Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Season 1, Episode 7 - Duel of the Droids

Duel of the Droids is the second of a two-parter, and a thoroughly entertaining one at that. It's also directed, notably, by Rob Coleman himself: the animation director for the prequel trilogy.

His experience shows in every frame of this episode. Lightsaber duels are performed with moody panache; the dive onto Skytop Station is bathed in autumn hues; the final "duel" of the episode's namesake is staged with racous tension, and wouldn't have looked out of place in one of the films.

Essentially, the story is of the rescue of Artoo from the clutches of the Separatists. Much like Destroy Malevolence, it involved infiltrating on Separatist ground, racing against the clock, and outthinking superior numbers. It's got all the best elements of a good Star Wars adventure, and it delivers.

While the action soars, Duel of the Droids doesn't overlook the details. Grievous's dispatching of Gha Nachkt comes as a violent shock (and a shoutout to a deleted scene in Revenge of the Sith), for example. We also see, for the first time, Artoo completely disassembled, in an amusing sequence.

It's also inventive. The quoting of other adventures is at a minimum here; as well. We see the first duel between Ahsoka and Grievous, and the battle is uniquely suited to these two relatively new characters. R2-D2s battle with his unlucky replacement shows Star Wars fans something they've never had the pleasure to see, as well. Even if (as stated in the previous episode's review) there is never any real question about Artoo's safety, it's a vibrant episode, one of the series best so far.

Rating (out of five) **** 1/2


Dave Williams said...

While I never expected Artoo to die I do think there was the possibility that he'd be wiped, after all I don't think there's anything in Ep3 that precludes a data wipe happening between it and Ep 2.

I agree, good episode. I especially liked that Ashoka was obviously outclassed but that the environment played to her advantage.

I'm watching in the UK so we're an episode behind but I'll be sure to pop along and comment. Keep up the good work!

CloneWarsFan said...

Good point about the data wipe. I didn't think of that. It's always been Threepio's bag to have his memory retconned (I mean wiped.)

Thanks for stopping by!