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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 2: A War on Two Fronts



What is it ? : The Jedi Council are contacted by Lux Bonteri, he is fighting with resistance against the Separatist rule on Onderon and is asking for help, the Jedi decide that by training up resistance cells on occupied worlds they will force the Separatists to fight a war on two fronts.
Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka and Rex are dropped off in the jungle of Onderon and meet up with the resistance cell, meeting it's leadership which contains as well as Bonteri, Saw Gerrera and his sister Steela. They begin training the resistance to fight droids and their tanks, and the relationship between Steela and Bonteri causes friction between Lux and Saw, as well as distracting Ahsoka who has her own feelings for him.
The training is distracted as a force of droids, searching the area which a ship briefly visited finds their base and attacks. Using their new skills, and newly found teamwork, the resistance impress the Jedi and win the battle.
The Jedi and resistance members then head into the capital city of Iziz to gather supplies, smuggling themselves through the checkpoints at the city gates.

High Points : While Clone Wars often has multi-part stories, they seldom feel like a cohesive whole, and while it may be too soon to judge how well this story holds together, the first part feels like an introduction. We're learning about the characters, about the world, we're setting up relationships and where the teams may bond, or break as the story develops.

Also, although it is only shown briefly at the end of the episode, as the characters enter the city of Iziz, the view of the massive stone buildings with imposing arches and wide terraces looks amazing, especially seen through the slight mist which teases the viewer with more sights unseen.

Lux Bonteri didn't really interest me when he was introduced, but as he's seen more he seems to be becoming more and more interesting, he seems to be becoming a moral character who honestly tries to do the best for people.

Saw Gerrera, although I've seen him in Rogue One, I had no idea that this was a pre-existing character, and he seems to be an interesting one who shows the foundations of becoming a capable leader, and the relationship with his sister (who I'm clearly aware doesn't seem to be around by the time of the movie) could easily develop into why he is such a broken character later on.

Low Points : Obi-Wan seems fairly set against helping people resist the occupation of their planets, saying that it seems too close to terrorism for him. While he does have a point, the far stronger point I would have thought was the obvious point that these people want to fight for their planet, for their homes.

It also seemed too coincidental to me that the exact tricks they resistance had been taught, and failed at because of teamwork, should prove so vital in the defence of their base, and succeed beyond the Jedi's expectations just because they pull together as a team.

On the subject of the training they receive, they're shown how to drop grenades into the hatches of tanks, and how the two hatches must be hit or the tank keeps operating, and how to roll grenades through the shields of Destroyer Droids, not too fast or they bounce back. These are fine tactics, but ones the heroes never really use, especially the anti AAT tactics which I don't believe I've ever seen in The Clone Wars, an AAT with a grenade thrown through a hatch keep operating. It would have been nicer if the writers could have picked out some tactics which are actually of use, or had been used more than just a couple of times across the preceding 4 seasons of the programme.

So what do you really think ? : I enjoyed this episode, even if I was a little surprised as I expected the Savage Opress and Darth Maul storyline to continue, it's solid groundwork for the Onderon storyline however a little hard to judge without seeing how the story pans out later on, leading to a lower mark than I would normally give an episode I liked as much as this one.

Final Words : With the groundwork set for this storyline in a very solid fashion, there's a lot of pressure on the next episodes to deliver. If the remainder of the storyline doesn't pick up on the stories started here, then this episode suffers too as it will have been just wasting our time.
Fingers crossed that it's a good one though, with Saw Gerrera and Lux Bonteri's continuing development there could be a lot to like.

On a side note, I'm particularly looking forward to seeing more of Onderon, it's a world I've used in my Star Wars D/6 Campaign, where I used the groundwork set by the Tales of the Jedi comic's. And more recently, a campaign I played in using the Age of Rebellion system from Fantasy Flight was set on Onderon during the Imperial occupation of the world, so I feel a connection to the world having fought on it and protected it.

Score : 7.5/10






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