Friday, March 2, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.20 Bounty

Remind anyone else of ESB?
The Clone Wars takes one part western train robbery, one part Japanese Ninja flick, and six parts Bounty Hunter to make one intoxicating brew.
"Who we are never changes, who we think we are does."An aimless Asajj Ventress joins a team of bounty hunters under the leadership of young Boba Fett. On an alien world, they undertake a dangerous but profitable mission that tests the limits of their skills, and the strength of Asajj's character.
It really must be the gravitational pull of the twin suns of Tatooine that pulls all the riff-raff to the point farthest from the bright center of the galaxy.  Ventress follows in the footsteps of other such riff-raff and ends up at the Cantina, but when you are a hot looking bald former Sith, its hard to enjoy your drinks alone.  One thing leads to another and the Cantina claims another victim. Fortunately for Ventress this spur of the moment murder leads her into the company of Boba Fett's band of merry bounty hunters.

Ventress joins the gang that includes Dengar and the bounty hunters must transport a mysterious package aboard the monorail.

Some nifty looking ninjas
That is when things get awesome and the space ninjas attack and things get crazy.  Turns out the mysterious package is actually a kidnapped girl who is going to be the evil Lord Otua Blank 's forced bride.  Ventress discovers the nature of the cargo and makes the choice to free the girl, Pluma and puts young Boba Fett in his place.  When Lord Otua Blank opens his bridal chest it turns out his bride is a bound and gagged Fett. Ventress extorts Pluma's brother Krismo for some credits but ultimately lets the siblings to depart.
Boba in a Box
Once this episode got going it was non-stop action.  I loved the classic train robbery motif being turned on its head with the bounty hunters instead of trying to steal the cargo aboard the train, they are trying to protect it.

It was also fun to see Dengar (Simon Pegg) flirting with Asajj Ventress, who would have thought that the old fat dude in the turban was a ladies man in his youth? If you enjoyed Dengar's inclusion in TCW I suggest you check out his starring role in the SWEU novel The Bounty Wars: The Mandalorian Armor.  If you have read this novel this particular episode was interesting in giving more depth to the background relationship of Boba Fett and Dengar.

Latts was a very cool looking character (made me think of DC Comic's Poison Ivy), but her go to lasso move was a bit predictable.
Such beautiful animation

C-21 Highsinger was a very cool looking new model of droid who really knows how to clear a room.

Over all this was a fun romp that served for further character growth for Asajj Ventress.  Ventress seems to be much more in control and centered at the end of the episode, finally comfortable in her own skin.  In retrospect this may be the first time in TCW where Asajj forms a plan and sees it through to successful completion.  Whether it is the Jedi or Dooku, it seems like Ventress' plans are always thwarted, it seems like she always fails.  In this episode she made up her mind independently in the middle of the operation when she learned about Pluma.  Perhaps Asajj saw a bit of herself in young Pluma, having no control of her own destiny and in freeing Pluma she helped heal some of her own internal psychic wounds and finally found that internal emotional control that she always lacked.

The episode also shows that as much of a bad bad man that Boba Fett will end up being later in life, he is still a bit out of his depth against some of the more powerful individuals in the galaxy.  Asajj steals his lunch money and throws him in a locker.

The curious thing we see also developing in this episode is Asajj forging her own personal morality.  While the episode starts out with her killing in cold blood, it ends with her showing mercy.  Even though she extracts a monetary price for her mercy, I think she would have done it even without the credits.

We know in the TCW comics continuity would suggest that at some point Ventress returns to Dooku's service, but I have a feeling TCW will not be going in that direction.  Ventress is no longer a Sith acolyte and no longer a Nightsister, what she becomes still remains to be seen, but I look forward to following her journey.

Rating: Bounty gets 8.0 unmarked credits.  Great visuals and action in this wild ride.

Direct Link to Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.20 "Bounty"

Next Time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Brothers (4.21)

"A fallen enemy may rise again, but the reconciled one is truly vanquished."The dark warrior Savage Opress is on a quest to find his long-lost brother. Could Darth Maul truly be alive, after more than a decade since his gruesome bisection at the blade of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Savage voyages into the depths of a twisted planet to find whatever became of the fallen Sith Lord.

What is Mother Talzin's angle in all this? I guess we will have to stay tuned to find out.

Link to High Quality Preview Clip from Brothers

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