George Lucas on Star Wars: The Old Man and the Machine

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s “George Lucas on Star Warsarchive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope, lightsaber

The Scene: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader prepare to duel with lightsabers aboard the Death Star.

George Lucas Says (Via The Birth of the Lightsaber featurette): “In the beginning, the first film, Episode IV, it was a fight between a very old man and a man who was only partially a man, mostly a mechanical being. So it really wasn’t much of a sword fight at all. … As we went on, we wanted to have the lightsaber fights become faster and more intense as Luke became more proficient in the art of sword fighting.”

I Say: I’ve heard George talk about this a number of times over the years. It works fine as an in-story explanation of why there are no acrobatics or fancy sword fighting moves in A New Hope. But if Star Wars had been made in the prequel era, i.e. the late ’90s and early 2000s, you’ve got to know that Obi-Wan would have been doing all sorts of wild stunts. Remember that Count Dooku, who can’t be that far removed from Obi-Wan in terms of age, does a somersault off a balcony in Revenge of the Sith for no apparent reason.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Lost One”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S6:E10 – “The Lost One”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Tom Kane, James Arnold Taylor, Brian George, Matt Lanter, Corey Burton
WRITER:
Christian Taylor
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
 March 7, 2014
SYNOPSIS:
The Jedi explore the mystery of Sifo Dyas’ death.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Little peek behind the curtain: For the most part, I’ve been using the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Essential Episodes” playlist on Disney+ to select which Clone Wars episodes I feature. But that has to change now, as mysteriously there are no season six episodes on said list. The three episodes I plan to feature from season six are ones I had previously seen, and frankly, I think are awesome. They dive into one of the big unresolved issues from Attack of the Clones: The mystery of Sifo Dyas.

We open the episode with a vehicle on wheels slowly driving through a sandstorm. The novelty of seeing wheeled vehicles in Star Wars still hasn’t worn off for me. I wonder what the logic is behind them using one here, as opposed to one with hover technology. Does it allow for more stable navigation through the storm?

This episode goes on awhile before we get any lightsaber fights, shooting, or any other Star Wars action staples. That’s fine for adult viewers, obviously. But it makes me wonder what younger kids thought of this episode. Did it hold their attention? Was the expansion on a character only briefly mentioned during Attack of the Clones enough to keep them interested?

How much time passes between this episode and Revenge of the Sith? A matter of months? Because Anakin has that line to Dooku: “My powers have doubled since we last met, Count.” Casual viewers would naturally think he’s referring to a couple of years earlier during the events of Attack of the Clones. But those of us who’ve watched The Clone Wars know Anakin and Dooku crossed swords a few different times over the course of this big galactic conflict. I mean, obviously Anakin is boasting. But it’s kind of a weird boast.

“My powers have doubled since we last met. Remember? It was just a few months ago…”

By the end of this episode, the Jedi Council learns that Count Dooku is responsible for the creation of the Clone army. Understandably, they’re of the mindset that if this got out, it would seriously undermine public confidence in the Jedi and the war effort. Again, as we saw with the story that led to Ahsoka’s departure from the Jedi Order, we’ve got this theme of people losing faith in the Jedi, and the Jedi’s fear of such a thing. I like that idea. The notion that the galaxy is becoming more skeptical about the Jedi lends credence to the idea that Palpatine could frame them as the villains in Revenge of the Sith.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: The Rule of Two

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s “George Lucas on Star Warsarchive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Count Dooku, Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones

The Scene: Count Dooku asks the captured Obi-Wan Kenobi to join him against Darth Sidious. Obi-Wan refuses.

George Lucas Says (via the Attack of the Clones commentary track): “I was able to get in this little thing of, you put two Sith together, and they try to get others to join them to get rid of the other Sith. So Dooku’s ambition here is really to get rid of Darth Sidious, and he’s trying to get Obi-Wan’s assistance in that. … So that he and Obi-Wan can overthrow Sidious and take over. And it’s exactly the same scene as when Darth Vader does it with Luke to try and get rid of Sidious [in The Empire Strikes Back]. So whenever you get too many people together with these Sith Lords, they all gang up and they all try to get rid of the strongest one. … So the one facet of the Sith reality is that they’re constantly plotting against each other, and therefore there can’t be more than two of them at any time.”

I Say: One of the recurring elements in Star Wars is greed and a lust for power. It’s most plainly on display with the Sith’s “Rule of Two.” Whether you’re talking about Sidious and Dooku, the Emperor and Vader, or Snoke and Kylo Ren in the later films, you always have two individuals who are so hungry for power that their partnership is inevitably doomed from the start. I’ve always felt there’s a truth to this notion as far as the nature of evil is concerned. No matter how long you can make it lasts, it’s destined for self destruction.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “Witches of the Mist”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S3:E14 – “Witches of the Mist”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Corey Burton, Clancy Brown, Nika Futterman, James Arnold Taylor, Matt Lanter
WRITER:
Katie Lucas
DIRECTOR:
Giancarlo Volpe
PREMIERE DATE:
January 7, 2011
SYNOPSIS:
Asajj Ventress springs her trap on Count Dooku.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Another thing that’s stupid about the “Savage Opress” name? George Lucas has said that the bad guys in Star Wars (specifically in the prequel era) all think they’re good guys, and doing what’s best for the galaxy. If you thought you were a good guy, would you tack the word “oppress” on to your apprentice’s name? No. You wouldn’t.

Unless you were stupid. There’s always that.

Granted, I didn’t buy the whole “bad guys think they’re good” theory in the first place. Either way, somebody here is wrong…

Obi-Wan immediately assumed the footage they got of Savage Opress was of Darth Maul. I’m assuming he, and the Jedi at large, learned Maul’s name from interrogating Nute Gunray after the events of The Phantom Menace.

Dooku’s sadistic training methods for Savage Opress feel true to his character, and the Sith as a clan. The Sith channel hate into power in the Force. I’d say electrocution via Dark Side lightning is a decent way to spark hate in someone.

Get it? Spark? Tee hee.

How long did Dooku actually train with Opress? Doesn’t seem like very long…

Mother Talzin simply tells Obi-Wan and Anakin that Opress is on the planet Toydaria, and they go running off to find him. Shouldn’t they have asked for, y’know, more specifics? Toydaria is an entire world. You’d think they’d want to narrow it down to a city or something.

Fun fact: King Katuunko is voiced by Brian George. He also voices Ki-Adi Mundi. George is probably best known for playing Babu Bhatt on Seinfeld. He also had a recurring role as Raj’s father on The Big Bang Theory.

King Katuunko has a pretty brutal death in this episode. He gets his neck forcibly snapped, and then his corpse gets dragged around by Opress. Not exactly the dignified ending you look for when you’re a king.

The title of this episode is a little misleading. It’s more about Ventress, Dooku, and Opress than the titular “Witches of the Mist.” A better title might have been “The Sith Trap,” or something to that effect.

At the end of the episode, Mother Talzin reveals to Savage Opress that his brother Maul is alive. I maintain that if they wanted to bring Maul back, they didn’t need to create the Savage Opress character. They could simply have had Talzin send Ventress after Maul, with the idea that he could help her overthrow Dooku. The whole “Darth Maul has a brother” idea grates on me to this day.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “Monsters”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

Savage Oppress, Star Wars the Clone Wars, MonsterSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S3:E13 – “Monster”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Nika Futterman, Clancy Brown, Corey Burton, Barbara Goodson, Dee Bradley Baker
WRITER:
Katie Lucas
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
January 14, 2011
SYNOPSIS:
Count Dooku gains a new ally in Savage Opress…or does he? 

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode sees the debut of a new character named Savage Opress (pronounced Sə-vazh “O’press”). He becomes Count Dooku’s new apprentice, but is secretly in league with Asajj Ventress.

I hate Savage Opress. And not in a “villain you love to hate” sort of way. I find the character cringeworthy. That’s in no small part because of his name. Savage Opress is one of the worst and most lazily concocted villain names I’ve ever heard. The Star Wars prequel era has more than a few lazily named villains. There’s Darth Tyranus, there’s General Grievous, and one can also make a case for Darth Maul. But Savage Opress? It’s like they weren’t even trying. They just shoved two evil-sounding words together and called it a name. Pure and simple laziness.

I’m also not thrilled with the idea of giving Maul a brother. Given where this storyline with Savage winds up going, it’s obvious they introduced him with the intention of bringing Maul back. So why not cut out the middle man and find a different way to bring Maul back? Maybe have Mother Talzin reveal to Asajj Ventress that Maul is alive, and have her be the one to hunt him down…

The one upside to Savage Opress? He’s voiced by Clancy Brown. Brown is a renowned voice actor, having performed as Mr. Krabs in Spongebob Squarepants and Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe, among numerous other roles. He also played Burg in the Mandalorian episode, “The Prisoner.”

The Jedi Master who Savage Opress kills late in the episode is named Halsey. For the record, this episode came out a few years before Halsey released her first album. Just puttin’ that out there. 

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “Nightsisters”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S3:E12 – “Nightsisters”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Nika Futterman, Barbara Goodson, Corey Burton, Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor
WRITER:
Katie Lucas
DIRECTOR:
Giancarlo Volpe
PREMIERE DATE:
January 7, 2011
SYNOPSIS: 
Count Dooku turns on Asajj Ventress, who returns to her home planet to plot her revenge.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

To my knowledge, the Nightsisters and the planet Dathomir were created by Dave Wolverton for his 1994 book The Courtship of Princess Leia. Here, nearly two decades later, those elements were used to further the story of not only Asajj Ventress, but as we’ll later see, Darth Maul.

I was surprised to learn that Mother Talzin is voiced by Barbara Goodson, who is widely known as the voice of Rita Repulsa in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Surprised, that is, because Talzin doesn’t sound anything like Rita. I’m always so impressed at the wide range that so many voice actors are capable of. You can now count Goodson among them.

On the subject of that range, this series has turned me on to the greatness of Corey Burton, who voices Count Dooku. He’s been active since the early ’70s, and the list of characters he’s lent his voice to reads like a laundry list. Several laundry lists, actually. On The Clone Wars alone, he voices Dooku, Cad Bane, and Ziro the Hutt. But his Wookieepedia page indicates his connection to the franchise actually goes back to 1979, when he voiced Luke Skywalker for a Disney read-along adaptation of the original film.

Me? I’m just impressed he provided the voice for both Dale and Zipper in Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. What can I say? I’m on a kick because of the new Disney+ movie.

Apparently, if you want to kill a Sith Lord, your best shot is when they’re sleeping. We know from Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine killed Darth Plagueis in his sleep. And Ventress and the Nightsisters come pretty close to doing the same to Dooku here. They must be really sound sleepers…

This episode is written by Katie Lucas, daughter of George Lucas. She wrote numerous episodes of The Clone Wars. She was also one of the writers of an unproduced story arc that would have seen Asajj Ventress fall in love with a Jedi, and ultimately wraps up her story at large. Said story was later turned into the novel Dark Disciple, which is one of the better Star Wars books you’ll ever read.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.