Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1 Episode 2: Rising Malevolence
What is it ? : Jedi Master Plo-Koon is seeking the reason that numerous Republic Cruisers are disappearing, when his fleet of three Venator Class Destroyers gets ambushed and disabled by the Malevolence. The Malevolence, commanded by General Grievous and Count Dooku has a massive Ion weapon which shuts down vessels.
Plo-Koon was Ahsoka's first Master, and she and Anakin begin the search for him in contradiction to the Jedi Councils orders to continue the search with the rest of the fleet.
Meanwhile Plo-Koon and a group of Clone Troopers have taken to the escape pods and discover Droids have been sent into the debris field to kill any survivors to silence them about the existence of the Malevolence.
Anakin and Ahsoka arrive in the nick of time, rescue Plo-Koon, play dead for a while to avoid the Malevolence, but are discovered and jump to hyperspace in the nick of time just ahead of a blast of the Malevolences Ion Cannon.
High Points : This is more like it, the Droids are more menacing, although still comedic. The story moves along quickly, really suited to the short episode running time, and the characters are all pretty well rounded out.
There was one moment in the episode I particularly liked, Palpatine speaks with Anakin over hologram, telling him how annoyed the Jedi Council are at him disobeying them and urging him to follow their instructions (it's pretty obvious that he's just wanting to avoid losing Anakin to a weapon he thinks is too powerful for him, since he's got further plans for him).
After the communication ends, Ahsoka looks really sceptical about what Palpatine has said, and looks ready to say something (she obviously has different experiences with the Jedi council than Anakin, and hasn't had her opinions poisoned by Palpatine. But then she gets a telepathic message from Plo-Koon as to his location, and the moment is gone and forgotten about.
I really liked that, the fact that Anakin having an apprentice who doesn't believe Palpatine, I look forwards to seeing if they go somewhere with that.
Low Points : I know Count Dooku was the "Leader" of the Confederacy during the Clone Wars, but is it really necessary for him to be the villain in every episode. Couldn't Asajj Ventress or Grievous be lone villains in episodes, it just seems that he's everywhere and involved in every little thing. I definitely think it would have been better if he was a lurking presence, behind everything but not seen to be directly involved all the time, would have made him more menacing when he did turn up.
Also got confused about whether the series is running sequentially, or whether these are just tales from throughout the Clone Wars, as the ship Anakin and Ahsoka are flying in this episode, they stole in the Pilot movie, and it was last seen crashing on Tatooine in flames. Would have liked to have heard something about them retrieving it and repairing/upgrading it.
Finally, since the Pilot Movie, their ship has gained a Medical Droid, which is pretty useful I know (although it turns out to be a major liability in this episode), but I'm going to miss the Doctor Droid, the holographic doctor.
So what do you really think ? : I loved that the escape pods had TIE fighter windows, and the series keeps introducing new ships and equipment, really making me feel like I'm glimpsing into a larger universe.
Final Words : If this is how Clone Wars is going to continue, I'm going to enjoy it a lot. There seems to be a lot more to the series than the style, and target audience led me to believe, lets see where it goes.
Score : 8.5/10
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