This week, the D-Squad arc comes to a close. Will WAC-47 continue to be annoying? Will Gascon despair yet again? Or will it redeem the rest of the arc? Spoilers ahead!
Gascon and D-Squad board the Jedi cruiser they discovered in orbit over Abafar in last week’s “Missing in Action,” only to find it in the control of Separatist battle droids who have loaded it with explosives. They also discover some of the ships’ droids who alert them to the Separatist plan: it seems the battle droids are going to ram the ship into a space station where a Republic strategy meeting is being held. After fighting off some buzz droids and losing M5-BZ in the process, D-Squad sets about trying to set the detonator to explode early and escape in the shuttle they arrived on. Unfortunately, R2-D2 gets left behind, but he manages to complete the mission, exploding the cruiser and saving the station. A salvage team finds the remains of R2, he’s rebuilt, and there are hints that this is not the last we’ve seen of D-Squad (to many people’s ire).
This was easily the best episode in the arc, pulling back the slapstick tone that had been killing its predecessors. It’s a shame, really — had all four episodes been more like this one, I wouldn’t have minded the arc at all. It was the overly cartoonish nature that really got to me. And yes, I understand, this *is* a cartoon, but the first three parts really stood out on a show that is often funny but with a foot in reality.
Still, this one had some really good stuff in it. The buzz droid battle was pretty intense, and I like the way they resolved that. A part of me found it kind of curious that BZ and the buzz droids didn’t drop out of hyper-space once they were outside of the influence of the ship’s hyper-drive generator. In my mind, they’d be fine until that moment, and then they’d drop back into real space at such a rate that they’d probably explode. But apparently in the Star Wars universe, they are stuck floating in hyper-space forever. Which could have interesting story possibilities at some point, I’m sure.
I also loved the explosion of the Jedi cruiser and the detail during the shock wave and debris wave that followed. Visually stunning stuff, and A+ work from the Clone Wars team.
Still, even though this episode was pretty decent, it doesn’t succeed in redeeming the rest of D-Squad’s story. I still have got to give props to Filoni and his crew for having the stones to try something different, even if it doesn’t quite work in this case. Not many animated shows take those kind of chances, and it’s at least encouraging to know that the folks at Lucasfilm Animation aren’t content to simply repeat themselves.
Even still, I’m looking forward to next week for one reason: Maul.