George Lucas and the team at Lucasfilm are back to fill the gap between Episodes II & III with Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3, coming to DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc on 17 October 2011 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Warner Home Video.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3, is very much a season of 2 halves. The series opens on the homeworld of the clone army – Kamino, where we follow the rather less than stellar performing ‘Domino Squad’ being pushed through their clone training paces. It’s an enjoyable starting point which delves further into the inner-workings of the clone army training regimen, and leads to an action packed 2nd episode with General Grievous and Ventress launching a full on assault on the cloning facility.
Episode 3 (‘Supply Lines’), sees things take a slight turn for the worse as Jar Jar Binks shows up… This starts a run of episodes focusing on the politics of the Republic, with various characters dealing with trade missions and other political matters which, whilst adding texture to the background of The Clone Wars, feel a little out-of-place in a Star Wars animated show.
Things start to pick up again with the R2-D2, C-3PO centred episode ‘Evil Plans’, where a simple shopping trip of the droid companions leads to the escape of Ziro The Hutt, and the introduction of fan favourite Jedi Master ‘Quinlan Vos’ (making his first appearance in animated form) to help Obi-Wan track Ziro down.
There are a few other significant story arcs this season. We see the planet of ‘Mortis’ for the first time, and it’s inhabitants ‘The Ones’ – Father, Daughter and Son. These 3 seem to have an enormous connection to The Force, although George is playing his cards close to his chest on exactly what their connection is.
Episode 18 – ‘The Citadel’ starts a 3 part story arc where Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to rescue Jedi Master Even Piell from an impenetrable prison, along with a young Captain Tarkin. The 2 episode arc (starting with Episode 21 – ‘Padawan Lost’) sees Ahsoka kidnapped by Trandoshan slavers for their big hunt, which leads to the first Clone Wars for a certain favourite walking carpet…
The standout arc for me though goes to Katie Lucas (daughter of George), who turns in a great 3 parter (starting at episode 12 – Nightsisters). After Count Dooku is ordered by Darth Sidious to kill his apprentice Ventress, she escapes Dooku’s assassination attempt and returns to her Nightsister clan to plot revenge. This involves turning Dathomirian Zabrak Nightbrother ‘Savage Opress’ into a terrifying warrior to act as Dooku’s new apprentice, only to have him turn on his new master on Ventress’s command. It also leads to a reveal that someone we thought long dead may not be as deceased as being sliced in half would usually imply…
Overall Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3, has some great stories in it, and even though the season is a little uneven, it’s well worth delving into for any Star Wars fan. The DVD extras also include some great detailed interviews with cast and crew about various key episodes in the run.
Star Wars™: The Clone Wars™ The Complete Season Three is out on Blu-Ray and DVD on 17 October 2011
8/10 – A bit uneven, but well worth it for any Star Wars fan!