The Zillo Beast: The Star Wars Godzilla Shakes Up Some Action

16 04 2010

Photo credit: starwars.com

The Clone Wars pays homage to the Terror of Tokyo in last week’s episode, The Zillo Beast. Here’s the breakdown:

In an attempt to gain Malastare’s support in the war (due in large part to their fuel resources) Anakin and Mace Windu are tasked to protect the local Dugs from the Separatist droid armies, employing a deadly new super weapon – the electro-proton bomb. Unfortunately, the bomb awakens a long dormant creature – the monstrous Zillo Beast! Anakin and Mace must navigate the tense political situation, while maintaining their Jedi code of ethics – kill the beast and preserve the treaty or save an innocent life and possibly lose valuable war resources?

The Monkey: This episode had three great things going for it: the action, the moral dilemma, and the sound effects.

It’s nice to see The Clone Wars getting back to the intense action-heavy episodes. From the Lord of the Rings-style droid battalions to the tank-flinging Zillo Beast, the action in this episode was fresh, brutal and visually stunning.

But action alone doesn’t make for a great Clone Wars episode; story is key. And the moral dilemma the Jedi face was not only interesting, but not as black-and-white as most kid shows tend to be. Should the Jedi kill an innocent creature for political gain? It’s also interesting to note that Mace and Anakin have slightly different takes on the situation – yet another subtle allusion to Anakin’s dark future. Speaking of the Anakin/Mace dynamic in this episode: the writers did an excellent job of infusing the episode with humor. While most other attempts at a light-hearted chuckle include the dim-witted battle droids or other rather infantile slapstick, The Zillo Beast showcased some really surprising moments, even a few laugh out loud lines, e.g., Anakin’s, “Yes I’m sure…you go first.”

I was also really struck by the sound in this episode. From the electro-proton bomb explosion to the Zillo Beast roar, The Zillo Beast really stretched The Clone Wars‘ sound library. Kudos to sound editor David Acord for being able to express so many varying emotions in the beast’s distinctive roar. In fact, by the end of the episode, you kinda even feel sorry for the big guy. Viewers were even treated to several familiar and hilarious R2-D2 screams.

The Weasel: The Dugs were depicted as nothing more than a whole race of Sebulbas. While it was nice to see The Clone Wars return to a previously existing alien race (instead of constantly creating new ones), characterizing the Dugs based off of one particular character from The Phantom Menace seemed a bit lazy.

One of the better episodes in Season 2 and a wonderful homage to classic monster tales. Looking forward to this week’s The Zillo Beast Strikes Back!

4 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Is the Zillo Beast an adequate homage to Godzilla? Are you enjoying the more action-oriented episodes? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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16 04 2010
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[…] The Zillo Beast: The Star Wars Godzilla Shakes Up Some Action … […]

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