Clone Wars: Tipping Point Review (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The Onderon saga has come to a close and it isn’t all roses. For the past four weeks, writer Chris Collins has taken us outside our normal cast of characters. He gave us a world we knew nothing about and made us care about it. He re-introduced Lux Bonteri (Jason Spisak) and brought us the brother-sister rebel duo of Saw (Andrew Kishino) and Steela (Dawn-Lyen Gardner). It seems odd, but the final love triangle of this storyline fell to the wayside. Collins missed a great opportunity... or did he? The answer would depend on your perspective and what type of story he was telling this week on The Clone Wars.
Count Dooku (Corey Burton) has ordered King Rash (Kirk Thornton) to stop the Rebels. The Rebels and deposed King Dendup (Barry Dennen) have taken refuge in the highlands with the hopes to draw the Droids out. This is a brilliant move as it forces to the Droids away from the city. The people are in full rebellion and have even begun to destroy the Droids in public. This act of insurrection is easy since destroying a thing is easier than destroying a person. This leads me to believe that, in the future, Stormtroopers (men) are harder to overthrow as their deaths carry weight.
Steela has been made the General of the army by King Dendup and waits for the Droid Army to attack. The battle does not go well as this band of Rebels and Onderon Soldiers is out matched by a new Separatist Gunship. The tide is turning and, in desperation, Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) calls to the Jedi for support.
Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor) denies her any sort of “Republic” support. Anakin (Matt Lanter) believes that there is a roundabout way of saving the Rebels. Anakin hires Hondo (Jim Cummings) to deliver rockets that will help the Rebels win back the planet.
The amount of violence in this episode is considerable. The Rebels of Onderon fall just as easy as Battle Droids when the fight really gets going. What surprised me was that in only five episodes, we now have cut-aways instead of straight-on shots of Rebels dying. It is a subtle and effective away of telling the story, it’s just a huge departure from this season’s first episode (see review).
The last love triangle in this story is one between Ahsoka, Lux, and Steela. Clearly Ahsoka has feelings for Lux, but her duty as Jedi keeps those feelings at bay. So when Steela is about to ride into battle and grabs Lux for that “just in case kiss”, I expected a different kind of reaction form Ahsoka. This is animation, so everything thought and felt has to come out. Instead, all we got was a “way to go bro” punch from her to Lux. There was no remorse or longing or anything. If I would have seen anything in the previous episodes that Ahsoka came to terms with her romantic feelings, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Instead, it makes her final moments of the episode a complete contrast. One character falls and Ahsoka is forced to ask what the cost of freedom really is. They won the day and Onderon’s freedom, but good people died. Her split second hesitation and discomfort with that was huge. It immediately set up that she (like her master) knows that there is a better way to win this war, and diplomacy is not it.
Collins was clearly telling a story about Ahsoka in these four episodes. They show how she is becoming disillusioned with the path the Jedi are on. This war needs to be won and won’t be if the Jedi play by the political rules. The love story for Ahsoka was there and Collins chose not to follow it. Instead, Collins indicated that Ahsoka may have just seen that there is a different path to take. One that is different from the Jedi.
Opening Tag Line: “Disobedience is a demand for change"
Classic Star Wars Moment: Lux saying, “What good will that do if she gets herself killed?”
The Star Wars Figure We Need to Seek Out: Hondo
Mania Grade: B+
Episode: Tipping Point
Starring: Andrew Kishino, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Jason Spisak, Ashley Eckstein, Barry Dennen, Kirk Thornton, David Kaye, Corey Burton
Written By: Chris Collins, George Lucas (creator)
Directed By: Bosco Ng
Network: Cartoon Network