After two viewings, I’m still not really sure how I feel about this episode, but it’s definitely leaning more towards the negative. So, for now, let’s focus on the positives of “A Test of Strength,” of which there is a major one.
David Tennant. David Tennant. David Tennant!
That’s right, the 10th Doctor himself is now a part of the Star Wars mythos, voicing the droid lightsaber architect Huyang. The character itself is interesting, although something seems a bit off to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve constructed a few of my own lightsabers in my day *cough* in video games *end cough* and it’s always such a fantastic and memorable moment; however, this scene made it feel like something more out of Harry Potter when they are choosing their first wand. Since this episode felt more “cutesy” to me than the last one, perhaps the Potter familiarity was intentional. That aside, Tennant rocked as the character. There were a few key moments you can hear the Doctor’s tone in there with his rapid-fire dialogue. I would DIE to see Huyang and C-3PO jabber back and forth with each other. Oh, it would be beautiful.
Besides that, there were only a few other things I really enjoyed. Ahsoka had some awesome moments towards the end there while she was fighting off the pirates, flying around the hallways as they were being sucked out the vacuum. I would expect nothing less from Ahsoka. Also, more Gungi is always a win, seeing as Wookiee Jedi are so rare. And, how can I forget the training remote making an appearance? Several remotes, actually, being used as a trap no less. Pretty clever, these Younglings are. And, Gungi’s choice in a wooden hilt? I’d like to see more of that next episode!
And now, for the negatives. First and foremost, what was the DEAL with Hondo? I love him as a character, but last we saw him he was helping the Jedi and now he’s trying to kill Younglings for crystals? Hmmm, alright? Look, I’m aware that some of the episodes are being aired out of order this season, but it’s just incredibly jarring to see this change in a character who I was loving 2 weeks ago and now I’m disgusted by him. Again, strange choice moving the episode order, but I’ll trust Filoni and crew, as I’m sure there’s a reason.
This episode felt more childish to me than the last one for some reason. I guess little kids taking down bad guys is very Home Alone-esque to me. I know these kids don’t have their lightsabers yet, but don’t they still have the Force? No one seems to be using a simple Force Push to get out of a situation, which feels odd to me. I guess if they did that then R2 wouldn’t have had his big moment this episode.
Overall, the episode was decent, but I felt it was a step down from last week’s episode, one I was already on the fence about. But, these episode aren’t geared towards me, they are for the kids, so I’m glad they throw us adults a bone with someone like Tennant to geek out over. Had we gotten an “allons-y!” out of Huyang, I might have ranked this episode a 10 out of 10, but I don’t even have a ranking system, so that would be weird.
‘Till the next episode! Allons-y Alonso!