CLONE WARS Revives Mr. Feschencko's Excitement

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five premiered Saturday on Cartoon Network.  The first episode, “Revival” is apply titled.  Here’s a quick recap if you missed it.

MINOR SPOILER ALERT AHEAD (very minor)

“Revival” seems to take place not long after the season four finally, “Revenge” which had a much anticipated rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Sith who was hands down the best part of The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul.  If you missed season four, Darth Maul, rescued by his brother Savage Opress, is alive and relatively well. I mean he was cut in half and left for dead, and using the dark magic of  Mother Talzin is very quickly brought back to full strength.  His first desire, revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi.  In “Revenge” Maul sets a trap for Kenobi and Kenobi only makes it out alive with the help of Asajj Ventress, who he often goes head to head with.

Even though “Revenge” had me on the edge of my seat, if left me a bit unsatisfied.  How could Obi-Wan, who in his inexperienced youth, defeated Darth Maul, not be able to do the same in his prime?  And even though there was dark magic involved in bringing Maul back, he had been bottomless, on a junk world for, at least a decade.  I understand it was a cliff hanger and they needed us to really want to come back for more, but that bugged me.

What’s fantastic about this episode, “Revival” is that it is just that.  A revival.  Not only for Maul but for Kenobi.  At one point in the episode, running down a hallway, Obi-Wan seems to hit a dead end.  He turns to face his persuaders, Maul & Savage.  Maul says, “Surrender.  We are two.  And you are no match for us both.” And Obi-Wan replys “You are mistaken.” very matter-of-factly.  That’s what I’m talking about!  In episode one Obi-Wan is revived from punk, to humble badass.  Kudos to the Clone Wars team.

Plus they accomplish this without making light of the threat that is Maul and Savage.  And they leave themselves with so much to play with.  So many great questions for viewers to keep tuning in: Why is Mother Talzin supporting Maul & Savage AND Ventress.  Savage and Ventress hate each other.  What’s Mother Talzin playing at?  Where will Ventress’ loyalties fall when all is said and done?  Who can she trust and who will she ultimately side with?  Will Obi-Wan get too caught up in his personal business with Maul?  Will he take an Anikin-like road this season?  And, and this is what I’m most excited for, what will happen when Maul has to face his former master, Darth Sidious?  Obi-Wan wasn’t the only one who left him Maul for dead.

The Clone Wars puts the excitement and imagination back into Star Wars that the prequels sorely lacked. They’ve always explored lots of shades of grey, in a universe that desperately wants to be simply black and white.  Which make it some of the most interesting TV out there.  Each season gets better than the the last.  So don’t miss a minute of Season Five.

The Clone Wars, on Cartoon Network, airs Saturday’s at 9:30 EST.

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