Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Why did they have to meet in person at all? I wonder this constantly in my own life and I DON'T have holographic projector communication devices. (Live blogging "The Clone Wars")

Andrew Leon and The Armchair Squid are doing this thing where they're going to blog about The Clone Wars.  I never take part in things, as a rule. But I have been looking for a new show to watch, having exhausted all current American Horror Stories and Bob's Burgers, and I decided I'd try this because Andrew's always telling me and other people to try things and I'm always not doing that.

So he blogged about Episode 1, "Ambush," and I decided to check it out, and live blog it.  So as I think of stuff I'm pausing the episode to note it.

1:38 in. George Lucas' creations have such dumb names.  "Count Dooku." "Toydarians." Oh, hey it's Yoda.

1:45. Yoda's a general?

3:30 Battle droids are shooting at an escape pod, Yoda's master plan being "Get out of the ambush by using an escape pod so the ship can go free but he can make it down to the planet," but then the pods don't launch all at once (to make it harder to shoot them all) but one at a time, in a line.  And then the droid shooting at the final one -- which is the one carrying Yoda? That's dumb: he'd have the best element of surprise in the first one -- misses, and then cracks a joke about how it's a bad shot because that's it's programming.

I thought at first Who would program a 'droid to be bad at its job but have a sense of humor about it?and then I remembered that the droids in Star Wars' universe are basically sentient, but are kept as slaves, and that made me sad.

Also, ever since I read this I've been suspicious of Imperial troops who are 'bad' at what they do.

3:44: AHA. Yoda agrees they got away but says they're going into another trap. SEE?

6:05: Why do the clones have different accents? One of them is Australian, it seems. I would be more worried about Yoda and three clones facing a 'full battalion' if I knew what a full battalion was.  It doesn't seem like Yoda's going to get the fair fight that hovering guy demanded Count Dooku's apprentice agree to.

8:29. More comic relief from the battle droids, still terrible (?) at the sole reason for their existence. But what made me pause here is how dumb the clones are. They have just watched as Yoda's plan has caused Dooku's forces to get out of their tanks, and have listened as Yoda has pointed out that size isn't what counts and that even though they (Yoda and his clone troopers) are smaller, they have larger minds. Then as Yoda heads off, the troopers agree they have no idea what he is talking about. I know it's supposed to be a funny moment but it jarred me out of the story. How are these troopers any improvement on the dunce robots?

9-10:00: Okay that was some pretty cool moves by Yoda but WHERE IS THE LIGHTSABER? I'm not watching Jedis for the acrobatics.

Also, the 'full battalion' turns out to be three tanks and about 20 foot soldiers, which doesn't seem that much. I thought 'battalion' would be at least 100 robots, given the stuff in the beginning about how 1 Jedi was the equivalent of 100 robots, which was some math I didn't follow: Dooku told the bird guy that he had 100 robots for every clone, but the flying king guy said that 1 Jedi is worth 100 robots, but if my math is correct that doesn't tip the odds much unless you have exactly 1 Jedi per clone.

10:08: Oh sorry those were only the advance troops. The full battalion is moving in. Judged too soon.  These clones are probably going to die just so Yoda can reach the rendezvous point to try to get an ally who's not a very good ally, given that he was thinking about going with Count Dooku.  But that's not the point. The point is: do you think you would die for a cause like a soldier would? We just watched Inglourious Basterds, and [SPOILER ALERT!] at the end the Basterds and Shosanna all died so that they could burn the Nazi high command in the theater and end the war.  It was pretty brave. I kept wondering if I would do that.  I mean, suppose you could go back in time and stop World War II early, but you would definitely die doing it. Would you do it? I think I would.  I hope I would.

11:00: One of the tougher robots has just said "Die Republic Dogs." It's weird to think that at this point the Empire was the rebels, and the Jedi were trying to save the Old Republic.  It's also weird to think that the Empire only lasted, what, 25 years?


Also that was one supercool trick he used.

15:00: Yoda has just reminded his guys that they may be clones but the Force resides in all life forms. I'm not clear on what "The Force" is, but does everyone have midichlorians and some just have more than others? Also, are clones treated as real citizens of the Republic or are they slaves, too?

15:24: I am surprised Andrew didn't say anything about this.  Yoda and the clones are watching a whole column of tanks and troops come into the canyon, and Yoda's got some sort of plan and figures they can win, and he says "Know the time to help me you will" and then leaps down into battle. OK, so why not tell them the exact plan? If Yoda can see the future, or just has a good idea how things are going to work out here, HE SHOULD TELL THEM. I know it's more surprising to see the battle unfold, but you don't have to tell us.  Just show a shot of Yoda saying here's the plan and they all huddle and then Yoda leaps.  It's INSANE that the general is going into battle without telling his troops the plan and just counting on this bunch -- who couldn't understand his little koan before! -- to figure things out.

15:40: Yoda jumps down in front of the whole army. They do not fire immediately. They say to block his escape, which they do not do, and then the leader orders the robots to prepare to fire. GET READY TO GET READY TO KILL HIM GUYS.

Then they report in, and the leader lady has to tell them to shoot him. I'm not sure 100 robots to every clone is enough.

THEN the leader says ready aim fire.

But he has to say it twice. 

16:47: The robots are too goofy. Yoda's attacking one and he's complaining about how he just got promoted.  But the clones! They're watching and one says "Doesn't look like the General needs help to me."  Good work, guys.

18:35: The clones figured it out, and used the same trick Hercules used on the hydra in the Disney version: drop a rock on things.  (I have watched Hercules a lot lately because the boys like to watch it a lot, so we see it about once a day. It holds up well.)

20:13: Why do the bad guys all use two lightsabers? And how come none of the other Jedi think to just pull their opponent's lightsabers from them? Yoda's all right.

And it's over. It wasn't bad.  It made Star Wars a bit too Saturday-morning-cartoonish instead of Saturday-afternoon-matinee-ish, but I guess it was worth watching another one in the future.

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