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Old January 2 2010, 05:25 AM   #9
Christopher
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Re: Star Wars: The Clone Wars New Year's Day Double Featue

"Grievous Intrigue" was excellent, with a terrific script by Ben Edlund. Grievous has never been more impressive as a character. He was actually an intelligent foe here, anticipating the Jedi's moves and keeping a step ahead of them, making him a worthy challenge. And he was given some motivation as well. He's not just a cardboard baddie now; we know what he wants, and that's the key to character. He hates the Jedi. He doesn't care about the politics behind the war; this is personal to him. It would've been nice to find out why, but that's hopefully to come in future episodes. It's good to reveal new things about a character, but it's also good to leave us wanting more.

The main thing that annoyed me was a perennial problem with the show -- introducing all these new Jedi and other characters and not naming them for a long time. Like introducing that female Jedi who went on the rescue and not mentioning her name until more than 2/3 of the way through.

"The Deserter" was more mixed. After seeing how well Ben Edlund handled Grievous, this Carl Ellsworth teleplay was a disappointment. Grievous was stupid here, squandering droids he might need by forcing them to walk and drain their power cells. Yes, I know one of his defining traits is his contempt for the incompetent droids he's saddled with, but given what we saw in the previous half-hour, he should've been smart enough to set that aside and not waste his resources in an emergency situation.

But the other plot with Rex and the deserter clone Cut was excellent. It's always cool when the show personifies the clones and explores their point of view and existential issues. It's actually kind of disturbing that the clones aren't allowed to leave the army.

The farmer's wife being a scantily clad Twi'lek was a bit gratuitous, though very nice to look at.

I was surprised by the voice credits on Starwars.com. I could've sworn Suu (the Twi'lek) was played by Jennifer Hale, but apparently it was someone named Cara Pifku. The young boy sounded like Tara Strong to me, but it was Kath Soucie. And I was beginning to suspect that the girl was Russi Taylor (of DuckTales and The Simpsons), but it turned out to be Nika Futterman, the voice of Asajj Ventress (and Catwoman on Batman: The Brave and the Bold). I'm used to mistaking Futterman for Cree Summer (who played Ventress in the prior Clone Wars animated series); I never thought I'd mistake her for Russi Taylor. That's good range. She's starting to impress me.

On the other hand, this episode underlined Dee Bradley Baker's limitations as an actor. I didn't really feel his performance as Cut and Rex brought as much emotion to the lines as they needed.
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