The Clone Wars S7E12 "Victory and Death"
So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause. Or perhaps it's the applause of the millions of Clone Wars fans all giving Dave Filoni and his team the standing ovation they deserve for capping this beloved series on such a perfect note. Though only coming in at around 24 minutes, and standing alone, likely not best Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ever (that may belong to part 2 of this arch), the final moments of this episode, and in turn this series, are as close to Star Wars perfection as you can get. Ending one era and transitioning into the next, “Victory and Death: treat us to an emotional, action packed, and gorgeously drawn/animated series finale that encapsulates all the best that The Clone Wars had to offer. Light touches of humour, stunning lightsaber dances and force moves, lovable droids, pathos, lore and drama all came together to close out a series over a decade in the making. There isn't much else to say other than goodbye and thanks for the memories. We look forward to whatever this amazing animation team will bring us next, and may the force be with you... always.
5 May 2020
The Clone Wars S7E5 "Gone With a Trace"
With the engagement on Anaxes now dealt with, The Clone Wars turns its attention to Ahsoka and her recent self exile from the Jedi Order. She’s now on her own and apparently trying to find herself on the lower levels of Coruscant. The episode takes us to the notorious level 1313 (with even some fun easter eggs to the cancelled video game from a few years ago), when her chopper inspired (no not the droid) speeder bike breaks down, she’s introduced to a pair of hard on their luck sisters. In the process she reconnects with the everyday galactic citizen and has a run-in with a cross-wired demolition droid.
25 Mar 2020
The Clone Wars S7E3 "On the Wings of Keeradaks"
Anakin and Rex have found and rescued Echo from the clutches of the Techno Union, but they’re now neck deep in droids and it’s time for an escape from Skako Minor! The Bad Batch and the rest of the gang are left to fend for themselves with no backup, hundreds of feet in the air, and completely surrounded. Luckily, they have a plan! Julian and Rachel break down a very action heavy episode, that also happens to be one of the shortest in the series. Unfortunately, It’s not the strongest episode either, but it does make you consider what choosing sides in a war really means, and how its not as black and white as it might seem. Oh and there’s a “Devastator”… that’s not that devastating.
11 Mar 2020
The Clone Wars S7E2 "A Distant Echo"
Better late than never! A saying that could apply to this week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as this podcast (snare drum*). This week Julian is joined by special guest, Rachel Wilkinson, to help break down the the action Speaking of action, there was plenty of it this week as Anakin joined Rex and the Bad Batch on their mission to rescue Echo. There was also plenty of character moments to go around, not the least of which being a rare scene between Padme and Anakin, that lead into an interaction with Obi-Wan that revealed a lot, in very little screen time.
4 Mar 2020
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The Clone Wars S7E1 "The Bad Batch"
The Clone Wars is back for it’s final season! Having bounced around from Disney XD to Netflix (after already being cancelled once!), the series will finally come to rest on Disney+. Was it worth the wait? Time will tell, but this first episode “The Bad Batch” starts off the season on the right foot, even if for a few missteps. Join Julian, as he breaks it all down and discusses in the ins and outs of an episode that joins Rex and Cody, with a team of clones with “desirable mutations”.
25 Feb 2020
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - Spoiler Cast
With the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiere now far enough in the past and the discourse surrounding the divisive picture now quieted down, it’s finally time for the ToB Crew to dive deep into the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. Full spoilers ahead, as Julian, Daniel, and Jeremy discuss the ins and outs of a movie that has A LOT to break down. Plus the guys try to fully flush out how this movie follows what was left by Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” (A conversation that may never end). Ultimately, there’s enough content in this movie to keep podcasters busy for years, and this will likely not be the last ToB word on this subject.Note: This podcast was set to release closer to January 1, 2020 but due to technical difficulties there was a delay. Apologies. Please look for new ToB podcasts soon!
9 Jan 2020
The Mandalorian S1E8 "Redemption"
What better way is there to cap off 2019 than to soak up the awesomeness that is the finale to the first season of The Mandalorian? Join Julian, Dan, and Jeremy as they unpack what was a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to the story that began with the surprise reveal of Baby Yoda. A conclusion that also that came with some unexpected twists, asked some interesting questions, and left the door open for more adventures with our favourite Mandalorian next fall. What a way to bring live action Star Wars to the small screen for the first time!
1 Jan 2020
The Mandalorian S1E7 "The Reckoning"
After a series of self-contained episodes exploring the life of a Bounty Hunter on the run, Chapter 7 begins to bring the story full circle by having the Mandalorian finally confront his pursuers.Greef Karga extends an olive branch to Mando, hoping to rid Nevarro of the remaining imperial presence, while promising to absolve Mando of all transgressions against the guild. Anticipating the obvious double-cross, The Mandalorian recruits a crew of allies met in previous chapters in order to save the Child and put an end to the mercenary-of-the-week motif. Alongside the redoubtable Rebel Drop-Trooper Cara Dune, and the laconic Ugnaught Kuiil, The Mandalorian allows a repurposed IG-11 to join the crew, albeit reluctantly. After meeting with Greef, surviving a space-dragon attack, and witnessing some impressive force abilities from the Child, the rag-tag group sets out to face the Client and his sinister group of imperial loyalists.
25 Dec 2019
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - Initial Reaction
The final installment of the Skywalker saga is here, and it marks the end of not only the sequel trilogy, but Star Wars as we know it. Hot off the heels of a first viewing, the full ToB crew sat down to decompress and analyze in a spoiler-free initial reaction episode. Endings are tough, and this is no exception; while the performances are consistently fantastic, with so many characters and plot lines left unresolved the film was faced with a Herculean task in wrapping up one of the most beloved series of all time. Moving at a break-neck speed the film seems to jump from concept to concept with reckless abandon and, while always visually stunning, this tempo tends to prevent any impactful emotional resonance (again, having only seen it once). In this conversation, we try to avoid specifics and speak to the movie as a self-contained story, while also commenting on the saga at large. With the various rumours, press-releases, leaks, etc. coming from the set, the conversation naturally veers towards the Director’s seat and the impact of what feels like diametrically opposed visions for the project leading to a sort of dissonance between episodes IIX and IX specifically. That being said its always fun to talk Star Wars and this episode is no different. The series is something we’re all passionate about and although the Skywalker saga has reached it’s conclusion, the door is wide open for new and innovative exploration within the galaxy far, far away.
20 Dec 2019
The Mandalorian S1E6 "The Prisoner"
The Mandalorian took a turn after episode 3 (err… chapter 3?), it went from the serialized storytelling that we’ve become accustomed to in modern television, and became much more “monster of the week” for lack of a better term. This is a change that some fans have appreciated, enjoying the shows willingness to subvert the expectations that it had setup at the beginning and take us on fun new adventures every week. Others, who hoped for a tight, concise, 8 episode story feel that the show has lost it's through-line and therefore feels directionless. All opinions are valid, however, I think most fans of this show will agree that Chapter 6 “The Prisoner”, regardless of it’s lack of connective tissue to the larger narrative, is nothing less than absolutely entertaining. This week’s installment is a mashup of part heist film, horror film and adventure film, and filled with great performances and juicy character moments. This week, The Mandalorian shows us that it’s capable of make exciting choices that go well beyond fan-service (but still willing of giving us some).
16 Dec 2019
The Mandalorian S1E5 "The Gunslinger"
After suffering damage during a dogfight with a rival bounty hunter, The Mandalorian is forced to dock at the notorious backwater planet of Tatooine. While grounded, Mando heads to the Mos Eisley Cantina expecting to find a nefarious den of scum and villainy, only to find a post-Empire, less-villainous, droid-operated dive bar. Luckily, Toro Calican; a prospective bounty hunter is onsite and recruits The Mandalorian for a high-risk, high-reward mission to capture a rival mercenary. Under The Mandalorian’s guidance, the rookie bounty hunter come close to success, but the avaricious nature of the profession wins out and Toro seizes an opportunity to make a name for himself. Also, more baby Yoda memes are generated. Cool.
9 Dec 2019
The Mandalorian S1E4 "Sanctuary"
When Mando and Baby Yoda flew off into space at the end of Chapter 3, many people expected the show to take a turn and start driving toward a logical goal or destination. Unfortunately for those people, that wasn’t the in Chapter 4 “Sanctuary”. In many ways a filler episode, Mando makes a stop in a backwater world only to meet a former Rebel Shock Trooper, and a wholesome village before all havoc breaks loose. Filled with some cliched story beats and questionable direction and performances, it’s easily the worst installment of The Mandalorian so far. That doesn’t mean it didn’t still have it’s redeeming elements however, with Baby Yoda steeling the spotlight once again, as well as an exciting set-piece finale, it’s clear the show hasn’t completely lost it’s touch, and there’s still plenty to look forward to. Join Julian, Daniel, and Jeremy as they unpack the full episode and dive into the details.
2 Dec 2019
The Mandalorian S1E3 "The Sin"
With Chapter 3 of The Mandalorian we get the culmination of the beginning of what we expect to be an epic journey. Even if what journey will entail is still left unknown. As we watch the Razor Crest fly off into the depths of space at the end of this episode, we are left wondering where this adventure will go next. It can only be described as exciting as The Mandalorian leaves off the first, approximate, third of this season on such a mysterious note. Julian and Daniel, are joined by Jeremy Kozier to try to decipher that mystery as well as acknowledge and appreciate the amazing set pieces, and unbearable cuteness of Baby Yoda on this week’s episode of Small Screen Star Wars.
26 Nov 2019
The Mandalorian S1E2 "The Child"
The Mandalorian Chapter 2 picked up right after the events of Chapter 1, and even though it’s another relatively short episode, the show is really starting to round into form. Choosing to forgo dialogue for long stretches in favour of scintillating visuals and a score that brings a distinct feel to the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian shows that it’s not interested in being a traditional television series. This episode provides less to unpack in terms of small details and Star Wars lore, but that doesn’t mean Julian and Dan can’t fill your ears with more in depth discussion about a show that still neck deep in mystery.
17 Nov 2019
The Mandalorian S1E1
It's been a long time in the making! Years of planning, blood, sweat, and tears, but it's finally here! I'm talking of course about Small Screen Star Wars - Tower of Babbles latest spin-off show. On this first official episode Julian and Daniel discuss their impressions on the Disney+ streaming service (including the surprise 4k remasters of the all of the Star Wars movies!) as well as look forward to the future of Star Wars, which is looking much more TV heavy than it ever has in the past. Then they review Chapter 1 of The Mandalorian, the ACTUAL long awaited show that finally brings live-action Star Wars to... the small screen!
15 Nov 2019