Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Season 2, Episode 5 - Landing at Point Rain

Landing at Point Rain, the fifth episode of season two, is the eye-popping opening to a new story arc. It features the return to Geonosis, the planet that marked the beginning of the Clone Wars themselves in Attack of the Clones, and, suitably, to the type of ground battle that become the high point of Episode II.

After some quick exposition, and a classic Star Wars "pointer scene" ("We'll land here and then rendezvous here..."), the episode hits the accelerator and starts firing lasers and throwing flames. This episode is overflowing with terrific battles that would have fit comfortably, both in spirit and in execution, on the big screen. There are even moments of inventiveness that improve upon the execution of the original Episode II battle, with dogfighting, the aforementioned flamethrowers, and the huge set piece at a fortified wall.

There's more here than just watching the animators flex their computerized muscles. The episode shows our heroes in the midst of real peril, and there are moments of characterization that show just how much the series has matured. Obi-Wan's relationship with Anakin and Ahsoka has become defined. I guess I'm going to have to live with the "How many did you get?" game; but it was nice to hear a major character question it, too. Hopefully, the game of "gotcha" will feel more and more inappropriate as the series flies forward.

Ki-Adi Mundi makes his Clone Wars debut here. I have to say, of all the exaggerated models that the show uses, his looks the most odd to me. Also, I continue to want to see bigger differences of character between Ki-Adi Mundi, Plo Koon and Mace Windu. Basically, all three are wise Jedi, with the same basic build and different heads, all good in a fight. Sure, we've seen that Mace Windu has a slightly different level of swagger, but that is just because of the famous actor that bears his likeness. Even a small specific trait would help each. I like them all...but who are they? It's been ten years since we first saw Ki-Adi Mundi. I still don't know what he's about.

Also...when did they call it Point Rain in the episode? Did I miss that?

That's all relatively minor. There were many standout moments.The tribute shot to The Longest Yard was certainly one. Obi-Wan, forcing himself to his feet and igniting his lightsaber, as if he's about to make a last stand...? Incredible, subtle shot. The fortress wall reminded me of the Battle of Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings from reverse. Nice to see Waxer and Boil (from Innocents on Ryloth) show up in the episode, along with Commander Jet who appeared in Ambush. We're getting to know clones beyond Rex and Cody, which is a very good direction.

Season 2 has been exceptional so far. Landing on Point Rain is a bursting, cinematic episode that pays tribute to great war films. It's also a sterling example of what The Clone Wars should be: a series about war.

Rating (out of five): **** 3/4


James said...

It's part two of senate spy because Padme found a new Droid Factory on Geonosis so they use that infromation to go destroy it.

CloneWarsFan said...

Ah! That makes sense!

Dave said...

Great episode.

Should Jedi really be taking pride in killing/defeating enemies? It feels very morally dubious.

Rose said...

Ah, this episode was MY FAVORITE. This is how Star Wars is SUPPOSED to be. Not like Senate Spy...*yawn*

Anyways, I loved the part, too, about Obi-Wan standing with his lightsaber as if it's his last stand. Of course, if it had been a character that wasn't in Revenge of the Sith, it would have been even better. Then you wouln't know if he lived or died, ya know?

Ki-Adi-Mundi, for me, was sorta like Yoda (and all the other Jedi that have been in this show, for that matter, as you said) and didn't really stand out. Ahsoka's character stood out, even as a new character in the first season, because of her personality specifics, if you know what I mean. She's just a mini Anakin. As author Karen Miller put it, "Obi-Wan and Anakin are cut from the same material. That that Padawan of his - she's cut from the scraps!" Heh heh...

Good review, but I'd give it five stars, not 4 and 3/4.