So, how does the Twi'lek Trio stack up?
One thing that struck me is the difference in the way "twi'lek" (the native humanoids of Ryloth) is pronounced. Some of the characters pronounce it "twhy-lek," the way you would pronounce "twilight." Others pronounce it "twee-lek." Potato, po-tah-to, tomato, to-mah-to, let's call the whole thing off...
Anyway, the Separtists, led by Wat "Jeffrey" Tambor of the Techno Union, have invaded Ryloth. Each episode focuses on a Jedi and in the first one, it's up to Anakin and Ahsoka to break the Trade Federation's siege on the planet so that Republic forces can come through. The Neimodian commanding the siege is a lot smarter than the boobs who tried to pull a similar siege on Naboo in TPM and he has a lot more firepower at his disposal. Ahsoka is leading an attack in her starfighter where she disobeys orders, screws up, and gets most of her clone squadron killed. Moreover, most of the Republic ships there are damaged or destroyed and Yularen is seriously injured. Everybody's ticked at Ahsoka and she feels like crap. It's obvious Ahsoka is trying to follow in her Master's maverick footsteps but it frustrates her she can't pull off her recklessness the way Anakin can. Anakin can't handle loss or mistakes himself, so he doesn't know how to help Ahsoka deal with her feelings. This causes a lot of friction. But it's not long before Anakin comes up with yet another crazy, suicidal plan that inevitably works: sending the damaged 900 gazillion dollar ship on a kamikaze run on the Separatists. Ahsoka is nervous about it because if she messes up her part, Anakin dies, but it all works out and she gets her self-esteem back. The most striking thing about this episode is how it emphasizes that Ahsoka is still just a kid. Special powers or not, this is at the end of the day a child soldier. Her master isn't that much older than she is and has a lot of issues himself. Anakin alternates between being her older brother and her commanding officer. There's not much of a traditional master/padawan role going on. The scene where Ahsoka goes to squeeze Yularen's hand was quite touching.
The second part features Obi-Wan as the primary Jedi but much of the episode focuses on a pair of clones who find a lost little Twi'lek girl. More than one observer noted the similarities between this episode and the film The Guns of Navarone. The Twi'lek girl is adorable and watching the hardened clone warriors' hearts melt made this the most charming of the three-story arc. Thanks to the writers for NOT making the girl a baby Oola. I was kinda worried they were going to do that. There's also a funny scene where the Twi'leks attack a droid commander and Obi-Wan tries to cover the young girl's eyes, but she peeks around his hand. Heh heh.
The third part stars Mace Windu. The show's Windu doesn't sound all that much like Samuel L. Jackson but his feats show why he earned the nickname "Bad Mo-Fo." He is quite clearly one of the most powerful Jedi around, capable of things we haven't seen other Jedi do. It's sort of a more realistic version of the kind of crazy powers he displayed in the other CW animated series. Here, Windu arranges with local resistance to fight off the remaining Seps, while Tambor is ordered to leave the planet and make sure it's a smoking heap on the way out. The leader of the resistance is reluctant to help the Republic because he is a political rival of Senator Orn Fee Taa. They work something out but not without the subtle reminder that today's friendly Republic is tomorrow's occupying Imperials.
The action in the final arc is absolutely spectacular and it demonstrates how far they've come in the animation within a single year.
Next up...the season finale with the return of Aurra Sing and the debut of Cad Bane!