Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Clone Wars: Brain Invaders

My friends and I are watching 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: "Brain Invaders"
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 2, Episode 8
Original Air Date: December 4, 2009
via Wookieepedia
The five-part Geonosis story arc concludes with "Brain Invaders."  The zombies from last week were caused by brain worms that enter the body through the host's nose.  [Ewwww!!!!]  After the military victory on Geonosis, the Padawans Ahsoka and Barriss are sent on a mission to deliver medical supplies to Mace Windu on Dantooine.  Unfortunately, one of the clone troopers accompanying them is already carrying a brain worm and once aboard, it lays eggs.  Trouble's a-brewin'!
via SGCommand
Kevin Kiner is the music composer for The Clone Wars film and TV series as well as Star Wars: Rebels.  Obviously the music for all three draws heavily upon the John Williams classic scores but the music for Star Wars's animated universe has its own distinct flavor.  Kiner was born September 3, 1958 in San Bernardino, California.  He has also composed for Star Trek: Enterprise, Stargate SG-1 and numerous films.  Just as with the voice actors, he has video game credits as well.

Ah yes, the new movie!
via Wookieepedia
Heading in, I would have ranked the first six Star Wars episodes thusly:

1. V: The Empire Strikes Back
2. IV: A New Hope
3. VI: Return of the Jedi
4. III: Revenge of the Sith
5. I: The Phantom Menace
6. II: Attack of the Clones

Obviously, I am biased toward the originals, particularly the first two films.  Return of the Jedi is good, especially for completing the Empire story, but Lucas bobbled the ball a bit with the Ewoks.  As much as I would love to have loved the prequels, I sure didn't.  They do help in fleshing out the Star Wars universe and certainly provide substantial backstory but they lack the personal intimacy of the originals.  So naturally, I went into The Force Awakens as I imagine most devotees did, with hope that it would pick up where Jedi left off, almost as if (sorry) the prequels had never happened.  No less than the vitality of the mythology I have treasured since age 4 was riding on the outcome.  No pressure.

As of this writing, I have seen The Force Awakens once but I'm already eager for further viewings.  The visual presentation is outstanding.  Director J.J. Abrams deliberately avoided the CGI so prominent in the prequels in favor of the earthier feel of the originals - an excellent choice.  Music and sound, always the greatest strength of the franchise, are rock solid.  The acting, particularly for the new characters, is, if anything, an upgrade.  From a purely technical standpoint, this would have to be the finest Star Wars movie to date.

The real question, though, is story.  The originals succeed because they focus on the exploits of a small band of adventurers.  The prequels stumble because they try to do too much, taking in the grand sweep of political and economic forces rather than allowing us to fall in love with new characters.  Clearly, Abrams got the memo.  The new tale brings back old friends - it's largely a Han Solo story, thank goodness - and also introduces a new generation about whom I'm eager to learn more.

I am reluctant to say more.  Too easy to spoil things for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  There is so much to discuss but I'll wait for now.  Except for this...

5 stars out of 5.  Part of me wanted to wait until a second viewing to give it a 5 but who am I kidding?  The movie does not disappoint.  I would rank it third on the all-time list.  The bar for new Star Wars stories has been raised significantly, a fact not lost on me as I continue to explore The Clone Wars.  More on that next week.

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: "Grievous Intrigue."

 

18 comments:

  1. I am more ambivalent about Force than you, it seems. There are a couple of things that bother me, one of them being something I can't get past.
    And I like the prequels.

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    Replies
    1. I would be interested in knowing more. Presumably you're preparing a post on the movie?

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  2. I found this interesting to read. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I plan to see the new Star Wars movie in the next week. I have been hearing such good things about it- so I can't wait. :)

    Great post!
    ~Jess

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  4. My brother would love that. :)
    Happy Christmas! :)

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  5. First, brain worms through the nose and then egg laying.

    euwwwwwww.

    I can't not wait for all the sick people from Christmas and New Years to go back to work and sick germ spewing kiddies back to school before I see it.
    I can not wait to see it.

    Merry Christmas.
    cheers, gayle and thehanish

    ReplyDelete
  6. First, brain worms through the nose and then egg laying.

    euwwwwwww.

    I can't not wait for all the sick people from Christmas and New Years to go back to work and sick germ spewing kiddies back to school before I see it.
    I can not wait to see it.

    Merry Christmas.
    cheers, gayle and thehanish

    ReplyDelete
  7. What would the industry do without John Williams??

    ReplyDelete