I was so against the Clone Wars (TCW)at first. You have no idea. For me, it was like trying to pair peanut butter with mint jelly instead of grape jelly. Star Wars? As an animated series? Wait…Anakin has an apprentice?! AGH. My perfect universe was falling apart. When I saw the movie in theaters that was supposed to precede the TV show, I left the theater hanging my head in shame. I wrote a scathing review on my previous Star Wars blog and swore never to watch it. EVER.
Well, obviously that changed. Fellow Star Wars fans had been urging me to watch the Clone Wars, like a persistent bass line in the background of a song, and I finally gave in to the beat. They kept telling me that the movie was not a good indication of the TV show and really, I should give the show a chance.
It took a while, but after feeling like my life was lacking some fresh Star Wars material (I’m not saying there is a lack of fresh Star Wars material in general, only in my life because I don’t read the EU), I decided to tune into Clone Wars one day when I was sick. It helped that I was sick, because I had watched too much of my go-to shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians and the Rachel Zoe Project (my embarrassing guilty pleasures). When I stumbled upon some reruns of TCW on Cartoon Network, I decided to stick around. I enjoyed it; I was surprised. Since then, I have watched two full seasons and am now working on my 3rd season of watching the Clone Wars. Believe it or not, Ahsoka is now one of my favorite characters, though I had sworn to hate her forever when I saw the movie.
My biggest frustration with the Clone Wars is that I think, at times, they go too far off the map of believability. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I love when they focus on the minor characters and delve into the smugglers, pirates, assassins, etc of the Star Wars Universe. I have hesitations when they fiddle around too much with the main characters.
Darth Maul was brought back to life during the 2-episode arc finale of Season 4. I was very skeptical, and I still am. At the end of The Phantom Menace (TPM), he was as dead as the spider I smothered with a tissue this morning. Last season, they had him come back as this twisted version of himself – slightly insane, and intent on getting revenge on Obi-Wan. [If you would like to read up on how he stayed alive, what happened to his lower half, and more, please go to wookiepedia.] He hunts him down but, of course, Obi-Wan gets away. Voila, ending of Season 4. So of course, fans are waiting to see what will happen to Maul and eager for Season 5 start.
Enter Season 5 (cue dramatic music). Darth Maul is back to start the season off and is actually reminding me a bit of Gollum. As Gollum is obsessed with the One Ring, Maul is still only obsessed with getting revenge on Obi-Wan. He basically forces Savage Opress to acknowledge himself as a Master, with Savage as the Apprentice for their new Sith Lord duo.
Maul claims to have the best plans. I say “claims” because the first episode involved his plan of rounding up an army of pirates to serve his cause…and it failed. Not only does his plan fail, both end up not faring too well, with Savage losing an arm from Obi-Wan’s awesome lightsaber dueling skills. Yes, Obi-Wan was there and brought another Jedi into the battle (Adi Gallia) who ends up dying to Savage Opress.
At the end of the episode, Obi-Wan returns to the Jedi Council, reporting on Darth Maul’s antics. What happens then? Chancellor Palpatine tells the Jedi to ignore Maul because it is a personal thing for Obi-Wan and Maul’s return is much less important than the situation with the Separatists. End of episode.
This just bothers me, for numerous reasons. The main reason is that good ol’ George Lucas really wanted to bring back Darth Maul, but now has decided to put him in his pocket to use at another time. I can’t stand that. I am not a fan of bringing back Maul at all, so I am really hoping Dave Filoni and crew redeem themselves and make his storyline relevant. But I have a feeling it may just be episodes with Maul chasing Obi-Wan around the galaxy with the eventual confrontation of Obi-Wan defeating Darth Maul. Again. Because we have all seen Revenge of the Sith and we all know who is alive during that time and who is not mentioned at all.
Secondly, I have a hard time believing that the Jedi Council would just say, “Yeah, you know what? Let’s forget about Darth Maul coming back from the dead and focus on the Separatists.” I know the Jedi Council gets more and more political as Episodes I-III continued, but I still don’t think they would just ignore the fact that a Sith Lord has come back from the dead. A glaring point that I think the writers of TCW are missing is that Darth Maul could be very useful to them alive. If they can get Darth Maul to talk, they can find out who his Master was in TPM, and help find out who the real Sith Lord is out there, aka Palpatine. Thus, they would solve numerous problems. And then we would not have Episodes IV-VI…ok, so maybe that’s beside the point, but realistically, tracking Maul and seeing if he gets in contact with his former Master would make a lot of sense.
But instead, we have this whole episode devoted to Darth Maul and his return, to only have it tucked away again for a short or long period of time.
My rating: 5/10. I only talked about the cons of the episode and my frustrations with Darth Maul, but there were some fun parts with the pirates Maul tried to recruit. They really were a bunch of good, old-fashioned scallywags and their interactions were my favorite part of the episode.
Alas, overall, I am disappointed. However – I am still excited for the rest of the season because I heard that Cad Bane returns and Filoni mentioned Season 5 will be big for Ahsoka.