Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Season 3, Episode 4 - Sphere of Influence

Sphere of Influence is a fun, zippy, but ultimately minor episode of the series with one distracting-and-delightful detail: it stars the George Lucas clan. Chairman (wasn't that Baron?) Papanoida (get it?) is, in fact, modeled after Lucas himself. To see him and other characters modeled after his own family running around solving a mystery and firing laser guns is...well... a hoot.

Luckily, as the sight gag is apparent in every frame, the episode is not played for laughs. A kidnapping tale, Sphere of Influence is excellent for what it is, even if it never quite soars. In keeping with the Season 3 theme, this episode returns to one of the few new characters not instantly shot: Senator Riyo Chuchi from Trespass (one of my favorites).

It also checks in on young Greedo. Yes, indeed, Greedo. And takes us to the Mos Eisley Cantina. To see George Lucas and family in the Mos Eisley Cantina in a firefight with Greedo? C'mon people. It's like a love letter to nerds.

That's why, really, it's a minor miracle that the intrigue of the episode plays out relatively smoothly. I can't say that I thought it was all that memorable - the story was standard fare - but I enjoyed it while it lasted. Also, the politics seemed to work well in the story, as opposed to being a story about the fact that there were political issues.

One little nitpick: doesn't Greedo speak Huttese? What's with all these prequel era characters speaking basic? Did I miss a meeting?

Rating (out of five): ***

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think they did that since the show doesn't do subtitles for alien languages, although it's a bit odd as to why.