Saturday, June 12, 2010

Season 2, Episodes 21, 22, and 23 - The "Fett Trilogy"

Okay everyone. My apologies. I've had quite a bit going on, what with my recent engagement, my wedding approaching quickly, and having two plays going on in New York City last month. (More hints at the identity of CloneWarsFan...) It's been a fine time, but I've neglected you good people.

Instead of trying to write up three separate posts and continuing to delay, I'm going to review all three of the final episodes of Season 2 at once, as they comprise a "trilogy arc" much like Malevolence or the Mandalorian episodes did.

The three episodes in question (Lethal Trackdown, R2 Come Home and Death Trap) give fans of the prequel trilogy a payoff that they've been waiting for since 2002. We finally see young Boba Fett attempt to enact revenge on Mace Windu as it was foreshadowed in Attack of the Clones.

Excellent material and especially for so iconic a character. Boba Fett's spirit has been throughout this season, as Bounty Hunters and Mandalorians have been hanging from the ceilings and stealing Holocrons throughout. Still, though, I can't say I found these episodes to be the series strongest. Primarily because Fett gets a bit of the Anakin Skywalker treatment, and it's treatment that doesn't fit quite as well. If you'll allow me to explain...

In these episodes, we see a distraught kid who has fallen in with a group of assassins because he believes its the only way to avenge his father's death. That's perfectly fine. This kid is, while occasionally showing flashes of rage and darkness, primarily a good kid who is confused and feels bad about what he's doing. That, shall we say, is not what is exciting about Boba Fett. It might be a logical extension of the story, but it's not, maybe, the most thrilling way to re-introduce the galaxies most dangerous Bounty Hunter. Hell, when did you ever think you'd see Boba Fett...apologize?

It sort of reminds me of Transformers 2. Wait, wait, hear me out.

What is the best darn thing about the Transformers? Optimus Prime. What is one of the few really awesome things about these Transformers live action movies? How great Optimus Prime looks and that they use his original voice. So what happens in the nearly 3 hour Transformers 2? Optimus Prime [SPOILER ALERT] spends about 2 1/2 hours of the movie ... dead? Great. That's what I paid to see.

Same goes for Boba Fett. I think his childhood is a perfectly reasonable subject to explore. But why spend nearly half of our time with him watching him fret? His moments of verve and cool calculation are what we want to see. Why deny us that pleasure in an effort to add not-so-necessary complexity?

That isn't to say that there isn't some really strong animation and worthy moments within these episodes. The first, Deathtrap, shows Boba infiltrating the Republic Fleet in a way that is almost too perfect: he walks right in as a clone. It's solid set up for the next episode.

The strongest, in grand Star Wars tradition, is the middle chapter. R2 Come Home not only has some wonderful sweeping visuals - the crashed Star Destroyer is quite a sight - but it's an homage to, of all things, Lassie. It's explosive, inventive, and excels at staging a patented "daring escape."

The final episode, which brings us full circle for the season, is called Lethal Trackdown. It's essentially a sort of police procedural, headed up by Ahsoka Tano and Plo Koon. It's a bit of a pedestrian affair, and neither Plo Koon nor Ahsoka have really matured much as characters, but it was well-written and staged just the same.

The final moments, featuring the aforementioned apology and also a threat, seem to bring us back where we started. It's also sort of a non-cliffhanger. We don't know what's going to happen next exactly... but we do know where this is all headed, so it's not a nail biter.

While, as you can tell, I didn't feel like Season 2's final episodes were as fantastic as the strongest episodes of this season... I can say without a doubt that the season as a whole was breathtaking new Star Wars. If the Fett Trilogy wasn't as canonical as I'd hoped, it certainly showed that the standards I have are increasing. Some episodes of the series are so strong that average episodes stick out a bit more.

Overall, I'd say that Deathtrap was an average ** 1/2, RS Come Home as *** 1/2 and Lethal Trackdown was basically somewhere in between or ***. So...

Rating (out of five): ***


Rose said...

Hi, it's me again.

For me, R2 Come Home was an awesome episode. Again, it showed that the Jedi AREN'T invulnerable, just as Landing at Point Rain and Jedi Crash showed us. The Boba Fett trilogy was awesome, but I think they could've had a stronger season finale. C'mon, really-FINALE should dictate and epic ending.
I'm getting the Clone Wars DVD too, as soon as I get the 1st season. Uh...yeah, I'm pretty much broke. ;D

clump said...

I also really liked R2 Come Home and consider it as one of the best episode of the series. Bobba is fine in my eyes and I think this was not the last time we saw him. But you are right, the finale should have been more epic.