Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3 episode 2 review: ARC Troopers

Kamino comes under attack from General Grievous and Asajj Ventress but are the Clones ready? Cameron finds out.

In my review for the previous episode, Clone Cadets, I mentioned it was a prequel (no, keep with it) to a cracking season one story. Well, this installment acts as a sequel to the season three opener and takes place considerably some time after the events witnessed minutes previously (shown as a double bill).

It’s fitting that these two episodes have been slotted together, as they deal with some of the Clones from the previous story and it’s set on Kamino. Again, the watery planet is beautifully realised here and the animators go to work in a big way.

Most notably during the attack on Tipoca City as Asajj Ventress’ Trident ships (like giant mechanical squids) jump out of the water, attach themselves to the buildings, destroying everything in their path. I have to admit, these scenes are simply stunning, creating images as strong as Star Wars has ever delivered.

As the action is split in three – the Clones facing off with droids, Anakin sabering it up with Ventress, and Grievous fighting with Kenobi – the climatic tension really does make the episode feel like a season finale. The latter battle between the bearded Jedi and robotic General is particularly worthy of a mention, supremely directed and slightly unpleasant as Grievous scuttles about.

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The tone gets nasty too. Would-be Sith Ventress coldly, and somewhat graphically, strangles and kills a Clone just for the sheer hell of it (the censors also cut out a moment where she kissed him first). I mean, won’t somebody please think of the children?

There’s some sadness too. The brotherhood and camaraderie of the Clones is shown, especially in a beautifully scored choral moment during the battle. Without spoiling it for you, tears may be shed.

So, you may have guessed that the story takes a back seat here. Yes, it does, but the episode flies by so quickly, and so pleasingly, that you’ll barely notice. The perfect compliment to the emotional and story-led opener.

Read our review of the season 3 opener,Clone Cadets, here.