Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 2: Cargo of Doom
What is it ? : Following on from the last episode, or at least kind of, Anakin and Ahsoka are commanding a fleet when they reach the world where Jedi Master Bolla Ropal is commanding the Republic forces. Contacting the base while they engage an orbiting Separatist fleet they discover that Ropal has already been grabbed and that he has been taken aboard the flagship of the enemy fleet which is now attempting to flee. Equipped only for ground assault, the Republic Fleet uses walkers magnetised to the hulls of the Separatist vessels to board them.
Meanwhile Cad Bane tortures Ropal to death and needs a Jedi Master to open the Holocron and decode the crystal he has stolen from Ropal. Luring Ahsoka into a trap, he threatens her life and forces Anakin to open the Holocron, then flees, being apparently killed by a Clone Trooper (who was caught unawares moments earlier, his "body" and the holocron are lost as the ship explodes as Republic forces retreat back to their own vessel.
High Points : There's some brilliant ideas in this one, and the tactics of using AT-TE's on the hulls of enemy ships is well realised and well thought out.
Cad Bane is coming across as a competent and dangerous opponent for the Jedi although many of his successes are a little contrived and require a certain amount of incompetence on the side of the heroes (for example, could Anakin not have held the doors open using the force, or force sprinted through them as they closed rather than be separated from Ahsoka, he uses the force moments later to levitate massive amounts of falling metal. And could he not force grab his lightsabers before he opens the holocron, rather than after Bane has everything he wants).
Although the Battle Droids being idiots usually annoys me, I found it genuinely amusing in this episode, and they entertained me. The difference from usual was they were still relatively competent, instead of being useless, so the banter came across as witty rather than just stupid.
Low Points : As mentioned above, much of the storyline requires the heroes to make mistakes, so it all comes across as a little contrived. And Bane dying at the end is super obvious that he's disguised himself as a clone trooper (guess those hose pipes leading into his cheeks are just part of his outfit rather than implants as I thought they were).
So what do you really think ? : It's all relatively well done, Clone Wars seems to have settled down into competence, but there's not a lot here which excels in what it's trying to do. But there's nothing really wrong with it either. If they carry on at this level, then it's going to be okay, but I'm left with a want for something more, something thrilling, something entertaining, something visually stunning, and I'm not getting any of that at the moment.
Final Words : Hopefully this season will find it's feet soon, and there will be something I can really get my teeth into, but while I find little to criticise in Clone Wars at the moment, it's not thrilling me. But honestly, it's not that bad either.
Score : 7.5/10
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