Friday, October 28, 2011

"Darkness of Umbara" Review

This was an awesome episode that pitted clone troopers, not against cheap run-of-the-mill battle droids, but against alive organic beings. And the Umbaraian's features seemed eerily human which added a certain darkness to the episode.

General Krell, the Jedi who took Anakin's place after he was called back to Coruscant, very much reminded me of one General George S. Patton, a decorated general of the Second World War. The main  personal conflicts were between Rex and Krell; this was awesome as it gave us a break from the predictable actions and reactions we're used to between Anakin and Rex. While the plot-line itself wasn't all that dark it felt more alien then previous episodes.  

The eerie darkness of Umbara gave this episode a very dark feel and the native's weapons bore a very outlandish and alien appearance almost like the Covenant weapons from the Halo universe.

This episode also saw the introduction of some new clones, one in particular being Dogma, and we also got a cameo from Oddball. This episode's main focus was on the relationship between the Jedi and their clone commanders and captains and how the various chemistry of their relationships can change with substituting different individuals.

This episode felt a little like "Landing at point Rain" but set on another planet.   

The camera angles in the opening battle were the only thing I had a problem with; they were to spread out and not in the heat of it all. But other then that the episode was AWESOME! So far we haven't met a commander or general for the natives and we might in a later episode in this arc.

On an action-to-visuals ratio this episode scored high and the same goes for character conflicts. As of yet there isn't much at stake for the characters but like everything else that could change. In all this episode is by far the best this Season and I can't wait to watch the other three in this arc. Until next time!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shadow Warrior Review

While lacking any truly climatic battles this episode also wasn't overbearing on the politics either. In all, a good compromise for both.

Jar-Jar has been toned down lately and his role in this episode wasn't as exaggerated as it was in, say, "Bombad Jedi" and "Gungan General". The plot was very dark and Jar-Jar's comic relief was used sparingly.

This episode was, I thought, full of references and motifs to "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones", but more of the former. And the Gungans' fight with Grievous was well done, and the rain added a nice foreboding feel to the conflict. Tarpal's sacrifice in the ensuing fight only added more weight to the episode.

The prisoner trade off of Grievous and Anakin, while not completely defying established canon, came very close to doing so.   

I though Rish Loo's role was cliche, being the manipulating adviser and all, and like all minor minions under the Sith met his end at Dooku's blade. The fact that Jar-Jar, a klutz, had to fill in for his people's Boss leader spelled an interesting story from the start.

As for the animation, the smoking orbs in Rish's office added a very sinister effect to the room and the same can be said for the hovering lamps in the adviser's secret lab.  The final fight between Anakin and Dooku seemed to hark back to their duel in "Attack of the Clones" where Anakin lost his arm to the Sith. And Dooku's remark; "The Sith control everything. You just don't know it." mirrored his conversation with Obi-Wan back in Episode II.

In all it was a good episode. As I said before it felt like "The Phantom Menace". Hopefully later in this Season there will be an episode, or series of episodes, with a more "Revenge of the Sith" feel.