Category Archives: review

The Clone Wars review: ‘Altar of Mortis’

One of the common criticisms of the prequel trilogy was that the movies were a bit too drunk on their own mythology.  The originals films, the argument goes, used Joseph Campbell to tell a story, while the prequels used a story to talk about Joseph Campbell.  It’s not a criticism that’s unique to the prequels (it was also leveled at Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the Matrix sequels, and more recently, Tron: Legacy), and I don’t think it’s completely fair… but it’s hard to deny that Uncle George laid on the symbolism pretty thick.  That being said, the mythological overtones of the prequels were apparently just a warm-up for this Mortis storyline.  The result is an episode that’s beautiful to look at, fascinating to analyze, and otherwise pretty dull.

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Book review: Troy Denning’s Fate of the Jedi: Vortex

After teaming up in Allies, relations between the Lost Tribe and the Skywalkers have turned a bit sour. Abeloth has been defeated, but the two sides are determined to keep secrets and double cross one another (both are good stalling tactics, after all). Luke and Ben tread dangerous ground, but it isn’t long before the pair is forced to flee the planet when they discover Abeloth did not die after all. Taking Vestara with them again, the trio travels to the moon of Pydyr to track down and destroy her, hopefully for the last time.

On Coruscant, the secret mission intended to aid Luke and Ben, has been stalled. The Jedi Council is increasingly growing tired of Master Kenth Hamner’s stubbornness. It becomes apparent that there’s something he’s hiding and the other Jedi Masters are fed up. When young Jedi begin recovering from their strange psychosis and Daala refuses to acknowledge this progress, the Jedi Council is especially convinced that rescuing Valin and Jysella Horn will accomplish one of three things: reassert the Council’s autonomy, discredit Daala, and serve as a distraction while the Stealth X-Wings deploy for Pyrdyr. As it turns out, Daala is the least of their problems. An unexpected friction arises that threatens to unravel the Council Luke has worked so hard to achieve. Continue reading

Book review: Introduction to Jedi Knighthood

I have a particular fondness for the independently-published Star Wars philosophy book. People are all over the board in how they see the Force and Star Wars and these books reflect that.

Jedi Manual Basics: Introduction to Jedi Knighthood by Matthew Vossler came across to me, from its description, as a book written for kids (another fondness of mine). But it’s actually a workbook for those wishing to study Jediism as a religion or personal philosophy.

Jediism has been gaining ground as a religion in recent years. This book lets you walk through the basic precepts and examine your own understanding of the Force through a series of studies and writing assignments.

I would have liked to see a bit more actual background over assignments. And the use of URL’s as reading assignments could be problematic as sites go down and change.  As a result, its usefulness in the long term is doubtful. But if you’re at all interested in Jediism, this would be an interesting way to explore it further.

The Clone Wars review: ‘Overlords’

“The longer we stay here, the stranger it gets,” says Ahsoka Tano in last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, ‘Overlords’. I think this applies to us as viewers as well as the show tackles one of the most important notions of Star Wars and takes it in a new direction, as well as bringing back some prequel characters (and their actors). And helping to show Anakin Skywalker’s slow slide toward the dark side, he confronts past guilt but in the end, chooses the path of selfishness. Continue reading

The Clone Wars review: ‘Witches of the Mist’

Okay, let’s tackle the bantha in the room.  ‘Witches of the Mist’?  Really?  Were the gorillas busy?  What kind of silly title is this?  And more importantly, why focus on the witches?  They were pretty prominent in the past two episodes, but here, the Sith take center stage.  And to stretch this metaphor to its limit, those Sith sure know how to put on a show. Continue reading

The Clone Wars review: ‘Monster’

Savage Opress made his broadcast debut in ‘Monster,’ last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As the middle story in the Nightsisters arc, it’s a nearly Jedi-free episode as the key players are all on the dark side. While Savage impresses both Mother Talzin and Count Dooku, ‘Monster’ impressed me with action and story. Continue reading

The Clone Wars review: ‘Nightsisters’

Let’s face it – Jedi are sort of boring.  When people think of iconic Star Wars figures, they think of Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Han Solo, R2-D2… almost anyone other than those stuffed-shirt lightsider types.  Yes, folks love Yoda, but that’s mostly because he (a) is green, (b) talks funny, and (c) isn’t tall enough to ride on Star Tours.  Yoda is popular specifically because he’s so un-Jedi-like.  The Sith, however, have never been boring.  They wear cool clothes, have a passion for their work, and carry a license to kill.  What, I ask you, is the downside to being a Sith?  Is there any? Continue reading

The Clone Wars review: ‘Pursuit of Peace’

‘Pursuit of Peace’ was the year’s final broadcast episode of The Clone Wars, and if this season started off with a bang, it ended more with a yawn. Padmé Amidala races to prevent a war appropriations bill from being passed else it destroy the Republic through bankruptcy, with her and Senators Bail Organa and Onaconda Farr getting roughed up in the process. If only senators like Amidala, target of countless assassination plots, ever learned to travel with a security team, half of the plot and all of the action could have been avoided. Continue reading

The Clone Wars review: ‘Heroes on Both Sides’

I was all set to love Ahsoka’s new outfit.  I’ve certainly done my fair share of complaining about her old rags, bemoaning that they were flimsy, impractical, and (worst of all) unflattering.  And her new get-up, all leather and cut-outs, is actually kinda cool.  But then… but then.  But then she had to go talk about it. Continue reading

The Clone Wars review: ‘Hunt for Ziro’

‘Hunt for Ziro’, last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, brought together a lot of great elements that Star Wars does well: adventure, romance, dance numbers, and the occasional surprise, and wrapped it up in a Hutt-sized package for the viewers. The Clone Wars introduction of EU favorite Quinlan Vos was almost a side note to the whole story. Hopefully he’ll get another time to really shine, as this episode was more an ensemble act with Cad Bane, Sy Snootles, Obi-wan Kenobi and the Hutts. Continue reading