The Clone Wars: Revival Review (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Thursday, October 04, 2012
Star Wars: The Clone Wars welcomed its 5th season this week on a new day and time. The Cartoon Network moved the series to Saturday mornings at 9:30AM. This had little effect on me, personally, as I have always recorded the show or simply watched it on Star Wars.com later (in case you missed it, here it is). Now, I know I said this didn’t really effect me. I remember when cartoons were always on Saturday mornings. I even remember when there were Star Wars cartoons on Saturday mornings, Droids and the Ewoks. Yet, I don’t think my parents or any one else would have let me continue to watch either show with dialogue like “murder and pillage”, “We’ll kill anyone on board and take the ship”, and (my personal favorite) “I want their tongues”. The premiere episode also featured a double impaling and one character lost an arm. “Revival” was rated TV-PG and, if The Clone Wars continues on its dark path (see Revenge of the Sith), then it belongs back on Friday nights.
The first episode really picks up where season 4 left off. Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) is in pursuit of Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) and Savage Opress (Clancy Brown). In “pursuit” may be sugar coating it. Obi-Wan is hunting them. That alone puts Obi-Wan in a place where he is off balance with the force. It looks as if it is becoming an obsession and should lead for some great character development, overall. Up to this point, for the history of the character, Obi-Wan hasn’t really had any flaws. Revenge of the Sith showed us that it was Anakin’s own undoing and not a betrayal or failure by Obi-Wan that lead to Darth Vader, which wasn’t what we all believed for so many years thanks to the brilliant performance by Sir Alec Guinness. We received only a taste this week, but one that should lead to some interesting moments.
The story in “Revival” is really the one of the two brothers, Darth Maul and Savage Oppress. Abandoned by Darth Sidious, they really are on their own. This paints Maul in a different light. His only ally is his inept brother and he is forced to use methods one would not expect from a Sith Lord. Watching Maul strong-arm pirates is one thing, but to have them turn on him and even actually shoot him is another. The character in The Phantom Menace was all power. Here, writer Chris Collins has made him very real, as if he is a wounded animal. As we know, that is something one should never back into a corner. The journey for Maul is going to be a tough one and not the one we expected with the character’s return.
The end of season 4 featured an unlikely alliance in Obi-Wan and Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman). This week we saw the teaming of Obi-Wan and the crime lord/ pirate Hondo (Jim Cummings). The kid in me always loved when GI Joe teamed up with Cobra. It gives the kid in all of us the chance to root openly for the “heels” without any guilt. If anything, like this episode, it fleshes out the characters more and adds a bit of humor, as well.
I already spoiled the fact that one character was impaled and another lost their arm this week, but I never said which. If it weren’t for the new day and time slot, I wouldn’t have put a second thought into those moments or the dialogue. The first few seasons of Star Wars: Clone Wars were pretty light and belonged on Saturday mornings. As the bridge between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is coming to a close, the story is going to get darker; darker to the point where one of our heroes will strangle his pregnant wife. Perhaps the show moving in reverse from the get-go would have been a better idea (Saturday morning to Friday night).
This week’s opening line: “Strength of character can defeat strength in numbers”
Classic Star Wars Reference: The appearance of Snaggletooth (the Blue Snaggletooth) aka “Zutton”
The Star Wars Figure We Cannot Wait to Own: “Zutton” in The Clone Wars style.
Mania Grade: B
Starring: James Arnold Taylor, Sam Witwer, Jim Cummings, Clancy Brown, Angelique Perrin, Tom Kane, Ian Abercrombie
Written By: George Lucas (creator), Chris Collins
Directed By: Steward Lee
Network: Cartoon Network