James Arnold Taylor, voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon, set the mood for the audience by queuing up Star Wars music on his phone and placing it next to a microphone. Then he and fellow Clone Wars actors Catherine Taber, Ashley Eckstein, and Dee Bradley Baker asked trivia questions and gave away prizes. Padawans of all ages won the Star Wars Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia or the new General Grievous Spinning Lightsaber. One lucky fan won an R2-D2 edition Droid phone. Taylor spoke for a few minutes on how enjoyable it has been to be a part of the Clone Wars and watch all these new stories unfold. He then introduced Dave Filoni.
Filoni said the screenings came about because of George Lucas. After a screening for kids at the Presidio, Lucas realized how well the fans reacted to to seeing the series on the big screen. So the team at Lucasfilm worked very fast to make these screenings for the Savage Opress story arc happen. It was well worth their efforts. Filoni also cautioned those of us who have said there has been too much politics and talking in the first 11 episodes of season 3. He promised that we'll see why and that we've been deceived. I got the impression that he means big pieces are moving along the board. And he pointed out that in the next 11 episodes, not one single scene takes place on the Senate floor. I heard a few subdued cheers in response to that remark.
Then it was time to meet Savage Opress. Captain Rex piped in first and asked us to turn off cell phones so we wouldn't give away our location to the Seppies. He asked the audience if they got it, and I heard a chorus of little kids reply, “Got it!” We dived right into a three episode arc that puts you right on the edge of your \seat with some of the most intense moments and fights in the Clone Wars yet. The series is truly meant for the big screen; it was stunning. The tagline “secrets revealed” held true. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't very optmistic about that part. I was wrong. You get to learn the origin of Savage Opress, about his clan, and you also get a peek at where Darth Maul comes from. Opress is intimidating and makes an incredibly formidable opponent. But just who is he opposing? You might not be surprised at what the Sith training is, but I think you will be jarred by the depth of it. I experienced some unexpected emotions about it. You meet the Nightsisters and explore the beautiful and eerie depths of Dathomir. The big eye openers for me centered around Asajj Ventress. No, I'm not going to tell you anything!
The arc, written by the very talented Katie Lucas, is full of character development, amazing graphics, great designs, and beautifully choreographed fights. On every level and measurement, it is among the very best of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It is a shining example of what this series can do. I left the screening practically bouncing up and down. I wanted to tell every stranger on the streets of Hollywood about the show. I am more excited than ever about the rest of season 3!
cross-posted at Geek Girls Network