Less than twenty-four hours to go before Friday’s premiere episodes of Season Four of The Clone Wars! As we count down for two-parter, ‘Water War’ and ‘Gungan Attack’, here’s a look at Newsarama’s coverage of the star-studded premiere event , held at the Long Beach Aquarium. Meanwhile, Big Shiny Robot scored an video interview with Dee Bradley Baker at the opening, as well as brings out some interviews taken at Comic-Con, with director Dave Filoni, and CG Supervisor Joel Aron.
So, knowing what we saw in promo clips online and at Comic-Con and from all these interviews, here’s what I am looking forward to seeing this season on The Clone Wars:
First, I am really intrigued by the four-part Umbaran arc. We know that this will be the first time that the clones are engaging against live humanoid enemies, both in space and on the ground. From his Comic-Con interview with Bryan Young, Dee Bradley Baker was “bothered” by the choices that the clonetroopers have to face in this story. Is fighting a war against living beings on their home turf going to change how the clones view their role in the war? Will fighting on a dark alien world going to cause a little Apocalypse Now type crazy? What are you fighting for when you’re the invaders? Does this link to the clips of the clones discussing what will happen to them when the war comes to an end? There’s a lot of fertile storytelling ground with this clone-centric scenario, and I am eager to experience it.
The first storyline with the battle for the Mon Calamari homeworld is next on my list – we were teased with some great clips at Comic-Con, and with a new villain on the scene, there’s blood in the water — not only for him, but for us hungry fans. With some of the reviews from the premiere leaking out, I’m expecting a level of awesome, especially since Joel Aron indicated that the season three finale was more or less a benchmark for where the animation of the show is at.
Characters growing and changing. Yesterday, I mentioned that I enjoyed Ahsoka’s growth in the third season, and I am looking forward to seeing the main characters continue to grow towards their eventual Revenge of the Sith roles, or their eventual fates. Ashley Eckstein mentioned that Ahsoka has a bit of a blind spot regarding Anakin’s relationship with Padmé, and maybe we’ll see what other issues arise from Ahsoka’s adoration of her master. Also, considering how sometimes rocky the relationship between Obi-wan and Anakin was, it will be interesting to see how Anakin now deals with a student who is no longer a kid. Joel Aron and Dave Filoni both mentioned that Dee Bradley Baker had a lot of work this season, and I hope to see some of that going into Rex having some growth of his own, like when he had to come to terms with a deserter a few seasons back. Matt Lanter told Newsarama that there’s going to be a return to some of the “darker” issues that Anakin has to face, such as in the Mortis arc. Let’s hope that there’s some lasting consequences this time.
Some comedy. Each season, there’s usually one or two droid-centric episodes that tend to be a little lighter, or one with Jar Jar being clumsy but still managing to help save the day. We’ve seen clips that Threepio will be going with some clones this season, and that sounds like a recipe for some laughs. And I do hope to see some more battle droid humor slip in here and there – they may be droids, but they’re people, too! (“We were made to suck, it’s our lot in life” should be their motto.)
One thing that I’m torn about is the focus on multi-episode arcs. I really like these because they allow for some larger stories to be told, with issues that can’t be resolved in the span of a single episode, and that gives more freedom for storytelling. But it also limits the number of stories that can be told in a season – while I liked getting the tight two and three parters in the second half of season three, it didn’t leave a lot of room for one-off stories with characters. The first season had a one-off with Yoda and threw in a Mace Windu story as part of the looser Ryloth arc. Padmé had a few single episode adventures that worked well. But chances are, the multi-part stories are going to focus on the show’s current main characters: Anakin, Ahsoka, Rex, Obi-wan and the clones. At least Kit Fisto looks to be a prominent part in the opener. I guess we just need more episodes overall to fit both desires here: more long story arcs, and more side character stories.
And more Nightsisters, Death Watch, Cad Bane, Savage Opress, Boba Fett, Robonino, and the Hutts. To paraphrase the Doctor, “I like Clone Wars bad guys. Clone Wars bad guys are cool.” And we know we’ll be seeing most of these this season.
Re-watching the trailer, two more things jumped out at me as things I want to know more about: Krell, the Besalisk Jedi, and whatever the heck those aliens are that surround C-3PO.
What are you hoping to see this season?