Star Wars The Clone Wars: Season 2

"But you know what I always say: speak softly, and drive a big tank."

Season two is a step up from the previous season. Not a major one, mind you, but a step up nonetheless.

Episodes 1-3: Holocron Heist/Cargo of Doom/Children of the Force

When Cad Bane steals a Holocron from the Jedi Temple, Anakin and Ahsoka pursue him and uncover a plot to kidnap Force Sensitive children.

This season was subtitled Rise of the Bounty Hunters, although I'm not entirely sure why. Apart from the opening and closing arcs, there's only one other episode with any bounty hunters in it and they didn't even do any bounty hunting despite the episode being called 'Bounty Hunters'. More often than not the bounty hunters on this show are either pursuing personal vendettas or working as mercenaries for the bad guys, which is all Cad Bane ever seems to do. There's a definite sense of deja vu to this opening arc as once again we see Bane break into another heavily guarded Coruscant building with relative ease so he can steal something. Bane is one of those villains that writers obviously loved reusing, which usually meant he always managed to outsmart the heroes and escape, which has the unfortunate side effect of making the good guys look spectacularly dumb. This arc is basically three episodes of that on repeat. But 'Cargo of Doom' does have that scene where Rex walks head first into a pipe so it's an instant classic as far as I'm concerned.


Episode 4-8: Senate Spy/Landing at Point Rain/Weapons Factory/Legacy of Terror/Brain Invaders

After Padme acquires plans for a massive new droid factory on Geonosis, the Jedi launch a full scale invasion of the planet.

The first part of this arc is a Padme episode and for once she isn't taken prisoner by the bad guys. Hazar! But she is poisoned by the bad guys and needs Anakin to save her. Hazar? The next episode, though, is like D-Day on Geonosis as The Clone Wars gives us some of its most intense battle scenes yet. Throw in a little more blood and gore and this could easily be the opening of Saving Private Ryan. The rest of the arc is a little hit and miss. Ahsoka's mission to destroy the Droid factory with Barriss Offee (Luminara Unduli's Padawan) is exciting, but all the stuff in the last two episodes with the bug queen and brain invaders was maybe a little too silly for my taste.

Episodes 9-10: Grievous Intrigue/The Deserter

Anakin seeks to rescue a fellow Jedi from Grievous while an injured Rex is taken care of by a clone deserter.

The problem with General Grievous, besides the fact he's a pretty lame villain, is that he has plot armour. Since he survives until Revenge of the Sith, any time our heroes go up against him he will inevitably survive and escape. He's basically the Road Runner to the Jedi's Wile E. Coyote. No matter how hard they try they are just never going to catch the bastard. Like a lot of Clone Wars episodes, the first part of this story is basically just one extended action sequences as the Jedi infiltrate Grievous' ship to save Jedi Master Eeth Koth. Things calm down a bit in the second part, which is something of a thematic follow up to 'The Hidden Enemy' and further explores the nature of the Clones and their unwilling role in the war.


Episode 11: Lightsaber Lost

After pickpocket makes off with her lightsaber, Ahsoka teams up with elderly Jedi Master Tera Sinube to recover it.

A simple and silly run around the streets of Coruscant with Ahsoka and a Jedi Master so old that even his lightsaber colour is grey. It also doubles as a walking stick.

Episodes 12-14: The Mandalore Plot/Voyage of Temptation/Duchess of Mandalore

Obi-Wan must protect Duchess Satine, ruler of Mandalore, from a terrorist organisation called Death Watch, who are determined to overthrow her and return Mandalore to its warrior ways.

This one starts off well and there are some truly great moments in 'Voyage of Temptation' ("What? He was gonna blow up the ship?"), but then everything just sort of fizzles out in the final episode as the confrontation this entire story has been building up towards gets called off because of some speeches in the senate. Despite the uneven quality, this remains one of the series' most pivotal arcs as it introduces the planet Mandalore and its ruler Duchess Satine (a woman with a mysterious past with Obi-Wan that Anakin is just desperate to know all the juicy details) as well as Pre Vizsla and Death Watch, a terrorist group who want to take over the planet and return Mandalore to its warrior ways.


Episode 15: Senate Murders

When a fellow senator is murdered, Padme and Bail Organa team up to find the culprit.

Padme episodes often gave us an fascinating insight into the political scene of the Republic and allowed us to see first hand the corruption that would ultimately plunge it into tyranny. That said, they also have the unfortunate tendency to be somewhat dull. This one loses extra points for introducing Lt. Tan Divo, one of the many painfully unfunny comedy characters the franchise seems to have an unhealthy addiction to.

Episode 16: Cat and Mouse

In order to get supplies to the Republic forces on Christophsis, Anakin takes command of a prototype stealth ship.

Chronologically, this is the earliest episode in the series, taking place before the movie and 'The Hidden Enemy'. It's a somewhat disposable mission of the week episode, with a lot of predictable twists and turns, but it at least fleshes out Admiral Yularen a bit by teaming him up with Anakin for this mission and revealing his history with Admiral Trench, the tarantula-like commander of the Separatist blockade.

Episode 17: Bounty Hunters

Anakin, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan team up with a group of bounty hunters to protect a village from Hondo and his pirates.

The creation of Star Wars was heavily influenced by the films of Akira Kurosawa, specifically his 1959 film The Hidden Fortress. This episode is dedicated to Kurosawa, but unfortunately it's nothing more than an unimaginative rehash of The Seven Samurai. Were it not for Hondo leading the attackers this one would be a complete dud.

"And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling Jedi"
Episodes 18-19: The Zillo Beast/The Zillo Beast Strikes Back

During a battle with Separatists on Malastare, Republic forces accidentally awaken the ancient and thought to be extinct Zillo Beast, which Chancellor Palpatine has brought back to Coruscant for study.

This is one of the series' sillier arcs. It's basically the plot of Kong King starring Godzilla and set on Coruscant with Palpatine as the object of the beast's less than loving affections. Which is really his own fault. Instead of having the beast taken to some deserted planet elsewhere in the galaxy so they could figure out how to weaponize its impervious skin, he foolishly had the army bring it to the freakin' capital of the Republic. For a Machiavellian schemer who has orchestrated this entire galactic conflict so he can acquire UNLIMITED POWER!!! he is spectacularly stupid at times.

Episodes 20-22: Death Trap/R2 Come Home/Lethal Trackdown

Disguised as a clone cadet, Boba Fett infiltrates a Jedi cruiser so that he can take revenge on Mace Windu for killing his father.

The season comes to a close with a fairly okay arc that tries to take one of Attack of the Clones' many blunders (Little Boba Fett) and turn him into a credible threat. Unsurprisingly, it fails. The pint sized revenge seeker proves to be a rather toothless adversary since he chokes every time he is told to kill someone (no doubt because the censors would've had something to say about that). Still, this arc has a few good action scenes and a bit of Hondo magic in the last episode.


Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig

2 comments:

televisionandotherrantings said...

Admittedly it's been a while since I've seen either season in full but I'm gonna give the somewhat controversial take that S1 is better than S2. S1 at least has a couple of more memorable episodes. Not much in S2 really stands out or reaches the same highs as some of the other season.

Mark Greig said...

S2 is just ahead for me thanks in part to the complete lack of Jar Jar episodes.