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TCW Episode CW Grade the Episode: S05E03: Front Runners

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Oct 17, 2012.


How would you grade this episode?

  1. 10/10

  2. 9/10

  3. 8/10

  4. 7/10

  5. 6/10

  6. 5/10

  7. 4/10

  8. 3/10

  9. 2/10

    0 vote(s)
  10. 1/10

  1. Seerow

    Seerow Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2011
    You guys know the drill.

    Poll results are available by clicking on the number of votes next to each score.

    That being said, we'd still prefer you to post with your score and what you liked and disliked.
  2. Deputy Rick Grimes

    Deputy Rick Grimes Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 3, 2012
    10 for 10 for this episode
  3. Dark Lord Tarkas

    Dark Lord Tarkas Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2011
  4. 07jonesj

    07jonesj Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 16, 2010
    I actually enjoyed this episode a little more than the last. The city of Iziz is frankly incredible. Obviously inspired by Ancient Rome, I just love being able to rewatch this episode completely focusing on the background - something the films have always done very well.

    I got an "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood" vibe from this episode, my favourite in the series. For those who don't know, you play in Ancient Rome, saving allies from the enemy (in this case, the Borgia) and having them join your cause. You then hit key targets of the city, while also getting the people on your side. Pretty much exactly this episode, and I have to wonder if they were actually inspired by the game.

    The Ahsoka/Lux/Steela/Saw (square?) was a little more subtle this episode, which I appreciated. Though having the episode end on the sibling revelation was a little odd, considering they had the same surname - I just assumed they were siblings in the first episode.

    Liked the callbacks to the training they did in the first part, gives that episode more meaning. Love that Ahsoka may be getting closer to discovering Anakin and Padme's relationship, and the irony is delicious (Anakin being the one to tell Ahsoka to maintain focus. Ha.).

    Also - the reveal of that badass looking droid - yep, I can't wait to see him in action. He appears to be voiced by the actor who plays Clank in the "Ratchet & Clank" series, so it'll be interesting to see him play another "droid", albeit a menacing one.

    My thoughts will be more clear once the arc is over and I can watch it as an 88-minute film of sorts, but I was satisfied by the end of this episode, and it felt like way less than 22 minutes had passed.

    EDIT: Doh. I forgot to add my score. 7.5 which I've rounded to an 8. A solid episode. Not terrible but not great like the premiere was.
    AkashKedavra_93 likes this.
  5. Darth_Zandalor

    Darth_Zandalor Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 2, 2009
    3/10. More pointless filler that not only wastes our time, but insults our intelligence, and doesn't even make sense on its own.
  6. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 23, 2003
    Very good episode, certainly a step up from last week. Very thrilling episode, lots of intense action scenes. I really liked that we got to see so many different attacks by the rebels, makes it feel like an ongoing problem for the CIS on Onderon, and not just a minor insurgency.

    Its biggest flaw, and the Onderon story as a whole thus far, is that the world, characters and story lack a certain depth.

  7. LordMortis315

    LordMortis315 Jedi Knight star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    I really don't have a lot to say about this episode. Probably 'cause I'm not as invested in the Onderon story as I am in, say, the Darth Maul one.

    That being said, I did enjoy this episode. I liked seeing the rebels taking out droidekas and tanks like they were taught in the last episode; they really got to shine with Anakin, Obi-Wan and Rex away and Ahsoka being reduced to support duty. Also, less focus was on the "love triangle/rectangle/whatever" in this episode, for better or worse.

    8/10. Not the best, but enjoyable. Certainly moreso than the first six episodes of last season.

    As a side note: I am totally geeking out at the fact that Kirk Thornton is voicing the main villain of this arc! :D
  8. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    I find it interesting that you mention Brotherhood, since having just recently played it again, I had similar thoughts comparing the episode to it. However, in my case, I found the episode severely lacking when viewed side-by-side. Maybe I've been spoiled by seeing the premise done so recently, in a way that was just much more intelligent and excellent overall, but Front Runners just really came up short.

    Instead of the thoughtful discourse on the social and political state of Rome between Machiavelli and Ezio, we had Steela and Lux who can't seem to understand or relate to their own people in the slightest. Minus 1. Instead of the wisdom of experienced Assassins to guide along the revolution, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Rex were rushed offworld, and Ahsoka was forced to keep her mouth shut in order to allow the dim-witted rebel trio to spout ill-thought and asinine social assessments. Minus 1. The witty banter of Bartolomeo was exchanged for grating cliches between the siblings, quick-witted snark of La Volpe and Machiavelli was replaced by bumbling droid "humor", and the methodical strikes at Cesare's infrastructure were practically laughed at by the poorly-planned attack on the power station. Minus 1. And instead of Ezio's care to aid the citizenry any and everywhere he could, considerate of ensuring the people they sought to help were never harmed, the Rebels Three have no such compunctions about their fellow Onderonians. Minus 1.

    This is the type of episode that sounds excellent as a synopsis, with the dialogue and the details removed. If I read about it on Wookieepedia instead of watching the episode itself, it probably would have seemed thrilling, and it's the action alone that saves this episode from being abysmal. Not the battle scenes, themselves, though they were admittedly enjoyable to watch, but the actions of the characters. If they weren't explaining everything in the most wrong of terms, and discussing issues that don't make sense or simply don't exist, this might have been a very different episode, indeed, as the hit-and-run tactics and destabilizing the droids' power base ideas were solid in concept if not execution. As it is, 6 out of 10 is my generous rating.
  9. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 23, 2003
    "I really don't have a lot to say about this episode. Probably 'cause I'm not as invested in the Onderon story as I am in, say, the Darth Maul one."

    Thats my feeling as well. This and the other arcs that are coming before the return of Darth Maul feel so small scale and bland in comparison.
    LadyTila and LordMortis315 like this.
  10. LadyTila

    LadyTila Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 13, 2010
    I agree with both lines.But I would add this Onderon arc is so borring.Steela and Saw are little annoying to me as well.There isnt much that hold this story besides the fact that its happening on Onderon/Isis.This story lacks something to make it intresting.
  11. Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan

    Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 3, 2012

    Dear Tarkas, don't try to find logic. He is one of those fans that grades every episode a 100000/10 just cause it is Star Wars or The Clone Wars.

    I still fathom this kind of fandom. But to each his own...
  12. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002

    This is one of those episodes that gets more irritating over time, after I think about it.

    Starts off not bad, but too many TCW tropes we've seen so many times before.

    The biggest thing for me was the appalling ineptitude of the battle droids. Just ridic.
  13. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008

    Too little development happened, too much of a focus on the love whatever. Still, Iziz looks fantastic and I like the usurper King.
  14. Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan

    Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 3, 2012

    Too much focus on the same repetative things and not the Onderon awesome history....

    The way they treat the CIS army makes me sad almost...
  15. Orrelios

    Orrelios Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 21, 2005
    It was a step-up from the previous episode; I liked how it didn't take place in daylight and how it played out. As I said in the episode discussion thread, I liked how the rebels had to do their best on their own (with only Ahsoka as help) as well as the proper introduction of the Separatist-aligned king Rash and his assistant advisor with the thin moustache (the name of the character escapes me at the moment); I also liked how there was a bit less love story stuff than in the previous episode but I hope they won't go overboard with the battle droid humor and the design of the city felt a little bland; it made me think of Theed. Overall, I was entertained by the episode and eagerly awaits the follow-up. 8/10
  16. DavidIX

    DavidIX Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 3, 2012

    One point for visual effects
    One point for Design of the city
    One point for being Star Wars

    That's all this arc has going for it at the moment.
    GeneralCIS likes this.
  17. Seerow

    Seerow Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2011
    I'm going to cast a 7/10.

    I went with 8 at first because I did enjoy the campier aspects of the episode but that's not something that should earn a higher grade this time. I remain disappointing by the way this episode at the beginning seems to build toward a more complex struggle with the rebel's having to earn the trust of the citizens and instead went the route of blowing up the power station and everyone just being cool with that. I feel the focus of the episode is off and the character driven plot its trying to go for is misplaced. However I liked the look of Iziz, the episode had some good action sequences, and I also continue to enjoy Lux. I am also starting to develop a soft spot for Saw.
    darth fluffy likes this.
  18. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 2003
    Its called tension.:p

    I gave it a 4.
    Garth Maul likes this.
  19. AkashKedavra_93

    AkashKedavra_93 Moderator Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 8, 2011

    +The opening sequence of random attacks on the droids was excellent
    +Iziz still looks gorgeous
    +The attack on the power generator was beautifully animated and generally well-planned
    +Steela is growing on me as a character
    +King Sanjay is intriguing
    +Okalin has a great design I must say
    +Anakin/Ahsoka interactions

    -I like Padmé and Lux, but they honestly expect me to believe that these two can take down commando droids? Right...
    -"Yeah! Free Onderon! You destroyed a poer generator! Woo-hoo!"
    -The scene between Sanjay and Dendup felt contrived
    -Rash and Dendup? ****ing kidding me? Really?
    -Still a lack of explanation on Onderonian politics two episodes in

    A disappointment compared to its predecessor
  20. Seerow

    Seerow Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2011
    Oh whoops, forgot to mention how awesome Rash's voice is, but that doesn't change my scoring.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  21. 07jonesj

    07jonesj Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 16, 2010
    Everything you've said is certainly true. I don't know if we can put that down to the 22-minute time frame, as this is a 4-part arc - they've got 88 minutes to play with.

    I suppose you hit the biggest issue with this episode: the characters just aren't intelligent. The Onderonian Rebels seem to be mindlessly gung-ho, and Obi-Wan's comparison to terrorists is not an unfair one. The episode touched upon requiring the people's help, but that was brushed over to be replaced with "kill all the droids!".

    The closest we've had to "Brotherhood-esque" dialogue was between Anakin and Obi-Wan last episode, partially mirroring Ezio's want to help the people help themselves, and Machiavelli's mistrust of the people's will, believing them to be too fickle to be reliable. But by the end of last episode, Obi-Wan was just fine with it - a big missed opportunity.

    To top it off, we have a character who would fit the role of caring for the people perfectly: Lux Bonteri. As last episode so keenly stated, Lux is not a soldier, he's a politician. I know this episode very lightly touched on this with Lux wanting to help the people and Saw wanting to kill things, but it was two lines of dialogue. The entire episode should have been focused on the Rebels' efforts and the effects it had on the general populace.

    Again, last episode stated that Onderon joined the CIS willingly. Are the people happy with the new king? They... cheer when the Rebels blow stuff up so I guess they aren't? But we don't know, not really.

    To conclude this semi-wall of text, our characters aren't explored in any meaningful way. Like Bartholomeo, Saw is the gung-ho member of the group, but Bartholomeo was like that because he felt he needed to be the unmoving pillar of the group. Even when he knew he was losing, he would stubbornly hold his ground, and proclaim that everything was well. And, as you mention, he was fairly amusing, with his sword Bianca.

    We had an Ezio/Machiavelli relationship of sorts with Anakin and Obi-Wan but it was resolved within 20 minutes, a very disappointing resolution, and only touched on the surface of the issue, by saying the word "terrorist", the script thought that was enough to convey the ramifications of what could happen with the people armed in such a way. It wasn't.

    We have no Cesare. We know next to nothing about the King (I don't even know his name, he leaves that little of an impression), and so he isn't a threat. Maybe this super tactical droid will provide genuine tension.

    As I said, I enjoyed this episode. It was mindless, but as a 22-minute short, still enjoyable. I might find watching the whole arc is much more difficult. It's not anywhere near the depth of Brotherhood, and I have to wonder if it was "dumbed-down" for a younger audience, or whether the writers actually thought that this went into enough depth on the issues.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  22. Darth_Foo

    Darth_Foo Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2003

    Because I'm on my lunch break I'm going to copy and paste my small review from the discussion thread. Only thing I can add is that I wish we could've seen some negative outcomes of blowing up a power station on such a technological society. I don't care whos in charge here in RL, if a group took out our electricity to do damage to the ruling government, citizens would be...miffed to put it mildly. You don't win the hearts and minds of the people by denying power to them:

    Super awesome animation but gosh...a handful of Rebels take out whole squads of droids then two people destroy at least 6 commando droids!? If only Anakin was there he could've said "all too easy" :rolleyes:.

    I propose a new drinking game....every time a character states something that was already stated no more than four sentences before hand, drink.

    "Destroyers! We have to take them out!!!"
    two edits later- "If we don't get those destroyers we're all done for!"

    "Let's hope the send a tank!"
    "Theres our tank!!"
  23. Dark Lord Tarkas

    Dark Lord Tarkas Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2011
    I will watch this one more time to help me decide between 5 and 6. Leaning heavily towards 5 at the moment.
  24. Orrelios

    Orrelios Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 21, 2005
    Just wanted to add that I do like the design of the city (don't know what I was thinking about above passing it off as bland), but I admit that sometimes it did remind me of Theed on Naboo like I pointed out above. In the preview of the next episode it does look better so I think it's one of those Star Wars locations that works the best in daylight.
  25. Paparazzo

    Paparazzo Jedi Master star 2

    Jan 31, 2011
    7/10 for this one. It's a nice set-up for the arc (much better than that in the first episode of the arc), and it managed to put a lot of action into it. I really like Steela.