I have a slightly mixed reaction on 12 and 13... (Missed 12, had to wait to d/l today... crap in a hat)
Anyway, here's my take...
12 starts out awesome. A collossal battle with taking place on the rural Dantooine (BTW, neat to see that Dantooine still looks futuristic, but has a sort of agricultural and docile theme going on. An entire planet like that, with few cities, and at one point a big ass rebel base makes this planet all the more believable and interesting to me, but I digress). Basically everything looks cool.
The battle's playing out well too, with the child's perspective on the hillside really adding to it. You see Droids and Clones in everything from hand-to-hand combat to wild blasting. I would say that a minor complaint is that this battle fell prey to the prequal battles as well, in that it has no rhyme or reason to it. It's a haphazard mish-mash of intermingled troops blasting the hell out of each other, rather than a seemingly definitive "line in the sand" that two sides are clashing over...
That would've made the battle slightly more believable to me, but whatcha gonna do, ya know? It was still sort of neat, but there just wasn't any "form" to the function... They didn't even appear to fight over anything, did anyone else notice this? I saw no clear objective, like a Separatist base, or something.
Anyway, Mace kicked ass in it, and that was cool. I can buy the over-the-top stuff in 12, as Mace seems like he'd be a bit extra tough in battle. A guy not to be trifled with.
The "ground pounder" or whatever the hell it was, was neat, but sort of disappoionting too. I can only accept it as some attempt at an experimental weapon by the Separatists, but to me it smacks of yet again the "Super weapon syndrome" that plagues much of the EU. I've seen others liken it to World Devastators, and I agree, and World Devastators sucked the first time around so I dislike the concept from the start.
That said, the thing seemed simplistic... It was intended to just F up a battlefield where the separatists were maybe losing, so that basically nobody wins the battle. I can accept that (I'm trying to convince myself anyway), and the vehicle wasn't out sucking up natural resources like the stupid Devastators did. That's lame.
These were simple pile drivers... We have thingsn like this on Earth, just smaller, so I guess I can see the goofy attempt at making one a weapon.
Their effects...? Well, I'm not physics major, but I somehow question the whole process somewhat, but I'll just overlook it.
Overall then, I liked the episode. Hardcore combat, little dialogue (sometimes that's good), and lots of neat, gritty, "realistic" military stuff that makes you think this IS a war, and not just some super-hero crap... That's cool.
Chapter 13 then...
I liked 13 for the same reasons as 12, and mostly as a wrap-up to 12 (which is all it was), but the excessive force-power useage by Mace kind of fell flat on me.
So when Mace wigs out with the Force, he turns into the incredible hulk and can destroy anything with a flick of his wrist? Damn...
Had this been toned down some, I'd have liked it more. it works for a toon, but if this were a comic, or video game, or *gasp* film, I'd had hoped it would've been more "realistic" as they say. I could see him kicking some droid butt, but not EVERY droid butt without a saber. That just strikes me as odd, and makes you wonder why he, or anyone else didn't do this at Geonosis.
If you went by Clone Wars, you'd think Mace could've rescued Anakin, Obi, and Padme at Geonosis himself, ya know?
The way he got into the ground pounder thing sorta sucked. I would've liked a more "real" method of getting in it, like a commandered vehicle of some sort. That's just my take there though.
Short of those couple minor things that I'd change, I liked this episode too... IT was really fun, and the way it ended was great.
The handing of the drink to Mace only needed Mace handing his tattered Jedi Robe to the little boy to make it more a parallel to the 1970's Coca Cola commercial where Mean Joe Green gives his game Jersey to a kid who offered him his Coke in the players entrance. Any Pittsburgh fan (especially the die-hards from the old-school Steel Curtain I'd imagine) catches that one right away. Good stuff.
Mace = Joe Green... Hmmm.... Funny.
So, in short, 2 great episodes...
I would just like to see a LITTLE more structure to the battles... At least make them look like there's 2 sides, ya know? And tone down the Jedi abilities slightly. I think this is more the style of the animators more than anything, but it's a bit over the top... I don't think it'd hurt the "action" to make things slightly more believable.
The ground pounder things kinda bite, but they're better than the lobster super laser the Quarren used. THAT was, to say the least, a terrible idea. Too Death Star-ish, and didn't even look real creative, nor add to the story if you ask me. That's all old news though.