TCW Episode The Clone Wars - 5.15 - Shades of Reason - discussion thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. ImNotAStarWarsFanboy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2011
    star 5
    >implying this is the first time this has ever happened in Star Wars
    Last edited by ImNotAStarWarsFanboy, Jan 26, 2013
  2. The Shadow Emperor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2012
    star 4
    The Force is controlled with your mind, not your arms.
  3. JM_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2011
    star 6
    what I mean is that the force flows through living things and having a mechanical body part hinders that ability
  4. Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
  5. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I don't know if "Maul sucks." For one it could just stand to reason that instead of Maul sucking, Pre Vizsla could just be exceptionally good.

    Also, I've also wondered if there is some degree of arrogance/a desire to prove that he's the better fighter coming into play. I mean it was clearly demonstrated that he could Force choke Bo without so much as glancing at her. Yet Maul really made no effort to use telekinetic powers against Vizsla. There may have been something personal there in which Maul wanted to prove that he was the better man by fighting a conventional sword fight rather than just walking in and snapping Vizsla's neck with the Force. People have mentioned in TPM as to why the Naboo guards didn't just all gun down Maul, but instead Qui-Gon told them not to interfere ("we'll handle this"). But that cuts both ways. Maul could easily have had a group of droids to back him up, if he so desired, but he didn't. Instead he chose to face them alone, just as Vader tells Tarkin that he must face Obi-Wan alone.

    With the Jedi, I'd call it honor. With the Sith, I don't know that it's so much out of a sense of honor as it is just a means of proving to themselves and to their enemy that they are better. In his last moments, Vizsla even conceded that to Maul.
  6. Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    It was not arrogance, but one of those crazy Mando traditions...

    And yes, Maul sucks and has ruined the season with his lame lines, aimless journey and stupid expressions. :p
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  7. ImNotAStarWarsFanboy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2011
    star 5
    k
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  8. Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    [face_devil]
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  9. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    [IMG]
  10. K'Kruhk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2011
    star 3
    Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker...
  11. Seerow SWTV★Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2011
    star 6
    Clearly, this episode took place over more than a day but holy hell that was fast. It was a serious fault of the episode. The speed made the Mandalorian guards seem like total wastes of skin. They were a little stronger in season 3. No kidding Mandalore seems helpless and it makes me wonder why Deathwatch didn't attack sooner. The scenes of Deathwatch 'rescuing' and apprehending the crime lords and Savage are equally boom, boom, boom. They are almost to simple with goofy acting jobs. But nice touch with the kids, you always look most heroic hugging a baby. Deathwatch should have rescued the lady Savage nearly knocked off to he death there. Its no wonder the people of Mandalore are so quick to start calling Vizsla's name when Mandalore was under attack and had no faith in the Mandalorian government to the point in getting it overthrown.

    The character interplay in this episode was the best in the series. Much like the Rako Hardeen arc the character driven aspects are deep and almost needlessly complex.

    Vizsla is so full of himself and so giddy with victory he doesn't hesitate to betray Maul. Maul made an awesome Batman gambit with his plan pretty much predicting all of this. Its Maul's turn to clinch his teeth and bite his tongue as Vizsla starts talking down to him. It was the other way around last episode. Vizsla ends up buried under 25 feeet worth of snow by the time of his big duel. Why were Maul and Savage put in a cell together? Vizsla does come off as a bit dense in these two episodes. I liked when Maul recruited Almec.

    The duel between Vizsla and Maul was epic. I liked how bravely Vizsla charged into the challenge. He used every trick he had to even the odds. I thought it was cool Maul used his horns and kinda funny when he got frustrated by the explosions not to mention feeling his face after it was cust by the sharukens. As is if it matters much Maul. I thought that Maul intentionally held back on using much of the force to demonstrate his capability as a warrior and with a lightsaber. He comes off looking superior in the end with a brutal take down. That makes it easier to except Deathwatch soldiers kneeling before him quickly. I like how Vizsla went out in style when he was defeated. Not a coward. No cheap tricks. He accepted his fate.

    Does it seem like Bo-Katan might have been in love with Vizsla? That smirk early in the episode when he reassured her everything will be alright. Its seemed over a couple episodes like there was a spark there that some something other than patriotism. Bo put on a mad face to hide behind in the fight and seemly had one of the heaviest reactions to date to a death. It made the moment a little sadder since otherwise I felt nothing for Vizsla. What goes around, comes around. Bo-Katan's escape was explosive to say the least. I liked the music there. I think Vizsla's death and Bo's escape were my favorite part.

    Satine is becoming a tragic characters. Its been an interesting turn for her character and season 3's weaker episodes benefit from slight reconning here. Satine acknowledged benefiting from the black market conspiracy. She was harsh with the, "But he's a child murderer!". The conversation with Almec is interesting. I like how Almec chides Satine about having freedom. She seems plagued with guilt. It seems like for a long time Satine has been losing her grip. Many have betrayed the poor woman (Merrick and Almec). She was a strong, defiant woman idealistic to a fault when we first met her in season 2. She lost it in season 3. She seemed completely numb in season 4 during "A Friend in Need". Here she is now sad and broken. Satine seemed to give up the moment the crowd started chanting Vizsla's name. When Vizsla storms her palace she is already resided. Satine's line to Almec about "Peace in the minds of those who believe" is more to herself. Satine is exhausted. Perhaps in a sick way she has peace and freedom over thrown and stuck in a cell next to Almec.

    The people of Mandalore were aware Satine was tired and guilty. Perhaps after torching a few warehouses in recent memory its easier for them to buy Satine murdered Vizsla. It would not have hurt for Almec to try and further clear his name and blame everything that happened on Satine while he was at it.

    Good episode with alot of complexity and some of the best animation to date.The music in alot of places was excellent even. I think its going to be an 8 because of how Boom, boom, boom the first half of this episode was to the point it watered stuff down. I like fast pacing but I think that about gave me whiplash.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 26, 2013
  12. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    The Naboo guards would be slaughtered by Maul easily, and their shoot would be deflected so it could make Qui Gon and Obi Wan's fight harder.
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  13. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    Agreed on all points, except for the one about the Mandalorian people being stupid. I found their motivations to be plausible. This was one hell of a lot better than Onderon in portraying war and politics. Well done to Chris Collins.

    Shades of Reason is one of TCW's finest episodes, and quite appropriately named. This is a strong contender for the title of "best TCW episode of all time", in my opinion.

    Savage was handled well. His Force chokes are still too crude to kill anyone with anything resembling efficiency and finesse, giving Maul and Almec enough time to have a conversation while he reads through the instruction manual on how to snap necks with the Force. He's becoming more and more the "monster" that everyone else described him as even before he was in Maul's thrall, but he still has enough guilt to look back at the woman he threw over the edge, for a brief moment at least.

    I liked how the downfalls of Satine and Vizsla ironically tie back to their ideologies and their origins in The Mandalore Plot. They're both eventual victims of their own ideologies. Satine is a pacifist and refuses to set her elite guards on Death Watch. She upholds the principle that the will of the people should not be opposed even if their endorsed strongman is barging into her palace. Her heavy-handedness and dogmatic adherence to principles in the S3 Mandalorian episodes sowed the seeds of her regime's collapse. Vizsla ultimately falls victim to his ideology that places honour and might-is-right rule above all else. Grovelling at the feet of Maul and falling under the scathing glares of his minions is what seals his fate.

    As soon as I heard of it, I was worried that Vizsla's death would be a glossed-over event in a sea of fanservice. It was anything but. Because of how it was ultimately all about Vizsla's fatal flaws, it was a fitting conclusion to his story in TCW. The Maul vs. Vizsla duel was one of TCW's very best. Rarely do we see opponents with such unhinged brutality face each other in TCW. It is explosive and bone-crunchingly intense. As sheer spectacle, it was a highlight.

    What's Bo-Katan's connection to Vizsla that makes her so aghast at his death? Groupie? Lover? Daughter? Hmm... [face_thinking]

    The handling of the "Mandalorian Revolution" is what gave me faith that Chris Collins can produce a good politically-driven story for TCW when allowed to. The motivations of the Mandalorian people were pretty transparent. Satine is fighting an uphill battle even before Vizsla and Maul set their plot in motion. The Mandalorians are a "people of tradition" and so nationalist that they're prone to rebel if clone troopers start patrolling the streets. This much is established in earlier seasons. The New Mandalorian government is a flimsy dam holding back an immense reactionary militarist flood. The troubles of the S3 Mandalorian episodes badly weaken the government, to the point that all DW needs to do in order to break the dam is expose the ineffectualness of the New Mandalorian ideology and government. Vizsla does have a point in his speech after arresting Maul: pacifism, however noble, is unsuitable at times. There's a reason why most areas of Asia which embraced actively pacifist varieties of Buddhism swiftly adopted Hinduism, Islam or more militant Buddhism within a few centuries.

    The political intrigue was superb. This episode alone made Corruption and The Academy worthwhile for how it developed their plots to this end. Beyond the Sithly dealings of Maul, we see the distinctive political agendas of Satine (dogmatic pacifism), Vizsla (traditional militarism), Almec (self preservation and vaguely patriotic power lust) and Bo-Katan (xenophobic nationalism) all at play against each other. Vizsla does not publicly move against Satine's position, only positioning himself as the new PM. Like any smart politician, he doesn't overplay his hand and blow all the political capital he accrued from suppressing the gangsters. Vizsla the sharp-witted governor returns. It's only when Vizsla dies that Satine is announced to be under arrest. Almec's evolution from someone who lost faith in Satine after she idealistically crushed his attempt to save her government (from his perspective) to someone who is willing to suck up to Maul in order to regain his power casts a light on Satine's character. She's hamstrung by her idealism when politicians sometimes have to be ruthless to gain ideological supremacy. After the almost ridiculous idealism of Pursuit Of Peace, this was a refreshing political message.

    It's possible to draw parallels to real world politics. An obvious example is the Iranian Revolution of 1979: the unpopular, xenophilic monarch is deposed by a militantly traditionalist faction. The reconciliation between the extant society and the traditionalists was remarkably familiar. Naturally, the use of pawns to sow chaos and the gradual accruing of power by a reactionary leader and his feared political faction mirrors the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Being blond-haired and having their militant nationalism barely restrained by the state and the international community, this is probably the main parallel aimed for by the writing team. Another parallel is the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s. The Ottoman Sultan stood aside when the Young Turks led by Kemal Pasha accrued more power. The Young Turks won popularity after defending Turkish territory from European invaders, and they sidelined the Sultan. Kemal forced him into an apolitical role as the "Pope of Sunni Islam" before ditching him entirely. Vizsla's careful avoidance of overplaying his hand reminded me of Kemal's, albeit on a smaller timescale.

    The spectacle of the drab, armoured Mandalorian soldiers patrolling the prisons and streets was something to behold after just under three years of foreshadowing. The police officer at the docks does seem to have prior DW sympathies, judging by how quickly he thanks the DW trooper with the honorific "soldier". It's no surprise that law enforcement personnel with no deep ties to Satine or her ideology would so readily throw their lot in with DW. Judging by how relatively unadorned the plate of the fully armoured prison guards is, it's possible that these are the old police officers in new armour. The sight of the armoured soldiers backing up Almec as he pronounces the new era of militarism was something I'd been waiting years to see.

    The voice acting was not bad at all. Jon Favreau's last performance in TCW was his best. Good job to Sam Witwer, Anna Graves, Julian Holloway and Katee Sackhoff as well, though I take it Mando Plod wasn't Matt Lanter's "ultra emotional performance" that left the rest of the cast choking up. :p

    This episode combined politics, spectacle and character drama in a winning combination.

    [IMG]

    A resounding 10/10.
  14. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    They didn't handle Satine well, as politician she should be stronger rather than just call her people to be calm and wait for the Death Watch to arrest her, also told Maul about Almec.
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  15. godisawesome Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2010
    star 1
    Okay, I've got some comments for the debates that have been going on, but first, two things to disclose:

    I am a comicbook fan. That means that I am callous to the idea of resurrecting a dead character, especially if there's still a body lying around, even half of one.

    I like TCW better when it has cartoon-only major antagonists. Pong Krell and the Death Watch were my favorite bad-guys before Maul returned, because I didn't know what would happen to them and because their threat level was raised against important characters who aren't in the films. It changes up the formula enough that I watch more often than I usually do.

    So no matter how crazy they ot with bringing Maul back, I only cared how much I liked the stories written afterward, and I was probably going to support him more than I would any Seperatist or Dooku-affiliated threat.

    Okay, here's one of the roots of the Clone Wars "inconsistency;" this show has an insanely wide fanbase, and the show actively seeks to cater to the whole thing. It has pulpy elements, kiddie elements, high concept scifi elements, fantasy elements, noir elements, horror elements, and humor, and is trying to give every single Star Wars fan at least one episode they will enjoy. This is a show that features both a big kid-appeal character like Ahsoka alongside a squad of clones that is dramatically being whittled down to an embittered sole survivor.

    Now, there are very few cartoons that can successfully balance all these elements, and unfortunately Filoni is not Greg Weismann and this show is not going to be constructed like Spectacular Spiderman. To keep their fanbase intact, they've decided to use short arcs over season long stories or oneshots. So you know what? There is always going to be somebody who thinks the current story has the wrong tone and is taking to long, somebody who thinks they need to expand the story and focus solely on it, and a whole lot of us are going to be caught between the two.

    For me, this arc was just a little too short, but focused on something I liked, so I would have gladly traded every single Clovis episode, all Young Jedi episodes, and any and all political storylines to give this story more breathing room. But somewhere some little kid would probably be sadly wondering where Ahsoka was, and somewhere else an original fan from the theatrical run would be angered at any reference to Phantom Menace. But the good news for them is that this arc will be over shortly and they can freshly approach the next arc with entirely different expectations.

    Also, I still think Kenobi's one of the series' highest ranking fighters, in that while he's alwyas on the defensive, he always survives and manages to usually accomplish some startegic goal at the cost of a physical beatdown. You'll notice that of the three times he's been backed into a corner by a Sith Lord in this era where his only option is to defeat his opponent, he has, and he's survived and intact better than anybody. When he faced Vizsla, he was defending Satine. When he faced Maul in last season, he found an escape route. Yet he clearly had Vizsla's number, and when double teamed by the brothers, he routed them. The main thing about Kenobi is that the longer any fight lasts, the closer he comes to victory. Dooku's the only one who seems to counter this by quickly incapacitating him; everybody else is held off until he can secure victory.

    Vizsla and Maul are actually birds of a feather; both possess strong cunning and powerful styles, but rely chiefly on offensive force over defense. Maul decisively one his duel against Vizsla, but Viszla got his licks in becuase Maul hated his opponent more than he cared about his own health. And both characters are kind of a deconstruction of their previous depictions; Maul obviously shows intelligence that is required in order to survive as Sidious's apprentice, but lacks his master's patience and manipulation skills because he's man of action. Similarly, Vizsla depicts the Mando code of honor, but he's still a murderous psychopath towards the weak and the meek, pretty clearly illustrating that some kind of moral code is needed as well. Maul, on his own, seeks only a criminal empire because that's what he's made for; Vizsla showcases how a realistic depiction of the Mandos would be an inherently unstable and downright nasty society, so that even as the Pacifists fall from power we can see that the old ways are just going to tear the planet apart.
  16. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    Yeah, they should let season 5 to focus on this arc. CW really did a lot better in villains than TCW.

    I don't think Vizsla was handled well, he deceived his own people, why suddenly did he care so much of honor against a Sith when he could easily shot them off??
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  17. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    Because having leadership positions decided by honourable gladiatorial combat is part and parcel of his ideology, and because he's openly challenged to fight honourably in front of his politically motivated soldiers. He isn't just some criminal thug. He's a political extremist. Like Satine, his ideology winds back around to bite him in the arse. Plus it's not like he has a character trait of avoiding one-on-one combat with lightsabre-wielding Force-sensitives.
    Last edited by QuangoFett, Jan 26, 2013
  18. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    There is no basis for that. His lightsaber hadn't even been activated yet and he was horribly outnumbered. Qui-Gon instead shooed them away, and allowed adequate time for them to all shed their outer robes and arming themselves before engaging in combat in a very choreographed way. The Jedi in the arena battle pretty much all got owned by three droids each (mentioned by Rob Coleman in the commentary). I think when it comes to all those individuals with blasters, Maul would have been in trouble had they all opened fire, and especially if they fanned out. Maul seemed to realize this when the pirates turned on him and he fled, he could not have "slaughtered [them] easily".
  19. Seerow SWTV★Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2011
    star 6
    I really like the portrayal of Satine here. Satine was a very strong lady, ideological to a fault. She can't really stop Death Watch arresting because it violates her beliefs and by then the Duchess is feeling like nothing without her people. But at the same time I think the Satine we saw in the "Mandalorian Plot" is a thing of the past. Satine has been through betrayal after betrayal. She seemed numb and bored in "A Friend in Need' and here she just seems tired. Its like she recognizes her time is at an end when she lets Death Watch come in and take her. She is such a tragic character at this point, the most tragic of the OCs. I think my heart was bleeding for her when she was sitting in the cell getting lectured by Almec. In a sick way she does finally have some peace but I'm not sure she has known freedom for a long time. Guilt, depression, and stress is like a spiderweb you can't escape from.
    Last edited by Seerow, Jan 26, 2013
  20. Dathomir-Witch Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2013
    star 2
    No, it doesn't. Savage can use the force, because he himself has the ability, not because his arm can use the force. He was born having the ability, it's in his head.

    That he can still use the force with a mechanical arm is because he could do it before he lost it. IIRC, this is why Vader can't use force lightning; he didn't learn to do it before he lost his arms. You can compare it to people having phantom agony, although they've lost that part of the body that's hurting. It hurts, not because that body part is hurting, but because the mind remembers that it had hurt. Since Savage has learned to use the force with his arms, his mind knows how to use it, even though his arm is missing.

    I don't know; is it actually clear, what I'm saying?
  21. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    With Satine I'm reminded of how the last Emperor of Brazil, Pedro II, had lost all will to preserve the Imperial regime by the time he was overthrown in a coup d'etat. On principle, he didn't even allow anyone to preserve it for him, despite his profound disagreements with the new overlords of Brazil.
  22. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    So... Dooku had this convoluted plan to use Death Watch to put a puppet government in power, but in reality it would have been just as simple as Dooku going to Mandalore, walking into her throne room and saying "excuse me, miss? We're invading and I'm going to arrest you now. I kindly ask for your abdication."

    BAM. Dooku wins control of Mandalore and influence over 2,000 systems.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Jan 26, 2013
  23. Jabba_The_Hutt_123 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2003
    star 3
    What was that.
    This ep had such potential but that was ridiculously fast paced and simple. I get that it's for kids but come on show some decent Death Watch heroics.
    They could have had more of Satine preaching peace while her people died or something, then show more deaths, then show Satine in public again then Vizla appears.
    The Satine killing Vizla is just, ridiculous. How dare the public buy that, even if she is a fool she's no killer.

    Maul fight was awful, but amazing. Amazing duel but Maul should have had that done in 10 seconds, even if he's holding back on the force like the duelling rings he is a Sith Lord. Especially as Ahsoka gave Vizla a pretty good run for his money [I think]. Did like Maul's interactions with Satine and Almec, Maul is really growing on me.

    They really should have made this a 6 episode arc or maybe even more.
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  24. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    I missed the part where Dooku was a local who would appeal to an intensely nationalist and xenophobic population. :p
  25. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I don't know if Death Watch would necessarily follow Maul if he used the Force. Some outright rejected him as an outsider, despite winning. If he was perceived as fighting underhanded or unfairly, perhaps it would have back fired.

    What are they going to do about it? They have no army. And to raise an army is a betrayal of ideals that Satine was against. I'm reminded more of the last Han Emperor, when he was taken prisoner and used by several different war lords, and each time it was just about that easy.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Jan 26, 2013
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