I’ve always been an avid fan of The Clone Wars, so of course I was disappointed, along with many others, upon it’s cancellation. Since then we’ve not only gotten an extra season, but two unaired story arcs saw the lights of Tatooine: a comic series, Son of Dathomir, giving partial closure to Darth Maul’s arc; and a novel starring Asajj Ventress, now titled Dark Disciple. With all that extra content already, it was surprising when Jedi News hinted at some big TCW news hitting soon and sithspit, they weren’t wrong: a story reel version of an arc on Utapau, concept art, and new databank entries were put on the official site for fans (on the eve of Rebels, nonetheless) with a promise we haven’t seen everything yet.
If you’ve ever owned the Blu-rays/DVDs of TCW and watched the special features, you’ll have seen deleted or edited scenes presented as story reels and will be used to such footage. If not, it’ll be a little glaring if it’s your first time seeing story reel footage, especially 4 22-minute episodes of it, but the Crystal Crisis storyline from the Utapau arc continues the stronger narrative structure seen in the final seasons of TCW, making it a shame to miss them just because they aren’t ‘finished.’ The full voice acting, music, and sound effects are present, with the voice acting showing the continuing maturity of the show. As an added plus, the action sequences are fun and inventive, giving this arc an adventurous vibe sometimes missing from the prequel era.
The banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan is the closest this show has ever been to how they sounded in the opening scene of Revenge of the Sith (including Anakin’s longer hair), presenting plenty of laughs and really making their friendship seem genuine. But in one of the more interesting segments, Anakin and Obi-Wan discuss Ahsoka Tano’s season 5 decision to leave the Jedi Order. I’ve been chomping at the bit to hear Anakin’s feelings about the matter, given that he’s unable to let people go, and it’s nice to see he was at least open to Obi-Wan about it (unlike his relationship with Padme).
On top of that, James Hong (who’s been in numerous films, including Blade Runner and Kung Fu Panda) appears as Endente, an arms dealer for the Sugi (a new race with a disgusting but cool design) and he is an absolute blast in the role. Just when I thought Obi-Wan and Anakin’s dialogue would be the funniest part of the episodes, Endente steals the show. And most surprising and amusing is his Jerry Maguire reference, something I never thought I’d hear in Star Wars. Endente, and his voice actor, are just another part of TCW‘s tradition of creating scene stealing new characters (and not keeping them around for very long).
The crystal in question, and it’s power, should easily be recognizable to most fans as a nice little tease of what’s to come. And Yoda’s musing about where such giant crystals come from and use of their power over the generations brings out a bit of a wink and nod line, “In legends, we often find great truths…” The episode order of the Utapau arc is as follows: A Death On Utapau, In Search of the Crystal, Crystal Crisis, and The Big Bang. UPDATE: Both Star Wars Rebels, in the episode “Breaking Ranks,” and the novel Tarkin have made references to things shown in these story reels; Their timely release was most certainly planned. And if you pick up the Blu-ray version of S6 of TCW, you’ll also get these episodes on the disc.
The other big news was Asajj Ventress’ novel, co-staring Quinlan Vos, finally receiving a name: Dark Disciple. In the The Clone Wars Legacy video above, parts of her yet to be told story can be seen in story reel rendition, with some concept art to boot.
And for those of you wondering, this Utapau arc is canon and it seems since the story group considers all unaired content as happening (per video), we should be seeing it in some form or another over the years. Now, let’s hope the next big reveal (at NYCC perhaps?) is Ahsoka Tano related!
Canon Novel Review: Dark Disciple
My Impressions of The Clone Wars Legacy: The Bad Batch Arc
The Untold Clone Wars Panel Impressions (SWCA 2015)
Star Wars: Dark Disciple Plot Synopsis
Star Wars: Dark Disciple – Cover Art
The Clone Wars Soundtrack Available Now
The Clone Wars “Lost Missions” Coming To Blu-ray and DVD in November
Star Wars New York Comic Con 2014 Plans
Marvel Shows Off Three New Star Wars Series At SDCC
Asajj Ventress Novel Announced At SDCC 2014