SThis week's episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars offered thrills and spills, derring-do rescues and damsels in distress, and a breathy bad-guy ditching the flawed giant evil death machine and flying off into deep space at the end of the episode. It all seemed very familiar indeed, like this old movie about Darth something and a Death Star, who could've guessed? But Star Wars wasn't the only George Lucas joint that this week's episode cribbed from... and we'd like to see more, thanks.I can't tell if Destroy Malevolence's "Greatest Hits Of George Lucas" - I'm not the only one who thought that the train sequence was reminiscent of Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, right? - was what made it the most satisfying episode of the series so far, but I have to admit: there's just something perfectly Star Wars-ish about watching the heroes trying to rescue the kidnapped Princess - who fights back herself, of course - from the bad guys' new destructo space weapon. Bringing Padme into the show helped humanize the characters by giving them something other than How Terrible And Serious The War Is to talk about - and also bringing in a welcome, if still somewhat awkward, romance to the show. Maybe I'm slow - and anyone who's read me writing about Watchmen is nodding furiously at this point - but I didn't realize until this week how important romance actually is to Star Wars feeling like Star Wars to me; it's the (normally missing) part of the holy trinity of the whole thing, next to humor and action... and, ideally, all of them being done in the slightly inept, uncomfortable way that only Star Wars can manage (By which I mean: the humor in SW has never really been actually funny, nor the action flawless; it's always slightly... off, in its own way). More Padme would definitely be a welcome thing, here. The animation also seemed better this week - Part of that is because it focused on the set pieces and didn't have to show characters "acting" as much, and so accentuated its strong points - and, given the comic relief being kept to a minimum (as was the attempts to make us care about the clones, interestingly enough) and definitive victory for the good guys, this was easily the best episode of the series so far - and the one episode to date that makes the show seem like a success in total. Here's hoping that next week won't ruin it all with an all-Ahsoka half-hour.
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