Galactic Hunter Video Theater Presents: The Clone Wars - A Test of Strength

By Adam Pawlus — Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This week on The Clone Wars: adventures in Padawan-sitting! While last week's episode looked expensive, "A Test of Strength" cuts the budget by keeping us on a ship for most of the episode with fewer new characters added to the mix. The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, guest-stars as one of the best new characters the show has ever seen while Hondo Ohnaka returns for a more villainous appearance. As always, spoilers and video await you!


This episode was slightly more typical than last week's, as our returning group of young Jedi-to-be (to be killed around Revenge of the Sith, amirite?) are going home from Ilum and are ambushed by pirates. Our young Jedi get a lot less character time this week, while the spotlight mostly shines on Ahsoka, Hondo Ohnaka, and robotic Jedi lightsaber expert Huyang. If you haven't watched the video yet (and you should) I think you should know that it's entirely possible Huyang is a fascinating new entry, a durable creation who has been in operation longer than Yoda has been around. If that doesn't set up some fun possibilities, I don't know what does.


Click here for "A Test of Strength" trailers and videos on YouTube

While an entertaining trip back to Coruscant, the arrival of Hondo Ohanaka and his pirate gang was a mixed bag. I love the character, particularly in that the team at Lucas Animation forged a character who can be pretty much anything they need for a given week. As the Sith are our absolute evil, the show provides us with a massive grey area in which to play for villains and the strange thing is that the bad guys can sometimes be good guys. Hondo has appeared in all 3 arcs so far this season, and in that time we've seen him fight Darth Maul, deliver illegal arms to rebels on Onderon, and now try to hijack a ship full of kids to steal some jewels. While a very traditional plot, with some very cool space pirate boarding scenes that feel more cinematic than anything we've seen on the show, it almost feels out of character now that we've seen Hondo work with the Jedi so much to further his own interests.


I'm particularly impressed by how the writers crafted the story, which basically don't allow the kids to be precocious little McClanes who successfully fight off the bad guys. They're really not qualified for this, even when they decide to try to fight it's clear that Ahsoka is still going to be our hero as we're reminded that she, too, is still just a Padawan. Heck, her mast plan to rid the ship of pirates is a) get the kids to safety, b) blow the bad guys out into outer space, and c) jump to hyperspace. It doesn't quite work as planned, and that leaves us on a cliffhanger where, I assume, we're going to see the kids act more like adults next week.


Takeaway from this week:


  • Huyang is awesome, Hasbro: please make an action figure. Even if he never shows up again, throw him in a gift pack or something. I'll buy it.


  • I'm not digging Petro, as he is snotty and not in the good way as the drummer for The Knock-Ups.


  • Hondo Ohanka can be pretty much anything. I figure by this time next year we'll see an episode with him as the central character, if the show actually makes it that long.
  • 1893


  • Apparently, it is not possible to have a 4-part story arc without some sort of cliffhanger. Three stars *** and those are three pretty happy stars. Why not four? While the adventure was fun with new characters, this episode feels overly familiar in its scope with nods to ALIEN and Doctor Who. That's not a terrible thing, but we've seen Ahsoka barely fend off invaders on a ship before and there have been Star Trek episodes like this too. Bring back Tennant! I'm not even a big Doctor Who fan, that guy does great work. Welcome to Star Wars good sir!

    Next Week: "Bound for Rescue."


    See you then!