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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 4: The Soft War



What is it ? : Following on from the last Episode, their plan to take down the Droid Army by taking out the power plant failed off camera, and the Separatists are bringing in reinforcements. The resistance strike and take out the relief column, and use hologram projectors so Steela can make a speech to the city, but the people are not supporting the resistance as much as they wanted, still fearing the separatists more.
The King of Onderon, hearing about the attack and the speech, decides that the resistance are working at the behest of the old King, and orders his execution.
While Steela and Lux plan a rescue attempt during the execution, Saw decides to break in and rescue him the night before, and manages to breach the prison and kill the kings guards. However one way force fields which allowed him to enter the prison delay their escape, and destroyer droids capture them. He is interrogated by a General who commanded under the Old King, keeping his position after the New King was appointed by the Separatists.
During the execution, Steela leads a rescue attempt and manage to get the old King, but Super Battle Droids stop their escape and they are recaptured, but
the General orders the army to join the battle on the side of the resistance and the old King. However, he remains behind to buy everyone time to escape and looks set to be captured, however Ahsoka who had been ordered to let the resistance stand on their own feet and sit out the attack, joins the fight and allows him to escape as well.
Later they gather at the resistance safe house, and Ahsoka reports back to Obi-Wan and Anakin, and is told to prepare as the difficult part of the war now will begin.

High Points : The episode looks nice, but the story is really dragging with not much happening.

The one thing I was impressed with was the one way force fields in use in the old Kings prison. Not only were they discrete enough that Saw never noticed them when he was sneaking in, so their presence stopping him escaping was a total surprise to him, but also their activation as he attempted to leave set off alarms, warning the guards that an escape attempt was occuring. Brilliant technology, and really sensibly designed, far better security than Coruscant Prisons one locked door.


Low Points : Not only did the last episode feel inconsequential when watching it, now it has been proven to be inconsequential. Nothing that happened last episode seems to matter, in fact there's nothing to say how the droids defeat the lack of power, only that they have sent reinforcements. After the power plant was destroyed last episode, the city went dark, but no such lack of lighting now, and no mention of the act, it really as if it never happened at all.

The Super Tactical droid sent by Dooku is a big disappointment, we've seen ordinary Tactical Droids before and they've been a credible threat to the heroes, often one step ahead, and now we're seeing a "Super" one, it's no threat at all, and easily defeated, a big disappointment.

Once again Anakin berates Ahsoka to put the mission ahead of her personal feelings, while Obi-Wan offers advice and useful instruction to her for the fight ahead. Anakin really is useless and hasn't understood much of the training given him, no wonder he isn't ready to be a Jedi Master.

Steela and Lux's relationship, Steela is feeling the weight of command on her shoulders, and asks Lux to put their feelings on hold as the mission is more important (has she been listening in to Ahsoka's calls back to the Jedi?). While this is a decent moment of character development, it doesn't feel very Star Wars. Heroes in the past often manage to build relationships during times of conflict and battle, relationships which strengthen their bond and help them reach victory. So, unless this is leading up to that in the next episode, then this doesn't feel right to me.

So what do you really think ? : Ignoring the effects of the last episode was a terrible start to the episode, and I didn't feel it got much better from there. The action remains good, and everything continues to look great (I spent much of the episode admiring the artwork on the casing of the Super Tactical Droid, it's got a lovely paintjob), there's still not much going on, and I'm really starting to wait for this storyline to be over.

I'm also really disappointed with the use of Onderon as a setting, we've spent the last two episodes completely within the capital city, and we've not seen anything of the WarBeasts which come down from Dxun when it's atmosphere scrapes Onderon's. We've not seen the defences the city has to protect itself from the beasts, and the tribal beast-riders which used to attack it. We've even not seen the dangerous jungles, and the tribes living within made up from outcasts from Iziz. It's kind of like setting an episode on Hoth, but not showing snow, why set the storyline there if you're not going to use the setting.

Final Words : I don't think we've had a five parter before, so unless this is the first, this story ends next episode, and I'll be happy with that.

Score : 7/10






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