Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Overlords of Mortis

As I mentioned once before, I have been faithfully watching the Clone Wars series which is now in its third season. They are always a treat to watch for reasons I explain in my earlier entry, but this week Mr. Lucas decided to go epic and create a whole new strand of mythology. It is such a great offering I had to just comment on it.

It is a three part sub-series of which two have already been released. The three main characters on the good side, Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan, respond to a distress call which turns out to be some type of artificial planetoid in the shape of an octahedron. It looks more like a prison, which in fact it is, but is also a conduit though which "the force" of the universe flows and is somehow amplified. Whatever the explanation, it is a pretty freaky place. You have a trilogy of beings living there - one of light, one of darkness, and one that provides balance between them who is referred to as their "father". They are interested in Anakin because they suspect he is the "chosen one".

Now remember I'm comparing this with the entire Clone Wars series, not the rest of the sci-fi world from which it kind of rips off a lot of material. I could comment on the Avatar like floating rocks, the parallels with Christianity, Excaliber, and Greek mythology (Gargoyles and Griffins), or the fact the "chosen one" idea was overused even before The Matrix. But we love them anyway because they hit close to home. The fact is that the themes of this trilogy and even the animation and flying camera angles are just a step above the previous offerings. We even see visions of past figures both true and deceptive, and ones of the future.

It's not completely out of scope either. Since the early days of The Phantom Menace, the jedi have talked about Anakin being the the one who will bring balance to the force according to some ancient prophecy. He is put to a test here by these beings so they can decide if he is the fulfillment, one that requires he tame both the creatures of light and darkness, and he passes. Yet some events transpire which create an imbalance in the force toward the dark side. We of course know that this portends the evil days that are coming. It all has a rather mysterious flavor to it that is a nice departure from the norm. The story accomplishes the dual goal of revealing a new aspect of the mythology of Star Wars that is still anchored to the whole, while also chronicling a key set of events in its history. It is one of those rare glimpses into the world that began in Mr. Lucas' mind. It makes you wonder if it was grafted in recently or was there all along. The full episodes have been removed from the Star Wars official site, but the preview info is still there. And you can try the links below if they are still available:

    Episode S3E15: Overlords
    Episode S3E16: Altar of Mortis
    Episode S3E17: Ghosts of Mortis

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