My Star Wars (Life) Reviews: The Clone Wars – Season 4 Part 1

In the run up to the new season of Clone Wars, I am going to finally finish my rewatch of the series, of course finish my reviews.

For the rest of the available episodes I am changing the format slightly, I will now focus on arcs as a whole rather than what I had been doing before.

In this post I will be looking at the ‘Mon Cala’ arc, ‘Shadow Warrior’ and an R2 and C-3PO two parter.

The Mon Cala Arc

This Arc consists of the three episodes, ‘Water War’, ‘Gungan Attack’ and ‘Prisoners’.

King Char of Mon Cala has been killed and the planet is on the brink of a Civil War between the Mon Cal and the Quarren. Riff Tamson, a Shark-like creature and member of the Separatist Alliance has come to the planet to side with the Quarren whilst Anakin, Ahsoka and Padmé are there to aid the Mon Cal Prince, Lee Char.

The conflict escalates and the Separatist army arrives to aid the Quarren and war breaks out. The Republic send help in the form of Kit Fisto and Scuba-Clones but it’s not enough and the Mon Cal/Republic forces are overwhelmed.

They attempt to fight again but many are captured and the rest go into hiding. The Republic call the Gungans for help and they send their army to help. The battle starts to sway in their favour but the Separatists gain the upper hand and everyone, with the exception of the Prince and Ahsoka are captured.

The Prince and Ahsoka form a plan, break into the prison camp and rallies his people, the Gungans and the Clones and prepare them for the upcoming battle. They allow themselves to be captured.

They are taken to Riff Tamson who has usurped the Quarren leader and taken the throne for himself. Lee Char speaks to the Quarren leader and basically let’s him come to the realisation that Dooku lies to him just to place Tamson on the throne. Lee Char is sentenced to be executed.

At the execution, the Quarren leader sends his people to the prisoners in attendance with a message that they will fight together.

The battle erupted before the Prince can be executed. Tamson fights the Prince, admitting that it was him who killed the King. Lee Char manages to plant an explosive on Tamson and the Shark-creature explodes.

I have to admit, looking back to when I last watched the whole series, I must have been really off my game because when I look back to these episodes I really wasn’t keen on revisiting them, but this time around I am once again happily surprised at how enjoyable this Arc is.

I missed so many great references that cracked me up a lot this time around, Kit Fisto’s line “Eels, very dangerous.” is a great homage to ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and the final showdown between Tamson and Lee Char is lifted straight out of ‘Jaws’. That’s the kind of stuff I live for and I missed them completely.

It was great to finally see the planet Mon Cala and meet a young Captain Ackbar who was the Prince’s protector in this story.

Having the Gungan army get involved was a stroke of genius, it was great to see them in action and in their natural habitat. Honestly, I was really surprised at how cool they were, leaping from a Venator docking bay into the ocean was so visually amazing I couldn’t believe my eyes. Also, staging the Arc on a vastly different planet like Mon Cala really helps keep the series fresh.

Shadow Warrior

We return to Naboo where there are rumours that the Gungans are prepairing to attack Theed with the Droid Army. Anakin, Padme and Jar-Jar go to Otoh Gunga to speak with Boss Lyonie who it turns out is being posessed an manipulated by his adviser Rish Loo using ancient magics.

Rish Loo attempts to kill Boss Lyonie who is injured. Padme stays in Ohoh Gunga, Jar-Jar impersonates Lyonie to stop the attack and then to meet with Grievous. Dooku has Rish Loo bring Anakin to him. They capture Anakin whilst the Guingans deactivate the Droid Army and capture Grievous.

Padme ends up trading Anakin for Grievous but the peace between the Naboo and the Gungans is kept intact.

A decent stand-alone episode that at first glance could seem like a token Jar-Jar episode on the surface but it’s really not, and Jar-Jar is great in the episode.

What I found great is that Palpatine… sorry, Sidious is willing to ruin his home world so much just to get his way, we see it in ‘The Phantom Menace’ and it goes as far as the ‘Shattered Empire’ comics and ‘Battlefront 2’ campaign with Project Cinder.

We also get to see why Padmé and Anakin’s relationship is a bad thing, we know that the Republic would not trade Anakin for Grievous. They even say it in the episode, but the Jedi have launched rescue missions before so that could have happened had Padmé not acted so rashly and Grievous could have been imprisoned, bringing the war to a quicker end.

I really like the use of Gungans so far in this season, we really get to see how formidable they are, and the fact that General Tarpals gave his life to bring down Grievous and how easy it was in the end to detain the Droid General after his sacrifice was amazing.

Mercy Mission/Nomad Droids

C-3PO and R2-D2 have been send to a planet to help the Wolf Pack Clone Battalion deliver aid to the natives where there have been a series of earthquakes.

Whilst helping them, they lead the Droids to an open manhole cover (admit it, that’s what it is) and during another quake they fall into the hole.

Underground they encounter many strange creatures and learn that the air from above is poisonous to those below and vice versa. R2 solves a riddle that allows them to get back to the surface where they close the golden manhole cover and the balance of the planet is restored.

The second episode follows the two of them after the Republic Cruiser they were travelling on is destroyed. They get into a Y-Wing fighter and crash on a planet inhabited by tiny aliens. They capture the Droids and their leader, a slightly larger tiny person with a massive attitude let’s them go free as long as they leave the planet. R2 starts an argument with the leader and 3PO knocks his counterpart over, killing the leader. The rest of the aliens are thankful and help repair the ship before C-3PO introduces them to democracy which doesn’t go well.

They then land on another planet in search of a power source. They are captured by a group who take them to their leader (see what I did there?) who appears as a giant hologram. R2 finds the source and it turns out that it’s actually a group of Pit-Droids who have taken over this clan. The clan attacks them and R2 and C-3PO escape but lose power.

They are picked up by Pirates and are about to be put into the ring in a Droid vs. Droid fight when Grievous shows up and attacks the ship. The two Droids are sucked into space and they land on the Separatist ship. On board they are sent to the incinerator but escape when Plo Koon’s fleet attacks and they are reunited with Commander Wolfe and the Wolf Pack.

This is essentially the mid-adventures of R2 and 3PO where, in every situation they find themselves they end up helping those they encounter in one way or another.

Whilst it’s much more interesting than the previous seasons Droid extravaganza where they get lured into a Droid spa and 3PO is captured by Cad Bane, it gets old pretty quickly. I would have been happy with just the one episode but I imagine that there was a need for a bigger break between two big story arcs (the Mon Cala Arc and then the Umbara Arc) both of which are quite heavy story wise and consist of a few episodes each.

Anthony Daniels is enjoyable in his voicing of C-3PO and the writing of both characters is good (their dynamic) and it really let’s us spend time with the two characters that have guided us through the saga films.

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