Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Clone Wars -- "Blue Shadow Virus" (Ep. 1.17)

-- Fear is a disease; hope is its only cure.

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This is another one-shot episode. I want to like it, but I don't quite, I think. The villain, Dr. Nuvo Vindi, is too cliche, too Nazi mad scientist. He even defends the right of life for a virus, the most deadly virus the galaxy has ever known.

And, fine, I get that. It's an interesting philosophical question. What right do we as humans have to try to eradicate diseases, which are also living things? But I don't think anyone is going to say that any living thing doesn't have the right to try to defend itself against things that are trying to kill it and a disease, by default, is attacking the host. So, yeah, I find the argument that a killer virus has just as much right to life as humans to be a little... weak. To say the least.

The threat is one of biological warfare. Dr. Vindi, working for the Separatists, wants to release a virus that could, potentially, wipe out all life in the galaxy. Of course, it wouldn't affect droids, so the droid army would be able to advantage of the chaos of a plague and defeat the Republic while they tried to halt the spread of the virus. From that perspective, I can't say it's a bad plan. And it mirrors the efforts of certain groups in our world to weaponize diseases for use in war.

Beyond that layer, though, it's just another rescue mission. Padme and Jar Jar, because they go off on their own, get captured by Vindi. Since Anakin's along, the focus is on rescuing Padme even though he knows the stakes are much higher. So we do get to see that some more, that Anakin's attachment to Padme is something that interferes with who he is as a Jedi. It's good development. But I do think I'm ready for them to lay off of the rescue missions for a little while, especially ones that involve Padme getting caught because she goes off like Lois Lane in pursuit of a story knowing that Superman will rescue her.

Okay, well, it's a fine episode. Taken on its own, it's an especially fine episode. Jar Jar is fine. Everything is fine. For the season, though, I don't think this one is particularly strong in comparison to some of the other stories.


  1. Every week I see this and think I've got to get back to it. I really will try. This one seems the most interesting yet, actually: the question of biological warfare alone is interesting. But I like the idea that viruses are living things entitled to a life; I also see the self-defense angle. But if you look at it that way, killing a virus that's IN you, with antibiotics or whatever (actually I think those don't work on viruses but go with it) is self-defense. But if you were to come across, say, vials and vials of smallpox virus, just sitting there, should you destroy it?

    (I say yes.)

    1. Briane: Yes, I would definitely destroy smallpox if I found it and had the means. It's one of the biggest killers in history. I wouldn't even hesitate if I had the ability to deal with something like that.

      The biological warfare question is a good one. It's a bit like what we're trying to do to mosquitoes right now, and I'm all for that, too. I hate mosquitoes.
      Don't talk to me about the ecosystem ramifications.

  2. The Lois Lane/Superman comparison is one I hadn't considered and I think it's spot on.

    1. Just watched the next one today. Unlike other arcs we've seen, I think this one finishes stronger than it starts.

    2. TAS: The next one is better, but these two episodes are not among my favorites.

    3. No, me neither. My favorite from this first season came early and it's still holding strong.

    4. TAS: I've already forgotten which is my favorite.
      Mostly because I keep finding episodes I really like, like Ep. 1.19.
      When we finish season one, I'll try to figure that out.