Monday, 14 October 2013


Facing the price of resistance. Ahsoka Tano helps the outgunned Onderon Rebels fight on in Tipping Points. Image: LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

Its life may have been frustratingly cut two seasons short, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy and make the most of the complete fifth and final season of THE CLONE WARS for so much of its well-crafted and animated storytelling, out now on lavish Blu-ray and DVD from WARNER BROTHERS.

Keeping its annual tradition, STAR WARS AFICIONADO presents its Top Five favourite episodes from the run, in what would prove to be a very diverse group of storylines this season. Starting in reverse order, as ever, Number Five in our selection is the climactic fourth episode in the planetary revolution saga involving the Expanded Universe's favourite planet of Onderon: Tipping Points. 

And here's five reasons why it made the grade:

1. The First Rebellion. An intriguing past prologue into the kind of state of affairs that would explode by the time of EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, as the Jedi instinctively go against many of their non-interference beliefs to aid the Onderon Rebels. Twenty-three years later, the whole galaxy, now enslaved by the Empire, and with the Jedi seemingly extinguished, would find itself in a new civil war involving another rebellion, and on a much wider scale, with Anakin Skywalker, now the dark lord Darth Vader, in a reverse role as a tyrannical executioner rather rebel rouser. An intriguing kind of storytelling paradox that the STAR WARS SAGA does so well.

2. Steela. The STAR WARS SAGA has had lots of great female characters for girls and women to enjoy and root for, and THE CLONE WARS has pushed and evolved these opportunities further, what with the introduction of young and fearless of heart Jedi Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, who particularly has lots of to do in this storyline. But its Onderon resistance leader Steela who clearly shines the most, not only in this story but also the season as a guest star character, showing the spirit and bravery of forebears like Leia and Padme as well as being an excellent shot in battle, and having a believable relationship with the admiring youngster, and fellow rebel Lux Bonteri.

High altitude warfare!

3. Dragons! Channeling the spirit of respected sci-fi author Anne McCaffrey and her obsession with the enchanted creatures, and perhaps even a little bit of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones mixed in, the stunning and colourful Ruping bird-dragon hybrids of Onderon add much to the episode's fantasy spectacle. Seen early on in the Season Five trailers, they are now properly shown here in their full spectacular glory above the airlanes of Onderon, soon used by the resistance, alongside some equally fantastical horses, in visceral epic battle against the mechanical onslaught of the Trade Federation and its slimy allies.

4. The Return of Hondo. In dire need of weapons, and with time running out against overwhelming odds, Anakin manages to acquire the merchandising services of that always hilarious and cunning Weequay rogue, Hondo Ohnaka-surely one of the THE CLONE WARS greatest creations, who makes several well deserved guest star reappearances throughout this season. Here he puts in a brief-very brief!-pit stop in the Onderon war zone to help the almost extinct Resistance ultimately win the ground war, and not without a couple of standout lines of comedy dialogue! Nice to see you again...

5. A Death and a Near Miss. Just as the battle is won, writer Chris Collins and director Bosco Ng cleverly pull the heartstrings out from us and sadly kill off the character of Steela in a shocking and memorable sequence: plummeting to her doom from a cliff, with her lover unable to save her. Even the Jedi powers of Ahsoka herself are almost stopped in their tracks when only just surviving a near-fatal and equally unexpected Separatist missile attack. This is clearly another indication that this season will continue killing off characters no matter how large or small in distinction, and no matter how popular- with even the possibility of this happening to our favourite Jedi Padawan somewhere down the storytelling road...

Note: The Blu-ray contains an alternate death scene for Steela different to the final TV version.

Star Wars Clone Wars - Season 5 Blu-ray Region Free: Film & TV

Get hold of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS- THE COMPLETE SEASONS ONE TO FIVE here: Star Wars Clone Wars - Season 1-5 Blu-ray Region Free: Film & TV

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