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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 5.07 'A Test of Strength' Review
by Gregg Katzman on
The Younglings begin to construct their lightsabers but are rudely interrupted by Hondo and his crew of pirates. Entertaining chaos ensues.
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.