Hondo Caravan: It’s A Wet Wet World

Season Four!  Can you believe we’re already here?  I certainly can’t.  The good news is that it’s off to a crazy good start with a trio of episodes set on Mon Calamari and some excellent animation and design.  But what will the rest of the season bring?

Water War
I can’t even begin to describe how much I love that they’re showing the Mon Calamari Senate in an underwater forum.  It seems such an obvious choice but oh man am I glad that they followed through.  I also love that they used the Mon Calamari/Quarren quarrel for this episode.  It’s great when they pull things from the Expanded Universe.  Honestly, all of the animation and design for this planet is fantastically done.  It’s so cool looking and different that you can’t help but pay more attention to the episode.  It’s a great opening for Season Four.

The episode does make me wonder how the Mon Calamari and Quarren’s biology works.  More specifically, I’m wondering their respiratory systems are set up since they seem to have no trouble going from water to oxygen.

Also?  The Mon Calamari prince is so cute and tiny and cute.

Obviously negotiations are short (did you see what I did there?) and it turns into an all out underwater battle which is really just an excuse for some more cool thing… well, everything.  Of course, this got followed up by the Separatists have some crazy new weapon that’s clearly tailor made for this world.

Something that’s always intrigued me has been the use of a lightsaber under water.  I’m no engineer or mechanic or any vaguely sciency person but I’m wondering if they really should be able to function.  Apparently this episode is making me wonder about a lot of science related things today.

Also, shirtless Kit Fitso.  That’s a thing that happened in this episode.  Thought I should mention it.

Gungan Attack
Needless to say, this is a two-part episode.  They could not defeat the Quarren and the Separatists alone.  In what is much more shocking news, I am actually okay with them bringing in the Gungans.  It does make sense that it would take time to properly outfit another bunch of clones for underwater combat and the Gungan Army is the obvious choice here.  I’m just ignoring Jar Jar.  Gungans to the rescue!

I have to say it again: I am in love with the animation here.  They didn’t take the easy way out anywhere.  Kit Fitso alone is proof of that.  I can’t imagine what effort it must have taken to make sure all his head tentacles moved properly through the water.  Padmé’s diving suit with its Naboo crests up and down the sides is also actual perfection.

I feel like it’s a sign that I’ve grown as a person that I’m not even annoyed by the use of Admiral Ackbar in this episode.  Sorry, Captain Ackbar.  At least this inclusion makes more sense than Chewbacca’s in last season.

Okay, Clone Wars.  I’m impressed.  You totally surprised me.  I was convinced this episode would end with the Republic winning but instead Ahsoka and the Prince are the only ones left free.  DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN.

Prisoners
ELECTRIC EEL TORTURE CAGE HOLY CRAP WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF TWISTED.

Clearly it makes sense that the Prince is going to come into his own in this arc.  I’d be disappointed if anything else happened.

How does the entire galaxy not know a few key things by now?  I mean, it’s like clockwork really.  Obviously the Separatists are going to end up abandoning their allies the moment it’s convenient and obviously threatening Padmé around Anakin is going to go oh so badly.  I mean… come on, guys.  Come.  On.

Hey look at that!  Jar Jar was useful with his… uhhh… gungan waterproofing.  Disgusting but effective.

Sorry folks.  Apparently I’ve been reduced to random comments while watching the episode now.  What else do I have for you?  Oh!  The score during this final battle is quite good.  I like how they played with some of the established themes.

Finally, it’s a shame that the Mon Cal and the Quarren could only put aside their differences long enough to defeat Shark Guy and that the truce couldn’t last.  The episode suggests that they had some form of unity and peace after the episode’s end but sadly it won’t last.  Oh well.  At least they got a temporary happy ending.

Shadow Warrior
Okay seriously.  Who did Anakin have to mind control to continuously get assigned to guarding and/or assisting Padmé?

I have to take back what I said last time: I’m over the gungans.  I can only take so much of them and their… oddness.  Actually, I’ll be blunt: it’s their speech patterns.  It’s grating on the ears.  Also, does every society have some sort of magical powers now?

On the other hand, this episode does feature a completely and utterly incompetent General Grievous yet again.  I’d object to this except it is very much parr for the course in this show.  I highly approve of the Gungan General though even if he did kick the bucket.  At least he had a head on his shoulders.  Or did.

I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t drag out the Grievous-is-captured plotline a little longer.  It probably wouldn’t have made much sense for the sake of canon but it intrigued me.  It was a smart move by Sidious to exploit Padmé and Anakin’s feelings for each other to get his general back though.  It was a nice twist to have the gungans be the ones to give Padmé that final push towards agreeing to make the trade.  It took it just far enough out of the annoying cliché realm.

Mercy Mission
I’m officially a fan of Commander Wolffe and his no-nonsense attitude and also his cool looking scar.  (Although they could have easily given him a new eye… but the scar looks cool.)

The rest of the episode mostly just makes me shrug.  Threepio and his communications with a short alien race with a bonus of some mysticism and some glowing ents doesn’t really do it for me.  At least Artoo dove after him.  Otherwise he never would have made it out in one piece.

This entire episode is just… batshit.  I don’t even… yeah.  Okay.

Nomad Droids
Artoo knows best.  Artoo always knows best.  Atoo also probably just lets Anakin think he’s a better pilot than him so he doesn’t cry.  That’s the moral of these two episodes, right?

If nothing else, at least this gave us Threepio’s line about how Artoo is programmed in 47 schools of self-defense.  That’s probably my favorite part of this mini arc.

That said, I am completely and utterly over this tiny alien native race opposite the two droids theme.  No, not even the Wizard of Oz riff can convince me to really enjoy these episodes.

Spoiler Alert: they get rescued by the Republic in the end.

And that’s it for this week’s bunch of episodes!  To sum it up, there was a strong opening with the Mon Calamari and a more shrug worth end to the disc with the droids.  Next week comes… well, I have no idea.  That’s half the fun of this, eh?  As always, you can see my real time commentary on Twitter @chaosbria or the hashtag #Hondo Caravan.  Until next time!

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  1. Pingback: The Hondo Caravan: Bria's Watching The Clone Wars | Tosche StationTosche Station

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