Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TV REVIEW: STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS THE DESERTER



The second part of last Fridays The Clone Wars two-parter was "The Deserter" which continues the action from "Grievous Intrigue."

Obi-Wan and Rex track Grievous on Saleucami.

Having managed to elude the Jedi, General Grievous crash lands on Saleucami with only a squad of Battle Droids and no working transmitter nor a way to get off planet. He and his drioids trek across the wilderness to reach an escape pop from which they can contact their fleet. Meanwhile the Kenobi, Captain Rex, and their clonetroopers are in hot pursuit. The Republic forces split up and Rex is injured and left with a female Twilek farmer to recuperate. When her husband arrives, he is revealed to be a clone who has abandoned his station and settled with a wife and family on Saleucami.

Rex, Cut and his family.

If there is anything that has been a preoccupation with this series, it has been humanizing and exploring the subculture of the Clonetroopers. The show's producers have gone to great lenghts to distinguish the clones from one another, usually via armor customization or increasingly bizarre hairstyles. The series has briefly touched upon the nagging ethical dilemma of cloning human beings to fight wars in the first season epsiode, "The Enemy Within," which featured a turncoat clone who decided to side with the Separatists and who actually made some very good points. This episode features a deserter named Cut Lawquane,
who offers a counterpoint to the first season's clone traitor. He's another clone who has displayed a surprising amount of free will. Like the clone traitor from the first season, Cut has decided that serving the Republic is not for him, although he has found a more peaceful way to leave the war. We see Rex grow to grudgingly respect his brother's choice.

Grievous rides a reek. No, it's not a children's book. Not yet, anyway.

There is also a great sequence in which Cut's children (Clones can have children!
And with a Twilek? WTF!) stumble upon a Separatist landing ship filled with Commando Droids. Cut, Rex and his family barricade their darkened home against an onslaught of the deadly droids in a truly tense and scary sequence. These Commando Droids are great additions to the Star Wars mythos and add a real sense of fear and danger any time that they are used.

The other storyline is concerned with tracking down and capturing Grievous as he makes his way off planet. This end is a little more unsatisfying as Grievous once again escapes. "We're right back where we started," Obi-Wan laments at the general's escaping ship. I kind of felt the same way. Knowing where most of these characters end up, I am kind of wanting something remarkable to happen in the meantime. What is the most interesting thing that can be done and still get the characters into position for Revenge of the Sith? This cat-and-mouse game between Grievious and Obi-Wan is not it.

"The Deserter" is another solid entry into The Clone Wars and one that helps to add another level to our understanding of the clone psychology. It begins to answer some of our questions about these warriors, who at first seemed to be little more than preprogrammed organic droids. Hopefully, future episodes will dig even deeper into these characters. For, example how much free will do they actually have? To what extent are they "programmed" to obey orders? And, finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the welcome return of an item from the very first Star Wars movie, the Dejarik table.

Patrick Garone
Senior Reviewer

1 comment:

Epyon said...

I must agree with your assement of this epsiode I like that they have expanded on the clones some more in the movies they seemed like facless organic drones that just fought and took orders I dont know if this was done intentionally so they seem like in human monster when order 66 was carried out instead of some charcters that we grew to like over the corse of the two movies. I hope in the future we may see a episode that take the persective of one of main clone charcters during the event of order 66