So last Friday saw the second season premiere of The Clone Wars. It started off quite well with a two-parter about the bounty hunter Cad Bane, attempting to steal something called a Jedi Holocron in the appropriately titled Holocron Heist, and then using it to get some critical information for the Emperor in Cargo of Doom.
The animation seems a bit better this year (still some wonky walking), but the plot was a definite improvement.
First, Cad Bane is an excellent character. Unlike the utterly useless Fetts, this is a bounty hunter who can actually back up his reputation with cunning, ruthlessness, and serious skills. The series is getting a little edgier too, since they show a Jedi (sadly, not Anakin) getting tortured to death by him - on screen. In a "cartoon". Heavy stuff.
Second, Anakin's apprentice - Ahsoka - is starting to show a bit of a dark side. Or maybe... a bit of the dark side. Maybe it wasn't so bright to give him his own Padawan... ya' think? It'll be interesting to see how that all pans out. I'm sensing tragedy afoot. Anyway, the characters and plots are starting out more interesting already than last year ended. With luck, we can stay away from Jar Jar and the whole Anakain/Padme romance for awhile.
Now if AT&T would just carry Cartoon Network in HD here...
Also on Friday (or Fryday) the SyFy channel (formerly the SciFi channel in what's probably the most pointless name change since this guy), debuted the latest in the Stargate series of er... series, with:
No, that's not it either.
Lost in Stargate?
Anyway, it debuted Friday. And it comes up with the brilliantly original idea of stranding a bunch of people from Earth on something hurtling out-of-control, lost in spa... er... the universe, trying to survive, find and explore habitable planets, and of course, find a way back to Earth.
There's a scientist on board who's responsible for them being there, that nobody trusts. I forget his name, so we'll just call him Dr. Smith. You have a fat video game nerd/genius (gee... appealing to the target demographic much?), and a whole bunch of generic actors I don't recognize at all. Supposedly, Lou Diamond Phillips is in the series, but I think he was in the pilot all of 5 seconds. Tops. So maybe next week we'll get to see him. Or not. I couldn't possibly care less. (If they were looking for a B-grade sci-fi actor for the show, you can't get any better than Mark Dacascos. There's always the off-chance he might yell "Allez-cuisine!!" during an episode, and that would be worth watching.)
Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks from Stargate SG-1 all made rather useless cameos in the pilot (I know Anderson's character is supposed to be laid back, but there's laid back, and then there's just phoning it in for the paycheck).
Just to keep connection with earth (apparently so the producers can bring in more interesting guest stars from time to time) the... what are they... Universians? ... anyway, they brought along a set of communication stones, that allow them to instantly swap brains with someone on Earth... several billion light years away. Uh... yeah. Look... I'll grant you pretty much any plot device in science fiction, but that's pushing things. There should be at least some time delay or something.
I'm not sure I'll keep up on this one. Stargate Atlantis was already pretty weak sauce, and there's nobody - nobody - on board this tub that I really want to see any more of.
Well, maybe Ming-Na.