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.
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:
Next Week: "Bound for Rescue."
See you then!