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About Channelknight Fadran
Trapped in an infinite inception of hypothetical scenarios
- Birthday April 29
"Aperture Science: We do what we must because we can." - GLaDOS
"I don't know half as you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." - Bilbo Baggins
"Life is pain, highness, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something." - Wesley
"Keep drawing breath till I run out and die? Can you even call that livin'?" - Kenny Ackerman
"Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain." - Molly Weasley
"Look at me still talking when there's science to do." - GLaDOS
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There's a lot.
The Clone Wars debuted in 2008. I was four then, so that certainly isn't when I started watching it. I think I first got into it when I was seven or eight, which would imply that I only had access to the first couple seasons on regular old DVD.
Let's just say I absolutely adored it as a kid.
Granted, it was not for the story. Early on, the show's really just about the jedi (mainly Anakin, Kenobi, and Ahsoka) getting themselves into trouble and beating up some battle droids in order to get out of it. And that's why I loved it so much - how else was I supposed to get my daily dose of explosions and lightsaber battles?
Whenever I got the chance I would just randomly select an episode from a repertoire of ones I liked (that is, the one with lots of fighting and explosions) and let myself enjoy them for the half hour or so I had of screen time. I'd laugh at the battle droids being ridiculous, rage at Greivous and Ventress whenever they escaped the clutches of the jedi, simp over Ahsoka, and imagine I was Anakin Skywalker himself beating the odds with Captain Rex by my side.
The show eventually fell out of favor for me. It's not my fault - we just didn't have access to it. No cable television meant no Cartoon Network meant no new episodes meant old ones going stale. I couldn't really tell you where my attention went from there... probably Ninjago, if I remember correctly. That and any number of other fantastical stories I could get my hands on (I had probably started reading Harry Potter around the time, and not long after that we'd get ourselves a Wii so that I could divert my attention to New Super Mario Bros. and - eventually - The Legend of Zelda).
Over the years I started kind of... I don't know if ridiculing is the right word, but it's something similar. Probably we would've dug up the old DVDs to see if my little sister liked them or something (she wouldn't have) and I would've looked at those old, shallow episodes with the mind of "I liked this? Seriously? It's just clones shooting at droids! Nothing else is happening!"
Simpler times, those were; I figured. They could show you a big bad new weapon the Seperatists have concocted and blast a few clones here and there, but really in the end you knew everything was going to be okay. Nothing bad was going to happen to anyone important. They had a show to make, after all.
Years later: quarantine and lockdown. I got sick and out of precaution I was confined to my room for a whole week. I requested and received access to my various devices... as well as to Diseny+. I was in a bit of a Star Wars mood, I guess, because after watching Rogue One and maybe some other things I had the brilliant idea to give the Clone Wars another go.
And lemme tell ya. Those first couple seasons are rough.
I mean... in all fairness, those are the ones I've seen over and over probably a million times. Yoda beating the ever-living crap out of an entire droid battalion gets less and less interesting the more you see it. But also some of those arcs are just boring. In so many cases they're just one-dimensional, with the Republic coming to some Seperatist-controlled planet and convincing the locals that they're the good guys and the droids are bad and then team up with the natives to beat up battle droids.
But I stuck to it, and apparently I stuck to it quite a bit, because looking through the episode list it looks like I watched almost halfway through season bloody four in that one blnge session. This was after some of the greatest stories ever presented thus far: Arc Troopers, Mortis, the Citadel. I think I was just getting tired of it, and after two whole bloody episdoes dedicated to C3PO and R2D2 getting into trouble with Cad Bane I just sort of gave up.
Honestly, bad timing. I gave up right before General Krell.
I owe my newfound interest to this video showing up in my recommend several times over the course of a month or two. It had a whole section full of spoilers from the Clone Wars episodes I had not yet seen, and it occured to me that I had the entire show at my fingertips - and a part of me didn't want to be spoiled more than I already had been.
So I start binging.
It. Started. Incredibly.
To be clear, I started from where I ended off. The last thing I wanted to do was rewatch the first couple seasons again. Very first arc was Betrayal on Umbara: when General Pong Krell has betrayed the jedi order and clone army in order to attract the attention of Count Dooku.
And it was so good.
Need I say more?
Needless to say, I was hooked. The next few arcs were less incredible: Zygerrian slave arc was blatant, that weird one with Ahsoka making out with Lux... Obi-Wan Undercover was actually pretty solid, but I don't have much to say about it in particular.
And then there was Darth Maul.
They gave Count Dooku an apprentice. Asajj Ventress. I just thought she was there for lightsaber duels. Then they had him betray her under orders from Darth Sideous. Then they had her enlist an evil sidekick to betray him, who then betrayed them both because of the suffering he'd endured. And then he went and found his brother - DARTH MAUL - and then Darth Maul enlisted his brother to get revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi, who teamed up with Ventress to defeat them.
Call reviving Darth Maul a weak storymaking decision. Call it a cashgrab. It was the best choice the writers ever made.
Season Five starts with so many mid arcs. Onderon was aight I guess, but after that we had the younglings and then the bloody droid squad my gods that one was so g a r b a g e.
Then it picks up.
And when I say it picks up
mate, I mean it picks up.
Darth Maul. More Darth Maul. Those three episodes became my absolute favorite from the moment I finished them. Maul teams up with the Death Watch to take over Mandalore and draw in Kenobi, who watches Satine die before abandoning the planet.
And then DARTH SIDEOUS SHOWS UP TO KILL SAVAGE OPPRESS AND BEAT THE EVER-LIVING BEJEEZUS OUT OF MAUL.
And then there's the - the
the one where
Ahsoka is framed for murder.
And then she leaves the Jedi Order.
I can't - I can't even -
Season Six takes the crazy scud and makes it even crazier.
I can't even begin to describe the absolute horror of knowing Fives was doomed to die as soon as he became privy to Order 66, and the fear and paranoia... just his voice in those last moments.
"YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME!"
Past that it doesn't get any better for Season 6. Not that it gets bad by any means... it's just that nothing could possibly compare to the Fives arc. Sure the Clovis arc developed Anakin x Padme way better than AotC ever could, and the Yoda discovery arc was just a beautiful way to segue us into RotS...
But then there was Season 7.
Bad Batch? Solid. Solid. I loved it.
Ahsoka? YES. Honestly, Trace just walked up to her and I was like "gay????" The arc itself wasn't particularly weighty, but it just... I just liked it. Ahsoka's always been one of my favorites.
And then the Finale.
I never would've thought as a child that The Clone Wars was supposed to be Ahsoka's story. Of course I thought it was about Anakin Skywalker. All of it was. Literally all of the original and prequel Star Wars films were about the story of Anakin Skywalker.
But the Clone Wars didn't end with Anakin. It ended with Ahsoka.
In a sense, the last of the good he had left behind.
Old Friends Not Forgotten: Ahsoka is about to team up with Obi-Wan and Anakin once again, but they are called away to Coruscant as the Chancellor is about to be kidnapped. We know what's going on over there. We know that Anakin is about to make his first step into taking Dooku's place as Palpatine's apprentice.
And... and Anakin gave Ahsoka the 501st.
Captain Rex became Ahsoka's right-hand man.
The Phantom Apprentice: First of all... epic name. I was like "hehe" as I read it, cozied up in a blanket whilst painfully aware of just how close to the end I was coming.
Just... that battle. Ahsoka versus Maul. How could it be that Qui Gon Jin's padawan's padawan's padawan would be the one to finally defeat him? The parallel plot structure between the duel and the siege, Meanwhile Anakin has been appointed a spy, and Obi-Wan is defeating Greivous.
The episode ends on such tension. Maul screaming about how they're all going to die while the score just proclaims how little they've truly achieved.
Shattered: Order 66. It is proclaimed maybe ten or fifteen minutes into the episode, and holy hell the buildup.
Can I speak to the score here? Throughout the entire buildup there's just this edge to it. A calm before the storm. They all know something is about to happen. We all know what is about to happen. And this time it is so much more agonizing as Captain Rex sheds a tear in fighting against his inhibiter chip before firing on Ahsoka; all these loyal, amazing, beloved brothers turn on the generals they've served under for so many years.
They begun this in the very first episode of the very first season. Yoda tells his soldiers to take off their helmets, calling them brothers. From arc to arc to arc - Cadets, the Citadel, Umbara, Fives - these are brothers.
Now they turn on their generals.
Victory and Death: There is so much hopelessness here. It's just Ahsoka and Rex versus the entire ship. They can't save the Jedi. They can't stop the order. The only hope is in their own survival.
Almost the entire episode has them fighting through the entire battalion in the hangar, who are ready to die with the severely damaged ship just to make sure Ahsoka goes down with them.
Rex is prepared to fight his brothers to escape, but Ahsoka refuses to be the one to kill them even in their readiness to die.
They take hit after hit after hit just trying to desperately reach a shuttle to escape, and then very nearly fail.
Just the two of them barely reach a ship, covered in wounds.
The cruiser has crashed. Every soldier except the two of them have died. Captain Rex buries his brothers, and Ahsoka leaves her lightsaber behind...
And then Darth Vader finds it, so many years alter.
This show isn't good. It's a masterpiece. No, it's not the incredibly deep, heavy, and dense story of Andor, or even the mostly consistent level of quality shown in the likes of Mandalorian. Instead, it is an apex. It is, in its entirety, a foundation.
Just for those last four episodes, the entire show has built the most incredible lattice of character, plot, theme, and emotion so that at the end of it all you can see the true gravity of the fall of the Republic. Anakin's fall to the Dark Side, the Jedi Order's lack of foresight, Palpatine's unyielding efficiency over decades of planning; and the brothers, all now dying and fighting against the friends they once served with nothing but loyalty.
When I was a kid I loved Anakin Skywalker. I loved Captain Rex. I loved Obi-Wan Kenobi. I loved Ahsoka Tano. How could I have known that they would, when I had became a legal adult, change my perception entirely on what I had just assumed was a silly children's cartoon about clone troopers and robots shooting at each other?
That is all.
All too often, animation is dismissed as low-quality because it's "a kids show".
But some of the best shows out there are animated. Your post, Fadran, just attests to that. The Clone Wars, Rebels, Ninjago, Avatar: The Last Airbender; these are all incredible shows with amazing stories and characters. My favorite characters--outside of books--came from those shows.
And it's not just shows. Oh, no. Kung-fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon, The LEGO Movie. Absolute icons. Don't even get me started on the animated DC movies.
More people should watch animation, they are really missing out on some S-tier entertainment.