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Journey through the Clone Wars
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:48 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I was about 12 when I first read the Boba Fett series and I didn't mind the inclusion of child soldiers. It helped that warfare is generally idealized in Star Wars (especially so in a children's series).
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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27: Clone Wars Chapter 6

Star Wars: Clone Wars is an animated series created by George Lucas and Genndy Tartakovsky (famous for his animation style and use of bright pastel-colours.) It aired for three seasons, and a total of 25 episodes. Seasons 1 and 2 (Chapters 1-20) lasted 3 to 7 minutes per episode, and tended to air in the five-minute timeslots before or after popular Cartoon Network shows.

Chapter 6 is part of Season 1. It first aired on 14 November 2003. It was collected, with the rest of Seasons 1 and 2 in the Clone Wars Volume I DVD (released 22 March 2005). I watched it online. The episode lasts 3 minutes and 48 seconds (including title screen and closing acknowledgements).

Summary:
Dooku arrives on the planet Rattatak to watch combat in The Cauldron, the planet's best gladiator pit. A mysterious cloaked figure kills Dooku's host/valet and insinuates herself in Dooku's private box. The Count applauds her skills, but he does not need a spy. She needs to demonstrate her combat skills. She jumps into The Cauldron and removes her cloak, revealing the figure to be Asajj Ventress. Using the Force and a pair of lightsabers, Ventress kills the other gladiators, emerging as the last one standing. Dooku applauds her. The episode ends with her claiming to be a Sith.

Pros:
-The design is really cool. The Cauldron is basically a massive cave, with patron boxes cut out of the side.
-The aliens and droids in the gladiator pit are cool looking. Several are cartoon adaptations of older EU species (Aqualish, Houk, Nikto, etc.) while some are new.
-Ventress's entrance was very well done. They start with Dooku next to his host/valet. They zoom into Dooku's face, and when they zoom out, the valet is replaced with a hooded Ventress. He compliments her skills, and believes his host would applaud her, posthumously.
-Ventress's voice suits her. Though I tend to think of Nika Futterman as the definitive Ventress voice, Grey DeLisle is an amazing voice actress, and the raspy quality she adds is really creepy.

Cons:
-The Genndy Tartakovsky art style is not for everyone. I like it, but your mileage may vary.

Fun Facts:
-This is not Ventress's first appearance (in real-life). She first appeared in the comic Jedi: Mace Windu, and then in Republic #51-52: The New Face of War. This story (with Chapter 7), however, shows her being recruited by Dooku, and therefore must take place first.
-One of the droids she fights in The Cauldron, L8-L9, received a backstory in The New Essential Guide to Droids. He was meant as a prototype for a battle droid army to be used by the Republic against the Trade Federation. He was built by Orman Tagge (most prominently featured in the early Marvel Star Wars comics).

Overall, I loved this episode, and encourage others to watch it too.

Next: Chapter 7.

***

28: Clone Wars Chapter 7

Clone Wars Chapter 7 is also a part of Season 1 of the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars cartoon series. It first aired on 17 November 2003, and was collected in Clone Wars Volume I. I watched it online. It is 3 minutes 45 seconds long.

Summary:
Following her victory in The Cauldron, Ventress declares herself to Dooku as a Sith. Dooku mocks her, saying that she may look and fight like a Sith, but she has much fear (which Sith do not have). She accuses him of being old and ignorant, for which he uses Force Lightning on her, knocking her unconscious. She wakes up in Dooku's private chamber, where Dooku attacks her with a lightsaber. They duel, until Dooku destroys her lightsabers and defeats her. Darth Sidious arrives (as a hologram) and confirms that they were trying to judge and recruit her. She is tasked with seeking out and killing Anakin Skywalker. When she leaves, Dooku and Sidious discuss how she is merely a tool for destroying the Jedi Order.

Pros:
-The duel was really cool. Dooku and Ventress fight all out, almost to a stand-still. Ventress only lost because her weapons were destroyed.
-Dooku's taunts during the battle were fun. "Truly if you were a Sith, would this contest not be over?" Win.
-Ventress being merely a tool is consistent with other Sith viewpoints. Darth Maul was viewed as a tool, as are many other apprentices. Her belief that she is honored by the Sith to rank among them makes their eventual betrayal of her (The Clone Wars Season 3: Nightsisters arc) all the more meaningful.

Cons:
-The art style is not to everyone's liking.

Fun Facts:
-The end implies that she is rushing to fight Anakin during the Battle of Muunilinst (the subject of most of Season 1 and 2). In fact, that battle is chronologically later in the timeline. She might be planning her attack meticulously, which will only culminate at Muunlinst later. The events of Jedi: Mace Windu and Republic 51-52 take place between this incident and the Battle of Muunilinst.
-Dooku is apparently well respected by the Rattataki. They gave him a massive suite.
-The lightsabers Ventress is given at the end of the episode belonged to Komari Vosa, Dooku's former student, whose fall to the Dark Side is chronicled in the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
-Chapters 6 and 7 are also depicted in Star Wars: Clone Wars PhotoComic (which will be reviewed later).

I loved this episode as much as the last one. I recommend that everyone should do their best to see it.

Next up: Republic #50.
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mad Wook
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Wow. What a great thread. I haven't read the Boba books since they were released so this has been a nice recap.


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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29: Republic 50: The Defense of Kamino

Star Wars: Republic #50: The Defense of Kamino was a comic issue released on 26 February 2003. As the 50th issue, it was twice the size of a normal comic, and cost twice as much, at $5.99 USD. It contains three stories: Brothers in Arms by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, Jango's Legacy by Haden Blackman and Stephen Thompson, and No End in Sight by Scott Allie and Tomas Giorello. Republic #50 was collected in the Trade Paperback Clone Wars Volume 1: The Defense of Kamino (retails at $14.95 USD, which is where I read it), and will be collected in the upcoming Omnibus: Clone Wars: Republic Goes to War.

Summary:
At the end of the previous issue, the Jedi received intelligence of an upcoming attack on the cloning facilities on Kamino. In the first story, the Jedi state they must defend Kamino from the air, while other Jedi and clones must defend against ground operations. Anakin has a vision that Obi-Wan will be shot down during the battle. They have a brief confrontation, and Obi-Wan seeks the guidance of Quinlan Vos, while Anakin talks to Aayla Secura. The Separatists arrive, and the Jedi take to the air. Obi-Wan is shot down, and Anakin goes to save him, crashing his fighter into a sea creature. The two fight off various flying fish, and make peace with each other before the Kaminoans recover them. In the second story, droid armies have landed and are overrunning Republic positions. As the CIS approaches the cloning facilities, Prime Minister Lama Su and Jedi Shaak Ti activate the ARC Troopers, who are much more independent than other clones, like Jango Fett himself. The ARCs save a group of clones, recover Shaak Ti, Obi-Wan, and Anakin and find the cloning chambers. The head ARC trooper activates a self-destruct, citing an order from Jango that the clones were never to fall to enemy hands. Instead, they blow up the undersea bridge to the cloning centre and the Jedi hold back the ocean until the hull is fixed. The third story starts before the battle, with Passel Argente, head of the Corporate Alliance, briefing a Mon Calamarian called Merai on the upcoming invasion of Kamino. Merai leads a mercenary team specializing in amphibious combat. Following the space battle over Kamino, Merai leads the battle to the sea, in order to destroy the cloning facilities from underwater. But he has been tricked. The intelligence he was given is false, and his targets are not real. Merai sacrifices himself in a final stand to prevent Jedi from retreating by destroying their hyperspace rings, but the CIS has lost the Battle of Kamino.

Pros:
-Obi-Wan is given command of the defense of Kamino because of his relative familiarity with the system. He is, after all, the only Jedi to spend any time there.
-It is stated that this is the first time that the Republic had advanced warning of a CIS attack. This is interesting. Republic intel networks are slowly being built.
-This is the first appearance of the ARC Troopers. They are very brutish, rude, and disobedient, but will fight for the death for their homes. They join the Grand Army of the Republic following this battle.
-Even though the Quarren support the CIS and the Mon Cals support the Republic, Merai is a mercenary and fights for the highest bidder. It supports the idea that not all members of a given species are the same.
-Merai targets Jedi hyperspace rings in his final act against the Republic. This is a useful strategic target, and I like it.
-Merai uses amphibious fighters to fight on a water world. Makes sense to me!


Cons:
-<fun> Recall that, in Episode II, the Kaminoans said that "200,000 units" were ready to be deployed, and 1 million more were almost ready. Obi-Wan says that the extra 1 million had not yet been released, but would very soon. </fun>. My problem is that this is the first time that the term "units" is definitively defined as an individual clone. 1.2 million clones are not enough to wage an intergalactic war. I would have much preferred if "unit" was defined as something bigger. Like a squad or platoon.
-The three stories are only barely connected. Anakin and Obi-Wan show up after their crash during the second story, and their crash is briefly mentioned in the third story.

Fun Facts:
-Master Oppo Rancisis is shown to be a master strategist, which comes into play later in the series.
-Clone starfighters are not yet ready for combat, so the Jedi must defend with their own Delta-7s. This is consistent with previous sources, which had oddball fighters coming in from everywhere, such as the Cord-class, and fighters based on retrofitted LAAT gunships.
-Shaak Ti is also responsible for training clones on Kamino later on. She must be good at this.
-This is the first Battle of Kamino. There are at least two more later in the Clone Wars (one of which is featured in an episode of The Clone Wars cartoon.) This makes sense; Kamino is a perfectly valid military target.

All in all, I liked this story. The battle was cool, and the stories were fun. But they could have been connected better. I recommend reading this story, but maybe wait for the Omnibus, due out this summer.

Next up: Boba Fett: Hunted!
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
Obi-Wan is given command of the defense of Kamino because of his relative familiarity with the system. He is, after all, the only Jedi to spend any time there.


Not quite. We know that Yoda's been there.
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:19 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
Obi-Wan is given command of the defense of Kamino because of his relative familiarity with the system. He is, after all, the only Jedi to spend any time there.


Not quite. We know that Yoda's been there.


True, but we don't know how long he was there. He may have landed, told the clones to ship out, and left. We know for a fact that Obi-Wan stayed there for several hours, if not days. And he explored several parts of the city (far enough apart to travel by Aiwha).

But your point is taken. He's not the only one who's ever been there. Just, in theory, the only one who spent a lot of time there.
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"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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30: Boba Fett: Hunted

Boba Fett: Hunted is the fourth book of the Boba Fett young reader series. It was written by Elizabeth Hand and released in April 2003. It was 153 pages in length, and had a cover price of $4.99 USD. It was the first Boba Fett book to not be collected with others later (there was no sequel to Boba Fett Part I: Survival, collecting books 4-6). I re-read the copy that I own.

Summary:
After having evaded Aurra Sing on Aargau, Boba Fett is on his way to Tatooine to find Jabba the Hutt. The instruction book Jango Fett gave his son indicated that Jabba would be able to give him the knowledge and skills to be a great bounty hunter. He gets into a scuffle with Durge, Gen'Dai bounty hunter in a local cantina. He gets away, but has his Mandalorian helmet stolen by a little girl, Ygabba. He follows her, and encounters the army of Gilramos Libkath, a large group of children who steal and smuggle things for Libkath, an exiled Neimoidian. Boba gets away from the children, who tell him that he can find Jabba the Hutt at the podracing arena. Fett sneaks into the podracing citadel and comes face to face with Jabba the Hutt. Jabba does not realize Boba is a child, and challenges him to pick the winner of the podrace. Boba picks correctly, saying that whoever Jabba wants to win will win. Impressed, Jabba invites Fett back to his palace. Boba makes friends with Gab'borah, one of Jabba's dessert chefs. Jabba tasks Boba to find Gilramos Libkath (whose army of thief-children he met earlier). Apparently the previous bounty hunters he sent after Libkath were killed. Jabba also gives that task to Durge, who wants nothing more than to kill young Fett. Durge gets angry and lashes out at Boba, but due to his small stature and maneuverability, Boba is able to best the powerful Gen'Dai, though it is revealed to all that Boba is but a boy. Jabba is impressed with Boba's skill. He decides to make Durge fight his pit beasts (Caridan Combat Arachnids) and let's Boba get a head start at finding Libkath, noting that Durge will pursue Fett when he's done with the beasts. Gab'borah loans Boba a jetpack, which he uses to escape Durge and sneak onto a cargo skiff bound for Mos Espa. He finds Libkath at about the same time Durge does, and is able get Libkath's child-army to safety, take the Neimoidian's hat, and blow up the ship he's in. The children go to a local cantina owner who helps them reunite with their families. Ygabba and Boba go back to Jabba's palace, where he gives Libkath's hat as proof that he killed his target. Jabba is impressed, pays Boba the bounty, and agrees to keep giving the young man work. The book ends with Ygabba reuniting with Gab'borah, who is her father.

Pros:
-We finally see Boba Fett act as a bounty hunter. He is young and inexperienced, but for once he is actually hunting bounty.

Cons:
-Boba Fett defeats Durge twice. I don't buy this. Fans often argue that Boba Fett is portrayed as being almost like a superhero, winning at everything despite impossible odds. At 10 years old, he bested a Gen'Dai warrior with 1,500 years experience and a grudge against Mandalorians. Twice. This seems unlikely.

Fun Facts:
-Chronologically, this is the first Clone Wars appearance of Durge. He would later become a commander in the CIS army, not unlike Grievous or Ventress. But at this stage in the conflict, he is still only a bounty hunter.
-Jabba is smuggling weapons to the Separatists. He claims that he doesn't care who the weapons go to, so long as the money is good, but it still links nicely to the rest of the Clone Wars stories.
-This concludes the first part of the Boba Fett stories. Boba is now established as a bounty hunter. The remaining two books take place a fair bit later.

I like this story. It is a fun Boba Fett tale on Tatooine, with Jabba and Durge and hunting bounty. I recommend it, along with the rest of the Boba Fett series.


Next up: #31 and 32: Republic 51 and 52: The New Face of War.
_________________
"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 2:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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31: Republic 51: The New Face of War 1

Star Wars: Republic #51: The New Face of War, Part 1, was first released as a comic issue on 19 March 2003. It was written by Haden Blackman. It was then collected in the Trade Paperback entitled "Clone Wars Volume 2: Victories and Sacrifices," released 6 September 2003. It will soon be collected in Omnibus: Clone Wars Volume 1: Republic Goes to War, to be released on 22 August 2012. I read the TPB, which has a cover price of $14.95 USD.

Summary:
Anakin and Obi-Wan, along with Jedi Master Glaive, his apprentice Zule Xiss, and ARC Trooper Alpha, get a briefing from C-3PO, representing Naboo. It appears that the Gungans have lost contact with their colony on Naboo's moon of Ohma-D'un. The Jedi lead a small strike team to the colony, assuming it was struck by Spice Miners. Upon arrival, they see that the colony was wiped out by a chemical weapon, and find the bounty hunter Durge on site. Durge, working for the CIS, has taken several spice miners hostage, and used the chemical weapon Swamp Gas to kill the Gungans. The Jedi fight Durge, but see that he is nigh-impossible to kill. He releases more Swamp Gas and calls on Battle Droids for support. Anakin and Alpha get separated from the group. For a moment, it looks like Glaive and Obi-Wan are about to get the upper hand, when Asajj Ventress shows up, decapitating Glaive.

Pros:
-I love the battle sequeunces between the Jedi and Durge. There's a lot of action, and a lot of cool dialogue.
-The Gungan colony on Ohma-D'un harkens back to Episode I: The Gungan Frontier, a kids video game for the PC by Lucas Learning, in which the player must set up a thriving ecosystem to support the growing Gungan colony. I love it when obscure references like this are made.
-Ventress and Durge look awesome.

Cons:
-The art design of Zule Xiss is a bit weird. She looks good, but she is supposed to be a Falleen. She is drawn to look more like a Zeltron.

Fun Facts:
-This issue, and the next one, appear as one continuous story in the TPB. Normally, in cases like this, I read the entire story at once. But in this case, it is clear when one issue ends and the next begins.
-This is the first appearance of Durge. He claims to be an ancient Jedi-killer, having not killed a Jedi in over a century. His near-immortality, distributed nervous system, and regenerative capabilities are featured. His hatred for the Mandalorians is not.
-This is the first time the Jedi encounter Ventress, thus building a long, complex relationship between her and Obi-Wan.

All in all, this was a great issue.

***

32: Republic 52: The New Face of War 2

Star Wars: Republic #52: The New Face of War, Part 2, was written by Haden Blackman and first released as a comic issue on 9 April 2003. Like the last issue, it was then collected in the Trade Paperback entitled "Clone Wars Volume 2: Victories and Sacrifices," released 6 September 2003. It will soon be collected in Omnibus: Clone Wars Volume 1: Republic Goes to War, to be released on 22 August 2012. I read the TPB, which has a cover price of $14.95 USD.

Summary:
Ventress has just killed Master Glaive, which has shocked Obi-Wan and Glaive's Padawan, Zule. The battle continues between the Jedi and the CIS officers. Using the Dark Side of the Force, Ventress manages to resurrect the dead Gungans and use them to fight the Jedi. Meanwhile, Anakin and Alpha fight Battle Droids and locate the kidnapped Spice Miners. They free the hostages, and learn that the CIS plans to crash spice freighters into Naboo loaded with Swamp Gas, potentially killing millions. They are able to destroy the freighters and the CIS fuel depot, and reach Obi-Wan and Zule in time to fight off Durge and Ventress. Zule loses an arm in the battle, but the Jedi survive. Zule is placed with a group of Padawans who have lost their Masters. Anakin wants to visit Naboo, but is unable to, as they must return to Coruscant to be redeployed.

Pros:
-The use of dead Gungans as cannon fodder is an impressive use of the Force. The Nightsisters of Dathomir will eventually use similar magic to fight off the CIS.
-This is a nice conclusion to the story. The threat is stopped, but the villains escape to fight another day.

Cons:
-I am irritated by the fact that they misspelled "Padmé" in a letter Anakin writes to her. He puts the accent the wrong way (Padmè). In issue 51, he spells it right.

Fun Facts:
-In this issue, Anakin gives Alpha his nickname. Before, everyone calls him "The Clone."

Just like the last issue, I enjoyed this one. The story was interesting and compelling, and the art was really good. I recommend it, but wait for the Omnibus in August.

Next up: The Pengalan Tradeoff!
_________________
"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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