This week on Clone Wars, R2-D2 and several other droids are gathered together and assigned the mission of infiltrating a Separatist cruiser to steal an encryption module so that the Republic forces can decipher the Separatist’s new code.
The droids are joined by the pint-sized Colonel Meebur Gascon, an analyst from the battle of Geonosis who is going on his first field mission due to his size (he can ride inside of M5-Bz). Despite the slap-stick antics of WAC-47, the droids get onboard the ship, grab the module, and escape.
Right off the bat, I had issues with this one. While I found the overall premise acceptable, I was immediately baffled by WAC-47. He’s clearly incompetent to the point that I couldn’t possibly believe he’d be assigned to assist Clone Troopers in battle (he’s apparently Commander Neyo’s droid), much less be chosen to go on such a vital mission. If anything, he’s the Jar Jar Binks of droids. WAC-47 strikes me as too cartoony for this particular cartoon. He’d be right at home in something like Looney Tunes, but for a show that has been adopting some of the realism of the Original Trilogy more often as of late, the character sticks out like a sore thumb.
Which is exactly how I felt about a second character, Dr. Gubacher. In the context of the story, he’s kind of like Q from the James Bond films — he shows up to upgrade the droids’ weapons, gives them new gadgets, and that’s about it. Yet oddly, he’s kind of played like a mad scientist, but yet with a voice that sounds like a horrible interpretation of the character of Igor from Frankenstein. He too felt out of place, and I was left confused by the choices that the Clone Wars staff made with both his character and WAC-47.
The rest of the episode was a little underwhelming. Again, I buy the concept of the mission, but having seen R2-D2 in action so many times, I kind of wonder why they didn’t send him to do it on his own. Based on his appearances in the films and this series, the character is more than capable of completing the task as presented here, and the inclusion of Gascon and the other droids felt more like window dressing for the episode on the whole than essential to any part of it. Even the zero-gravity sequence, while a good idea, came off a bit flat.
Still, it never felt as lifeless or as dull as the first couple episodes of this season’s Onderon arc (which shall remain my whipping boy for this season until something else takes its place). It’s a watchable episode, but never really offered more than an at times amusing waste of half an hour. Which is really unfortunate coming off of the extremely fun and well done Young Jedi arc. Hopefully, next week’s “A Sunny Day in the Void” will pick things up again.