Artificial Continuum

Sunday, August 22, 2010
With the latest season of the Clone Wars approaching release and gaining hype, I decided that perhaps now is the best time to offer my own in depth commentary on this series. Ill be using the next four days to lay down what exactly I love and hate about the series, and what works and what does not.

The Clone Wars, like many television series, has gone through some growing pains. It has had its ups and downs. Some episodes are incredibly mature, rich in character, and have fantastic animated sequences, while others are ruined by poor voice acting, plotting, and unbearably poorly executed comic relief. Thankfully, the show has increased in quality since its early days. Even then there are some episodes that are so subpar that they deserve recognition.

5. Mystery of A Thousand Moons

Mystery of A Thousand Moons is an interesting concept that suffers from poor execution, subpar plotting, and of course excruciating humor. The story follows Anakin and Obiwan as they travel to a mysterious planet to find a cure for a disease that has ravaged several of their close friends. While approaching the planet they are shot down by a mysterious force and stranded on a planet filled with outcasts. There are numerous way that this episode could have been pulled off in a satisfying manner. However, it instead just feels incredibly unnatural. The audience is never feels the menace or urgency that would be necessary for such a plot. The characters that are met in this episode are also uninteresting and unsympathetic. The annoying battle droid and Jar Jar humor is even more frustrating in this episode.

4. The Gungan General

Following Jar Jar Binks's attempts to negotiate the release of Obiwan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Count Dooku from a band of vicious pirates, The Gungan General may be one of the most annoying episodes of the series to date. Including Jar Jar Binks into a storyline involving cut throat pirates, the murder of innocent senators, and sith lords is never a good idea. However, this is made even worse by giving Jar Jar an even more annoying voice actor then before. Almost as bad is the annoying prison break subplot that forces Anakin, Obiwan, and Dooku to work together. Played to almost unintentionally humorous ends, The Gungan General fails to create any sense of humor, excitement, or dread that it obviously hopes to instill.

3. Defenders of Peace

Like The Gungan General, Defenders of Peace is a frustrating episode for the fact that it is a sequel to an episode that was actually pretty good. Picking up after the exciting and creative survival epic, Jedi Crash, Defenders of Peace is a confusing and frustrating episode. As seen many times throughout the first season of The Clone Wars, the villains are presented as dangerous and violent beings, but are consistently undermined by ineffective and frustrating attempts at humor. However, what is truly perplexing abut Defenders of Peace is the message it seems to teach. In the beginning of the episode, Anakin and his group of clones and Jedi are taken in by a group of pacifist aliens who help to nurse the wounded hero back to health. However, as the plot progresses it becomes obvious that Anakin, and the writers, have little respect for the beliefs held by his saviors. In fact, Defenders of Peace (an oddly ironic title) seems to teach that violence will always beat out pacifism when it comes to solving problems. In a television show that is viewed by children this is a disturbingly close minded message.

2. Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Movie

Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Movie may go down in history as one of the worst moves made in the history of the franchise. A colossal failure on nearly all fronts, the film not only failed at the box office, was despised by critics, but also scared of thousands of potential fans from the series. The movie is in fact a poorly edited amalgam of the first four episodes of the series. The film is choppy, unnatural, and confusing. The animation, while impressive and often beautiful on a television screen, is primitive when compared to numerous other big budget animated films. However, most frustrating is the fact that the Clone Wars film is not a good representation of the series itself. Overly childish, cheesy, and sometimes incomprehensible, The Clone Wars is just a terrible film. This is unfortunate when compared to the increasingly spectacular television series.

1. The Blue Shadow Virus

The Blue Shadow Virus is without a doubt the worst outing of The Clone Wars yet released. Like so many other episodes in the series, it starts out with an incredibly promising plot point that eventually devolves into an unwatchable mess. Following the production of a dangerous bioweapon by a mad Separatist scientist, The Blue Shadow Virus at first glance tells an interesting and even scary plot. However, this is utterly destroyed as the episode progresses. Jar Jar Binks once again makes an appearance in this episode (yet again sporting his new voice). Like numerous other appearances his slapstick and moronic humor simply does not work with the plot and situations presented by the plot. However, Jar Jar is not alone. Blue Shadow Virus introduces an equally annoying female gungan. This alone would be grounds to leave this episode alone, but the horror continues. The villain for this episode is a bizarre Nazi caricature of a mad scientist, who is perhaps even more annoying than Binks. These elements combined with yet another damsel in distress plot, uninspired action, and an anticlimactic conclusion create an absolutely terrible episode.


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