Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Clone Wars Season 4 Premiere Review (Part 1)

Man, I just watched part 3 of the Clone Wars Season 4 Premiere. I can't help it, I'm frustrated. I didn't want to say anything until the conclusion hoping they would salvage something with the ending. Understand that I go into each episode wanting to love them. There is so much potential with this series, it kills me that they haven't executed a quality story since the beginning of season 3.

This story isn't original. A king dies. A war starts. A young prince must prove himself and take back the throne. I don't mind knowing that in the end everything will be alright and the good guys will triumph over evil. What I DO care about is how we get there. I want some character progression with our main stars. I want actions to make sense and have consequences. It's all in the details, and this is where these episodes fall apart. Spoilers ahead. Ye be warned.

Things That Bothered Me Episode #4.1

The King of the Mon Calimari has just been murdered and the Quarren refuse to accept the young heir as the new ruler. A shark ambassador named Talon is brought in to counter the Mon Calamari's request of the Republic representatives. Talon ends the talks and the two peoples go to war.

1) Boots?
In the first two seconds I notice the Quarren are swimming with boots and I'm already distracted. Why are the Quarren wearing any kind of foot wear at all? The Mon Calimari are dressed in shells and seaweed. Why dress the Quarren in surface clothing?

2) Tanson's Many Hats
So he's an ambassador when we first see him, then he's the sole leader of the Quarren Army. I thought there was a big stink about letting another Calimari lead the people, but they allow this shark guy, who is not even from their world, to lead their army?

3) Plan of Attack
The army comes over the ridge, sees the city and just start firing their guns. They aren't in the city yet, they're just shooting at the city with their hand held weapons. Then, the army swims right by the Prince who is watching them from his window. Maybe capturing the Prince should have been part of the initial attack? Maybe a little reconnaissance to figure out where the Prince is going to be? Heck, the Prince had no idea the attack was even coming. Why not insert a scene where a squad attacks the Prince and his council? There could be a little fight defending the Prince. Finally, they escape through some hidden tunnels under the floor or something.

4) Defense Plan
The Quarren and Droid Army just swim right through the city shooting. They have no troop formation or take any cover. You'd think this would be pretty easy for the Calimari to pick these guys off. Instead, the Calimari army also jumps up from behind their cover and battle in the open water.

5) Gerbil Tubes
What are the reason for these things? It would make sense if they were some sort of giant straws that sucked you or pushed you through the tubes so you could rest or something, but it seems they are just tubes with no purpose but to clog up when big groups are going opposite ways.

5) Falling?
The Prince, Anakin, Padme, and some others are swimming in a gerbil tube to get behind the attacking army. A giant rock or building falls onto the tube and cuts our heroes off from their following reinforcements. We see the Calimari reinforcements actually screaming and falling to their doom? Why don't they just start swimming?

6) Swimming
How can the surface people keep up with the underwater people? The humans should be kicking their little legs off as the underwater creatures effortlessly cut through the water. There should have been some scenes where the underwater people are pulling the surface people to hurry them up. The Jedi could just force push off a building or the sea floor to move. Better yet, they could grab onto a distant heavy rock or building and instead of lifting it, they could pull themselves to it. That would be a new way to use the force power, eh?

8) Republic Reinforcements
What's the deal with the troops jumping out of the speeding ships? Did you notice how fast those ships were traveling? Your mouthpiece and accompanying teeth would be ripped out of your mouth hitting the water at that speed. Have you ever wiped out on water skis? Now triple that speed, add 5 feet of height, and add some scuba gear. Best of luck. (No wonder they need so many clones.)

9) Missed Opportunities
Remember when Anakin loses his helmet? Just when the tension is about to build, Ahsoka gives him his helmet and they joke about him almost dying. Is it me or do the main characters seem a bit indestructible? I thought it would have been cool to stretch out the drama a little. Maybe add a part where Anakin uses the force to pull his sinking helmet back to him. The helmet is about halfway, but another Quarren attacks him. While defending himself against blaster fire he loses his concentration and the helmet starts to sink again. Now, looking through Anakin's eyes we see everything starting to go black as he begins to pass out. Just before total darkness we see Ahsoka coming to the rescue. Then, Anakin's eyes open, and we're staring at Ahsoka through the helmet that she must have put back on.

10) Swimming II
When the underwater species are fighting each other, they should be darting around, not swimming like a humans.

11) Republic Scuba Suits
How much air is in those tanks? Nobody ever worries about running out of air? Also, how do you turn those inner lights off? You would think those lights would have given them away when they were hiding.

12) What's Going on?
The droids are retreating. Anakin says the droids could have easily overrun them. We cut to the Quarren leader telling Tanson that his Aqua Droids are no match for the Calimari army.

13) Jellyfish Robots
Tanson says these things are half machine and half monster and indestructible to boot. How did he capture them? How are they being controlled? Why aren't they attacking in the other episodes?

Speaking of other episodes. I'll be going over those too. Right now, I need a break. I'll watch Episode 11 of Young Justice. Now THAT show has some talented writers. For one, the good guys don't always win. What a novel concept.


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