At last, Star Wars: The Clone Wars has found its legs. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Intense action, gripping storylines and even more engrossing animation.
From the opening couple of episodes featuring a selection of Clone Troopers learning their trade we are then taken on a few adventures of our own alongside characters not visited as much during the previous two seasons – namely Bail Organa in Supply Lines – and a character who comes into her own during season 3 – Ashoka Tano.
Ashoka is, for me, an interesting choice by George Lucas and Dave Filoni to make a central character. I initially found her whiney and too similar in temperament to Anakin Skywalker. But I have to say the storylines she is given here are much stronger and thus, as a character, really grows both as a Jedi and as a fan favourite.
Her central role in Sphere of Influence as she helps rescue the kidnapped children of Chairman of Pantora, Baron Papanoida really sets the bar for season 3 but then it kicks on in Assassin as she struggles with visions of Aurra Sing attempting to kill Padme Amidala. To see her go up against this deadly bounty was very cool and it was from here that Filoni and his team started to give us battles with real emotional content.
But if I thought this was really cool it was the introduction of Darth Maul’s brother, Savage Opress, which really set the bar high for new Clone Wars characters. With a very good background episode on the future Sith apprentice in Monster, Savage turns out to become one hell of a wrecking machine. His duel with Ventress and Dooku in Witches of the Mist is superb as we also get Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi in on the action too. Phew, what a great story arc.
But then, for me, things reach wonderful levels of storytelling which easily surpass The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. The Mortis arc delves into the notion of the force and Anakin’s ‘role’ as the chosen one. Very much mixing Star Wars lore with Lord of the Rings-esque sensibilities, we are given a real sense of Anakin’s destiny along with a very cool moment of future visions – yes, we get to see animated sections from the live action films. Wow, great stuff.
The Citadel arc leads us into the final stretch of season 3 as the Jedi attempt to rescue Jedi Master Even Piell from a high security prison. While the three episodes are pretty good featuring some wonderful action, it’s the introduction of a certain Governor from A New Hope which I really loved.
However, the best introduction of a character was yet to come. A certain Millennium Falcon co-pilot appears in the final episode Wookie Hunt as Ashoka continues her quest to escape a group of villainous Trandoshans having been kidnapped and stranded on the planet moon Wasskah.
Chewbacca really brought season 3 to a wonderful end and for the first time since seeing him on screen from A New Hope we get to see the ‘walking carpet’ in real action as he takes care of some Trandoshans in ferocious combat.
So there you have it. Star Wars: The Clone Wars finally lived up to its potential here and I for one am glad I stuck with it. Here’s hoping season 4 is as good.
4 out of 5 nerds