Apr 12, 2012

[TV] Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season 2

I wasn't exactly a big fan of the first season of this particular series, but for one reason or another I've continued to watch it season after season. And now I'm trying to catch up in terms of actually writing reviews for the past seasons for the Geeky Guide. Go figure.

I have to admit that the show is still better than your run-of-the-mill cartoon. Sure, it's a rather dumbed down version of the Star Wars series, in certain aspects. However it's still not quite as simplistic as a lot of the other cartoons out there - and we geeks still want decent cartoons to watch. Don't we?

It is interesting how each season has to have some sort of a name or a central theme. That wasn't all that evident in the first season, but this second one being entitled "Rise of the Bounty Hunters" made sure it was pretty clear that they had a story plan in mind. And throwing out the term "bounty hunters" just like that is obviously meant to draw in fans both old and new.

But despite the seemingly obviously marketing slant to things, I still pressed on.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a CGI-animated TV series created by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm Animation for Cartoon Network.

Cad Bane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Cad Bane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The season begins with the more formal introduction of the bounty hunter Cad Bane (Corey Burton). He's determined to steal a particular holocron from the Jedi Temple. And this season continues the practice of the show to have multi-episode story arcs that go on for quite a bit. This first one alone goes on for at least 3 episodes and the season manages to include a few more arcs like this.

And in another move that seemed like another attempt to just draw in older fans with gimmicks, this season also decided to bring in the mysterious Mandalore people, something only alluded to in terms of the origins of Boba Fett's armor in the movies. Although here I felt they seemed overly political for a paramilitary race and their armor didn't always seem to match the iconic Mandalorian armor that we have all come to know and love. Okay, maybe love isn't the best word.

The last big story arc of the season focuses on our young Boba Fett (Daniel Logan) - you know, the clone who was allowed to grow up normally and will someone become one of the coolest and most badass bounty hunters in the galaxy? Yeah that one - although the whole "he's a clone" bit never sat well with me. I'm still not totally sold on his character development here or why other bounty hunters might try to follow him to any extent, but I'll let Cartoon Network yank my chain a bit more.

The season probably did the right thing by trying to diversify the scope and involve more characters. We're still getting a heck of a lot of Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein), and I'm still not totally sold on her as a character who can contribute significantly to the Star Wars universe as a whole. I'm also missing how the first Clone Wars cartoon had handled the clone troopers themselves. Sure, they were largely silent, but they had so much character and presence when they were on stage. Here they just feel like lazy animation - lots of guys with the same face and ridiculous tattoos.

And that'll always be one of the biggest issues with the series - how the animation quality has severely hampered their ability to convey any real emotion. Thus no matter how potentially dramatic the story gets, it's hard to relate to the characters since they're just blocky shapes moving around. And that really takes its toll on the series, even if only taken in half hour segments. Ouchies.

Still, the storytelling in this season got a bit better than the last once and it feels a lot more like they actually have a sense of purpose in terms of where they want to go in this series. And maybe that's why I've stuck around so long - I'm still curious as to how things will resolve themselves in time.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season 2 is an interesting enough adventure but far from a perfect one. The bounty hunters didn't quite rescue the show and the Mandalorians weren't what I had expected. But there's still something of value to be found in the good action sequences. fun army battles and the inevitable space adventures. So the season still manages 3.5 attempts to bring down the massive Zillo beast out of a possible 5.

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  1. Napapnsin ko parang 3.5 ata ang maximum na binibigay mong rating hehehe. Taas ng standard much? :)

  2. You haven't read enough reviews then, hehe