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.
Ten years ago, Star Wars fans flocked to movie theaters for the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a feature-length spectacle that ushered in the animated series. Now, we’re breaking down the film into three acts, deconstructing the introduction of Ahsoka Tano, the Battle of Teth, and the unraveling of the nefarious Huttlet kidnapping plot.
While Ahsoka and Anakin are en route to Tatooine with Rotta on the mend, Dooku and Ventress have convinced Jabba that his son has been murdered — and he’s next! Enter Padmé, who is prepared to use her pull as a senator and act as an emissary to Jabba’s flamboyant uncle, Ziro the Hutt.
As Ahsoka quotes the wise Master Yoda, “Old sins cast long shadows.”
The return to Tatooine opens old wounds for Anakin. This is the desert planet where he lived as a slave and was rescued by the Jedi. This is the place he returned to too late to save his mother, giving into his hate and slaughtering an entire Tusken village, including the women and the children, in his quest for revenge.
Every step he takes in the coarse and rough sand is a reminder of the emotional burden he carries with him. But he refuses or is incapable of sharing that part of himself with his young Padawan. “The desert is merciless,” he warns her. “It takes everything from you.”
Anakin’s duel with Dooku is a brilliant battle of sabers, sand, and Force lightning, but it also showcases how easily the young Jedi Knight can be manipulated when his emotions, his pain and suffering especially, are preyed upon by those who would use him as a pawn. Thanks to Dooku, Anakin makes a hasty retreat by speeder to rush to Ahsoka’s side, making matters worse by playing into the plot and threatening Jabba at saber-point.
Of course, he never listens. While Ahsoka tries to get his attention to elicit his help, he barrels past her toward Jabba’s Palace. She’s forced to finish the battle with Dooku’s minions herself, literally bending over backwards to protect herself and Rotta during combat.
Fortunately, Padmé has also been working to save their skins (and secure a treaty for the Republic) in the seedy downtown section of Coruscant. She’s bold in her actions, firm in her beliefs, and prone to aggressive negotiations when the situation calls for it. After a failed plea with Ziro, imprisonment in the Hutt dungeons, and a quick-thinking ploy to get the hapless battle droids to assist her in calling for help, she gains the upper hand thanks to Threepio and a few good clones. In the end, it’s Padmé who successfully makes the final, urgent plea to call a cease-fire on Anakin’s immediate execution. It’s the first time in the series viewing that we’re seeing Padmé on the small screen, but with a few furtive glances and telling looks, it promises to be the beginning of a deeper exploration of her secret union with young Master Skywalker.
Jabba’s still the ruthless crime boss we know and love, but giving him a son does, for lack of a better word, humanize him a bit here. I mean, he’s still a piece of worm-ridden filth who has lounged upon his throne while everyone else, including a handful of unfortunate bounty hunters, have tried to rescue the Huttlet heir. But watching him nuzzle his Pedunkee Mufkin is oddly endearing. One day he’ll be taken down by Anakin and Padmé’s biological daughter, but today he’s a caring dad just like any other.
By the time the credits roll, Anakin has started to warm to the idea of Ahsoka as more than meets the eye, a skillful fighter worthy of his training who has already proven she has his back, and Ahsoka, for her part, has begun to fully realize the true weight of her life as a Padawan.
- Jabba’s little Pedunkee Mufkin, Rotta, may be small enough to fit in a backpack or cradled by a teenage Padawan, but in reality he’s 55 years old. (And he looks great!) Hutts spend their first 50 years in the brood pouches of their parents and have the mind of an infant when they emerge.
What did you think? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!
Next up: Come back Tuesday as we head to the Kamino system where five headstrong clones are undergoing training in “Clone Cadets.”
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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