Clone Wars: The Soft War Review (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Spoilers Ahead -Spoilers Ahead -Spoilers Ahead -Spoilers Ahead -Spoilers Ahead -
The last three weeks of The Clone Wars have building upon one another. Obi-Wan and Anakin have left the Onderon Rebels and only Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) has remained. It is her soul purpose to observe and not get involved. The Rebels have a chosen a leader, Steela Gerrera (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) and we have also learned that Saw (Andrew Kishino) is, in fact, her brother. This resolves one of the complicated love triangles (in the classic Star Wars fashion) going on.
The Onderon Rebels have hit the Separatists with a deceiving blow that will certainly gain the attention of both the people and Count Dooku. King Sanjay Rash (Kirk Thornton) still believes that deposed King Ramsis Dendup (Barry Dennen) is behind the Rebels. Rash believes that with Dendup gone, the Rebels will fall. Thus, he orders a public execution of King Dendup. This news causes Saw to take matters into his own hands.
This week has a lot of twists and turns and it all starts with the opening tagline: “Struggles often begin and end with the truth”. From this moment on, I believed that deposed King Dendup was somehow in on Rash’s rise to power. Blame it on the subterfuge of the Sith, The Phantom Menace, and Attack of the Clones, but I am starting to see conspiracies and lies everywhere. Thankfully, there is more to this episode than just another hurtle for our heroes to overcome.
The two key moments come from Saw’s rash decision to rescue King Dendup on his own. One man risking his life won’t put the other Rebels in jeopardy. It will also keep the entire Rebel movement safe, as well. No one man is worth the risk of a whole planet. This is a dilemma that comes up again for Ahsoka as she is forced to decide whether or not to get involved with the Rebel movement.
The second moment is not Ahsoka’s decision, but one of a new character named General Tandin (David Kaye). Tandin is the head of the human army of Onderon. He believes that if King Rash put the people’s army in charge of protecting the planet, the Rebel movement would subside. Action has to be taken and King Rash goes with his execution plan over the more peaceful means suggested by Tandin. It is only after Saw is captured and interrogated by Tandin that Tandin decides to take matters into his own hands. The conflict is real. The tension is real. When the final act of defiance is made, it changes the fate of a world. That is the kind of storytelling that Star Wars has always been about.
What I truly liked about this episode (and the introduction of Onderon Conflict) is that everything is at stake. No one is tied to the Star Wars cannon (yet), so their lives hang in the balance. I don’t believe that Ahsoka will fall without a glorious finale/ battle/ all gut wrenching moment, but over the course of three weeks, I have grown attached to Lux, Steela and Saw. Chris Collins has really carved a niche into the Star Wars universe with these characters that keeps me tuning in. It’s all about character in the Star Wars universe and Collins delivers that.
Star Wars is story on an epic scale. The Clone Wars diverts us from our main characters and enables us to see smaller stories that couldn’t be told on that grand canvas. When the writing is this good, I hope The Clone Wars never ends.
Opening Tag Line: “Struggles often begin and end with the truth."
Classic Star Wars Moment: Watching another EV-9D9 torture someone again.
The Star Wars Figure(s) We Cannot Wait to Own: Steela and Saw Gerrera (a two pack)
Mania Grade: A
Episode: The Soft War (Season 5, Episode 4)
Starring: Andrew Kishino, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Jason Spisak, Ashley Eckstein, Barry Dennen, Kirk Thornton, David Kaye
Written By: Chris Collins, George Lucas (creator)
Directed By: Kyle Dunlevy
Network: Cartoon Network