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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 12: Missing in Action



What is it ? : So the Colonel and the Droids have reached a town on the planet where they crashed, sending the Astromechs off to scout, he and the Pit Droid look for food and energy, heading into a bar. They are thrown out when the bar doesn't serve droids, and the Colonel is "mistaken" for local vermin due to his diminutive size.
Desperate for food, the Colonel starts going through the trash for something Edible, when the meet the Dishwasher for the bar, a Clone Trooper called Gregor who has no memory of who he truly is.
Meanwhile the Astromechs encounter some Battle Droids, discovering the town is under Separatist control, heading back to inform the Colonel.
The Colonel, decides that their best option is to steal a shuttle but is warned that their previous ruse is unlikely to work as their identities are now known to the Separatists, so he decides to recruit the Clone Trooper.
They head to his home, and show him a hologram of Captain Rex, and he begins to believe them, R2 scans his barcode and reveals he is not only a Clone, but also a Clone Commando, highly decorated and believed dead in one of the worst Republic defeats in the Clone Wars.
They head back to the bar to get Gregors equipment, and the barkeeper attempts to stop them, saying that Gregor owes him for saving his life, and that their plan to leave won't work as the Separatists have a Republic Cruiser which will stop them.
With his equipment returned, Gregor spots the Cruiser high in the atmosphere, and they discover the Separatist plan to load it full of fuel to explode it at some point.
They attack the landing area and succeed in stealing the shuttle, however Gregor must remain behind to give them time to escape, promising to make his own way back and thanking them for giving him his memories back. Gregor is last seen in a pitched battle with many hundreds of Battle Droids, setting off the remaining fuel at the landing area which is consumed by a massive explosion.

High Points : This is more like it, this episode moves along quickly, there's decent dialogue and an interesting protagonist, the Colonel's character actually works when he's got someone competent to bounce his incompetence off of, and the fact that Gregor takes him seriously highlights the Colonels deficiencies well.

As mentioned last time, the town looks great, although you can't really see that it's inside a crater, the very off-white of the ground, and off-white of the buildings works, making it look bleak and different to anywhere we've seen before.

At the climax of the episode, we see a Clone Commando (Gregor) fighting many dozens or even hundreds of Battle Droids, and making a very good show of it. It's action packed edge of your seat fighting, since the character is expendable and could easily be killed.

The bar owner is actually an interesting character, although he at first appears to just be out for himself, getting a virtual slave in Gregor, he does however show moments of actually caring that Gregor (and the others) will be killed going against the Separatists. Hints that the Clone Wars seem very far away, and that by remaining here they would be safe. Is this just a ruse to keep his dish washing Clone Trooper? Or does he actually care? I'm not sure either way, but it was nice to see a little extra complexity put into what could have easily been a one dimensional character.

This episode does seem to have been a more relaxed production than most episodes, as there are a massive group of in-jokes and homages crammed in, from the Aqualish wandering past wearing the same outfit as the Kenner (Palitoy in the UK) action figure from the 70's, to the Admiral Snackbar signage in Aurabesh (slogan "It's a frap"). There's Ewok Jerky on sale in the bar, and various homages to LucasArts games from the 80's and 90's with a Star Wars twist (Day of the Sarlacc, instead of Day of the Tentacle, and Kowakian Monkey Island, instead of just Monkey Island). Nice touches, well hidden by using Aurabesh, but all nice to see.
I must also note there's a sign for Dr. Evazan Cosmetic Surgery as well.

Low Points : There's not many faults I can pick with this episode, Colonel Gaston (I've been avoiding his name as it makes me think of the character from Beauty and the Beast) is still annoying, although they do bring up the point that he was probably only chosen for this mission as he was the only one who would fit inside an Astromech. His characterisation has been shaky throughout, with him demanding respect one moment, then being easily swayed into eating trash the next. He's an authority figure for the kids to laugh at, but it's not well done and it's uncomfortable and feels like he's being bullied when it's gone on this long.

So what do you really think ? : This was an excellent episode, the addition of more characters, especially the as usual excellently portrayed Clone Trooper, Gregor. Where during the last two episodes we've just had the Pit Droid and the Colonel bickering and displaying who's got the biggest ego, this time we've actually got a character who we can empathise with. That combined with the amazing action set piece, takes this current storyline to a new high.

Final Words : Well, they seem to have discovered a plot to use the Republic Cruiser to blow something up, which takes priority over their spying mission, things are getting more interesting, and I hope they can keep the momentum going during the final part of this storyline.

Score : 8.5/10






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