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Great episodes, a few questionable editing choices
on September 15, 2012
The last four episodes of The Clone Wars Season 4 were definitely a highlight for the series. With the return of Darth Maul, there was a lot of tension. This set presents all four as an 88-minute movie and overall I really enjoyed seeing the episodes in this format. While I found most of the editing choices to be wonderful, a few cuts felt like they undermined the tension.
First, the episodes don't play in the same order they aired. In fact, this is very much an edited directors cut with portions of some episodes played out of order. For example, the entire movie starts with the scene from "Brothers" in which Savage Opress leaves Coruscant as he takes off to find Maul. Then we get the Nightsister episode Massacre, almost exactly as it originally aired. Then we get the rest of "Brothers" - well, almost. Then comes "Bounty", again almost exactly as aired. Finally, the movie ends with "Revenge".
On the one hand, I like the editing in that it frames the entire four episodes around the search for Maul. The structure really highlights the parallel story of Savage Opress and Asajj Ventress' journeys - one to find his brother, the other to find herself. As originally aired, "Bounty" seemed like the odd episode out.
However, a few scenes did get cut, particularly from "Brothers", that I thought actually lessened the impact of Maul's return. In particular, the scene at the end where Yoda warns Obi-Wan about Maul's return didn't make it into this cut. On the one hand, it was always a bit odd that Yoda could detect Maul's presence from so far away, but Palpatine thrived right under his little green nose. On the other hand, it was a nice scene to show how Obi-Wan learns about Maul's return. The current cut doesn't provide anything quite so neat a segueway.
Overall, this is a fun way to experience - or watch - these four episodes. There isn't any new material so much as I could tell, but the editing is different enough to make worth watching at least once if you're a fan of the show. This DVD is a great option for fans who don't plan on getting the Season 4 DVD set when it comes out (I prefer to wait until the entire series is over before I buy the DVDs). However, if you do plan to buy the Season 4 DVD set, there might not be enough new material to make this release worth owning.