Cat and Mouse: Great Action, Great Design

2 04 2010

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The Clone Wars returned to the battlefront with last week’s episode Cat and Mouse. Here’s the breakdown:

Anakin and Obi-Wan head to Christophsis, bringing much needed supplies to the beleaguered clone troops and Senator Bail Organa; however, the devious Admiral Trench has blockaded the planet. In a last ditch effort to get past Trench and his warships, Anakin and Admiral Yularen attempt to sneak across enemy lines in a newly designed stealth ship.

The Monkey: It’s nice to see an episode that puts the “war” back in “Clone Wars.” Action is the show’s strongest point and this episode showcases that very well. The stealth ship battle sequences were fresh and exciting, and despite the fact that we knew all our heroes would survive, the episode managed to deliver some tension.

It was nice to see Bail again (although I was wondering why he was even on Christophsis in the first place) and seeing the first interactions between Anakin and Yularen added another level of character development often absent in the action-heavy episodes.

As always, the design work on The Clone Wars is superb. The stealth ship looked awesome and the new Harch alien, Admiral Trench looked new and interesting.

The Weasel: Spoiler Alert: One of the things I like most about The Clone Wars is all the new characters, ships, aliens and planets that are introduced into the ever expanding Star Wars universe. But why spend all this time bringing new things into the galaxy far, far away, just to take it right back out? The death of Admiral Trench was a “what the hell?” moment. He was interesting, he had a military history with Admiral Yularen…basically, he had possibility for future episodes and story lines. Instead, he’s killed off. While there might be a chance he escaped (after all, Yularen thought he was dead before), the episode doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for his survival. As a side note, I wonder if the Harch species has any connection to Kud’ar Mub’at, the Assembler alien featured in the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy. He was able to survive in a vacuum; perhaps Trench has the ability to protect himself from explosions and vacuum? Hmmmm… This kind of “mining of the Expanded Universe” is doubtful, I’m afraid. In yesterday’s April Fools’ Day ForceCast, it was pointed out that Dave Filoni and The Clone Wars team seems to be avoiding previously established plot points, characters and events in favor of new material. While the comedic ForceCast was jokingly referring to the Jedi Prince series as the best of the EU, the point still remains…while it’s nice to see all these new characters and situations, Star Wars thrives when disparate pieces come together. This is what makes the EU work so well; thousands of creative minds have contributed to Star Wars and it thrills and delights fans when all these contributions fall into place, link together and add to the whole.

A great action-packed episode; it’s just a pity that an interesting character and possible story line was so prematurely cut short.

3 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Is Trench alive? Should The Clone Wars use more existing Star Wars material in future episodes? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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