May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Clone Wars “Bounty Hunters”

Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka help some bounty hunters defend a farming village from pirates.

Huh.  An episode dedicated to Akira Kurosawa?  That’s a wee bit unexpected.

OK, it’s not that unexpected:  George Lucas hasn’t exactly been shy about the fact that Kurosawa’s work was a heavy influence on Star Wars, particularly The Hidden Fortress in which two bumbling peasants, both of them kinda greedy and dumb, end up getting swept up in a mission to smuggle a princess through dangerous territory with a legendary general.  Make the peasants a pair of droids and one of them competent, and you have Star Wars, more or less.  As such, doing an episode that riffs off Seven Samurai isn’t a bad way to go.  It’s a somewhat familiar story thanks the American Western remake, and that is what happens here:  Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka are off investigating why a medical station lost contact when they’re shot down, and when they get to a small farming village, they find the residents scared.  They’d already hired four bounty hunters to protect them, and with the three Jedi, that makes seven.

And yes, Anakin realizes they can train the farmers to defend themselves.

Oh, and the pirate leader is that smooth snake Hondo.  That means he’ll be driven off instead of killed like a lot of his men–one of those bounty hunters apparently specializes in breaking necks–and he’ll be that same borderline asshole he was to Anakin and Obi-Wan before.  Hondo is kind of a fun villain, one that could theoretically be an ally under the right circumstances, but here, well, he’s the baddie.

So, I’m a Kurosawa fan.  I must have liked this one then, right?  Eh, not so much.  The premise is solid, but while Obi-Wan and the leader of the bounty hunters spend a lot of time bickering, their issues aren’t really resolved.  Ahsoka is pretty decent to another bounty hunter, a small alien secretly piloting a larger mech suit, and yes, he’ll take out a bad guy without the suit at one point, but when all is said and done, one of the four bounty hunters is killed, and all I know about that character is she was a sniper of some kind.  I suppose the fact the bounty hunters and the Jedi worked together to save the village earns mutual respect such that the leader will offer the Jedi a ride to a Republic station since they had more room on the ship after the mission, but there just wasn’t enough time here to get all the characters enough to do.

I mean, there’s a reason Kurosawa’s movie is three and a half hours long.  I don’t know that we’ll see these bounty hunters again, but in the meantime, I don’t know that I know all that much about them either, so that probably won’t bother me too much.