Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3 episode 13 review: Monster
Fancy some Darth Maul-esque action? The new Star Wars: The Clone Wars has everything...
This review contains spoilers.
Since the appearance of Darth Maul's 'brother' in the Season 3 trailer, much of Star Wars fandom has been eager to see the introduction of another horned, red and black-marked Sith.
That time has come and, oh boy, disappointment is not on the agenda. In fact, we're blessed with a plethora of Maul-a-likes, or Nightbrothers as they're also known, in the latest installment of The Clone Wars.
Following on from last week's cracking episode, Asajj Ventress, hellbent on exacting revenge on Count Dooku for dumping her quicker than garbage from a Star Destroyer (well, trying to kill her, at any rate), is on the trail for a Nightbrother, the males who live on the far side of her her planet, Dathomir.
The ditched Sith sets about testing these men, all resembling Maul in markings and horns, but before she does, Ventress offs a few in the most chilling and nasty of fashions. Quickly she has gone from sympathetic jilted apprentice to an extremely unlikable and terrifyingly bloodthirsty assassin (just like she was before).And this unpleasantness is at the very heart of Monster.
Never before in the onscreen Star Wars adventures (big and small) has there been such a sustained level of cruelty, evil and violence with abandon. The torture of the Nightbrothers by Ventress is not only shocking, but also deeply distressing, as she takes great delight in callously killing her brothers.
The Sith's actions are dripping with malevolence, particularly as she strangles her way through the opposition, with her boot crushing the throat of her enemy. There's worse to come in the form of Savage Opress, the chosen Nightbrother, whose first kill is disgustingly graphic.
The Clone Wars airs during mid-evening in the US, but here in the UK episodes air on Saturday mornings and at teatime. This is not the kind of fare one can normally imagine waking up to or chomping din-dins along to. One can imagine the Daily Mail busting their balls over the nature of the violence and repulsive imagery in Monster. Crucially, however, these scenes are not gratuitous.
I mean, we're dealing with Sith here, right? These guys and gals are real bad motherfuckers and we truly see the Dark Side of the Force at work here with the transformation of Opress at the hands of the Nightsisters. He goes from a thinking, caring and engaging warrior, voiced with some style by big screen bad boy, Clancy Brown (Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption), to the desensitised titular monster fuelled by anger and rage.
Full marks to the production team for such a daring and bold story, never scared to fully realise the horror of what's on show. It may be unpleasant to watch and may leave a bad taste in the mouth, but The Clone Wars has delivered yet another unmissable and captivating slice of remarkable television.
Read our review of episode 12, Nightsisters, here.
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