The Clone Wars Rewatch: 99 and the “ARC Troopers”

Cadets and clone troopers join together to defend their home world of Kamino.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

48: “ARC Troopers” (Season Three, Episode 2)

“Fighting a war tests a soldier’s skill, defending his home test a soldier’s heart.”

A scene from "ARC Troopers."

Synopsis: 

The Republic learns of an impending Separatist attack on Kamino, and Anakin and Obi-Wan hurry to the planet to help Rex, Cody, Fives and Echo lead the clones in a desperate defense of their home planet against Asajj Ventress, General Grievous and an army of droids.

A scene from "ARC Troopers."

Analysis:

Just as General Grievous and Asajj Ventress are eager to prove that they are of equal worth in battle for the Separatists, so too is Clone 99 anxious to demonstrate his worth to the Republic when the war comes to Kamino.

A scene from "ARC Troopers."

By targeting the place where the clones were born on a mission to steal their very essence, clone DNA, the Separatists have made this battle far more personal than the rest of the war. And for 99, deemed unfit for regular combat due to genetic defects and other physical abnormalities in the cloning process, it’s a chance to prove he’s just as useful as the rest of them.

A scene from "ARC Troopers." A scene from "ARC Troopers."

He’s ready to fight alongside his brothers just as the cloners intended, even though some of the clones are still prone to agree that he shouldn’t be part of the fight.

They want to protect him, but in doing so they fail to see what Hevy always could — that 99 is really no different than the rest of them. He’s got it where it counts.

A scene from "ARC Troopers."

Clone 99 delivers ammunition and he knows his way around the facility better than anyone. He’s an asset to the cause even if he isn’t on the front lines blasting clankers.

As much as his brothers feel a personal connection to their home world, he’s the clone who’s been left behind truly at home on Kamino and he wants to be as helpful as he can in defending it.

A scene from "ARC Troopers." A scene from "ARC Troopers."

As Fives reminds the cadets, whether their training is incomplete, they’re full-fledged veterans, or in 99’s case caught somewhere in between, they are all equals. “Same heart. Same blood.”

And even though this battle ends with 99’s death, there’s a poetic justice in him finally fulfilling his destiny and dying in combat. “I’m a soldier, like you,” he says just before he’s wounded. That he is. A soldier just as brave and noble and just as vital to the cause as any clone.

A scene from "ARC Troopers."

Intel:

  • Designers at Zen Studios were so inspired by “Clone Cadets” and “ARC Troopers,” they added a secret space to the back of a Star Wars: The Clone Wars pinball table to pay homage to the episodes, with graphics of dreary Kamino and two mini-playfields. “The visuals, the story and the epic attack on Kamino were so exciting, we immediately added the action of these episodes to our list of what we wanted to see in the table,” says designer Ivan Nicoara. “We already knew that the basic atmosphere of the table would come from very vivid and vibrant colors, so a gloomy and rainy Kamino served as a great contrast.”
  • This episode is a sequel to “Rookies.”

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when Chairman Papanoida‘s daughters are kidnapped in “Sphere of Influence.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

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