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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

THE CLONE WARS SEASON FIVE. AFICIONADO's TOP FIVE EPISODES. NUMBER FOUR: 'A NECESSARY BOND'

Ahsoka and the Jedi younglings celebrate the end of their adventure in A Necessary Bond. Images: LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO's Top Five countdown continues, celebrating the release of THE CLONE WARS Season Five on Blu-ray and DVD from WARNER BROTHERS. Episodes like Darth Maul's bloodthirsty Revival, and the conclusion of the Astro Droid mission in Point of No Return, were firm candidates, but ultimately position four went to A Necessary Bond, the concluding episode of the overall enjoyable Jedi Younglings storyline by Christian Taylor-the last genuine family feel-good episode of the season before things turn very dark on Mandalore and Coruscant.

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

1. High speed chases. First there's Ahsoka and her Younglings escape from Hondo's camp, as heroic Artoo and elderly statesman Jedi protocol droid Huyang (a solid performance from former DOCTOR WHO David Tennant, capturing and channelling the spirit of Anthony Daniels portrayal) try a mid-air rescue attempt, followed by a spirited chase through the winding desert canyons of Florrum, as our heroes now have to outpace General Grievous, atop a very cool new speeder bike vehicle (surely out in toy stores very soon!), and his gaining forces- the need for speed in the STAR WARS SAGA, with some exciting and visually accomplished sequences well handled by director Danny Keller.

Note: An extended, part animatic version of the Grievous Gorge chase can be found on the Blu-ray release.


General Grievous proves impatient to kill Jedi...

2. General Grievous crashes the party. He's already brought carnage and destruction to Obi-Wan Kenobi's space fleet, and now that wheezing metal shape of hate has been dispatched by a vendetta fuelled Count Dooku to Florrum: the Serenno Overlord wanting payback for his previous capture by Hondo's band of scum from Season One, ordering the enthusiastic General, with the yearning for more lightsabers to add to his collection, to convert the Weequay Boss's unique enterprise to scrap metal!

It's always good to have the twisted and dangerous Grievous, as ever voiced by Matthew Wood, in the series, and any scene where he's multi-limbed and ready for lightsaber action always makes an impression. Likewise when he scurries along like a spider- that always creeps me out!

3. Hondo's new day! Having attacked their ship, tried to kill the youngsters and steal their crystals, then capturing Ahsoka, our favourite pirate leader Hondo Ohnaka hasn't been a good boy lately, but, with the arrival of General Grievous and captured, he soon recognises the ultimate danger at hand-his scruples for money and profit sidelined for survival and escape-so why not join forces with the Jedi! Talented actor Jim Cummins gets to have all the best lines and scenes in this episode as the lovable rogue (even getting some slicing swordplay action against the Battle Droids!)- yes, Hondo's dangerous, but there's a glint in his eyes that shows his occasionally compassionate side: the scene where he witnesses youngling Katooni finally building her lightsaber ,then has a briefly kind of parental connection to her, proves a nice touch. And he manages to authoritatively charm luckless Obi-Wan into paying the costs for his services and loss of earnings. So it all worked out alright in the end!


... but this time round, Ahsoka holds her own.

4. Ahsoka and Grievous: the rematch. Once before, Ahsoka had been defeated almost killed by Grievous, and she's learnt her lesson. She knows she can't beat him but that doesn't stop her showing her improved skills and lightsaber abilities briefly but formidably against her old wheezy foe, buying escape time for the younglings to board a certain vessel soon to be re-owned by another certain bounty hunter!


Slave One to the rescue!

5. Slave One blasts back! Making a spectacular return-emerging from the mountain rock face, under the control of present owner Hondo Ohnaka, Slave One's guest appearance must surely have got fandom's faces beaming-all guns blazing at the soon damaged General Grievous, rescued by droid tanks at the last minute. It truly was nice to see the superbly designed and sinister looking Classic Trilogy ship, previously damaged/believed destroyed at the end of Season Two, back in gleaming action- and with a new coat of paint!


Get hold of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON here:
Star Wars Clone Wars - Season 5 Blu-ray Region Free: Amazon.co.uk: 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: Amazon.co.uk: Film & TV

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