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Clone Wars: “Monster” Review

clonewars 9caFirst and foremost, since I didn’t mention it in my first review, I HAVE to point out how awesome and heavy the Drums are during the opening Star Wars theme!  Sounds so epic and gives Clone Wars its own vibe.  Plus, it’s the only John Williams-type score from the movies that was put into the show.  Then, we get, as we fans refer to it, “The Fortune Cookie.”  The words of wisdom placed before us at the beginning of each episode.  This week’s Fortune Cookie says, “Evil Is Not Taught, It Is Learned…”  Some people don’t give enough attention to the Fortune Cookie and how it relates to the episode.  This one is a major one…


In last week’s episode, Dooku was deceived into believing it was the Jedi who attacked him, so  that he would look for a new assassin from Mother Talzin; a male assassin this time.  I’ve poked around the internet forums to see if people thought Dooku was aware he was being manipulated or if he actually had no idea.  Turns out most think the same way I do.  Dooku may be powerful, but it seemed he honestly had no idea he was being deceived.  And, what is the past between Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters/brothers?  There is a past they aren’t telling us.  Also, Dooku was not in the least hesitant to drink the beverage Talzin so casually conjured up with her Witchcraft.  There has to be some sort of past bond here.




And then, we get the name drop…


Talzin: You have heard of the Sith warrior Darth Maul?

Dooku: Yes, he was slain at the hand of Obi-Wan Kenobi.


And, here we go!


Now, let me say this first before I go on.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing women as strong, bad ass characters.  Women are just as tough as men physically and mentally.  Women kicking ass rocks!  Katie Lucas really brings this to the table in this arc.  Ventress has had her trouble fighting against the Jedi in the past, but, after you watch this episode, you will be blown away.  A Planet where it seems the female species rule?  Yes, please!  The Nightsisters are incredible.  As I said in my last review, they are very magical and ninja like.  Now, as they call the males in this episode the Nightbrothers, the males seem to have a more civilized culture.


Asajj”travels to the other side of Dathomir to find a new recruit.  We get to witness how the male side of the species lives and their culture.  The Nightsisters seem much more mysterious than The Nightbrothers.  Ventress swoops in on her Speeder and immediately asks for The Selection, to which one Dalthorian says, “Line up!  Heads of each tribe!  For the sister!”  So, the males have tribes on their planet, very interesting.  And, they hold their “sisters” in very high regard.  We can definitely see who is the stronger gender on this planet!


We get out first look at the new villain Savage Opress.  Much skinnier than the pictures I had seen of him online.  What’s really awesome about this introduction is they establish a relationship between him and one of his “brothers” named Feral.  Savage treats him like a younger brother, like he’s looking out for him.  And, MAJOR props go out to Mr. Clancy Brown who provides the voice of Savage Opress.  Most will know Clancy as Mr. Krabs on SpoungeBob and Lex Luthor on Justice League. He definitely makes Opress awesome, especially later in the episode.


Tiny little Asajj Ventress goes through the lines of males and smacks, slaps, chokes, and punches the majority of the potential candidates leaving only a few behind.  Her treatment is harsh, brutal, and awesome.  None of these guys are going to speak up to her.  This is the beginning of a trial.  Three trials, actually, and only one can survive!


Trial 1:  Ventress beats the living daylights out of ten men.  They all have weapons and she has no lightsaber.  Awesome animation and Savage shows his loyalty to Feral!


Trial 2:  Four of the males are left, and Ventress equips herself with a chain and blade.  And then turns out the lights!  Bam!  This scene is like something out of a horror movie.  It’s dark, Asajj is swooping though the shadows, and all you can hear is her sinister giggle.  All the Dalthorians have these awesome glowing yellow eyes that are darting back and forth in fear.  Amazing scene.


Trial 3:  And here’s where the bantha poodoo hits the fan.  We have two left.  Savage and his “brother” Feral.  Only one can survive.  Feral, being a coward, says that only one of them can “win.”  Savage says, “No, we stick together.”  When Feral slips up and gets caught by Ventress and she forces chokes him, Savage jumps in like the hero and slaps the daylights out of her.  “As long as I live, you will not harm him!”  The emotion brought to Savage’s character in this to me was almost heartbreaking, because I already know what he’s going to become.  But, the beauty of Katie Lucas’ writing is that she gives us the back story of a villain, so that we actually care!  We then go into an amazing hand to hand combat battle between Ventress and Savage.  Amazingly well done, and the directing was phenomenal.


Savage is now under Ventress’ wing, and she takes him from his tribe.  The facial expression exchanged between Savage and Feral as he drives away speaks for itself.  Ventress brings Savage back to The Nightsisters and Mother Talzin in which The Nightsisters basically give Savage the Super Soldier Serum… through witchcraft!


Now, here is where S*!T goes down!  Savage is now pretty much a tool of The Nightsisters.  He is a super jacked Monster!  (Hence, the title of the episode.)  If you noticed, Ventress touched his forehead briefly.  This is important later on, but now he’s basically under the spell of The Nightsisters.  He’s Frankenstein’s monster, if you will.  They talk, he obeys.  His first order…. kill one of his “brothers.”  I can’t tell, but I think it’s supposed to be Feral, and he chokes him and cracks his neck.  That’s right, people.  Anyone who thinks this show is for kids, think again. You don’t see it on camera, but you hear his neck get crushed. Even I cringed.


Mother Talzin presenting Savage to Dooku was a really cool scene, and then it jumped right into Dooku sending off Savage to a planet to basically “prove his worth,” which Savage does in spades.  We see a really kick-ass scene of Savage killing everything in his sight.  He slashes through the droids, who are on his side, and impales Clone Troopers without even blinking an eye, until he gets to the two Jedi guarding the temple, both of which he kills dead.  Amazing…


This arc that Katie Lucas has given us is some of the best Star Wars ever. And, if you liked this episode as much as I did, my goodness – wait ‘till you see the conclusion of this arc!  WOW!


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