Sunday, January 8, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Escape from Kadavo (4.13)

Possibly my favorite image from the entire series, simply beautifully animated and lit.

As time winds down for the Jedi and the people of Kiros, will our heroes be able to throw of the yoke of slavery and rescue the Togrutan colonists?  Or will the evil cabal of Count Dooku and Zygerrian Queen Scintel emerge successful in their schemes?

"Great hope can come from small sacrifices."Anakin tries to convince the Zygerrian Queen that she too is a slave and pawn in an evil Separatist plot. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan toils in the slave camps of Kadavo, a grim situation that grows increasingly bleak.

Written by Henry Gilroy with the assistance of Steven Melching and directed by Danny Keller, this week's episode was a very diverse and jam packed installment of Star Wars storytelling, we saw some great diaglogue centered on Dooku's scenes, a nice Obi-Wan in chains montage with Queen Scintel discussing her plans laid over it, and some ramped up action scenes including a return to dog-fighting.

Escape from Kadavo had a few odd moments, the one that stuck out to me most was Anakin's rather abrupt turn from avenging angel who throws the Zygerrian guard off the roof of the building, to the friendly guy who treats R2 like he is is best friend or most loyal of pets.  This swing from homicidal to affectionate is rather startling but I think reveals how mercurial Anakin is and just how fragile his "Jedi Calm" is.  There was also a look on Anakin's face when he jumped in the Kadavo gun tower that I can only interpret as blood lust.

I found the Ahsoka parts of this episode just ok, there was the curious moment where she called the Togruta "her people" which struck me as the kind of attachment a Padawan would be frowned on for having.

Poor Obi-Wan.  It seem that it is his lot in life to suffer.  All these injuries, all this stress, it is why he went grey prematurely and had all those wrinkles.  It begs the question, just how far would Obi-Wan have to be pushed to fall to the Dark Side?  There was also a really interesting look exchanged between Obi-Wan and Rex before Rex took out in rather dramatic fashion Keeper Argos.  Obi-Wan may not be willing to commit murder but it is pretty clear he at least tacitly approved if not ordered Rex to do so.

There were a couple interesting partial call backs to the OT in this episode.  The Queen's dying words evoked Anakin's dying words on the second Death Star.  The Republic cruiser flying underneat the slave facility on Kadavo reminded me of the Falcon's trip underneath Cloud City to rescue the hanging Luke Skywalker.

Finally we get some more Sith acting well, like Sith.  Count Dooku finally lets his mask slip and reveals the true Lord Tyrannus, when he tells the Queen his plan is not to enslave the Jedi but to exterminate the Jedi Order, and then he chokes her to death.  My evil scale just hit eleven on Count Dooku in this episode.

By far my favorite part  is the dog fights.  We get to see the Z-95s in action, we get Plo Koon acting like a hot dog, we get a cool new clone in Warthog, we got the classic Top Gun/Afterburner braking maneuver, we got the fighters versus tower turrets that is reminiscent of the Battle of Yavin.  I just love dog fights and the HH-87 Starhopper was a very cool ship.  I loved the space combat in ANH, and I cannot wait for Lucasfilm's next movie, Red Tails because the battle scenes in that movie look like a roller coaster ride.

All this brings me to my bright idea of the day.  Why don't we have a X-Wing animated spin-off series?  We  have already seen X-Wing video games, comics, and an entire series of novels (the next of which Mercy Kill, will be released this summer) so we know there is a market.  We could follow the exploits of Rogue Squadron, Wraith Squadron, or other New Republic fighter jocks in a series set after the events of Return of the Jedi.  Who's with me?

Rating:  Escape from Kadavo is a solid 7.  The pacing was a bit off at times and I didn't really connect with the Ahsoka scenes, but the action and the visuals were top notch.

Direct Link to watch Episode 4.13 Escape from Kadavo

Next time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars:  Episode 4.14 A Friend in Need.

"Friendship shows us who we really are."A peace conference between Separatists and Republic delegates is interrupted by Lux Bonteri, the son of a late Separatist Senator, who involves Ahsoka in his dangerous search to find justice for his mother's death.



  1. There was also a look on Anakin's face swtor credits when he jumped in the Kadavo gun tower that I can only interpret as blood lust.

  2. I'm a big fan of The Clone Wars look forward to every episode and the following Blu-Ray release to watch them all again.

    There is definite expansion for this medium; especially with the live action series put on hold. There's so many future stories, back stories and tales interwoven with OT trilogy to churn good quality episodes and also the animation just keeps getting better and better.

    I've always thought a Star Wars tales type of thing like the comic book would be good to see. The episodes could jump around instead of being constrained by certain time periods.
    I'd love see where the story goes after Jedi or what happened to Han with the bounty hunter on Ord Mantell, maybe possibly see origin stories of characters like Yoda or Mace or possibly even a Force origin story. What about a Shadows of the Empire animated feature?

    There possibilities are endless with animation and there's loads of stories out there, lets hope the two get married!