But, more important than ANYTHING else in this episode is one thing: Jedi Robes! This may not seem like a big deal to some, but let me explain. The reason we don't see robes on the show is because it's too costly to animate. So, actually seeing them in action was a thing of beauty. My hat's off to the animators for also finding a clever way of "hiding" the hood after removal from their heads. Instead of clumping up around the back of the neck like the hood normally would, the animators have it fall back into a thin layer rested atop the shoulder blades. It's a really slick effect and reduces textures and rendering costs, I'm sure. Well done.
Storywise, I enjoyed the episode even while it dragged at points. We are seeing the beginnings of what will later become the Rebel Alliance, so forget what you were told in The Force Unleashed, because The Clone Wars is G-Canon and overwrites it. I'm fine with this as long as the story plays out well, and considering Filoni's track record, I'm not too worried about it. The bulk of this episode was Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka traveling to Onderon to assist (but not get involved with) in training a small band of rebels. Lux is back and willing to get his hands dirty along with two new characters named Saw and Steela. Steela seems to be a potential love interest for Lux, leaving our favorite Togruta a little on the jealous side, though Steela looks old enough to be Lux's mom, which to me is a bit strange. I love seeing Ahsoka being put in more of a position of power while also having to deal with those crazy teenage problems we all remember so well.
And, although I had already seen it numerous times from the previews, I still got chills with Anakin's delivery of "Impressive. Most impressive." I also thought it was nice of them to let Rex out of his armor for once. Give the dude a chance to breath!
Things start to pick up more with the second of the four-part arc. And, look! Again! Jedi Robes! I'm sorry, I just can't get over how awesome this is. And, come on, how rad does Ahsoka look with that hood over her montrals? Though it does seem a bit conspicuous, no?
So, the rebels have infiltrated the walls of the city, and Obi-Wan and Anakin feel Ahsoka can now handle this on her own and be on their way? Wait, what? This would have bothered me a bit more (Why did they even come here in the first place?), but the conversation between Anakin and Ahsoka was enough to distract me. He has noticed the looks Ahsoka has been giving Lux and Steela and warns her to keep focused. Having Anakin admit to her that he understand what she's going through was awesome. I often forget, as a member of the audience, that we're the only ones who know of Anakin and Padme's relationship. So, it's nice to see Anakin open up some while not giving away his secret.
The action scenes were well handled, and, as expected, we got to see the rebels put their new tricks to good use. Having Lux still slip up when it came to tossing the detonator was a nice touch, as it showed he still needed to focus. Although, Steela and Saw are naturals at this, so it was to no surprise Steela was named leader. I felt the reveal of Steela and Saw as siblings wasn't too big of a shock (both named after crafting materials? Hello!) but still left me intrigued as to how their relationship will progress the next two episodes. Saw seems to be taking this personally, and I already have a pretty good idea of how things are going to play out between the siblings. Curse my powers of premonition!
I am very excited for what's in store for us in this week's The Soft War . . .