'I know what I have to do.'
I regret that I haven’t had the chance to comment yet on Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series (airing on Cartoon Network each Friday evening), but now that I’ve got a little more free time before school starts up again I wanted to remedy that and yack a little about what has quickly become my favorite series to tune into each week. I know this because right before I hit the hay late Friday night, I say goodnight to my fiancee, put the dogs to bed, settle into my favorite chair, grab a snack and watch the latest episode. It’s my chance to kick back and enjoy something that has been such a big part of my life since I was a kid. What’s more, my Dad and I usually watch the episodes together at some point later in the week just so we can comment on it so that’s something I appreciate about the whole experience as well. All in all, I have to say that I think Lucas & Co. are doing a heck of a job with it!
I actually tuned in to “Ambush” and the “Malevolence” 3-parter before I was able to see the movie that kicked started the series but I was quickly on board with the storytelling, action sequences, the characters and the overall look of the animated television series in general — and with “Rookies” I knew that The Clone Wars was something that was really up my alley. For those of you that may recall, thanks to their connection to the Fetts, the Mandalorian heritage, many an hour with Star Wars: Battlefront and Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando novels the Clones have become one of the most entertaining aspects of the Star Wars universe for me and Ep. 5 was exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to see in this series. Rookies featured a group of new troopers (“shinies”) newly charged with operating and maintaining a distant tracking outpost. Yet, to them, their assignment seemed drab, and boring — that is, until they come under attack by Seperatist forces made up of Droid Commando’s — and are thrown feet first into an intense fight for possession of the outpost.
What the episode went a long way in showing (something a long time coming in a canonical onscreen work), was that the clones are extremely hard working individuals with deep pride in their service/abilities, strong work ethic in battle, and their reliance on each other (their “brothers”) in the fight. Too often we have a tendency to see a clone fall without thinking much about it, but I think the creators involved have really begun to go the extra mile in showing that these are people, and subtle glances by the soldiers when one falls, men being helped off the battlefield, heads down in a show of respect, and Jedi concern for their trooper teammates etc. goes a long way toward sending that lesson home. I know Karen Traviss, for example, has gone through great pains to really flesh these characters out, and provide us a huge window into the world that exists between the clones beyond the helmets. Anyhow, Captain Rex and Commander Cody are great in this episode, but the real star of the show is “Hevy,” the munitions expert and one of the more agitated of the clones on watch at the outpost. The Seperatists are planning an attack on the clone’s home world of Kamino and the outpost stands between them and a successful attack, so when Hevy sees that the time for action is come he’s not only ready, but claims the heaviest ordinance as his own in defending the outpost from the invasion. Unfortunately, their small defense force is ultimately unable to repel the heavy Seperatist attack and their last hope of notifying the Republic, and stopping the armed droid force is to blow the outpost and its captors to kingdom come. But when the remote detonator fails to work Hevy realizes that in order to save his brothers and complete the mission he’s got to hold off the attackers and blow the place manually. In a valiant stand, he buys time for his teammates to get out and takes down numerous droids with the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon before getting hit himself in the firefight. With all he has left he drags himself to the detonator and surrounded by droids activates it.
- Battle Droid: “Do we take prisoners?”
- Hevy: “I don’t.”
With that, the outpost goes up in flames, the droids are toasted, the Republic is notified, Kamino is saved and the remaining troopers are rescued. All because of a single clone trooper’s devotion to his friends and his duty to serve the Republic. Obviously Ep. 5 has been my favorite so far, but I’ve enjoyed them all and most recently “Duel of the Droids,” and “Cloak of Darkness” have really hit it out of the park as well. It’ll be January 2nd before we see a new episode but when we do, you’ll know where I’ll be. Until then, remember good ‘ol Hevy!
'Hevy always did hate that place.'
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