This past weekend marked the start mid point of Clone Wars season three, and with it the Savage Opress episode trilogy. After seeing the season three trailer and other material at last summer’s Star Wars Celebration, I’ve been looking forward to the new shows. The series has improved steadily through season two and I hope it continues to do so. I have a few comments on the new episode, but I’ll save them until the end of this post as they’ll contain some minor spoilers.
If you have not been following the series, now is a good time to jump in. You don’t need access to Cartoon Network, as starwars.com carries each episode on their website for a limited time after it airs. For each episode they also post a guide that reveals some of the background information and conceptual thinking and a very short commentary piece focusing on a particular point of interest. Both are great tools for those who want to know more about the episode and they often explain some points of continuity. If you’re an EU fan watching the series, you’ll want to check out the guides. Edit - this just in, Sam Witwer (Vader's Apprentice) & Adrienne Wilkinson (Maris Brood) from Force Unleashed will be voicing (different) characters this season. Congratulations Sam.
Speaking of starwars.com, when was the last time you really rummaged around through its various pages and links? The amount of new material flowing through the site varies, but when it’s running regularly, it’s easy to miss an article, interview, webcomic or other interesting item, even when you’re checking at least once a week.
- The Clone Wars page – links to all things Clone Wars, including the aforementioned guides.
- The Clone Wars: The Valsedian Operation webcomic – free and updated weekly, written by former WEG freelancer (Shadows of the Empire Planet’s Guide, various Star Wars Adventure Journal issues) and Lucasfilm employee Pablo Hidalgo.
- A 15 level LEGO Star Wars online game: The Quest for R2-D2 – free to play. There are a number of other online casual games as well.
- Star Wars Gaming news – mainly updates on the various video games like Force Unleashed and The Old Republic.
- The Star Wars Blog – covers a lot of entertaining Star Wars tidbits in the media, internet and other sources, most of which doesn’t make it on to the main site.
- Forums and Blogs – The forums and fan/VIP blogs (of which mine is one of them) are still active, though admittedly less so over the past few years.
- Kids section – there is an entire kids area, with online games, how to draw star wars (new examples posted regularly), crafts, even an online coloring book, er, bot.
- The Databank – official info on characters, ships, locations, droids, and more.
- Star Wars Shop – buy stuff! Some of the most unusual items can be found here. Current example: a lightsaber bottle opener. Exclusives from other events often land here.
And more, so take a look for yourself. Also, it was announced last year that a new partner would be coming in to help run the lucas websites, so I'd be surprised if we don't see some significant changes. With the online Hyperspace fan club going away in May, it will be interesting to see what will happen next.
Now, back to the Clone Wars and the new episode, Nightsisters. This is your official spoiler warning.
After the Celebration V buildup, I was looking forward to the new story arc. So far so good. The episode felt more dramatic and more significant than the average show. It feels like a story with an impact in the universe, not just another battle scene (which are fine, to a point). I don’t particularly like it when the Force becomes too magicky – and while that’s a fuzzy line, I mainly mean stuff that appears to work outside the confines the perception of the person/target in question – illusions, invisibility and so forth. Magic potions do not feel like Star Wars to me. Sure, you can explain some of that kind of thing away, as another point of view, and there’s certainly precedent in-universe, but they’re generally not my favorite Star Wars stories.
However, I did enjoy the episode a great deal, and the Dooku battle was excellent. I’m looking forward to Savage Opress, in part because actor Clancy Brown (best known as Rawhide in Buckaroo Banzai..no? Ok, fine Kurgan in Highlander…or Zim in Starship Troopers.) is fun to watch. It will be fun to see how this develops…and no comments from those who got to see the series in the theatres.