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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 5.07 'A Test of Strength' Review

The Younglings begin to construct their lightsabers but are rudely interrupted by Hondo and his crew of pirates. Entertaining chaos ensues.

Don't read this unless you've already watched the episode or don't mind SPOILERS! 
 
Ahsoka, nooooooo!!!!!!!!   
 
After the overdose of cuteness and kid friendliness in 'The Gathering,' I went into 'A Test of Strength' expecting another 22 minutes of pure adorableness meshed with predictability.  However, Hondo and his pirates brought a drastic change to the episode and the end result was a whole lotta fun. 
 
We don't see much development with the Younglings here, but that hardly matters because Huyang (voiced by Dr. Who's David Tennant) steals the show.  The knowledgeable droid proves why it's the go-to individual for creating lightsabers and displays an incredibly unique design while sorting through cabinets.  He has a few solid quotes throughout the episode but the real treat is when he refuses to let some no good pirate defeat him.  Did anyone else think Gungi picking up his head was a nice reference to Chewie and C-3PO in Cloud City
 
Hondo took a shockingly dark turn here, having no gripe with potentially killing children.  Although, I think the sick motivation was addressed well because the reward for such an act would be a virtually unlimited supply of credits.  It's twisted, but it makes sense seeing as he is a pirate after all. Despite the greedy bloodlust, the alien pirate once again provides exceptionally sharp and hilarious lines.  You almost want to like him, but then you remember he's trying to slaughter children.  Not cool, dude. 
      
The action really picked up as the show progressed.  Using remotes to their advantage was awesome (even though the pirates are shockingly stupid for not wondering about that loud beeping noise) and Gungi stepping on the downed pirate put a smile on my face.  And how can anyone not love R2-D2 saving the day? 
  
Ahsoka's struggle was particularly entertaining, especially once the airlock was breached.  I must admit I didn't expect that final pirate to go crashing into her, sending her soaring back into the pirate ship.  That entire segment had my eyes glued to the screen and was easily one of the best action moments this season has offered so far.   
  
This seemingly dark ending is what this season really needs.  The show started strong with 'Revival,' but the dragged out rebellion story didn't have my full interest and while 'The Gathering' was adorable, I've really been itching to dive back into a plot surrounding the main cast.  Ahsoka being held for ransom (or something far worse) is sure to bring back focus on the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and hopefully form a connection to the likes of Count Dooku, General Grievous and Darth Maul/Savage Opress.  Also, the Season 5 trailer teased more of Embo, so I'm anxiously awaiting his return.  If you haven't been fond of the last few episodes, this seems like a great time to jump back on-board.      

One final thought: We know these Younglings are destined to die thanks to Anakin's temper tantrum, but I sincerely hope the little wookie finds a way to escape the slaughter.  Run, Gungi, run!!!! 
 
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment.  He hopes Savage Opress won't die but he knows the odds aren't in his favor.
26 Comments
Posted by Mucklefluga

I wonder what'll happen to Darth Maul by the end of the series

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Posted by guttridgeb

Am I right in thinking this is the last series?

Edited by Miss_Garrick

I'm only going to watch this episode for mr. Tennant and that's it!

UPDATE: I just watched this episode a while ago. Mr. Tennant was really neat and I didn't know Jim Cummings was in this episode, so that was a pleasant surprise, but all in all, I'm still not lovin the show.

Posted by antemiusenteri

@guttridgeb: on cartoon network maybe but no , its still got atleast one more season this show is too popular and too well written , i love love love this series am sure its been said before but i'll say it again this shows ability to have a main cast that doesn't appear in every episode or have a every story revolve around them is genius and keeps me interested and loving this series i honestly hope it goes on for at least 4 more seasons

Posted by guttridgeb

@antemiusenteri: Thanks. I quite like the show as well but I don't want it to go on for too much longer, its been dodgy canonically ever since it started and running out of time between the two films.

Posted by Lurkero

Seeing the young jedi training is interesting, but I was hoping they would be more battle ready.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@guttridgeb said:

Am I right in thinking this is the last series?

Right now there are no public plans to end the show.  It's expected to leave CN and go to Disney XD, though.
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Posted by guttridgeb

@k4tzm4n: I see, thanks. In terms of canon I do think it should be ending soon...

Posted by SuperJedi17

I kinda want to see Gungi's Lightsaber when it's finally made.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@SuperJedi17: Me too!
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Posted by War Killer

Ahsoka's battle with the pirates at the end was the highlight of this episode, not to mention suspenseful, as we see her fighting off the Hondo and his men while also trying to keep herself from being sucked out of the ship along with them.
 
David Tennant's role in this episode was great, his character was interesting and him fighting Hondo's men was great. Though am I the only one who was hoping to see the Sonic Screwdriver buried somewhere with the various lightsaber designs? I kept hoping I'd see Tennant's Screwdriver at some point in the episode. xD
 
I also would like to point out that there is a possibility that these children don't die when Order 66 hits, people think that most of these characters are dead because they don't "appear" after Episode III but I would like to mention that because they DON'T appear makes it very possibly that they somehow escaped it. Just a thought.

Posted by SuperJedi17

@War Killer said:

Ahsoka's battle with the pirates at the end was the highlight of this episode, not to mention suspenseful, as we see her fighting off the Hondo and his men while also trying to keep herself from being sucked out of the ship along with them. David Tennant's role in this episode was great, his character was interesting and him fighting Hondo's men was great. Though am I the only one who was hoping to see the Sonic Screwdriver buried somewhere with the various lightsaber designs? I kept hoping I'd see Tennant's Screwdriver at some point in the episode. xD I also would like to point out that there is a possibility that these children don't die when Order 66 hits, people think that most of these characters are dead because they don't "appear" after Episode III but I would like to mention that because they DON'T appear makes it very possibly that they somehow escaped it. Just a thought.

hopefully Gungi does, small enough wookie population as it is,one being a jedi/force sensitive would be cool.

Posted by War Killer
@SuperJedi17 said:

@War Killer said:

Ahsoka's battle with the pirates at the end was the highlight of this episode, not to mention suspenseful, as we see her fighting off the Hondo and his men while also trying to keep herself from being sucked out of the ship along with them. David Tennant's role in this episode was great, his character was interesting and him fighting Hondo's men was great. Though am I the only one who was hoping to see the Sonic Screwdriver buried somewhere with the various lightsaber designs? I kept hoping I'd see Tennant's Screwdriver at some point in the episode. xD I also would like to point out that there is a possibility that these children don't die when Order 66 hits, people think that most of these characters are dead because they don't "appear" after Episode III but I would like to mention that because they DON'T appear makes it very possibly that they somehow escaped it. Just a thought.

hopefully Gungi does, small enough wookie population as it is,one being a jedi/force sensitive would be cool.

Agreed. Plus who doesn't love Wookiees? :D
Edited by SuperJedi17

@War Killer said:

@SuperJedi17 said:

@War Killer said:

Ahsoka's battle with the pirates at the end was the highlight of this episode, not to mention suspenseful, as we see her fighting off the Hondo and his men while also trying to keep herself from being sucked out of the ship along with them. David Tennant's role in this episode was great, his character was interesting and him fighting Hondo's men was great. Though am I the only one who was hoping to see the Sonic Screwdriver buried somewhere with the various lightsaber designs? I kept hoping I'd see Tennant's Screwdriver at some point in the episode. xD I also would like to point out that there is a possibility that these children don't die when Order 66 hits, people think that most of these characters are dead because they don't "appear" after Episode III but I would like to mention that because they DON'T appear makes it very possibly that they somehow escaped it. Just a thought.

hopefully Gungi does, small enough wookie population as it is,one being a jedi/force sensitive would be cool.

Agreed. Plus who doesn't love Wookiees? :D

Ummmmm Leia(When we 1st meet her it seems)? Or the emperor? Probably the whole Imperial army(Racists)

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Wait...there's reviews for Clone Wars?

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Posted by k4tzm4n
@StMichalofWilson said:

Wait...there's reviews for Clone Wars?

This is the first one.  I'd love to do them every week, but ultimately it's up to the traffic it generates.
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Posted by Xanni15

Ah, this is where the picture goes.

Posted by Novemberx2

you see, being a jedi is not about being at peace with force and spreading good will, god knows what yoda and obi wan were going on about in the old trilogy. its about getting a lightsaber, learning how to use it to masterful level and pulling it out at every opportunity to kill all those who disagree with you!

Posted by laflux

I think Worf- or Ashoka had the flu. Ashoka should have no trouble dealing with pirates.

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Posted by k4tzm4n
@laflux said:

I think Worf- or Ashoka had the flu. Ashoka should have no trouble dealing with pirates.

Agreed, but I guess she wasn't down with slaughtering Hondo and his crew.  After all, she blatantly said she didn't want to hurt him.  Still, I imagine ragdolling them around with the force woulda sufficed, ya know?  But, if she did that, there wouldn't be any turmoil for the younglings ;)
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Posted by laflux

@k4tzm4n said:

@laflux said:

I think Worf- or Ashoka had the flu. Ashoka should have no trouble dealing with pirates.

Agreed, but I guess she wasn't down with slaughtering Hondo and his crew. After all, she blatantly said she didn't want to hurt him. Still, I imagine ragdolling them around with the force woulda sufficed, ya know? But, if she did that, there wouldn't be any turmoil for the younglings ;)

True, especially since Hondo supplied her with weapons to defeat the rebels. Well, at least this breathes more life into an arc which was so far meh IMO- I wasn't expecting Ashoka to be captured. But overall, season five has been solid. The first one off episode was a really good way to start of the series, and I'm enjoying how much screen-time Ashoka is getting as of late.

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Edited by k4tzm4n
@laflux: Well, it looks like Ahsoka is sure to remain a key player for the rest of the season.
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Posted by sithfrog

I have to say, this has not been my favorite season of Clone Wars so far. The momentum has felt sluggish. We spent too much time on Onderon considering the small payout and while this episode wasn't too bad (big thanks to Mr. Tennant and Hondo is always fun) but "The Gathering" was just kinda meh IMHO. I would like to see more of the Maul brothers or the return of Cad Bane.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@sithfrog: I wholeheartedly agree that the Rebellion plot felt like an unnecessary and rather dragged out departure from the key characters.
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Posted by KRYPTON

Best episode of season 5, I agree Gungi picking up his head was a nice reference to Chewie and C-3PO in Cloud City. Plus learning all the stuff about lightsabers in an animated tv show was very interesting and unexpected, they should talk more about the history of the Jedi like this.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Totally missed the episode...now I really need to get back into it and on track from how stellar this review is...