Saturday, September 29, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 5.1 "Revival"

"Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho." ~Yo Ho

I bet you didn't think my review would kick off with Hondo instead of Darth Maul, but alas it is time I reveal my long standing infatuation with pirates.  One of my favorite novels as a young lad was Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, one of my favorite toys was a Lego Pirate Ship.

The Clone Wars Season Five premiere kicked off with some great Sith action and an incredible duel featuring Obi-Wan showing why he carries the biggest lightsaber in the republic. To me not only did Hondo steal the Sith's credits, but he stole the show.

There are a number of reasons that Hondo Ohnaka is so much fun.
(1) His crew uses flying saucers. Really. Flying saucers. Why the heck not.
(2) He laughs in the face of Sith Lords
(3) He has a Kowakian monkey-lizard instead of a parrot.
(4) He salvaged the Slave I
(5) He always gets the best lines. (I have dubbed this Hondo's Law: Whenever Hondo is in an episode, he will get the best line.)
But enough about every ones favorite space pirate.  The episode featured Obi-Wan and Adi Gallia hot on the trail of the Sith brothers.  Anakin must have been busy, because in this week's episode Obi-wan added Jedi Master Adi Gallia to his Sith hunt. Unfortunately for Master Gallia, Savage Opress prefers subtraction to adi-ition. (Jeez, that was a horrible forced joke.) 

While they are on the run from the Republic law, Maul and Opress are busy knocking off a space bank.  This robbery is the catalyst to a confrontation between Maul and Opress as Opress challenges Maul's dominance and his put in his place by his brother.  Maul it seems has completed his mental recovery and has asserted his dominance as the master and Opress as his apprentice, fundamentally shifting the brother's relationship.

Maul hatches a plan to build up an army from the galactic fringe.  The first stop on his recruiting tour is scraping the bottom of the durasteel barrel on Florrum.

Things don't go according to plan when the Jedi show up in system and align with Hondo and a portion of his pirate gang.  Maul has co-opted three ships worth of Hondo's gang and invades Hondo's camp.

All heck breaks loose as it's pirate on pirate blaster fighting and the two Jedi and two Sith square off. 

Gallia falls to Maul's saber while Obi-Wan holds his own against the brothers. 

Hondo' corners his allegiance-challenged gang members and convinces them to rejoin his gang. Meanwhile Obi-Wan gets the best of Savage by cleaving off his arm.  This leads to Maul and Savage fleeing, they manage to take out Obi-Wan's shuttle but not before Maul loses a leg and the Sith brother's ship is damaged forcing them to make a run for it in the escape pod.

The episode ends with Obi-Wan, Mace and Yoda meeting with the Chancellor who forces the Jedi off the hunt and refocuses them on the Republic's true enemy Dooku.  The money shot is the end, once Palpatine dismisses the Jedi, he sits at his desk and we see Sidious in all his maniacal glory.

A few things struck me from this episode:

1) The second lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan versus Maul and Savage may have been the best duel in the series so far.  Very fluid at times and more aggressive than we usually see Obi-Wan.

2) When both Maul and Savage were maimed, we saw the green Nighsister magic mist leak out. Just something interesting to think about.  Does this signify a loss of some segment of the magic they had been imbued with? 

3) Did we get our first Saturday morning edit?  They don't show Adi being killed, but they had no problem showing a "bad guy" pirate being impaled via hologram.  It is a curious choice and I hope that Dave Filoni talks about why that particular death was kept off screen.

4) It is interesting and it works well how the episode ends with the Jedi's pursuit of Maul being suspended in universe and the shows focus on Maul being suspended.  This is particularly interesting because this was not originally intended to be the premiere episode. 

5) I hope we get lots more Hondo this season, he is just to much fun.  

6) Yoda seemed much to deferential to the Chancellor in the final scene. As concerned about the Sith as he is, it seems like he would be much more strong in his opinion to seek the capture of Maul and Savage.  

Getting Piell'd:

On the continuity front, Adi Gallia got the Evan Piell treatment. Her Expanded Universe death has now been overridden by The Clone Wars. 

Gallia was originally killed in Star Wars: Obsession #5 published by Dark Horse Comics in May of 2005.  In that comic she was killed on Boz Pity by General Grievous. 

I can't really gin up any mock outrage over this change. I haven't read the Obsession series and even if I had, I have to admit I don't care about Adi Gallia at all. That may make me a bad fan, but she just feels like filler to me. Perhaps if I had gotten more attached to the character, but alas it was not meant to be.  I will not shed any tears for Adi Gallia and her two deaths.  I guess it is true what they say, live by the lasersword, die by the lasersword. 

Rating: 8.5: It was a nice mixture of action, darkness and levity in this episode.  We got a fairly significant death. 

Next time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: 5.2 "A War on Two Fronts"

Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka and some clones are going to Onderon to serve as "advisors" to a local resistance movement. I have a bad feeling about this. 


  1. After Savage rammed Gallia, you can see that she has 3-4 wounds in her upper body from his horns, pretty graphic in my book. I got the impression she was already mortally wounded from that.

  2. Gallia's death wasn't directly shown to create a cinematographic effect. If they had decided to not show it because of the kids, Savage wouldn't have horned her in the first place. I saw holes in her stomach after that. And they wouldn't have cut savages arm, and shown the white bone inside.

  3. I haven't seen the episode yet. :( But I read in the slideshow that Savage rammed her with his horns, and then finished her off with his lightsaber.