Here it is, our final review for this season! Did the finale live up to our expectations? And what did we think of the season overall? Read on to find out!
What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: After the disappointing first part of the season finale, I didn’t have much hope for Part 2, but it turned out better than I thought. It actually had a nice dark tone to it, and thanks to getting his sanity and humanoid legs restored, Maul was better in this episode, but still not as great as he could/should be. I like how he got Kenobi’s attention by slaughtering an entire village. It was the kind of thing you’d expect a badass Sith like him to do. I also liked the plot twist that Ventress helped Obi-Wan and how they fought the brothers together, although it was kind of stupid of Yoda to send him to fight Maul alone, even though he knew that Ventress would help him. Aside from that, the plot was kind of a letdown. Obi-Wan got beaten up a lot again (which is excusable, I guess, since that’s what we wanted to see Maul do, kick some Jedi butt), and while Maul did get a bit of revenge on Kenobi, nothing else happened really. Nothing changed; everyone is still alive, Ventress didn’t get her revenge on Savage, and Maul is still mad at Kenobi and on the loose. For a season finale, this story was left much too open-ended for my taste.
Brickdoctor: To be honest, nothing really happened. All the characters are pretty much back where they were at the beginning of the episode, other than Maul, who has new legs and is now sane. (which, overall, means that over this two episode arc, all the characters haven’t changed from their last appearances, assuming you consider Maul’s last appearance to be his EU cyborg state) On the positive side, I suppose if nothing changes overall, that means nothing can change overall for the worse. I still don’t know why Ventress got dragged into all of this. The Ventress-Savage story and the Obi-Wan-Maul story should be separate, in my opinion.
Clone O’Patra: Short and simple: it was lacking. I honestly thought something would happen, not just set up Maul to be a recurring villain in the next season. When they set Cad Bane up in the Season 1 finale, at least he was awesome and the episode had a plot. This one was just basically: ‘oh hey, remember Darth Maul, well he’s alive (somehow) and wants revenge on Kenobi. And yeah, know Kenobi knows, and that will play out later.’ I guess what I’m trying to say that there was just no payoff. Maybe it’s just because it didn’t even set up any suspense. I get that the writers are trying to be creative by putting Kenobi and Ventress together and all, but in that case let’s not see them work together in this very episode and save it hanging for later. Now that we’ve already seen them go head-to-head with the bad guys in a typical, badly animated lightsaber fight, what is there left to happen once they meet up again? Hmm, let me guess, another typical, badly animated lightsaber fight. There’s a way to write an engaging plot that will make people care what happens. This wasn’t it.
What are your thoughts on the Characters
Oky: As I mentioned earlier, Darth Maul was slightly better this time, but he definitely talked too much. I’m not saying he should have been as silent as in the movie, but his speeches tended to sound like cliche villain monologues. He also wasn’t quite as cool without his signature double-bladed lightsaber. It would have been nice if he found the other half repaired it before engaging Kenobi. Where did Savage get Maul’s old lightsaber anyway? Also, was anybody else distracted by Maul’s forehead? He seemed to have the same crease going across it as the new minifigure. I do like that his new legs are more or less exactly the same as the ones from the EU though. They explained a bit how Maul is supposed to have survived being cut in half and falling into a reactor, but it was just that silly old “will to live” crap again.
Not much to say about the other characters. Again, it’s an interesting development that Ventress decided to help Kenobi. I wonder if she did this just to get him to help her defeat Savage or because of her new disposition in life. Also, I really think Obi-Wan could have put up more of a fight, but oh well.
Doc: It’s nice to see Maul back to his sane self, but he talks too much. (and he doesn’t sound right when he talks) I also really didn’t think the monologues and the making people suffer were really Maul’s style. The Darth Maul of Menace was the kind of villain who killed his target as quickly and as quietly as possible. Yes, the fact that the Sith were in hiding until halfway through that movie probably contributed to the necessity of that, but seeing as Maul was insane for roughly thirteen years and missed the events of the galaxy during that time, his style shouldn’t have changed. As far as battles, Obi-Wan continues to get beat up, and in all the wrong ways. Firstly, there’s the suffering at the hands of the two Zabraks, which, as I mentioned before, didn’t seem to fit in to Maul’s character. Then, during the battle, Maul is beating Obi-Wan with the lightsaber, even though they were pretty close to equal in ‘saber skill during Menace. (on that note, I was disappointed that their battle didn’t have the flowing, rapid, bang-bang-bang pace of the Duel of the Fates – CW animators still can’t seem to get duels right) On the other hand, Obi-Wan does land a very solid kick on Maul’s chest, which bugged me because it didn’t reflect Maul’s mastery of unarmed combat using Teräs Käsi.
CoP: Against all odds, the banter between Ventress and Obi-Wan worked really well. And Embo was there with his dog again! Oh, what’s that, this episode was about Maul? Yeah, he pretty much sucked. Maul used to be the strong silent type, which made hum beyond cool. He didn’t need to talk to be phantomly menacing. Now he’s all talk, which is really rather annoying. As for Savage, he just gets whinier and whinier. Why can’t that man/beast ever make any decisions for himself? Is he really that stupid? He doesn’t come off as evil in a cool way; he’s evil in an annoying way.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: The only new thing here was the planet Raydonia, but it might as well have been Felucia or one of those other glowy-plants planets.
One thing I liked, though, was the electronic Wanted poster and how Ventress wirelessly downloaded the info on Savage from it.
Doc: We didn’t really get to see much of the new planet. Most of the action takes place inside the AT-TE/World Devestator/freighter that Savage commandeered in the last episode. Ventress still has her flying sail barge thingy, which still doesn’t look good, but at least it’s consistent. Obi-Wan, however, decides to take a shuttle to confront Maul. CW writers should just decide on one transport vehicle for Jedi – starfighter or shuttle – and stick to it.
CoP: That new planet looked a bit too much like Felucia to me, but that’s neither here nor there. I liked the droid smashing into the wall (that’s what happens when Darth Maul turns up somewhere, eh?) I’m also happy that no new vehicles were introduced for no reason (or at all).
Oky’s Rating: 3/5 – While it was a bit better than the previous one, this was a very average episode. The plot didn’t advance much and was left open-ended, Obi-Wan got beat up again, and they managed to ruin another good character. Darth Maul, who was a cool character until this story arc, is now just another force-wielding villain with a grudge against the Jedi. At least it had a nice dark tone and a decent amount of action (even the lightsaber duels seemed smoother than usual, but still not as fluid as those in the live-action movies) and no real plot holes. You know, aside from the fact that Maul shouldn’t be alive and that Savage got his lightsaber out of nowhere. Also, how come the Separatists just left all their vehicles and droids on Dathomir? Some of them still looked intact, so why abandon them after winning the battle?
Doc’s Rating: 3/5 – Nothing really happened, and Maul’s return was rather disappointing.
CoP’s Rating: 2/5 – This episode went nowhere and did nothing. Yeah, it was dark, but dark doesn’t automatically equal good. What a disappointment; I honestly don’t know why I watch this show any more.
What do you think of this season overall?
Oky: This season was okay as it had its ups and downs. The Mon Cal arc was kinda lame, especially compared to its awesome counterpart in the 2003 Clone Wars series. The Artoo & 3PO two-parter was just stupid, and don’t get me started on Shadow Warrior. The Slaves of the Republic arc was terrible, and so was the random Death Watch episode. However, the Umbara arc was very good, and not just because it was the only one to actually feature clones fighting wars. The bounty hunter episodes were also surprisingly good. What started out as an average story about Obi-Wan going undercover as a bounty hunter turned out to be a pretty complex plot that played into the themes of ROTS very nicely. The episodes leading up to the finale were also pretty good, although they turned into a pointless butchery of Darth Maul’s character in the end. This season seemed to go by pretty quickly since it consisted of only a handful of long story arcs instead of several individual episodes, but I guess this is better than watching a bunch of half-assed arcs that are revisited annually. This season had Grievous winning a battle for the first time in this show, clones rebelling against their own general, Anakin slipping to the dark side more, and some interesting character development for Asajj Ventress, but it also had Grievous getting defeated by a single freaking Gungan, crazy Spider-Maul, and Obi-Wan getting beat up WAY too much! But overall, it was much better than last season which still consists of some of the worst episodes of the whole series (I’m looking at you, senate and Mortis episodes). Not sure if it beats the first two seasons, though, since those had some pretty good episodes as well that actually had to do with the clone wars. If Filoni and his team can find a common ground between those episodes and the kind of good storytelling they displayed in this season and stop ruining beloved characters, I think they’ll be on the right path.
Doc: Allow me to summarize quickly: The Mon Cal arc was pretty average, with more new battle droids, more annoyingly effective Gungans, and a new species that looked like the CW design team took a couple seconds to stick the head of a shark on the body of a man and called it a day. The Aleen arc had a ton of annoying little aliens and a bunch of magic in it. The Umbara arc was probably the high point of the series, with plenty of clones fighting wars, but Krell was plain stupid. The Zygeria arc was mostly Obi-Wan (and co.) getting beat up by slavers. “A Friend in Need” further decreased the awesomeness of the Mandolorians. The bounty hunter arc’s plot made no sense. “Massacre” had way too much magic, “Bounty” didn’t feel like Star Wars at all, and the finale ruined Darth Maul. CW seems to be drifting further and further into arcs that introduce unnecessary new villains and have nothing to do with the Clone Wars. Character development is nice, but it shouldn’t take precedence over, you know, actual clones and actual wars. This season felt like CW writers suddenly realized that their characters from the last three seasons needed to start developing into their Sith states, and decided to cram all that character development into one season. It’s the same mistake made in Menace – start the characters with the wrong alignments, and they have to develop too much in too little time.
CoP: It’s hard to remember, since CW seasons are always mishmashes. I can say, though, that I have a general feeling that the show is sinking. When the show first came out, I didn’t think it was very good, but now it seems like a lot of that Season 1 stuff was pretty good (even if the animation wasn’t great yet). The writing has gone far southward. The Umbara arc this season was a good try at branching out, but Krell turned out to be so stock and the arc was so repetitive that it didn’t quite work. The Death Watch episode was by far my favorite; it had a clear beginning, middle, and end, and the characters were well portrayed. I hope we see more of Lux and Ahsoka in the future, since I’m really not sold at all on Oppress and Maul.