This review contains spoilers.
We find ourselves stuck in the middle of another mini arc, comprising three stories featuring a break-in/break-out rescue by our favourite Jedi. And despite the fact that there is virtually no plot development, the latest episode of The Clone Wars manages to conjure up yet more memorable moments.
To clarify, the Jedi have sprung Yoda-wannabe Even Piell from The Citadel (a very Death Star-like facility) and are now trying to escape. By the end of Counterattack, the gang are still trying to escape, but it’s what happens along the way that’ll get your juices flowing.
On the humour front, a trope that was once strong in the animated series but has recently been demoted due to the more serious nature of the various story arcs comes back through some tittersome antics with R2-D2 and his servant Battle Droids (yes, you read correctly). The droids may come off as slightly ridiculous, but it’s a welcome detour from the ongoing drama. After all, Artoo’s great forté is his warmth and amusing engagement with the audience.
And we also get a glimpse (and a listen) to a Mouse Droid, so iconic on the aforementioned Death Star. A nice touch and something for the nerdoids to imitate, savour and reminisce.
Freed in the previous installment, Tarkin continues to intrigue with his haughty air and odd accent (check out how he pronounces “plan” like “plawn”, for example). Most notably, the future holder of Vader’s leash (remember those days?), discusses the nature of the Clone Wars with Anakin. It’s a most thought-provoking tête-à-tête, with both men finding a fundamental point they agree on: the tactics of the Jedi are not a success. Peacekeepers can’t be generals.
Sadly, their engrossing chat is cut short with another spectacular attack, and one wonders if we’ll be privy to the future couple’s burgeoning friendship. Anakin’s doubts about his ‘religion’ may not make great animated magic, but it surely does pique the old brain.
Peppered throughout the episode are a number of rather gruesome deaths, something The Clone Wars is becoming increasingly adept at. Not only are they gruesome, but they’re also shocking (not just because this is a ‘kids cartoon’) and, in one very special case, a little bit heart-breaking.
Fans have become attached to particular Clones and the denouement will leave a tear in the eye of many a fanboy/girl. But there’s no time to mourn, as the next episode and the conclusion of this trilogy is just around the corner.
As discussed, Counterattack has little to offer in plot terms, but this hardly matters, as the eye-popping set pieces (and there are a few), laughs and relationships come to the fore, leaving a memorable impression and some thinking material too.
Read our review of episode 18, The Citadel, here.
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