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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1 Episode 17: The Blue Shadow Virus

What is it ? : Amidala and Jar Jar are back on Naboo helping to interrogate a Confederacy Tactical Droid that has been captured on the planet. They discover from it that there is a Separatist Bio Weapons lab on the planet (which has had a containment breach), they ask the Jedi Council to send Obi-Wan and Anakin to help, then set off to an area which matches the mud on the captured droid.
Discovering some poisoned cattle, they search a nearby forest, discovering a hidden hatch in the ground and Amidala informs Anakin before they are captured by Battle Droids.
The Jedi plan their attack, while Jar Jar and Amidala are threatened by a mad scientist. The Jedi breach the base, free Jar Jar and Amidala, and capture the scientist.

High Points : Okay, I'm reaching here, Naboo looked pretty! But I really didn't like anything else much here.

Low Points : Okay, first of all, it's a Jar Jar episode, which makes it pretty bad. But then they double down, and introduce another Gungan who's nearly as bad, Peppi Bow. It's bad enough that Jar Jar is tripping and being oh-so hilarious all over the place, but two of them, {sigh} . . .
Even The Phantom Menace had competent Gungans in it, Jar Jar is supposed to be an exception, not the standard Gungan.

And on the subject of annoying characters, the Mad Nazi Scientist, Doctor Nuvo Vindi, {sighs again} . . .
He's supposed to be a pro-virus sympathiser?!? To explain, The Blue Shadow Virus was a plague to whom no one was immune, which was so dangerous to the galaxy that it was totally eradicated. The Doctor believes that "higher" life forms are the actual plagues on the galaxy, infecting it with war, so has spent his time bringing the Blue Shadow Virus back into existence. He works with the Separatists, since they're mainly made up from Droids (who he is fine with), and speaks with an obviously German accent (with a little Russian thrown in for variety).
He's voiced by the usually excellent Michael York (from Logan's Run and the Austin Powers movies), who is very english, so the weird accent is an odd choice.
So, from the above, you can see that he's an oddly voiced, oddly motivated character, who just comes across as a Crazy Nazi Stereotype, which is pretty poor.

And perhaps nitpicky, but the amount of times in this episode that vials of the virus are getting thrown around, and Jedi have to leap to catch them, and not even one of them uses the force is ridiculous. The episode even has Ahsoka levitating a grenade into place, and then totally ignores the fact that there's an easier way for the Jedi to deal with fragile glass containers being thrown. In fact, even when Amidala is being tortured, and the Mad Doctor tells Anakin he has the choice of rescuing her (by pulling a big switch) or chasing after him, I was so waiting for Anakin to just force pull the switch and take off after the Doctor, but no the Doctor gets away while Anakin fights through Battle Droids to get to the switch. {sighs once more}

So what do you really think ? : This was bad, even more so than the last Jar Jar episode. I stupidly watched some episodes of Rebels this morning, and everything is so much better than Clone Wars, so sorry struggling to find any good in this episode.

Cliched, badly performed, with too much Jar Jar.

Final Words : Now I don't really mark anything too low, as the voice acting in the main was fine, the animation is smooth, and the dialogue isn't awful. So the fact that the production values are pretty high get these episodes around 50% of the maximum mark. But on this occasion, I really can't give them anything else beyond, "They spent a lot of time on this, and the animators are obviously really talented".
And my son who I'm watching these through with, informed me this is the first part of a continuing story. {heavy sigh} . . .

Score : 5/10

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