Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Clone Wars: Rising Malevolence

My friends and I are embarking on an exploration of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Every Tuesday, we will be featuring an episode from the series which began in 2008 (as opposed to the one that started in 2003).  All are welcome to join us for all or parts of the fun.

Episode: "Rising Malevolence"
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 1, Episode 2
Original Air Date: October 3, 2008
via Wookieepeida
A big part of Star Wars's long-term appeal is the moral ambiguity of its most important character: Anakin Skywalker.  Darth Vader's revelation to Luke at the end of The Empire Strikes Back blew my seven-year-old mind in 1980.  It turned a simple story of good vs. evil into something far more challenging.  The Clone Wars series catches Anakin at an early moment in his transition.  He is still firmly on the side of the Jedi but he's already leading a double-life, having married Padm√© Amidala in secret.

In "Rising Malevolence," a Republic fleet led by Jedi Master Plo Koon is attacked by a new, terrifying Separatist weapon.  Anakin and his padawan Ahsoka, defying the orders of the Jedi Council, head for the point of attack in desperate hopes of finding survivors.  Obi-Wan, Yoda and Mace Windu are already worried about Anakin's reckless, independent tendencies but they're willing to forgive him as long as his heart is in the right place and everything works out.  Of course, they don't yet know what we all know: how vulnerable Anakin will ultimately be to manipulation.  Chancellor Palpatine knows.

My favorite part of the episode comes near the end: a wonderful chase scene with Anakin's ship and the ion blast behind him.  Obviously, he survives but the suspenseful tension is well executed.  I also appreciate the inclusion of a medical droid, not to mention its meaningful role in the story.

*****
via Wikipedia
Matt Lanter is the voice of Anakin.  He was born April 1, 1983 in Massillon, Ohio.  His family moved to Atlanta when he was eight.  He was a batboy for the Atlanta Braves.  He attended the University of Georgia as a sports business major.

Lanter, not exactly a face for radio, broke into show biz as a contestant on a reality show, Manhunt: The Search for America's Most Gorgeous Male Model.  While he didn't win (this guy did), he got his foot in the door.  In live action, he has had roles in Commander in Chief, Heroes and 90210.  Beyond Star Wars, he's found voice work in Ultimate Spider-Man and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.  Feature films include Disaster Movie, Sorority Row and Vampires Suck.

If you would care to join us for all or part of our travels, sign on to the list below.  Please visit the other participants today.  Next week: "Shadow of Malevolence."

 

20 comments:

  1. An interesting post. Fun reading it as ...yes, I missed the old star wars!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Moral ambiguity" is at the heart of a lot of great characters! Predictable...snore...zzzzzz. Give me the wild card every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you there! In fact, I think its at the heart of most truly great stories, too. I think that's part of why we think of fairy tales as childish. The moral designations are obvious. But those stories are essential for appreciating the good stuff later.

      Delete
  3. This is fun to read about the other things that went on with these characters. I was blown away as well when it was revealed Darth was Luke's father.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never would've thought of it this way at the time but it was a major moment for me, not just with Star Wars but with the way I experienced stories in general.

      Delete
  4. Speaking of conflicting events with Anakin, one of my most favorite is in TPM when young Anakin is brought before the Jedi Council. Lucas did a good job of showing Anakin's darker nature in that scene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously, the Anakin story is very different from the Luke story. It will be interesting to see the direction the new movies take with (I'm assuming) no Vader.

      Delete
    2. TAS: Yeah, it's all hard to say at the moment, and I'm trying to stay away from spoilers, so I don't have any good comments.

      Delete
    3. I do like the look of the new films - grittier than the prequels, more like the originals.

      Delete
    4. TAS: I suppose I could get into the philosophical reasons for the prequels not being gritty, but, maybe, that should just be a post.

      Delete
    5. Yes, yes, I know... I'm just saying I feel encouraged by what I have seen.

      Delete
    6. Me, too.
      But it doesn't stop me from being scared of Abrams. He's too erratic. Like a blaster in a more civilized world.

      Delete
    7. Understandable. I'm still not sure about how I feel regarding his choices with Trek. However, he grew up a Star Wars fan, not a Trekkie.

      Delete
    8. Ah, I didn't know that. Maybe there is hope.
      All I can say is that there will be hell to pay if those droids..., I mean, if red matter shows up in Star Wars.

      Delete
    9. Oh... I see what you did there, Uncle Owen!

      Abrams does have an unfortunate affection for time travel. Let's be clear: that has no place in Star Wars!

      Delete
    10. Oh, see! I'm already worried about time travel or some other such nonsense because of the whole Vader thing. I didn't know he had a liking for it! Now, I am scared.

      Delete
    11. I'm choosing to have faith that he won't take things in that direction.

      Delete
    12. I have hope, but that's mostly in Kathleen Kennedy and the fact that she's overseeing everything.

      Delete