the dark side.

Anakin and Obi-wan are surprisingly able to gain assistance from the Nightsister who tells them where Savage is, in order to begin the assassination of Dooku. The Jedi intervene during one of Savage’s missions and prevent him from being successful in kidnapping the Toydorian king. The king dies instead leading Dooku to chastise Savage. He is about to kill Savage when Ventress shows up and it’s one large Sith free for all. Eventually Savage is fed up and attacks both his masters.

By the end of the episode, everyone escapes and Savage makes his way back to Dathomir when he is surprised that his new teacher will be his brother. All in all another good episode.

B

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.13

“Monster”

He’s here! Darth Maul’s clan brother (which makes it less cheesy sounding than actual brother. Savage Oppress (yes I will whole heartedly admit the cheesiness inherent in the name as well). But for what seemed like would be a forced introduction, the episode is not too shabby. Somewhat believable and definitely scary (with the voice of the Kurgan no less). Savage becomes the evil Captain America to serve as new assassin for Count Dooku and he does so with relish.

That Dooku remains clueless as to Ventress’ involvement and the Dathomirian deceit is a bit much, but you don’t let it get in the way of a good origin story even if the character does have a mary sue kind of feel to him. Especially as he breezes through combat with clones and taking out two Jedi by himself.

The process of Savage becoming well…savage is tried and true. Protecting his clan brother at all costs, Savage ends up volunteering to be experimented on. Of course afterwards when he is more twisted and evil, he is able to kill his clan brother.

What’s most interesting is that Dooku is planning to overthrow Sidious himself with assistance by Savage.

B

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.12

“Nightsisters”

Wow! For a halfhour show, this sure felt more like part of the prequel trilogy but more defined. It was dramatic, action packed, and epic enough to be part of the film saga. We open with a space battle that once again evokes Revenge of the Sith, but the dialogue and banter between Obi-Wan and Anakin is more lifelike and to form. Being chased by Ventress the two Jedi are forced to land on a Separatist ship and duel with the dark apprentice.

Unbeknownst to her, Dooku receives orders from Palpatine to kill Ventress who has grown too strong for her own good. Dooku submits to Palpatine’s wishes and withdraws any support for Ventress who manages to escape and make her way to Dathomir.

We learn that Ventress is a Dathomirian witch who was given to the Jedi at a young age but eventually watched as her Jedi Master was killed driving Ventress to dark side tendencies which were nurtured and explored unitl she became Dooku’s apprentice.

Ventress is reindoctrinated and is ordered to take out Dooku. Along with two associates she is given a spell to camoflauge themselves as they break into Dooku’s quarters. The assault is well animated and ends as it should with Dooku disarmed, yet with enough dark side power to have beaten off his would be assassins.

Most interestingly enough is at the end when the head of the Nightsisters offers Dooku a different apprentice. It turns out she used Ventress to push Dooku to take a new apprentice. Very interesting indeed.

Overall, it has an epic quality – high style and high action and some mythology thrown in to boot. Overall it’s a great start to the second half of the season.

B+