What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: This episode might as well have been titled “A Youngling’s Life” because its main plot was basically just a rip-off of the climax of Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, except very poorly executed. Everything in this episode either made no sense or was just much too convenient. The younglings are forced to land on Florrum, which just happens to be the nearest planet and the one where Ahsoka is being held captive, and they rescue her by joining a circus which just happens to pass by and be heading to Hondo’s base. How convenient. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan can’t help them because he is fighting yet another battle against General Grievous. Why are the separatists attacking them? What are they fighting for? Why are the droids boarding the Venator? It’s never explained. The episode just quickly runs through the usual formula: Grievous attacks, Obi-Wan fights back, they blow something up, and Grievous runs away. That’s it. They don’t even show the lightsaber duel between them on-screen as if to say “Yeah, you know the drill.” It has been about a year since we’ve seen some decent clone action, which was during the Umbara arc, so I was excited to see this part, but unfortunately it turned out to be a very lackluster B-plot. What really bugged me though is that Obi-Wan told Grievous that the Venator was about to explode. Why in the world would he do that? I know he’s polite and all, but telling your enemy that you set a trap for him is one of the dumbest things you can do! It probably would have taken Grievous and his dimwitted droids a while to figure out that the ship would self-destruct, so if he wouldn’t have done that, Grievous would have been dead. Why do Venators have a self-destruct button anyway? It’s also never truly explained why Hondo is even holding Ahsoka hostage. He just says that he intends to sell her to “a businessman”, but it is never said who this man is. It’s yet another unanswered question.
Clone O’Patra: I may be the only person on the planet who liked this episode more than the previous ones. I guess it was just so utterly ridiculous that, for once, I found it enjoyable. I worried that the kids were just going to break into Hondo’s camp and sneak out with Ahsoka, but no, they join a circus troupe! Preposterous, yes, but hilarious. Random Grevious attack? Why not. This episode didn’t seem to take itself too seriously, and for that reason, was quite fun. When it’s all dire stares and moody crap that doesn’t make any sense, it’s hard to even enjoy the show. But a circus act coupled with a hilariously plot-device-battle whose sole purpose is to leave the kids on their own and makes no other sense – pure comedy gold. Ok, maybe comedy bronze. But still.
Masked Builder: Where to start? I found the whole episode terribly predictable. The only part I actually enjoyed was when they younglings rescued Ahsoka. It just seemed to me that they’d do exactly what Obi-wan told them not to. And then, he gets attacked. Surprise, surprise.
Brickdoctor: I can’t say the plot was impressively good, but at the same time, it wasn’t that bad. Grievous’ attack was sort of unexplained, but this is the Clone Wars (finally get to see some clones fighting, by the way), so it’s a plausible event that doesn’t really need an explanation of motive, and as far as being the reason the younglings can’t get help, it’s better than a completely implausible or nonexistent reason. The younglings joining the circus to sneak into the base didn’t seem like Star Wars to me, but I guess it added some nice variety to this arc, after they did the predictable sneaking around in the ventilation shafts in the last episode.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: I didn’t like the younglings as much here as I did in the previous episodes. Their plan to rescue Ahsoka was not very well thought out and they were lucky that it worked, plus I don’t understand how they were able to perform a perfectly choreographed acrobatic act out of nowhere. Is this what they teach them at the Jedi Temple? And how come Ganodi is the only one who received pilot training? Don’t all younglings get the same training? It just doesn’t make sense. I also didn’t like Preigo the weird dug and his traveling circus very much. I’m not sure why. I guess I just expected more from a carnival troupe from a galaxy far, far away.
Cloney: The dug and his circus folks were amusing, which is at least a step above annoying. One little thing that bothered me was that the dug guy came back to the same person (Hondo) who had killed some of the troupe last time. Couldn’t he get the heck out of there? I wouldn’t go back there, nor would I work for a guy who takes his employees places where they might die. The kids were the kids – it didn’t seem to me like they were too coordinated or sure of themselves when doing the tricks, which I appreciated. They’re still annoying little Anakins for the most part (seriously, why is the main female one voiced with a runny nose?).
Masked: I did like the costumes that the younglings were given. They were refreshingly different and quite unique. The dug character was just a bit odd to me. Sure it’s great to see them expanding on their character design, but he was just a bit over the top.
Doc: Again, the circus didn’t really feel like a Star Warsy thing to me, even though I know there are similar existing canonical organizations in Star Wars. Like Cloney O’ said, they managed to avoid being terribly annoying, so I guess that’s a plus. The rest of the characters didn’t seem to change.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: The space battle certainly looked cool, which on the other hand made the episode the more promising and ultimately more disappointing. Despite all the lights and paint, Preigo’s Zygerrian slave ship didn’t look very circusy and reminded me of a story arc that was almost worse than this one. I would have much preferred a creative new vehicle.
Cloney: The space battle looked cool, but why can’t Venators close their top hatches? Seriously, somebody shouts ‘they’re sending a boarding party,’ so the response is ‘let’s just chill with our big hangar doors open?’ Bad idea. I actually liked that they used an existing ship for circus; I couldn’t remember where it was from, but I could remember that I’d seen it, which was all that mattered. Being able to recall it sold the ‘converted’ effect. A brand new ship wouldn’t have done the same (maybe they could’ve used the big ship that Savage Oppress takes to the trash planet, though).
Masked: I missed where the ship appeared in season four, so to me it was all new. But it seems like a perfect fit for a traveling circus. This one doesn’t seem to space worthy though.
Doc: Nothing really new here, either. But that’s probably a good thing, considering how often CW seems to introduce unnecessary vehicles. The Droid Gunships dropping off the Super Battle Droids were a nice addition that didn’t use a completely new vehicle and made some sense.
Oky’s Rating: 1/5 – This episode was promising but ended up being very disappointing. Nothing made sense, the space battle was too short and unoriginal, and the main plot was very unimaginative. Even seeing a drunk Hondo and the clone action we’ve been asking for for so long couldn’t save this episode from being a poorly written mess. If the next episode wouldn’t sound so promising, I would have no incentive to keep watching. I hope they wont let us down again and will explain what the space battle was all about.
Clone O’Patra’s Rating: 3.5/5 – Yeah, I guess the episode didn’t make that much sense, but I had a good time. All I ask for is a good time.
Masked’s Rating 2/5 – It wasn’t too bad, but it was a bit predictable for me.
Doc’s Rating: 3/5 – The subplot of Grievous attacking the Republic Fleet was more interesting to me than the main plot. That being said, I think the episode as a whole is a little better than what we’ve seen to start this season, and it’s consistent with what has become the average TCW episode.