TCW Season 2 Retrospective Thread (np: S02E20-22 The Boba Fett Trilogy)

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Garth Maul, May 11, 2010.

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  1. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Let's use this thread as the *official* thread for our look back at Season 2 of The Clone Wars.

    How was it different from Season 1? What was improved? Were any mistakes made?

    Here's IGN's review of Season 2 to get things started, and look back to this shot, wow that seems like a long time ago!

    <img src="http://tvmedia.ign.com/tv/image/article/108/1088703/star-wars-the-clone-wars-season-2-20100510063746461-000.jpg">


    After an inconsistent first year -- but one clearly moving along an increasingly strong track -- Season 2 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars found the series more focused and consistently delivering clever and entertaining episodes.

    The season was subtitled Rise of the Bounty Hunters in promotional materials, though that title was a bit misleading. Yes, bounty hunters figured into several episodes and plotlines, but there was no through-line involving them and the majority of episodes this season didn't include bounty hunters at all. But put aside the over-zealous promotion and there was plenty to love this year.

    The season began with three episodes making extensive use of Cad Bane, the super cool bounty hunter introduced at the end of Season 1. Bane continued to be a cold, calculating and compelling villain and was involved in an especially clever battle sequence in "Cargo of Doom", where the gravity was turned off inside a ship, even while Anakin, Ahsoka, Bane and their Clones and Droids fought on.

    It was a bit surprising that Bane, after those first three episodes, wouldn't be seen again this season. But George Lucas, Dave Filoni and their collaborators seemed to be very intent on expanding The Clone Wars world this year, and few villains would be used in more than one story arc. Meanwhile, the main villains from Season 1 ? Count Dooku, General Grievous and Asajj Ventress ? either barely appeared or in Ventress' case, weren't seen at all. However, Grievous' big spotlight episode was a standout, as "Grievous Intrigue" managed to make the character into a far more formidable and dangerous villain than we'd seen previously.

    <img src="http://tvmedia.ign.com/tv/image/article/108/1088703/star-wars-the-clone-wars-season-2-20100510063745305-000.jpg">

    The highlight of the season was the four part Geonosis storyline, beginning with the wall-to-wall jaw-dropping battles of "Landing at Point Rain." Want to see lightsabers, flame throwers, explosions and death in Star Wars and proof that these wars were, well, WARS? Look no further than this episode. The introduction of zombie-fied enemies as this story arc progressed was a striking and dark turn for the show, delving far into horror movie terrain. It was all capped off by my favorite episode of the season, "Brain Invaders," which juggled a lot of elements extremely well, including Ahsoka's attempt to stop a possessed Barriss and our first real hint at Anakin's dark future, as he uses the Force to torture a prisoner ? the use of "The Imperial March" in this scene was perfect.

    We got an increasingly varied look at how different elements would respond in a time of war as the season progressed. "The Deserter" told the intriguing story of a Clone Trooper who decided he wanted no part of the war, even if he was supposedly bred to fight in it, while the three-part Mandalore storyline let us know that not every planet had sided with the Republic or Separatists and that some wanted to remain completely out of the conflict.

    That Mandalore plotline was one of two story arcs this season that delved into elements connected to the iconic Boba Fett. There were some really cool moments in "The Mandalore Plot", as we got to see several Mandalorian "Death Watch" members, dressed in that awesome armor, battling Obi-Wan. But it must be said that the strongest episode of this trilogy, "Voyage of Temptation", didn't prominently involve the Death Watch at all, but rather had some of the show's best character moments for Obi-Wan, as we learned more about his past and Satine, the woman he almost gave up his life as a Jedi
  2. rumblewagon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2004
    star 4
    Great stills!
    I'm glad to see IGN agreeing with me that Landing on Point Rain, Brain Invaders, and Grievous Intrigue are some of the best episodes of the season.
  3. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    Overall, I think season 2 was an improvement of season 1. They toned down on the things that seem to bug fans the most, like Jar-Jar and droid humor. There some really classic episodes as well like Grievous Intrigue and Landing at Point Rain, but there was also some average to below average episodes as well, like Senate Spy, Senate Murders, and Cat and Mouse. Hopefully season 3 takes another step forward by cutting down the timeline jumps, and having a consistent recurring theme.

    Season 2 "Awards"

    Best main Character-Obi-Wan Kenobi
    Best new Character-Tera Sinube and Satine
    Best Episode-Grievous Intrigue
    Best Visual-Battle of Geonosis

    Great season, can't wait till the fall.=D=
  4. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Overall, I think it's a pretty accurate assessment of Season 2.

    I'll do up a longer commentary later, but overall I'd say that I like the fact that it got a bit darker, not dark enough in some ways (Obi-Wan really should have de-armed or decapitated at least one of the Mandos he was fighting, but oh well).

    There was less overt humor overall, but though there was far less slapstick, each episode had at least one or two pretty decent lines, with some great lines. Lines that were snappy and felt very "Star Warsy" to me, more in line with the back-and-forth dialogue of the OT.


    It's obvious to me that as the writers and animators began to develop their craft, they began to see the different types of episodes and a wider scope than I think they first envisioned.

    Remember, they had already been working on Season 2 before Season 1 even aired, so many of our criticisms from S1 had already been addressed by the TCW staff.

    However (and I can see the hand of Lucas in here), the breadth got out of hand after a while and I think the series lost momentum.

    I would say that even though the first 10 episodes might not all have been linked chronologically (except the Bane arc and the Geonosis arc internally), they all dealt with the Clone Wars and these episodes felt exciting and purposeful.

    In the 2nd half of the season, with the exception of maybe the Mando arc, the episodes were all over the place, with overt homages to classic films. To me, there was a real lack of driving the plot forward.

    I thought they could have done so much more with the Boba Fett trilogy; though Lethal Trackdown was pretty great, if you think about it, they could have started the Fett trilogy with that episode and you wouldn't have lost anything from the 2 previous episodes.

    Even the Mando arc, though it was awesome because it focused on Obi-Wan, the Mandos and an unexpected love interest for Kenobi, was really focused on the personal stories and generally didn't involve the Clone Wars (though I realize Satine and the Senate was particularly well done).

    And after a while, as I and others have commented on several occasions, the lack of Sidious, Dooku, Ventress and Grievous (not to mention Yoda!!) weighed on the series, and made it less "galactic" in nature, IMHO. You get a sense of the scope and importance of the Clone Wars when characters like Dooku and Yoda are involved.

    I know Dave Filoni warned us that Season 2 involved chronology jumping and a more "serialized" approach, but I'm not convinced that's best for the series.


    In the end, was the 2nd half of Season 2 a drop in quality, or simply not what I was expecting? Judging by IGN's comments, they seem to agree that most of the best episodes were in the first half.
  5. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    Well, I do agree it was definitely an improvement over the first season, especially in the animation department.

    That said, however, I felt this season relied too heavily on adapting the plots of other films and series, rather than coming up with something we hadn't already seen.

    Also, there really needs some more centralized storytelling here. With all of these homages and adaptations, it is becoming really hard to tell just how the timeline moves. Sure, these boards have it figured out, but the average viewer is going to get lost.

    And finally, get rid of Kiner. We need some proper Star Warsian music, not this generic stuff that has been causing my ears to bleed.

    This may sound harsh, but I really do like this show. Its just the small nitpicky things that bother me. It wouldn't be such a problem if Star Wars had not turned me into the extremely nitpicky person I am today.

  6. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I liked Senate Murders and Senate Spy for what they were. I understand that George wants to give some spotlight to the senators such as Padme and Bail. However, I think that confining their stories on Coruscant as they did Senate Murders, and focusing too heavily on political subterfuge as both Senate episodes did is already getting old.

    I for one don't mind seeing Bail or Padme show up from time to time. However, I'd rather them show up in a capacity that would have them picking up a blaster, or otherwise be put into a situation in which they are out of their element, rather than seeing them spy on the Banking Clan (when the audience already knows they are bad), or playing detective.

    I'm also rather sick of seeing episodes that tie into the events of the TCW film like Cat and Mouse which I definitely felt was one of the weakest episodes this season. There is no reason why the whole plot involving a stealth ship and Admiral Trench couldn't have come later in the chronology. TCW already has its hands partially tied in the fact that it serves as a prequel to ROTS, which shows us which of the characters absolutely must survive the events of TCW. However, when you then go back and make an episode like Cat and Mouse, knowing before hand that Christophsis ends in a victory for the Republic, then that really just makes for a non-suspenseful episode.

    I also think they moved a bit too far away from the actual war this season. Grievous hardly showed up, and Ventress didn't at all.
  7. TheMacUnleashed Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2009
    star 4
    Retrospective? Sure!

    "I remember back when Star Wars wasn't animated. We had real people! And they were all Jedi or Sith or bounty hunters or rebels. What are these 'Mandalorians' you speak of? We didn't have no Mandalorians! No siree, not when I was a kid. And we didn't have planets of lava either. All of the planets were forest or desert or snow. I liked it better than."

    And, in other news:
    -Animation improved a lot, although I still think they could do better on the hair.
    -Barriss was a likable character, and I hope that at some point we can see her apart from Ahsoka, and doing some healing.
    -Satine made for a good new addition to the cast. Hope we see her again!

    IGN's summary was a good assessment, I think.
  8. fistofan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    I hope we see Bariss working with Luminara Unduli. I really like Luminara's character in the show.
  9. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I don't mind most of Kevin Kiner's score, but I really have no idea why they don't use the main SW themes more often!
  10. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    I agree with you. I liked both for what they were. Although, if we need to have Padmé and other senators as focus, let it be that way. It's much more plausible than Padmé getting in (searching for) trouble, as we've seen on Bombad Jedi. (which was not a bad episode overall)
  11. XCell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    I don't have a problem with the music, I guess they just want something different instead of always having John Williams. But I think the music got better in season 2. It'd be cool if every main character got their own theme that played during an important defining moment (e.g. Boba's sad song).

    As for season 2 itself.. I think it was an improvement. But I think they got carried away with being able to make new models and characters sometimes (anyone notice the many new female villains that appeared in season 2? Cato, Cassie, Ione, Sugi, the Kaminoan senator, Aurra.. and yet, no Ventress :p).

    Anyway, I guess I feel this is what season 1 should've been. Season 2 should've been the 'starting out' phase. Like OK, we saw what works and what doesn't, so let's take it further and make next season a really great improvement.

    I do feel like a lot has been a waste. Take the best episodes of 1 and the best of 2, maybe put them in more of a chronological order, and that could've been a decent first season.. Why is Lucas insisting on 100 episodes again?
  12. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Well, to be fair, if you just watched the first season of The Simpsons, you never would have guessed it would be as brilliant and far-reaching as it turned out to be.

    The most difficult thing in TV is to survive the first season without being cancelled. Rarely does a show come out firing from the get-go. And of course, with consumer and network exec attention spans being at an all-time low, it's easier not to invest 2-3 years in a show to see if it can be truly successful.
  13. XCell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    ^Yeah but, The Simpsons was this one contained show just starting from out from nothing. It didn't have a bunch of existing story material and background that's been around for decades. I feel like a SW fan would be able to see what's been done a billion times and skip it to come up more original, interesting stuff.

    It really feels like, with some episodes, they're just filling up space to reach that 100 episode goal.

    But to be fair, I feel like I should mention some of the positives of this season. Let's see now..

    -Satine.
    -Mundi's line 'What do I win?'
    -Seeing more Jedi and more of the Temple.
    -Jedi group-meditation and mind-torture.
    -Ahsoka bumping her head while hanging on to that bug.
    -Ahsoka getting electrocuted.
    -The clone cadets.
    -Orn Free Taa.
    -Brainworm Barriss.
    -Seeing the puny guy in the robot.
    -Seeing Mon Mothma.
    -Animation improvements.
    -Cubism style of Mandalore scenery.
    -Adi Gallia.
    -Obi-Wan's scene of weariness in Point Rain.
    -Mace being an animal activist.
    -Cut and his army-abandone story.
    -The Plo/Ahsoka club scene.
    -Hondo and Aurra being exes.
    -Anakin and Padme's 'I Love Lucy' rivalry.
    -Sinube's voice, slowness, Mystic/Labyrinth-likeness, and canesaber.
    -Young Boba's inner struggle.
    -Sugi.
    -Tal Merrik.
    -Seeing Jedi younglings.
    -Hearing a mention of Qui-Gon.

    .. And I'll just end it there.[face_coffee]
  14. Armchair_Admiral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 4
    Overall, I was pleased with Season 2 even if it could have used more Clone Wars in it.
  15. koonfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2008
    star 4
    Nice and fairly optimistic assessment. I agree with it.

    Really liked season 2, improved in a lot of areas. It just needs to build up momentum and iron out the flaws. XD
  16. fanboyskywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 4
    I really want to get into this but it's too frustrating at the moment.

    I would say that storywise season two hit more highs and lows whereas season one the show was still figuring itself out and had a lot more middle of the road episodes... nothing really terrible, but not that many truly great ones, either.

    Season two had a few outstanding episodes, but had some that just fell woofully short.

    The animation improved leaps and bounds, but without a good story who cares?
  17. Redfivee Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2008
    star 2
    I think the improvements were first and foremost the amount of characters we got.Ki-Adi Mundi,Mon Mothma,Barris Ofee,Eeth Koth,Adi Gallia,Jocasta Nu,Bossk and Boba Fett were first timers in S2.Plus new characters like The Dutchess Satine,Tera Sinube and even The Zillo Beast are ones we won't ever forget.
    The animation was a major improvement and the new environments like Mandalore and Malastare were great to see....NOW BRING ON SEASON 3.
  18. fanboyskywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 4
    I think one of the things about season two is they just kept letting little things and a badly written scene or plot point here or there get out of hand so that it bogged everything down.

    Also, there were far too many rip offs, as opposed to homages, where they directly lifted a scene from something else so that it felt like they just changed the characters name in the script to say Anakin Skywalker... rather than have the TCW scene feel inspired by said original source, the way the movies always felt.
  19. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    How do the Lucas-haters reconcile themselves with the fact that the show has gotten better with more involvement by Lucas? :D
  20. Gry Sarth Ex 2x Banhammer Wielding Besalisk Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 5
    They say it's gotten better in spite of Lucas' increased involvement.
  21. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Lucas has always had some great ideas, but his execution of those ideas can sometimes be less than stellar.

    We don't know how much day-to-day influence he has over the TCW process; we know for a fact that he pitches stories and Filoni & crew base the episodes on those stories.


    With respect to plot holes/inconsistencies, has anyone done a direct S1 to S2 comparison?
  22. Gry Sarth Ex 2x Banhammer Wielding Besalisk Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 5
    Season 2 was nowhere as bad as season 1 as far as plot holes and inconsistencies go. In S2 only two episodes really aggravated me in this matter: Senate Spy and R2 Come Home. In S1 it was every other episode.
  23. fistofan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    My thoughts exactly. Take TPM for example. Do I think a clumsy, awkward character that rises up to the challenge is a good idea? Yes. Do I like the fact that he created Jar Jar Binks for this role? No.

    The same goes for the series. Do I like the idea of Dooku being captured and able to interact with the heroes? Yes. Do I like that he was captured by a band of drubken pirates and hung out with Anikin and Obi-Wan, which takes the intensity away from the opening ROTS scenes? No. [face_frustrated]
  24. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    But that's what Jar Jar is. How can you agree with a clumsy and awkward character rising up to the challenge, and not agree with his creation of Jar Jar? Anyway, glad that George came in and brought the idea for LaPR.
  25. Gry Sarth Ex 2x Banhammer Wielding Besalisk Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 5
    But that's exactly the point. Jar Jar may work in concept, but the execution was flawed. George Lucas sometimes have good ideas, but the execution of them is occasionally very problematic.
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