The Clone Wars finale is finally here with the episodes “Padawan Lost” and “Wookie Hunt”. And be forewarned, Chewbacca doesn’t show up until the second episode, so keep your lightsaber holstered for a minute. I’m about to cover both episodes in a single review – prepare to have your mind blown!
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead. Turn back while you can!*
The best way to describe this episode is: Star Wars meets a blend of Surviving the Game, Running Man and Hard Target. We start off the planet Felucia again, and this is the third time unless I’m mistaken. I really wish they would change-up planets instead of revisiting all of the same ones. That aside, Felucia looked awesome down to the last detail of tiny bugs crawling over the plant life.
As Anakin, Plo Koon and Ahsoka are leading an attack on the Separatist base, Ahsoka gets stunned and taken captive by a Trandoshan who leaves the planet for parts unknown. If you’re wondering what a Trandoshan is, it’s the same species as Bossk from The Empire Strikes Back and season 2 of Clone Wars. They are also the mortal enemies of the Wookies, their popular pass-times being: Hunting the walking carpets and using them for slave labor.
Ahoska awakes aboard a transport, another prisoner aboard telling her that these Trandoshans capture people, and then release them in order to hunt them for sport. After being dropped off weaponless on a moon called Wasskah in the Trandosh System, Ahsoka is scattered from the other prisoners by blaster fire from the Trandoshans. It’s not long before Ahsoka is found by three others who have been there for a long time. They reveal themselves to be Jedi younglings, stating that the Trandoshans hunt them because they are far less dangerous than a Jedi Knight. Kalifa, seems to be the group leader, with the grumpy Twi-Lek Jinx and the more calm Cerean O-Mer as her companions. They explain to Ahsoka the situation they are in and try explaining that it is best to run and hide to survive instead of fighting the Trandoshans. As one might predict, Ahsoka isn’t too keen on that advice.
After finding one of the Trandoshans and giving him a good old-fashioned group beat down, the padawans flee into the jungle once more. That night, inspired by Ahsoka’s defiance, they decide to search for the Trandoshan base and make a stand. This doesn’t go very well as the padawans become seperated, resulting in the death of the Trandoshan leader Garnac’s son at the hand of Ahsoka. Kalifa is in turn killed by the papa lizard in a very emotional scene. This is where Ahsoka promises to look after O-mer and Jinx as her newly found friend slowly passes on.
If there was ever a time that this was not considered a kid friendly show, these two episodes would be it. Especially in the first episode. To start off, the bloodthirsty Trandoshans are hunting freakin’ kids for sport with all intentions of displaying their bodies in a trophy room. They shoot and kill three of the hunted on-screen, and one of the hunter’s falls onto a spike and gets impaled before our very eyes. It’s all well and good for me as an adult, but for kids watching the show they may have some nightmares. Personally I wish all of the episodes were adult themed as this one was. Now, let’s get to Chewbacca.
In ‘Wookie Hunt’, Ahsoka narrowly escapes from the Trandoshans, but finally meets up with O-Mer and Jinx who are about to give up upon hearing of Kalifa’s death. Ahsoka has other ideas and inspires the remaining two Padawans to join her in attacking the next transport that will drop prisoners. The scene with the Padawans attacking the transport was very cool, one of the Trandoshans was even using a shotgun that Trandoshan slavers used in the Republic Commando video game. After the ship crashes spectacularly, the younglings stumble upon Chewbacca who was the only prisoner aboard. Ahsoka can conveniently understand the Wookie and he shows some of his technological prowess by putting together a communication device to contact his fellow fuzzballs. I won’t spoil anymore of the episode by telling you who lives and dies by the end of the episode, but I can say to expect some Wookie rage, a couple familiar characters, and some Trando-bashing by the end of it all.
This finale was about as good as I expected from the previews and even went in a different direction than I thought with the whole hunting aspect. Chewbacca could easily have been any random Wookie, but I liked that they gave the fans a familiar face for the end of the season. It definitely beats out the Boba Fett finale from last year, which I was a bit let down by.
The Trandoshans were a very nice addition to the Clone Wars series. The sounds they made kind of reminded me of the raptors from Jurassic Park 3 (but in a good way) by the way they called for help with high-pitched screeching, and the way they growled in attack mode. They sure were a sadistic lot of scumbags. Garnac, their leader, had quite an extensive trophy room consisting of many notable species from the Star Wars universe, and a couple of cool ones for the fans including a Mandalorian Neo-Crusader helmet from the Old Republic and what appeared to be a crystal skull from Indiana Jones.
The voice acting was a bit hit and miss with the Trando voices themselves being a bit over the top. But the padawans Kalifa, Jinx and O-Mer were very nicely done. And I give Clone Wars veteran voice actress Gwendoline Yeo extra props, because in real life she is smoking hot!
We were also treated to a quick preview of season 4 of the Clone Wars coming out this Fall. Shots included underwater battles involving the Mon Calamari species (Ackbar!), another Anakin/Dooku fight, and what looks to be a bad-ass Gungan fighting General Grievous, if you can believe that. There was also plenty of shootings and a couple explosions so you can’t go wrong there!