Bounty Hunters: Will They Save ‘The Clone Wars’?

Last year, when Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated tv show debuted on the small screen (and the big screen as well), it wasn’t exactly met with the warm welcome that many people were expecting.  Some fans crucifed it for dumbing down the series too much, while others enjoyed the childish humor and annoying battle droids.  Where do I fall in these group of fans?  I am right, smack-dab, in the middle.  I like the idea of seeing a new Star Wars tale every week, but deep down I know the show really isn’t living up to its true potential.  While the first season of The Clone Wars left much to be desired, and had way too much Jar Jar, I am starting to think that season two is much more promising.

Being a big fan of Star Wars myself, I was finding it hard to really get into any of the episodes since it was pretty light-hearted for the most part. It never really broke out of that “Saturday Morning cartoon” feel.  Luckily, season two has introduced a key component that I think will save the series: more bounty hunters.  Let’s face it, anybody that will kill a person for a nice wad of cash, no questions asked, is pretty badass.  Even going back to the late, great, original trilogy, we see the most famous bounty hunter, Boba Fett, go out like a punk in the Sarlacc pit…yet he is still cool as hell, but I digress.  The main reason I think this season has taken a nice step-up has to be because of a newcomer known as Cad Bane.

Bane was introduced in the final episode of season one as he was hired to capture Ziro the Hutt from Coruscant.  The episode was pretty interesting, and gave us a good idea of what was to come, because Bane took no crap from anybody.  He has a very “Old Western” feel, and I think it works great with the character being rough and quite menacing; think blue-skinned Clint Eastwood.  Thank God they started off season two with a bang and had him kicking ass and taking names.  One of those names, happens to be a Rodian Jedi, Bolla Ropal (Greedo from the Mos Eisley Cantina is Rodian).  In one of the early season two episodes, while Bane is searching the galaxy for Force-sensitive children, he keeps Ropal tied up, while he demands information.  After Ropal does not give Bane what he wants, he is subjected to torture until he dies; that was the exact moment, I knew this season finally went that extra mile.  The Clone Wars was a dark time, and we are finally starting to see a bit of this with actual consequences and the loss of Jedi.  They have hailed season two as “The Rise of the Bounty Hunters“, and after seeing just how ruthless one can be, the title is quite fitting.  Let’s just hope that as the season roles on the stakes become higher, and the hunters become more ruthless.

The director of the series, Dave Filoni has promised more intense situations and better action, and so far I would say that he has delivered.  It seems that we are still going to get those random “tales” type episodes, that wander aimlessly for twenty-two minutes, leaving the viewer bored and wanting more; I would like to call myself an optimist, hoping these episodes are fewer and far between.  The show is insanely popular with children, so there is no convincing needed for that demographic, but I really think that people turned off by season one, should check a new episode out some Friday night on Cartoon Network.  Hell, if this whole Star Wars gig doesn’t work out, maybe we will see Cad have his own spin-off…The Good, The Bad, and The Bane.