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Monday, 4 March 2013

THE CLONE WARS: BACK TO THE BEGINNING WITH 'CASTLE OF DECEPTION'!

Leading from the front: Anakin Skywalker during The Battle of Teth. A specially commissioned movie poster scene linked to the original first episode of THE CLONE WARS: Castle of Deception.

The Wrong Jedi -the final episode of THE CLONE WARS Season Five- may have seen the end of her story arc (at least for the time being), but the character of fearless young Jedi Ahsoka Tano, and her relationship to Anakin Skywalker, will be remembered and celebrated by fans of all ages for a long time to come. Courtesy of the enthusiastic vocal acting skills of Ashley Eckstein, Ahsoka had certainly evolved and matured a long way since she her early spitfire days in 2008, as the slightly annoying but dedicated "Snips" to her then new master. She'd also adopt some of his unique, and not always for the best, character traits and occasional impetuousness along the way, though ultimately emerging from the long, continuing Clone War to become both a trusted equal to Anakin and a noble Jedi in her own right.

In her first appearance, Ahsoka proves herself in action.

Going back in time to when it was originally planned as their first episode together, Castle of Deception- also the first episode made of the fledgling THE CLONE WARS animated series back in 2006/7 (written by Henry Gilroy, directed by Dave Filoni) - was to have hit the ground running story-wise with viewers had it made it to air in its original twenty-minute long episode length, showing the new heroine Ahsoka already at Anakin's reluctant side (at first glance as a mysterious, slightly vulnerable, cloaked figure alongside him in a scene of tense atmosphere building aboard the clone gunship), leading to the duo, in the heat of intense battle, soon trying to get one upmansship on each other in abilities, watched by their long suffering new Clone Captain, Rex. Their spectacular rescue of the kidnapped little Rottta the Hutt from his mysterious kidnappers, atop the mysterious mountain retreat lair of the fog shrouded Teth, must still rank as one of the best action sequences of any STAR WARS adventure-live action or animated. No wonder that this episode, which also featured the "hairless harpie" Asajj Ventress and a three way deleted lightsaber duel in, out and atop a caged Rancor, truly caught the imagination of George Lucas and inspired him into launching this, and three other episodes in the production pipeline, into a theatrical experience.

Captain Rex and his bold men try to keep up with the Jedi.

Star wars:The Clone Wars Trailer (HD) - YouTube
Star Wars Clone Wars: Battle of Teth - YouTube

But Asajj Ventress and her forces are waiting for them...

Despite early positive word of mouth at CELEBRATION IV, and a great teaser trailer, THE CLONE WARS ultimately wasn't well received as a movie, with many fans and key behind the scenes forces thinking that the film suffered from its being rushed to completion, though the regular series commencing soon afterwards on CARTOON NETWORK, and the clever use of Yoda in its opener, changed opinion for the better, deservedly winning acclaim for its sterling animation, exciting use of old and new Prequel and Classic Trilogy characters, its striking action and, critically for the long-term, its strong exploration of plot elements linked to the Prequels that hadn't been as fully mined for drama and excitement as they should had been with the shows live-action predecessors.

The Force was back big time for STAR WARS as THE CLONE WARS arrived on weekly television, with Castle of Deception, be it the original episodic version or its feature film regeneration, acting as the lit fuse that helped bring it all about. So far, we've had five seasons of the series, with hopefully more to come, though the original four episodes comprising that seemingly one-off first feature have yet to be presented to fans in their original forms. Let's hope they get some kind of an airing, either online, DVD or Blu-ray, at a future time.


Check out STAR WARS AFICIONADO's original PDF feature primer for THE CLONE WARS Season One here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B80ITjM31EVRU0RheU1yeEVRN0U/edit?usp=sharing

Original production notes for the movie: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B80ITjM31EVRM1dLOVo5TTVsQjg/edit?usp=sharing

And our original lead-in story from 2008- THE STRANDS OF WAR- written by Scott Weller: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B80ITjM31EVRSzVLNWRERlJiUk0/edit?usp=sharing


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