The Essential Clone Wars: “The Lawless”

***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.”

Satine death, Star Wars the Clone Wars, The LawlessSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E16 – “The Lawless”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
James Arnold Taylor, Anna Graves, Sam Witwer, Ian Abercrombie, Katee Sackhoff
WRITER:
Chris Collins
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
February 2, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to save Satine from Maul’s forces.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Wait, Satine has a nephew named Korkie? Why is that funny to me?

So now we have not only have Mandalorians with red armor, but Mandalorians whose helmets have horns like Darth Maul. You just know the artists and designers had fun with that one.

Having received Duchess Satine’s desperate transmission for help, Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to save her. Question: Did Yoda and the Jedi Council know about him going to Mandalore, or did Obi-Wan do it on his own? If so, does he face any consequences for that? Just asking…

After they are captured by Mandalorian forces, Obi-Wan is forced to watch as Satine is executed by Maul. Needless to say, this makes their feud even more personal than it already was. I wasn’t necessarily surprised to see Satine die. But I was surprised to see her simply executed the way she was. She didn’t go out in a blaze of glory or anything. They just got everybody in a room, and Maul killed her. Simple as that.

Sensing what’s happening, Darth Sidious personally travels to Mandalore to confront Maul. And again I have to ask, does anyone know where he went? He is the chancellor of the Republic, and they are in the middle of a war. He can’t just go off without telling anybody, can he?

I understand these kinds of details aren’t necessarily important in the context of telling the story. The important thing is that Obi-Wan and Palpatine ultimately end up on Mandalore. But it’s fair question, isn’t it?

I noticed that just before the two-on one duel starts with Sidious, Maul, and Savage Opress, Maul does the “Obi-Wan pose” (shown below). I can only assume that was intentional. The Obi-Wan pose wasn’t as much of a thing yet. But the show had done it before. And of course, we’d see it in Revenge of the Sith.

Ian Abercrombie, who voices Palpatine/Sidious, has the character’s evil laugh down pat. That makes his fight sequence with Maul and Opress that much more effective.

There are a lot of “echoes” in this episode. You’ve got Obi-Wan luring that Mandalorian on to his ship and stealing his uniform, much like they did in A New Hope. Then, seconds before he sees Palpatine, Maul says he senses a presence he hasn’t felt since… Again, like in A New Hope. Then, after it’s revealed that Bo-Katan is Satine’s sister, Obi-Wan says “I’m so sorry,” much like he says to Padme in Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars does love it’s callbacks, doesn’t it?

To Maul’s shock and horror, Sidious kills Savage Opress. Thus, possibly my least favorite character in all of Star Wars is put down. Whatever shall we do without him?

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “Eminence”

***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:
S5:E14 – “Eminence”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Sam Witwer, Jon Favreau, Clancy Brown, Katee Sackhoff, Kevin Michael Richardson
WRITER:
Chris Collins
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
January 19, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Maul and Savage Opress team with the Death Watch against Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

My stance on Jon Favreau voicing Pre Vizsla has softened a bit. He doesn’t necessarily sound like a warrior belongs in a group with Darth Maul and Savage Opress. But maybe that’s the idea. Vizsla is more of a conniving scheming, after all. Maybe it works in a subtle sense…

When Savage gets up from the operating table after Maul comes to retrieve him, he bumps his horns on the lamp above the table. That’s obviously meant to be funny. But it’s oddly timed. Kind of like the stormtrooper bumping his head in A New Hope. Only that was an accident on the set, and they just left it in. From an animation standpoint, this was obviously intentional. It’s an interesting choice.

Jabba the Hutt, as well as the Black Sun leaders, are voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. Richardson has worked on a litany of Star Wars projects, as well as shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Teen Titans, and the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. He also got two Daytime Emmy nominations for voicing the Joker in The Batman.

I was pleased to see that the Black Sun leaders were falleens, the same species as Prince Xizor, who ruled Black Sun when we first saw them back in the ’90s in in Shadows of the Empire. Nice continuity there.

Was that Dengar I briefly saw with the bounty hunters that fought Maul’s group (shown above)? That’s a cool little cameo. Dengar, of course, being one of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. He had maybe a couple of seconds of screen time as a background character. But still, die-hard Star Wars nuts like me recognized him.

It’s almost always cool to see Jabba’s palace, as it’s a classic location from Return of the Jedi. Especially when we get to see it from different sides and vantage points.

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: Return of a Jedi

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E8. “Chapter 16: The Rescue”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, Katee Sackhoff, Gina Carano, Ming-Na Wen
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
PREMIERE DATE:
December 18, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Mando and his allies storm Moff Gideon’s ship to save Grogu.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yes, I understand we skipped an episode. But for obvious reasons, this episode had to be talked about ASAP. We’ll come back to “The Believer” in a few days. Promise.

I hate Rogue One. I absolutely hate it, and can’t understand why so many people love it. But there’s one thing that movie did right: Captions that told us which planets we traveled to. Too many of these Disney-era Star Wars planets look the same.

Koska Reeves’ crack about Boba Fett being a sidekick rings true. That’s unexpected, considering this season is basically his big comeback. He’s got clean armor and everything!

Koska hitting Fett with a DDT is one of the most pro-wrestling things the episode could have done. I kind of love it.

See, if I’m a regular stormtrooper, I’m looking at that dark trooper armor and thinking, “Can I get at least half the protection that black armor provides?” Maybe then these damn troopers wouldn’t be so expendable…

Seriously. Cara Dune’s gun getting jammed was the worst thing that happened to our heroes as they faced down a virtual army of stormtroopers. It’s frustrating.

Those dark troopers are definitely nightmare fuel. Kudos on the design.

“…properties that have the potential to bring order back to the galaxy.” It’s reasonable to assume that means properties that can resurrect Palpatine, properties that can eventually be used to create Snoke, or some combination of both.

I like that the Darksaber was burning Mando’s staff the longer the two weapons had direct contact. It indicates the lightsaber is more powerful, which is as it should be.

Luke. Skywalker. Holy. Crap. This show just pulled out all the stops. The anticipation, the tension, leading up to the reveal of Luke’s face, was amazing. What a moment…

What’s more, they got Mark Hamill involved! I’m very anxious to see if it was just his voice, or if he was somehow involved on set as well.

And we get an appearance by R2-D2 as a bonus!

I just saw a headline that indicated this episode betrayed its characters by “indulging in the Skywalker saga.” The sub-head indicated new Star Wars had succumbed to old Star Wars. That’s a frustrating sentiment to read. But it’s a valid point. Despite a wonderfully emotional goodbye between Mando and Grogu, Luke pulled focus. It was inevitable. Anything from the original trilogy is going to have that effect. I mentioned Rogue One above, and Darth Vader had the same effect in that movie.

It’s a little bit like dangling a shiny object in front of a little kid. With this finale, Jon Favreau basically dangled a shiny object in front of the little kid in all of us. I really can’t dispute that.

But I would argue that, despite Luke pulling focus, the heart of the episode was indeed about Mando and Grogu. Those are two new characters that we’ve come to know and love over the course of two seasons. I also can’t dispute that.

And honestly, where else could this story have gone? Side effects of bringing in Luke notwithstanding, it’s logical that Grogu, being as strong in the Force as he is, would encounter him at some point…

Mrs. Primary Ignition was quite curious about what this episode means for Grogu’s fate, as he’s obviously not in the sequel trilogy. At the moment, I have two theories.

  1. Grogu’s attachment to Mando eventually lures him toward the dark side, and he has to abandon his training and return to his surrogate father.
  2. He stays with Luke, but is killed by Ben Solo during the events leading up to The Force Awakens.

Understandably, she was horrified at option 2. But I suspect we’ll discover the answer sooner or later.

Another headline I saw recently? How the “Marvel-fication” of Star Wars has officially begun. In other words, new shows, spin-offs, and all sorts of inter-connected content. You won’t find a clearer piece of evidence than The Mandalorian taking a page out of Marvel’s book with a post-credits scene. A pretty awesome post-credits scene, but a post-credits scene nonetheless.

We see that Bib Fortuna has taken over as the head of Jabba’s palace. Does he actually control anything? The throne seems to suggest he does. So is that what The Book of Boba Fett is about? Fett taking control of Jabba’s crumbling criminal empire?

I think the best season finales often leave us with questions. So what questions did this episode leave us with?

  1. What’s next for Mando? He’s got the Darksaber now, and is seemingly in conflict with Bo-Katan Kryze. So does he get involved with re-building Mandalore? Or does he go back to bounty hunting?
  2. Despite getting captured, Moff Gideon accomplished his goal. He got Grogu’s blood. So what now comes of that? Do the experiments start? Have they already started?
  3. The Boba Fett questions are rather obvious.
  4. Are we going to hear more from Luke and Grogu? Or does that become territory for another series? The recently announced Ahsoka spin-off comes to mind.

Definitely no shortage of questions. We’ll have a lot to think about over the next year!

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: From Animation to Live Action

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E3. “Chapter 11: The Heiress.”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Mercedes Varnado
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:
Bryce Dallas Howard
PREMIERE DATE:
November 13, 2020
SYNOPSIS: 
Mando meets a trio of his own kind, and winds up taking on the Empire once again.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode requires a decent amount of exposition, only some of which we actually got. Katee Sackhoff’s character is Bo-Katan Kryze. Long story short, her sister was the duchess of Mandalore. Thus, her trying to get the Darksaber. 

“The Purge,” meanwhile, was when the Empire killed most of the Mandalorian people, forcing the survivors into hiding. All this stuff was covered between the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoon shows.

I’m fairly certain this is the first time we’ve seen an ocean dock in live-action Star WarsIt makes for a different vibe. I like it. That’s one of the things that’s been so great about The Mandalorian. It shows us the Star Wars universe from different angles.

When Bo-Katan dropped out of the sky, Mrs. Primary Ignition exclaimed: “It’s a lady Mandalorian!” I’m hoping there were a lot of little girls in the audience saying the same thing.

There’s been a lot of talk about what a “true” Mandalorian is. We know Jango Fett and Boba Fett weren’t. And now we get talk that Din Djarin isn’t. Can we maybe get some clarification on this issue? I’m a Star Wars geek, and even I’m confused….

I was curious to see how they’d credit WWE’s Sasha Banks, who plays Koska Reeves. They used her real name, Mercedes Varnado. Which makes sense, of course. I’m not the world’s biggest Sasha Banks fan. But I was proud of her for this. She even got a decent number of lines and wasn’t just a muscular body in the background.

Even after all this time, I’m still getting used to Star Wars music that isn’t a classical score. Case in point, the sort of industrial-style beat they had going during the action sequence aboard the Imperial ship. It works. It’s just not traditional Star Wars.

Hey! Stormtrooper! When you see a grenade rolling toward you, maybe…I’unno…kick the damn thing away instead of staring down at it like a friggin’ nincompoop!!!

And there it is. Destination: Ahsoka Tano. Here’s my question: Katee Sackhoff voiced Bo-Katan Kryze for the cartoons, and now she’s playing the role live. Did they even ask Ashley Eckstein if she wanted to play Ahsoka? Nothing against Rosario Dawson, of course. But it seemed like Eckstein was up for it. Yes, Dawson is a renowned on-camera actress, as opposed to Eckstein who’s more famous for voice acting. But Eckstein had a hand in the creation of the character. She should have had the chance to play Ahsoka if she wanted it.

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