Friday, August 17, 2012

Clone Wars Countdown - Top Five Season 1 Episodes

SW: To prepare for the upcoming Season 5 of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", I've decided to post my top five favorite episodes from seasons one through four.  I thought about doing my favorite "moments", but there are far too many of those...possibly sometime for the future, though.

But please, I beg of you, don't let me do all the talking!  I'd love to hear your opinions!  What were your favorite episodes, maybe your favorite moments?  Which season has been your favorite so far?

This week I'll post my favorite Season 1 episodes, then Season 2's next week, and so on and so forth.  Well, I guess I should shut up and get started.

 My Top Five "Season 1" Episodes:

#5: "Ambush"

-This made my top five because it seems to be the only episode so far that allows Master Yoda to do some real action.  Otherwise he has simply been sitting around giving his own two-bit pieces of advice to Ani/Obi/Soka and whatnot.  In the Season One premiere, Yoda got to kick off the series with some serious kick-butt on scores of rather unfortunate battle droids.  Another plus is Asajj Ventress as the main antagonist.  She is one of my favorite Star Wars villains and I find her to be a very interesting and dynamic character.  All in all, great pilot episode, but with not as much punch as...

#4: "The Hidden Enemy"

-This one probably made the list because of how cool the setting was.  I love Christophsis.  The backdrop added so much being this unique urban planet unlike anything on Coruscant or Cloud City.  As always, I like watching Obi-Wan and Anakin working together; even if this Star Wars trope is overdone, it's still fun to watch.  The way they play off each other's strengths and weaknesses, jumping from serious to wise-cracking, is pure genius...even when Anakin gets more than a tad annoying.  And Ventress came back!  My favorite part had to be Ventress engaging the two Jedi.  When they were dropping hundreds of stories towards the end of the episode - holy chocolate-covered cherries.  They don't make lightsaber duels like they used to.

 #3: "Innocents of Ryloth"

-I love this episode because of its focus on the real carnage and horror of war.  Often I find that action and war flicks depict combat as manly, exhilarating, and full of badass one-liners and explosions.  I am not accusing Star Wars of doing this, but I couldn't help but feel that illusion's presence in a lot of the action scenes from the films, especially Attack of the Clones and Return of the Jedi.  However, in "Clone Wars", we get to see lots of the war from the clones' perspective.  And this was the one episode from Season One that nailed that perspective best.  We see what this war has done not only to the often-overlooked clones, but the innocent civilians.  That was never shown in the films.  And of all the episodes that cover that heavy theme in the entire series, this one has still got to be my favorite.  Boil and Waxer were portrayed brilliantly in their transitioning of emotions, and the appearance of little Numa was so - powerful.  To me, it felt like she represented every child or innocent who had suffered because of the war that wasn't theirs.  Talk about a punch in the gut.  A bonus for my favorite Jedi, Obi-Wan, being a major character in the episode as well.

#2: "Rookies"

-From what I know about "Clone Wars" fans, this episode has been one of the highest-ranked of all time...and rightfully so.  First of all, after the whole Malevolence arc left us out of breath from all the emphasis on the Jedi, the focus transitioned sharply to a small batch of little-known clones.  These are the clones that we've stuck with for all four seasons, watched them grow up and mature, harden and soften amidst the psychological damages brought on by combat - some were taken and others had to watch their brothers die.  Yup...Echo, Fives, and the rest of the gang led by Captain Rex and Commander Cody.  Again, the emphasis on the clones was done brilliantly.  I just loved watching them interact and learning to work as a team.  Of course, Hevy's sacrifice was heavy on my heart and is probably the main reason this episode ranked second on my list.  I find fictional characters deaths much easier to take than nonfiction deaths (as in a WWII film with actors playing real-life soldiers), but Hevy's was pretty tough.  A stark reminder of the cost of war, and foreshadowing of future suffering these guys will have to face.  But I'm being too dramatic.  On to my number one favorite...

#1: "Hostage Crisis"!

-Admit it, you knew this would top my did I the moment Bane jumped out of the airspeeder and stood right in front of the Senate guards.  Anyway, where do I start?  First off, the approach to the season finale was ingenious!  I had had my high peaks through season one, but overall, it felt a bit too lighthearted for me to take this show seriously.  The moments I already highlighted from "Innocents", "Rookies", and unmentioned others were being badly overshadowed by Anakin and Ahsoka's snippy comments and flashy moves.  And it was starting to wear on me.

Then, along came this episode.  Oh, holy, *bleep*.  I instantly fell in love with the whole assembly of bounty hunters who didn't joke around and toss out bad one-liners about how they're going to "kill you, slowl-l-y-y-y...."  You mess with them, you take a bullet to the back, period.  The mixture of new and familiar was awesome.  Immediately I recognized Aurra Sing, happy to see her make her first appearance in the show, along with plenty of new faces.  Anakin's John McClane-esque involvement was entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat.  The whole heist was beautifully-planned from start to finish.  I would have liked to see a bit more complexity, but hey, you can only do so much in twenty-two minutes, so I'll give them that credit.

And finally...this was the episode where I fell in love at first sight...ambushed, held hostage, however you want to put it.  I kid you not.  Suddenly my interest in "The Clone Wars" hit a spike, and I'm still there.  So what were my first thoughts when I saw Cad Bane break a guy's  neck with bare hands, plug an innocent Senator, and exit his first appearance with a literal bang?  "What is a cowboy doing in Star Wars?" to "Wow, this guy is cool" to "I can't get enough of this character!"  After "Hostage Crisis", I could not wait for Season Two to get rolling.  And that's where I'll leave you until next week until I come back for more Clone Wars Countdown.  But don't worry, my other posts are not on hold 'til then.

So, what are your thoughts on Season One?  What were your favorite episodes, and more importantly, why?

Thanks for reading!
-Stilwater <><


  1. I feel pretty much the same way as you do :) I don't have a favorite episode, but the one you chose are awesome! :D

  2. i love all of these. but, i love the one with numa the best. she's so darn cute. she has the clone bro's wrapped tightly around her leku's. lol. :)

  3. Awesome list. :D My Top 3 are the some expect that would have "Rookies" at number one. That was really the turning point of the series from fun adventure into the darker, more mature themes. Can't wait for the next season.


    1. EDIT: Sorry I ment "My Top 3 are the same except that I would have Rookies at number one".