Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season One "Review"

I use the word "review" lightly because, well, I'm not actually grading the show and going over pros and cons. It's just kind of my recap and some commentary on the first season of the animated show.

Basically, it rocked.


To me, the show was very good. Sure it was corny at times, as we have come to expect from bits of dialogue in the Star Wars media universe, but you have to remember the show is aimed at kids. Adults will get a chance to keep the franchise afloat with the live action series in 2010. For now, kids keep Star Wars alive and kicking. And they are doing a good job of it. The show was picked up for a second season.

There were 22 episodes during season one of The Clone Wars. I can't say I absolutely hated any episodes and would never watch them again. Though there definitely are some that I liked more than others. The list of episodes, in order of air date, is below.
  1. "Ambush"
  2. "Rising Malevolence"
  3. "Shadow of Malevolence"
  4. "Destroy Malevolence"
  5. "Rookies"
  6. "Downfall of a Droid"
  7. "Duel of the Droids"
  8. "Bombad Jedi"
  9. "Cloak of Darkness"
  10. "Lair of Grievous"
  11. "Dooku Captured"
  12. "The Gungan General"
  13. "Jedi Crash"
  14. "Defenders of Peace"
  15. "Trespass"
  16. "The Hidden Enemy"
  17. "Blue Shadow Virus"
  18. "Mystery of a Thousand Moons"
  19. "Storm Over Ryloth"
  20. "Innocents of Ryloth"
  21. "Liberty on Ryloth"
  22. "Hostage Crisis"
It's clear that the crew likes making longer episodes that won't fit the 30-minute time slot. There were six instances where a story line last two or more weeks. The second episode started The Malevolence Saga, which was three episodes. Then there was the two episodes focused on R2-D2 and Goldie. Episodes 11 and 12 were connected as were 13 and 14. "Blue Shadow Virus" and "Mystery of a Thousand Moons" were two different episodes very much about the same story line. Then came The Ryloth Trilogy. I am not saying this is bad; in fact, it's the opposite. Each episode had definitive ending but left you wanting more; you knew the episode wasn't over even before the Cartoon Network showed clips from next week. It keeps the audience captivated for sure.

Looking back on the episodes, the series really grabbed my attention around "Jedi Crash". I felt that the episodes from there on out were pretty fantastic. That's not to say the first 12 were bad; the second half of the season just kept me interested a little more.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite episode. Of course I love when the clones are involved, so naturally "Ambush" - the series premiere - as well as "Rookies" rates right up there among the best. "Trespass" and the second and third parts of The Ryloth Trilogy were great episodes as well. However, if I have to pick one, I think I'd select "The Hidden Enemy". It focused a lot on clones and was a direct tie-in to the movie that debuted last August to prime everyone for the show in the fall. It answers questions that some may have been wondering about after seeing the movie. The movie, in all honesty, does not do the series justice.

Of course with a new series comes new toys. The line kicked off last July 26th - as I documented - asnd has been a strong seller. The Clone Wars figures are routinely sold out and are much harder to find than the companion Legacy Collection line.

After watching the last few episodes recently (I had recorded them so I could watch a bunch of them at once) I yearned for some of the clones and clone commanders to be made. Have no fear, Hasbro is here with delightful repaints.

Clone Commander Ponds, seen in "Liberty on Ryloth" will be a Toys R Us exclusive this summer or fall (from Jedi Defender).

Clone Commander Gree, seen in a few episodes, is set to hit store shelves this August.

Clone Commander Thire, seen in the premiere episode "Ambush", will follow this fall.

Clone Commander Bly has not been seen in the cartoon yet but expect him at some point in season two.

We'll be getting a Clone Turbo Tank in August so it is only natural to have a support squad for it.

You can never have enough Clone Troopers. Especially ones that can fly!

The previous five images are taken from Rebel Scum.

So basically, watch The Clone Wars on Adult Swim (they're reshowing the series). Buy the Season One DVD when it comes out this fall. Buy the toys. And be sure to watch season two this fall as well!

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