It may not feel like it based on the episodes I’m actually watching, but I am pretty close to the end of my time reviewing The Clone Wars. After today, there are only six more arcs worth of show, and because of that, this droid-centric four episodes feels very poorly timed.
In theory, I love the idea of droid squadron, a team that can do what regular soldiers, or even Jedi, can’t do. That could make a really cool Star Wars story. Unfortunately, this isn’t that story.
The main issue with the D-Squad is that, aside from WAC, none of the droids really can communicate without bleeps and bloops. I was wondering while watching, would subtitles help? Star Wars isn’t opposed to subtitles (think Jabba’s palace), and that would at least allow more context given to the droids actions. But Star Wars doesn’t subtitle its droids, so that goes out the window.
I’d even be down with a silent episode, in the tradition of the great silent comics we’ve gotten over the years. But then WAC and Gascon wouldn’t be necessary, and that’s, again, a very different series of the episodes than the ones we got.
I’m all for the show innovating and doing different types of arcs, but when they’re built around annoying, childish characters, it takes away from my enjoyment.
2. More droid politik
Gascon seems pretty pissed off at leading the D-Squad, and more than once makes some borderline offensive remarks about the droids. I like that The Clone Wars shows the class system in the universe, but I wish that it actually did something, story wise, with that system. We see people shit on droids all the time, but there’s no real change, nor is there really any hint of anything changing. Unlike in Solo: A Star Wars Story, when droid liberation was a subplot, we just expect both droids and clones to take shit from others, without really commenting on it. That seems like a wasted opportunity.
3. Noooo oooooone mopes like Gascon
Col. Gascon is one of the least enjoyable leads the show has featured thus far. The gag of him being tiny wears off in six seconds, and the show doesn’t give him too many moments where he’s not exacerbated or yelling. He occasionally seems like a decent guy, but more often than not is just a prick who doesn’t want to be there. I don’t know why this is fun or interesting, and the episodes would have been far more enjoyable if he had more to him and/or wasn’t just there to be compared unfavorably to the droids in his command.
In his defense, he’s better than WAC. Fuck WAC.
The most effective of these episodes was “Missing in Action,” which dealt with Gascon and WAC finding amnesiac clone soldier Gregor working at a shithole diner in Pons Ora. His story, yet another nice look into the complexities of the Clone Army, was a brief highlight in this arc. It’s not that Gregor is the most interesting character in The Clone Wars‘ history, but he works because his story is one we instantly care about. He’s been through hell, but can’t remember it. We can all relate to that idea.
Gregor’s re-claiming of his soldier mantle was a powerful and moving gesture that ended the episode on a really nice note. I’m sure this is the end of Gregor’s story but, like the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, we are left with enough ambiguity to leave us smiling.
5. At this point in the run, this disappoints
I didn’t realize how much I was bummed out by this arc until I saw Obi-Wan and Anakin appear at the tail end of “Point of No Return.” Early on in the show’s run, these side plots felt like a pleasant diversion, but as the show has focused its scope a bit and introduced some really fascinating new characters, the time spent with the droids just feels wasted.
This is especially true as there are only 20 episodes left in the series. One sixth of the episodes from the start of this arc, were wasted on this arc, which didn’t really do much for the series as a whole. From what I understand, Season 6, ‘The Lost Missions,’ is far from essential as well, which means that this string of four episodes feels even less important. I know that the producers didn’t realize the end was so near, so it’s not like I can really fault them for the placement in the series, but it’s an unfortunate side effect of how the cookie crumbled.Continued below
Let’s hope we’re doing some Jedi shit next week!