I liked "Point of No Return." If the arc had just been the first and last episode, I think it would have gone over much better. The giant explosion at the end was very interesting-looking and well done. There were some pacing issues, I feel, like R2's near-destruction and BZ's death which could have both been given more time. It was also cool to see Tarkin pop back up briefly, and apparently he's moved from Captain to Admiral by now.
Oh, and I also liked how the space station was based on the one from the new Star Tours ride. Very cool!
This was a mixed bag. R2 surviving that explosion was ridiculous, BZ's death seemed needless what with QT's remote magnet and C4's laser both capable of doing the job, and Gascon's motivations flipflopping all over the map. It wasn't the worst in the arc, but it wasn't the best either, it felt repetitive to the first episode in the arc in the way the fighting went down, and it asked a lot of the audience to believe that the CIS had captured a pristine Republic Attack Cruiser, and had holograms better than any seen previously in the SW universe, and yet also had the DUMBEST droids working it and entrusted its care to only droids, or that anybody would go back for the civilian droids - look, we care about you guys, but c'mon, you are DROIDS and the galaxy itself is in serious danger, we shouldn't be wasting time saving you guys.
I did like BNI-393 the LEP droid, and the poor emotive Treadwell droid that always knew it was doomed and was eventually proven right. I was impressed that WAC could not only puppeteer a pilot droid, but could imitate its voice as well.
All in all though, this felt like a dumb action episode, filler with no real consequences. It no longer felt like it mattered whether the original mission was completed, we stopped talking about it nearly the whole time.
Yeah, even suspending belief in SW has its limits. The buzz droids waiting to attack? No lifter droids to move those cases, only battle droids? Blown-up R2 wasn't realistic, but it was better than being in an Indy refrigerator idea (a plot device which I actually liked in that film) type ploy.
With all the droids in this episode it was mildly entertaining.
But droids are not my favorite part of SW (though R2-D2 is awesome).
But the non-science-fiction of these past few episodes would be like adding an episode about the coffee makers, lap tops, main frames, electron microscopes used in the Jason Bourne movies, with all of them talking to each other.
[Mr. Coffee] "Laptop, I'm dying! Could you send me more power so I can make Jason's coffee?"
[Laptop] "Can't! This is an emergency. Electron Microscope is close to the DNA analysis!"
[Mr. Coffee] "But Jason will fall asleep bored if we provide an analysis without coffee!"
[Mr. Toaster] "I will sacrafice myself so Electron Microscope can have more power."
[Main Frame] "I have used my clandestine services expansion module to slice into Washington's power grid. Mr. Toaster will be safe."
This epsidoe plays out to majorly over-dramatic music. By this time, the theater going audience is now all asleep.
And Tycho here is even accepting of another Darth-Maul-Who-Should-Have-Been-Left-Dead-In-TPM episode of him slaughtering people just to satisfy Tycho's bloodlust since there hasn't been a major shooting in the news this week.
But without droids you'd have nothing to sniff. You'd have to find some alternative, like a marker or glue. :p
Originally Posted by Tycho
They are really trying to get their background characters to look like the old Kenner figures; I like that (the Gamorrean Guards all looked like toys, including the axes). Maul and Oppress just aren't working for me. I was NOT impressed with The Black Sun (as they were called) at all. But the fighting scenes were cool. It was better than the recent droid team arc, though.
As a standalone episode, this seemed to really jam a lot into 22 minutes, so some of the groups' acceptance into Maul's army seemed to come a little too quickly (especially since he's near death at the start of the episode, having just gotten his butt handed to him). I suppose, after "A Sunny Day in the Void," having too much going on is a good problem to have.
But as a setup to the next two episodes, it was pretty exciting. I was hoping they'd mention something about Jabba's deal with the Republic regarding the hyperspace lanes from The Clone Wars film, but oh well. The fight scene between the bounty hunters and Maul's group was really well done - it was good to see Embo's pet Marrok get some action, and I'm glad Embo and Sugi were spared. The pairing of Maul and Death Watch makes sense - they both have it out for Obi-Wan and Dooku, though for now they're apparently only focusing on Obi-Wan, and they've both seen better days and want to reclaim their glory. So I'm glad that there's more going on story-wise than "ZOMG let's put Maul with the Mandos ! ! !"
Technically, this seems to be part two of a four-part arc, since its first part, "Revival," was moved to be the season opener but clearly took place after the Onderon and youngling arcs (and likely took place after the D-Squad arc, but Adi Gallia only appeared in the opening narration, so it could have been a flashback or something). Aside from the Clovis arc, we seem to be finally moving forward in the timeline again. Oh, and Dave Filoni mentioned on RebelForce Radio (the former Forcecast hosts' new show) that they do have an animation model for Stass Allie now, but not for Agen Kolar yet. I was actually getting worried about those two. :p I also like Maul's new, less-robotic legs, and I thought the little ESB homage with Savage getting his new hand poked was cool.
The Gamorreans have been around since Season Three, but I don't really think they're supposed to be a Kenner homage - certainly not on the same level as Blue Snaggletooth and Walrus Man were. Gamorreans had axes in ROTJ as well.
Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos
I'll be honest, the silly backstabbing and triple-crossing I feel brought "Eminence" down a few notches. Darth Maul doesn't act smart or clever or manipulative, he just strides in and makes demands, barely survives a firefight, cuts off a head or two and declares himself the winner. He's written like a 6 year old petulant child lording his slight strength improvement over his baby brother. He is a good pairing with Pre Viszla though since Viszla has been marching around getting nothing accomplished for a while now, he's like a neo-nazi tramping around out in the woods building up a rag tag militia behaving as if he believed he's on the cusp of defeating the whole world.
Another notable problem is just that it's been so long since we were supposed to have gotten this arc that I had totally forgotten about Maul and Savage's serious beat-downs from the last time we saw them, Savage's arm especially threw me for a loop.
Oh, and after all the hype, after all the hope, all the promise, to have Black Sun be so boring was disappointing. They looked vaguely like Xizor, and they surely adopted his style of dress (in Star Wars movies, every planet is the same environment everywhere; in Clone Wars, every species' outfit is the same on everyone), but they didn't behave like him, they weren't Machiavellian, there was not a valuable payoff.
But there was plenty of fighting and killing and posturing and gadgets and no annoying pompous Jedi, so it wasn't unwatchable.
This was ok I guess, some action, some Sith stuff, and any time you have Embo it's a party, but it's really difficult to treat it like a worthy Clone Wars episode compared to something like Rookies.
Just the way the GGs were holding their axes and walking reminded me to stiff-limb '80s Kenner toys, that's all.
BTW, did I see Dengar (or Dengar's older brother, or clone, or the-way-everyone-dresses-on-his-planet guy) in there?
That was Dengar. The Hutt Council was guarded by Dengar, Embo (with Marrok), Sugi, and Latts Razzi. Embo and Sugi first appeared in Season Two's "Bounty Hunters," where they defended a Felucian farm from Hondo Ohnaka's pirates. Dengar and Latts Razzi first appeared in Season Four's "Bounty," where they work with Boba Fett, Bossk, Highsinger, and Ventress to protect cargo for the Belugan leader, Otua Blank.
Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos