Sunday, November 25, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: A Necessary Bond (5.09)

 It is kind of ironic that a ship named Slave I leads to freedom for pirates and Jedi alike, isn't it?
"Choose your enemies wisely, as they may be your last hope." 
When General Grievous launches a full-scale attack on the pirate base on Florrum, Ahsoka and the younglings fight side-by-side with Hondo and his pirates to turn back the Separatist forces.
I am just going to get my one major criticism of the episode out of the way first. The ability of Katooni to construct her lightsaber in a couple seconds after a gentle prodding from Hondo seemed a little silly.

On to the good stuff.  I could go on and on, but I am going to make this short and sweet. We had two chase scenes, a droid invasion, Grievous vs. Hondo, a ground battle, Grievous vs. Ahsoka, Grievous vs. Slave I, and the return of Slave I.

Chase Scenes: 

We had two different chase scenes, the first was the Jedi attempting to board the Crucible and flee the pirates. This featured the Jedi dangling from the Crucible's boarding ramp. With presumably the heaveist of them, Gungi hanging at the bottom of the Jedi chain. Not the best planning if you want to get on the ship, alas the ship was damaged and the Jedi, Huyang and R2 ended up crashing and being re-captured by the pirates.

The second chase scene was much better and tons of fun.  Barreling through the canyons on Florrum felt like a combination of the Podrace scenes, the trench run and the reactor run from the films.  It was a great action piece. The fact that it ended with the pirates and the Jedi in the Hondo Cave was very cool.

Also how awesome was Grievous's speeder, seriously. Wowzer.

Droid Invasion:

The droid invasion makes the space battle in the previous episode make sense and also provides an explanation for Hondo's base being destroyed like it was in the season premier. This also provided us a chance for a little humor as Hondo gets tossed around by Grievous.

Ground Battle:

The pirate and Jedi fight through Separatist forces towards freedom was great, shades of the Battle of Geonosis. It also provided us to see SUPER AHSOKA. Faster than a speeding blaster bolt, able to Force leap tall buildings in a single bound.  I love this visual so much.  

Grievous vs. Ahsoka:

Ahsoka covered the retreat of the younglings as she dueled Grievous.  Ahsoka got the worst of the duel this time including getting her head grabbed by one of Grievous' clawed feet and being flung head first into the ground. There was a very meaningful look on Ahsoka's face just before she leap aboard Slave I.  To me it looked clearly like Ahsoka knew she was beat and overmatched by Grievous.  Perhaps this is a turning point for Grievous' character in this series as his dangerousness and competence will increase leading up to Episode III.

The Return of Slave I or Why a Blaster Cannon Beats a Lightsaber:

We have already previously heard from Dave Filoni that after the events of Season Two when Slave I crashed on Florrum that Hondo had found and repaired the wreckage, but now we finally get to see the ship in action again and with a more familiar paint scheme.

Clearly Hondo hasn't gotten around to repairing Slave I's weapons systems as he had Grievous at point blank range and missed him with the ship's blaster cannons before the Droid Tanks forced him to make a retreat.

As a huge Boba Fett fan, I am very excited to see Slave I back in action, because I think it foreshadows a Season Six story arc.  We are going to see a showdown between Hondo and Boba Fett over the ownership of the Slave I. Will Boba kill Hondo?  It would be an interesting way to handle Hondo's fate. After all the life of a pirate is dangerous and a cold blooded murder would provide some excellent character development to a maturing Boba Fett on the series.  In any event I think we see the fate of Slave I resolved in Season Six and I don't think it is decided over a game of sabacc.

Rating: A Necessary Bond was a terrifically fun episode and probably my favorite so far of Season Five, it gets a 9.0. An episode the provided the perfect conclusion and brought together the previous three episodes in the arc.  Lots of action, fun and a little humor mixed in. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  

Next Time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars:

Episode 5.10: Secret Weapons: (Air Date 12/1/12)

"R2-D2 and other Republic droids receive a mission to retrieve an encryption module from the Separatists."

Next week's episode will kick off the Droid/Republic Commando arc written by Brent Friedman.  The other episodes in the arc are 5.11 "A Sunny Day in the Void," 5.12 "Missing in Action," and 5.13 "Point of No Return."

We won't likely see Republic Commando Gregor until the 3rd episode in the arc, but I am excited to see R2 give the Separatists all kinds of headaches.

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