Brickdoctor, on 12 December 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:
I know they have to do what George wants them to do, but I'm rating episodes based on how they compare to other TCW episodes, not based on how they executed what was written in the script. No matter who's really at fault for this story or how well the animating team or the TCW team apart from George did; an "episode about nothing" isn't "decent".
Well, I usually do that too, but I made an exception in this case because I don't think this episode can really be compared to any of the other TCW episodes. It has a completely different approach, concept, and tone, so all I could do is judge it by its execution.
Clone O, on 12 December 2012 - 09:14 PM, said:
Yes, but why make an episode about nothing? Well, because George felt like it, that's why, but that's not a good explanation.
I watched the featurette, and the writer was exactly right about there being stakes… in the first episode. The hero droids had a mission to complete, and the Seperatist droids were actually a threat in the zero-gravity-fight sequence. In this episode, though, all stakes were gone. We don't actually know more about why the Republic needs the chip or what they will do with it. If they had cut away to scenes of some Republic commanders monitoring the mission, losing track of the droids because they got lost in the void, and becoming worried about getting the chip (which would provide room for some exposition about why they need it), that would've been a good episode. They probably wouldn't have needed more than five minutes of screen time to do that, adding some sense of urgency to the droids' wanderings and still leaving plenty of time for the battle of egos, existential crisis stuff.
Instead, what we get is 22 minutes of droids in the void, with Gascon mentioning the mission from time to time, and that's it. We can't feel the urgency, there are no stakes, and the episode is pointless.
Now that I mention cutting away to Republic commanders, I really have to wonder why the writers didn't do it. From the amount and tier of the Jedi standing around in the briefing at the beginning of the first episode, this seems like quite an important mission. Wouldn't somebody care that the droids have gotten lost, and shouldn't we, the audience, see that first-hand? Just another example of poor story telling in this show…
You're obviously not getting the point of this episode. It was an attempt to make a unique episode by taking all the Jedi and war stuff out of it and making it as minimalistic as possible, so cutting away to Jedi discussing the war would completely go against that goal. We already know why
the Republic needs the module (the narrator said in the previous episode that they need it to decode a message from Grievous in order to reveal his plan) we just need to know what it will reveal to the Republic, but we wont know that until they have delivered the module, so that's for another episode.
This episode is meant to stand on its own, much like Secret Weapons
, even though both of these episode are within the same story arc. The stakes are still there since the Republic is still relying on the droids to complete their mission in order to win the war, so everything depends on D-Squad to make it out of the Void and deliver the module as Gascon keeps reminding us. The desperate tone in his voice conveys the urgency quite well in my opinion, so the stakes are presented in a much more subtle way, which is one of the things that make this episode so remarkable.
As for why the Republic hasn't sent help yet, I don't think D-Squad has been in the Void for more than a day, so it probably hasn't been long enough for the Jedi to start worrying. I'm sure they will start getting suspicious in the next episode and send help (how else would the Republic Commando end up in the Void?).
So, as I said before, this episode was an experiment to make a completely new and different kind of episode by taking a minimalistic approach. It may not have advanced the story arc in which it takes place and may not be the greatest TCW episode, but it wasn't trying to
. It just did its own thing, and I think it did it well. It's this kind of pioneering that made Star Wars great in the first place and I appreciate their effort in trying to make art for art's sake rather than just trying to make a decent TV show. It is unfortunate that apparently not many others can appreciate it.
commanderneyo, on 12 December 2012 - 10:01 PM, said:
I loved this episode! It was very fun. Then again, I've liked all the S5 episodes so far and I can't see that changing as we've got some great things to come.
Well, at least I'm not alone on this one. And yes, the second half does seem to be much better than the first, so I hope they wont let us down.