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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 11: A Sunny Day in the Void

What is it ? : Following on from the last episode, the tiny Colonel and the Droids are heading back to Coruscant from their successful mission when they detect an ice comet swarm in their path, emerging from Hyperspace they are hit and the ship loses power.
As the astromechs head outside to repair the vessel, as they do in The Phantom Menace, they are repeatedly bombarded by chunks of ice, and using their grapples they avoid being lost in space even after some are knocked free of the hull. They restore power, but the ship is damaged and crashes on a nearby planet.
Finding themselves in the middle of a massive featureless desert they argue over their next action, with R2 wanting to navigate away from the wreckage, while the colonel wants to remain with it until they are rescued. R2 takes the Encryption Module, forcing everyone to follow him and the other Astromechs. They discover another crashed ship, where the occupant and Astromechs remained with the wreckage and all died, proving R2 right, when the Colonel begins to see mirages and separates from the Astromechs.
The colonel and the pit droid encounter a massive pack of creatures racing across the desert, and the colonel deduces that they will know where water and food is, so they ride along with the pack.
They arrive at a pool of water next to a small town, and discover the Astromechs are already here, and the colonel hopes they can still complete their mission.

High Points : The episode is a joy to look at, but suffers from the same problem as the previous one in that the main protagonists are both comic relief, and the rest of the characters are Astromechs which can only beep and boop.

The planet they crash on is fascinating to behold, and totally smooth and featureless desert under a red sky. With the flat surface reaching off into the horizon in each direction it does feel completely desolate, and makes you believe that the characters are stranded and a long way from help.

The town they reach at the end of the episode, with is constructed in perfectly flat sided circular pits dug into the surface of the planet, looks absolutely amazing, it's nothing we've seen before, and massively visually appealing, I actually look forward to the next episode set in the town.

The creatures that the Colonel and the pit droid ride to the town are an interesting design, with thin snakelike bodies and a birdlike aspect to them, the scene with the pack of them stretching into the distance is reminiscent of Jurassic Park as their bodies bob along smoothly as they run, and as the pit droid pets the one he's riding, it makes them appealing and something you might consider for a pet.

Low Points : My major problem with this episode as stated above is the fact that there are only two speaking characters in the entire episode, and they are both comic relief. Both of which are too confident in their own abilities to really listen to the other. Everyone else in the episode is an Astromech, which only communicate in droidspeak.

Why is it that only 1 person and their droids crash on the planet, not only do the heroes, but the single vessel they encounter is made up of one organic, and a bunch fo Astromechs. While the script may have wanted to display that R2's plan to leave the wreckage was the right one (even if, in reality, you are advised if you're in a plane crash to remain near the wreckage to help rescuers locate you), but did they really need to made the other ships crew identical? Why couldn't the crew have been several organics and one Astromech?

Finally, by the end of the last episode, the colonel had gained a respect for his droid companions. However, here we are with a total roll back of that character growth, and the colonels respect for droids is completely gone, can't they even keep continuity between two sequential episodes.

So what do you really think ? : While there's a lot to like in this episode, the story and dialogue let it down, two comic relief characters made for children bickering does not entertainment make, and the fact that all that really happens is they walk to a town, encountering a crash and some lizards means that not a lot is going on to distract you from the poor dialogue. Not one of the best, but still contains some visual and conceptually interesting ideas.

Final Words : So we're half way through the droid squad storyline, and it's not been very good so far. Fingers crossed there's something interesting to come.

Score : 7.5/10

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