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+

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.11

“Pursuit of Peace”

Another fine political episode. In a show geared towards children (or at least, young adults) it is laudable that it attmepts to showcase how wars such as our real life war can affect the society back home and just how far too far can be.

In a nice linear approach, this episode takes place directly after the attack on Coruscant during last episode and the vote to deregulate the financial institutions. Now the troop increase is a formal vote away. Padme still struggle against the bill, arguing that bankrupting the Republic would do as much damage as the Separatists would in wartime.

It’s a debate of ideals and in most worthy arguments there is no easy answer and both sides are worthy. In fact Anakin and Padme are on opposite sides of the argument further cementing their eventual roles in Revenge of the Sith.

The action comes from bounty hunters hired to silence Padme’s impassioned pleas to hold up any more troop movement. There are a few chase sequences, one especially evoking memories of the Return of the Jedi Endor speeder chase combined with the Attack of the Clones zip through Coruscant.

But all that action ramps the audience up for is a wonderful speech by Padme which is able to convince the senate to hold off on the vote.

Which leads to the best Palpatine moment of the series as he and Mas Amedda conference in his quarters afterwards admitting that Padme defeated the movement and that Palpatine would have to bide his time. It’s the first time we’ve really seen anything overtly Sidious-like from Palpatine and it works wonders.

Another fine episode from a season that has found it’s footing after slipping quite a bit in quality.

A-

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.10

“Heroes on Both Sides”

This is an episode that should be interesting to see the feedback on. There is very little in the way of action and instead this is a political episode. We know there is a very strong fanbase that doesn’t want any of that in their Sar Wars.

The catalyst of the episode is the fact that the Republic needs more clones and in order to do that are going to have to deregulate the financial institutions. Which of course would help the Separatists out though the Republic doesn’t know it. Padme attempts to stop the vote and visits a Separatist world which is home to a former mentor of hers. Ahsoka accompanies her to the world and is an important part of the story in that the young Jedi sees everything in black and wite. As does the child of Padme’s friend.

The only Separatists Ahsoka had seen were on the battlefield so this is very educational for both her and the viewers who have similarly never met any Separatists that weren’t trying to kill our heroes. For a show geared a bit on the younger side, it is a good sentiment and analolgy to the real world.

Of course momentum of the vote is changed by the end, until the Separatists are able to bomb the power generators of Coruscant which power the Senate Hall. The bombing steels the nerves of those on the fence who push the vote through. It was a bit much and a bit too easy to manipulate the senators but overall it didn’t hurt a very fine episode.

A

Clone Wars: Volume 3: 3.09

“Hunt For Ziro”

For a throwaway episode, it certainly is a fun one. Combining non stop action with a little self irony, the show is also certainly successful.

The first hurdle to clear is to know when this took place. The Clone Wars episodes are not always linear with each other – this one in fact takes place just after the season 1 finale. Ziro is out of prison and being held by the Hutts in order to gain some incriminating information. Ziro’s no dope though and knows it’s the only thing keeping him alive.

What’s great here is the appearance of Sy Snootles, a former lover of Ziro. Sy breaks Ziro out and convinces him he’s going to get him off planet, when in truth, by the end we see that Sy is well over the relationship and is using Ziro to get at the information to better her position with the Hutts. We all know that she definitely gts a job offer from Jabba and it probably doesn’t hurt that she executes Ziro herself.

Meanwhile, the Jedi are trying to track down Ziro and are tripped at every corner by Cad Bane. However it’s not Obi-Wan and/or Anakin and/or Ahsoka. Instead of the usual combinations, instead it’s Obi-Wan with fan favorite EU character Quinlan Vos. The combo definitely has some sparks especially with Vos’ not your typical Jedi character. He certainly is not by the book but definitely gets thing done.

It really is a nice change of pace for the bunch and hopefully we will see more of Vos.

B