Friday, February 3, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.17 The Box


So if this episode taught me anything, it is that I would make the worst bounty hunter ever, I have the athletic ability of Dengar after an all night Whyren's Reserve bender, plus I am as lazy a Hutt on a hot summer's day.


"The strong survive, the noble overcome."
The disguised Obi-Wan accompanies Cad Bane and Moralo Eval to Serenno, where they enlist in a brutal competition with other bounty hunters from around the galaxy to determine who will participate in a plot to kidnap the Chancellor.

It's almost time for Super Bowl commercials, did tonight's episode make anyone else think of Apple's 1984 Macintosh commercial with the giant video screen?

That sound you hear is collector's geeking out for more new TCW bounty hunter action figures.  I enjoyed tonight's motley crew of bounty hunters, even though I was a bit disappointed in the direction the Box itself went.

I was kind of hoping that the Box would be much more like a Gladiatorial arena with the Bounty Hunters having to fight to the death.  Of course it would have been much harder if not impossible for Obi-Wan to maintain his cover in that situation.  In the end we got a very cool if deadly obstacle course and the introduction of a few interesting new bounty hunters.

There were a number of challenges in the Box 1) Poison Gas/Dioxis, 2) Attacking Walls with lightsabers, 3) Ray shield squeeze, and 4) Sniper testing.  Tests 1-3 must have reminded Obi-Wan as his time as an Apprentice, avoiding dioxis gas on the Trade Federation control ship, dodging Darth Maul's lightsaber blades, and avoiding the ray shields in the plasma power core on Naboo.  While the forth and final challenge made me think of Obi-Wan's use of the inelegant blaster to finish off General Grievous in RotS.

As it was Obi-Wan performed a little to well in the Box, raising Dooku's suspicions regarding Hardeen's true nature.

Cade Bane is a cold blooded dude, wasting an Ithorian simply for a hat upgrade.  The weird thing was, I didn't even think it was that nice of a hat.

It was cool to see the return of Embo, who even got a few Dave Filoni voiced lines, but hopefully Embo plays a larger role in next week's episode because he really didn't do to much this week.

It was interesting to see Moralo  Eval's demeanor and behavior change when around Count Dooku, it makes one wonder just how much of Dooku's true power Eval is aware of.  He was very submissive when they arrived on the planet.

I loved the  hand to hand combat between Obi-Wan and Eval surrounded by fire with the ten-story video screen of Dooku watching.  It looks like Obi-Wan got a little to into his role as a hard as nails bounty hunter as he came pretty close to ending Eval's life and only held back at the last instant with Dooku trying to urge him on.  On one hand I would have enjoyed seeing Obi-Wan deal with the guilt of killing an unarmed and vulnerable Eval, on the other hand it would have been very out of character for the Jedi Master we know and love.

One story-line that is often explored in these kind of undercover stories is that idea of the undercover agent going "native" when they start to actually enjoy the role they are playing or lose their own identity in that of their created identity.  It would have been interesting to see this occur with Obi-Wan, but short of Dooku finding out who he was and figuring a way to dominate his will with the Force, I am not sure that this would have been possible.  Usually when this happens in the Star Wars universe it involves a Jedi pretending to be Dark (see Quinlan Vos or Luke Skywalker in Dark Empire) where even though they think they are pretending to be a Dark Side Force user, their choices and actions lead them to actually fall to the Dark Side even if it is only temporary.  It would be interesting to see Obi-Wan fall into darkness even if it is for the briefest of moments.  Perhaps it is better storytelling to keep Obi-Wan as the exemplar of what a Jedi is and should be, even if he has his own non-Dark Side flaws.

It will be interesting to see how far TCW takes the plot to kidnap Palpatine, the obvious outcome is that the plot would be foiled, but it would certainly throw a monkey wrench into what we thought we knew about TCW if Palpatine had been kidnapped before the events of Episode III.  I  kind of hope the creative team does have the kidnapping come off successfully.  It would be an interesting cliff-hanger subplot going into Season Five.

Rating: The Box 8.0.  Once again this "kid's show" takes it up a notch with some very mature writing and a lot of deaths.  TCW is the kind of cross-generational entertainment that every kid's show should be.  Challenge kids give them stories that challenge their minds, their imaginations and present them with moral questions and make them try to understand and arrive at the answers themselves.

Direct Link to Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.17 The Box

Next Time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.18 Crisis on Naboo




"Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned."
The Chancellor travels to Naboo to preside over a public ceremony, guarded by Jedi Knights. Dooku and his bounty hunters -- including an undercover Obi-Wan Kenobi -- launch their kidnapping plot.


Link to Watch Crisis on Naboo trailer on Starwars.com




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