This is it! The end of Season 2 of The Clone Wars is here, and the show goes out with yet another Bounty Hunter story, living up to the season’s title of ‘Rise of the Bounty Hunters.’ Hit it.
1. Young Clones
On multiple occasions, I’ve praised The Clone Wars‘ ability to expand parts of the Star Wars canon that seem initially unimportant or incredibly tangential. The idea of young clones is one of those ideas. Sure, we met a young Boba Fett (more on him later), but all those clones, even aged quickly, would still, at some point, be young. This is a nice juxtaposition to the idea of the Jedi younglings, yet another group of children being molded into something that they likely don’t or can’t understand.
Not to make too much out of this reasonably simple idea, but its not too far of a stretch from the Hitler Youth to what we’re seeing here. And, in a few years, those comparisons get even stronger. But for now, we just get these kids, these perfect clones that are all walking this line between being themselves and being someone else, both in terms of genetics and purpose, and there is something quite sad about them and the world that they live in.
Star Wars tends to be a lot of things, but it is rarely sad. Bleak, sure, but there’s something different when dealing with kids. The fact that some of these kids are possibly going to be the same ones who will kill Jedi younglings one day, by no decision of their own, is impossibly sad. The cycle of death in this period of history is really the saddest part of Star Wars, at least for me.
2. Boba Fett
One of the great missed opportunities of the prequels was establishing Boba Fett as a character that is more than just a cool visage in a dope ship that dies in a ridiculous way. They, of course, didn’t do that: they made him the only kid worse than Anakin. But, like with Anakin, The Clone Wars could have done some work on the character, making him less terrible.
This Boba was just as insufferable as his Attack of the Clones counterpart, and I was sick of him 5 minutes into seeing him on screen. Ick.
3. Jimmy Jam in outer space?
One of my favorite things to observe on this show is when decisions have to be made in terms of pop culture from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Music in a bar is a good example of this: are they going to just cop to “Cantina Band?” Will they try and do something different or weird?
Or in the case of Florrum, you go full on New Jack Swing. It sounded like some Bell Biv Devoe was on in that bar. I’m all for the far corners of the galaxy getting good jams, but it stuck out like a sore thumb.
For fans of my generation, as well as the generation directly above and below me, there are a whole host of characters that wee only know because of their action figures. Bossk is perhaps the best example of that. He was originally a mail-away figure before getting his own toy a few years later. We knew him due to his (very) brief appearances in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but he had way more stories created in the basements and backyards of young fans than he ever had on film.
That is what makes his appearance here cool; the show doesn’t do anything unusual or particularly cool with him, allowing him to remain the guy from your personal Star Wars canon. This is the exact type of character that needs no expansion or backstory. Let him be.
But a character who, absolutely, positively needs more is Mace Windu. One of the bolder casting choices in the prequels was Samuel L. Jackson as Windu, and then Lucas didn’t allow him to do anything in the role, aside from picking his lightsaber color. Here, Windu seems just as humorless and dull as he did in the films. There’s not even any interesting camaraderie between Windu and the other Jedi. There’s just…nothing.Continued below
As this second season, as these 20ish first hours of the show, wraps up, this might be the biggest issue I have with the series. I’ve mentioned before how the prequels destroyed what the Jedi were in the minds of so many fans. When your first Jedi you meet are the suave, charming Obi-Wan, the menacing Darth Vader, and the enigmatic Yoda, Mace Windu just seems like a snooze. And so do most of the ‘new’ Jedi we meet. Ahsoka is the exception, and if my understanding of the series is correct, she’ll get more of a focus going forward. That’s a good thing.
Season 3 starts next week!