TCW Episode The Clone Wars - 5.13 - Point of No Return - discussion thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

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    Voyager runs five days of the week on Space (Canada's SyFy), along with TNG and TOS in a three hour block. Spike tried to syndicate the shows, but it didn't work out due to a lack of interest. If you are stuck behind a barrier for entry (such as a long multi episode arc), then viewership goes down. The other Star Trek series avoid this by being self contained, individual stories that can be easily put up without needing to coach people on the character's backstories or the overall setting.
  2. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    Yes I've seen the Plinkett reviews, they are good fun and have more to say about Star Wars fandom than anything else.

    Traditional children's stories have incest, infanticide, genocide, murder, suicide, kidnap, cannibalism, poison, torture, bloody battles, etc, etc, etc. TCW is less gruesome than the average Brothers Grimm fairy tale, so I think you're using a particularly narrow definition of children's stories if it excludes the kinds of themes you mention.

    You don't see DS9 repeated/syndicated as often as Babylon 5, which is a very similar show with season/series-long arcs. Doctor Who is repeated endlessly and that has 4-parters, 6 and 7 parters, it even has 10+ parters and season-long arcs. More recently it's started using series-long arcs and those are the episodes most commonly repeated. Maybe DS9 just isn't as popular or iconic (or as valuable to advertisers) as these shows. They're also live action, aimed at different age ranges, etc. Another Trek show you rarely see repeated is The Animated Series. ;)

    These are all family shows, but in terms of genre and target audience TCW is not trying to be a hard science fiction soap opera set on a drab space station, it's about big explosions, lightsaber fights, a celebration of cheesy cliché and selling toys. DS9 is slow and dull to look at for younger children, it lacks a narrated reprise/prologue for newcomers and the hard of thinking, and it's written in a far more cerebral way (Plinkett is fond of that term too).
  3. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

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    Well if there's a lesson to be learned from Enterprise, it's that long story arcs can hurt a series. It worked well for DS9, and I never really got into Voyager, but from what I hear, that got better towards the end when there were longer arcs.

    But Enterprise I feel went a passable first season, picked up steam in the second, tried to imitate the Dominion War in Season 3 and failed miserably - when I've spoken to other people that like Enterprise the consensus seems to be that S3 was definitely the worst. Then I felt it was finding its footing again in S4 though was also canceled that same season with a miserable series finale that felt like it was slapped together in a day. I felt the very episodic nature of Enterprise was better than longer arcs. The subject matter of the Dominion War had enough material and topics to carry the arc across multiple seasons, and dealt with topics such as the extent to which morality can be thrown out the window if it means saving lives, Odo's relationship to the Founders, Cardassia's betrayal and rebellion, etc.

    The Xindi War tried to emulate that and the only good episode I felt was that with Sim, who was cloned to save Trip Tucker and the ethical questions of whether it would be acceptable to kill Sim, who would only live a matter of weeks anyway, to save Trip who would be able to stop the Xindi, with Archer willing to force Sim to lay down his life. I actually thought an episode of TCW could take a page from that episode (or the comparable ones with the Jem'Hadar that can't be persuaded to give up his bloodlust) when tackling the matter of Republic clones.

    But TCW, like Enterprise I feel lacks the depth to carry stories past two parters. Sometimes a three parter can work, but every 4 parter thus far has felt over stretched to me.

    Really, with a creative enough team, I see no reason that TCW can't be like DS9 and have underlying arcs that span an entire season(s) with maybe the occasional 1 episode side-track sprinkled throughout. But instead TCW focuses on random side adventures like with the YJ arc, and not only that, but stretches it into roughly a little more than 1/6 of the season.

    YJ had at least some stuff that I liked, but this past arc - aside from the explosion - there was really nothing I liked. And story-wise it was a failure from beginning to end IMO. In a show called "The Clone Wars" I don't see how the writers can be so out of ideas (though I guess the blame principally lays with Lucas) that they need to deviate for four episodes while Gascon and WAC explore the concept of nothingness, get a module that doesn't matter, find a clone that they ultimately manipulate into saving their lives, and then thwart a mission to blow up a station in which there is a Republic strategic conference...
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Jan 15, 2013
  4. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

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    Still, I'm not talking about content or target demographics, I'm talking about how long arcs can hurt long term survivability on the air. Especially when your arcs turn out like crap, such as this one. Who is going to tune in to watch a bunch of midgets trek across a desert for twenty minutes? Or watch an episode where the one interesting character gets blown off at the end, and nothing is learned?

    TCW is taking single episode plots, like The Magnificent Ferengi, and stretching them out to the length between Call to Arms and Sacrifice of Angels.
    Last edited by Darth_Zandalor, Jan 15, 2013
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  5. Seerow SWTV★Manager

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    Are you calling Venture Brothers, Family Guy, and Archer anime? Nothing is funny when its done poorly obvously. There are alot of people out there who seem to confuse random ass crackbaby humor with good slapstick which is what most seem to drink up these days. That's find, more power to them. I love Looney Tunes however I feel the that Chuch Jones, Friz Freleng style of humor is outdated since its just not dark enough and especially misplaced with TCW which has been getting progressively darker. The first episode of this arc completely wrecked the series' tone. I've always like Bob Clampett and Tex Avery better actually . That's in no way intended to be an insult to anyone. I agree TCW is not good at writing comedy which is what I said in my original post. For me TCW comes closer to the mark with social satire and slapstick similar to that in Rocko's Modern Life which was created by Joe Murray which IMO is an example of a funny cartoon that has aged very well.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
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  6. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

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    You were equating "outdated" looney tunes humor with shows you personally dislike and throwing up Family Guy, Archer and Venture Bros. as shows that the target demographic for TCW find "funny". And you've made your love of anime quite clear, almost to the point where I feel like you judge TCW against it rather than it's contemporaries because of your predisposed disgust of these kiddy shows on CN, Disney and Nick.
  7. Seerow SWTV★Manager

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    What shows have I said I personally dislike? Crackbaby shows? Those have no resemblance what so ever to classic Looney Tunes. Even The Looney Tunes show on CN has no resemblance to classic Looney Tunes other than characters. That humor is outdated to the point its not even used in a currently airing Looney Tunes show. That's because it isn't dark enough, random enough, and isn't what people are looking for across more than one age group. TCW's target demo is 6-11 year olds who are looking for stuff like Spongebob, Cartoon Network has even shifted there line up to deliver almost all stuff like that. I don't like those cartoons, but that's what people are looking for. Young adults (Adult Swim's crowd makes up CN's secondary audience) in the 18-25 are looking for Family Guy, Archer, and such. I'm pretty sure they also make up part of that audience. I occasionally compare ideas from my favorite animes with TCW however generally I'm on of the anime snobs who never compared anime to western cartoons so no.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
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  8. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

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    I just often wonder, because I never see you compare TCW to anything else.
  9. Seerow SWTV★Manager

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    Normally I compare TCW to action cartoons from the 90s like Batman: The Animate Series, Gargoyles, and yeah even the live Power Rangers which is usually intended to highlight how weak TCW can be. I've always felt like TCW is more like a campy 90s action cartoon wrapped in cool CGI.
  10. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

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    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    Ah, now that I can attest to. Roughnecks still portrays intergalactic war better than TCW. And it's CGI as well. Surprisingly good CGI for 1998.
  11. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

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    Stop, stop you're both depressing me by pointing out cartoons I'd rather watch. :p
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  12. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

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    I'll get you started.

    It even tries the whole "Straddle the demographics" thing that TCW has going.
  13. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    If TCW were not linked to the Star Wars name, and if all of the stories in it were adapted as closely to 100% as possible into an all new franchise, I don't think I'd like it. I give TCW a benefit because I have some familiarity to the characters and a knowledge of the universe, so even when the show is completely dropping the ball, instead of leaving like I would do if it were an original franchise that I had no prior knowledge of, I always give TCW the benefit of the doubt because I can see potential for the kinds of stories that could be told or ways that I hope the characters and plots could be developed.

    I'm not going to bash the series as a whole, because there are some episodes that I found thoroughly enjoyable. But I also know that if any other franchise dropped the ball as severely as TCW has this season, I'd probably be out. There are pockets of stuff I like: most of Season 1, scattered bits of Season 2, the last several arcs of Season 3, most of Season 4 - post droid episodes, and virtually none of Season 5 thus far. But if it weren't Star Wars, I'd probably have passed after poisoned tea. That was inexcusably bad. The show should have found its footing by now.

    I have some existing prejudice in that I long for an intelligent Star Wars show that tackles some subjects that a show like Star Trek wouldn't hesitate to. For instance I have been clamoring for a look into the ethical issues of a clone army for awhile now, but at this point I'm pretty much resolved that it's never going to happen in TCW, especially after the way they handled Gregor. I know people have told me that I have to look to the EU if I want to hit anything remotely like that. Part of me thinks I expect too much from a show on CN, but another part of me knows that Lucas has referenced Star Wars as being a show for young people and something of a morality play. And I can't help but think - in reference to the issue of clones - that there is an ethics elephant in the room in that Lucas wrote a story in which the freedom loving Republic is given a slave army of genetically altered clones, and that the Jedi that are all about peace and justice are totally cool with that.

    Compared to the 2D action hero shows like Justice League, TCW still is lacking in the story-telling department. And when you get respectable writers on board to do TCW, I just don't know how it drops the ball so hard/frequently. The writers and even Filoni tend to deflect the blame (very politely, but they still do) up to Lucas as being very involved in the show, moreso than most people realize, and that he is the source for every basic plot outline. In which case he needs to move on and get out of TCW, because there are campy 90s shows that did it better with universes far less rich than Star Wars'.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Jan 15, 2013
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  14. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    Nov 8, 2012
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    I just could not possibly be more tired of hearing that. Sorry, but every time anyone calls out TCW - or any Star Wars - for lame plotlines, uninteresting characters, or painfully bad humor, the excuse is "Well, it's just for kids!". Well that's baloney, but you know what? It would be an unacceptable excuse even if it were true. The lesson that Dave Filoni should have - and mostly did - learned from growing up watching Robotech is that what young people really respond to is great storytelling and deep, relatable characters. Look, I like this show, but excusing its missteps by saying "it's just for kids", as if their bad stories were USDA-unapproved meat that they were putting into cat food because it wasn't fit for human consumption, is lame, wrong, and insults the audience they claim to be there to serve.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Jan 15, 2013
  15. rumblewagon Jedi Grand Master

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    Please do not insult others!
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
  16. EHT New Films Manager

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    Response to insulting post. Don't feed it.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
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  17. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

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    Removed quoted post that was removed.

    Response to insulting post. Don't feed it.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
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  18. Seerow SWTV★Manager

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    That's enough. Just because someone states a different opinion does not equal that they think the universe revolves around them.


    Maybe I will just post next episode thread early without the official info... the sooner we move on from this arc seems like the better.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
  19. Watto Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 1998
    star 4
    A domain of evil, this is.
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  20. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    star 5
    I have no doubt that I would have bailed long ago and never looked back.
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  21. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    One problem (hah!) is that the show seems to want arcs - decides on how many episodes there are to be - then stick with that as they write the story. The arc and its length should depend on the story to be told, not the story written to fit the arc (as it seems).

    I didn't mind this last arc like so many, but it was a waste of a 4-arc. Onduran was too long. Umbara was too long. Possibly the Hardeen arc was (could they have fit the majority of the action into 3 episodes? Don't know - The Box was important overall, but 22 minutes worth?) Young Jedi - not sure if it could be cut down 1 episode.

    But this last arc, the YJ arc possibly, are side journeys doing little to advance "the plot" and are basically "funJ" standalones. Such stories should not be arcs, or shorter arcs, or better written arcs.
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  22. EHT New Films Manager

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    One episode featuring WAC and Gascon would have been one episode too many. :p
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  23. 07jonesj Force Ghost

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    I wouldn't have complained had this been one episode. It's just that they've wasted 20% of the season on this!
    Last edited by 07jonesj, Jan 15, 2013
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  24. Seerow SWTV★Manager

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    "The Box" could have been shortened or a subplot could have been added. I've always been intrigued by the scrapped idea that explained what happened to the real Rako Hardeen.

    Honestly, as I said I have often thought TCW was like a 90s action cartoon with cool CGI. That's one of the reasons I was probably able to enjoy this arc better than others. I like the campy goofy stuff, thats kind of a part of SW IMO. However over the course of season 4 which has three, possibly four of the best arcs I've enjoyed I thought TCW was starting to shed its kiddie cartoon skin and grow up. This arc didn't totally break TCW's darkening tone at the end but it did slide backward and take up valuable time that could have been used to follow up on those many plot strings I'm excited to see.

    I'm glad this arc gave me Gregor and some food for thought with Void but I'm definitely ready to move on and see TCW reach the standard it set in season 4. I'm ready to see something like the Rako Hardeen arc again. I really hope Maul and whatever comes next all tops that. I've come around to see the problem with these 4 part arcs. This one, Onderon, and particularly "Young Jedi" I'm sorry to say tested my attention span. I think these arcs are better handled like the Geonosis arc or the way Massacre and Bounty were setup, such that they didn't feel like an arc. Something like Umbara or Rako Hardeen should be done maybe once a season.

    I'm not losing patience with TCW yet, there are some 2D cartoons that are on which are better but its about on part with or beats Transformers Prime, IMO which has its share of stinkers, weak use of characters, and predictability. Really that's par for the course. Being called a kids show is not something derogatory and does not mean its automatically inferior. Its really the characters, the story, and underlying mythos that keep people coming back. I can think of some franchises with writing far worse than this that keep people hooked anyways. I think it'll get better from here this season. This was a bad arc, poisoned tea was a bad episode they happen to most shows every season. Gargoyles which is a show I love from the 90s has its share of really bad episodes despite being a classic in my heart.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 15, 2013
  25. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    1) TCW's stated target audience is children, and
    2) I'm not excusing anything of the sort, I said quite clearly that I liked this episode, this arc and I like this season. I said I think this is one of the more memorable stories in TCW.

    Go back and read the conversation I was having if you're in any doubt.
    Last edited by V-2, Jan 15, 2013