In the run up to the new season of Clone Wars, I am going to finally finish my rewatch of the series, of course finish my reviews.
For the rest of the available episodes I am changing the format slightly, I will now focus on arcs as a whole rather than what I had been doing before.
In this post I will be looking at the ‘Younglings Arc’ and the ‘Droids Arc’.
This arc has four episodes, ‘The Gathering’, ‘A Test of Strength’, ‘Bound for Rescue’ and ‘A Necessary Bond’.
This arc follows five Younglings, Petro, Katooni, Byph, Ganodi, Zatt and Gungi as they travel to Illum with Ahsoka to go on The Gathering, a rite of passage for young Jedi where they obtain their Kyber Crystals for their lightsabers.
They each go through a trial of sorts, learning something about themselves and acquire their crystals.
Back on the ship, the Younglings meet the ancient Droid Huyang who has taught many generations how to build lightsabers.
Petro finishes his but Huyang tells him that it’s not been configured correctly and will explode if he tries to use it.
The ship is attacked and boarded by pirates, led by none other than Hondo and their goal, to steal Kyber Crystals.
Ahsoka tells the Younglings to hide but they decide to help on the way to the hiding places as Ahsoka attempts to get rid of the Pirates. Once the Younglings are in place they break the connective tube between the ships causing a vacuum, sucking the Pirates out. Ahsoka is almost safe but is knocked into the Pirates ship after telling the Younglings to go to Hyperspace but Ahsoka is now Hondo’s prisoner.
The Younglings have to land on Florrum to repair the engines which were damaged in Hondo’s attack. Petro, Zatt, Ganodi, Byph and Gungi complete their lightsabers but Katooni struggles to finish hers. They decide they should rescue Ahsoka, leaving Ganodi on the ship with Huyang and R2-D2.
On the way they encounter a travelling circus and convince the owner they are a group of acrobats. The owner lets them join the show.
At the Pirate base, the Circus performs its act and the Younglings rescue Ahsoka. The Circus escapes and the young Jedi steal one of Hondo’s speeders. They are chased by the Pirates but Ganodi, R2 and Huyang attempt to rescue them which was going well until the Pirates destroyed the engines of the ship making it crash.
With everyone on the Speeder the chase continues and the Pirates catch the Younglings, Ahsoka and the Droids, but a space battle between the Separatists and Republic has caused the remnants of the Separatist Fleet to arrive at Florrum, led by Grievous.
Grievous takes over Hondo’s base, imprisons him and his remaining men whilst those who have captured the Jedi make their way back. They agree to work with Ahsoka and her crew and take them to Hondo’s hidden stash of ships. Together they rescue Hondo and the imprisoned men and they make a run for it. Hondo and his men, along with Katooni arrive at the hidden Hanger whilst the rest fight of Grievous who duels Ahsoka but is saved when Hondo appears with Slave 1 and fires on the Droid General, allowing them to get on the ship and takes them to Kenobi’s Republic Cruiser.
This arc was a sleeper hit for me, a bunch of episodes about a bunch of kids, not exactly what I was up for but it really surprised me how fun it was. We get to see one of the biggest rites of passage in the life of a Jedi. Had it all gone to plan, one or two episodes dedicated to the process and it would been great. But what we got was a great addition to Jedi lore plus a fun adventure where a group of Younglings are thrown into the deep end and yes, it all works out in the end but it’s not about the ending really, it’s about the journey.
What was interesting was that I found out that this arc was meant to be a back-door pilot for a spin off featuring those Younglings. I imagine that the plans were scrapped after the Disney purchase and The Clone Wars got cancelled.
By the end of this arc, I was starting to lose my appreciation of the great Pirate Lord, Hondo, he became very, very close to overstepping his welcome. He definitely works better in small doses and he’s been around through most of this season so far.
The Droid Arc
The ‘Droid Arc’ consists of four episodes (too many) ‘Secret Weapons’, ‘A Sunny Day in the Void’, ‘Missing in Action’ and ‘Point of No Return’.
After intercepting a coded Separatist Transmission, the Jedi put together a team of Astromech Droids (including R2) to infiltrate the ship the transmission originated from and they are to be led by Colonel Meebur Gascon (a small frog like creature) with a Pit Droid as their pilot.
The Astromech’s all receive upgrades to help their mission and travel to the ship in a stolen Separatist shuttle.
They get on board and the Droid that Gascon is riding in is damaged.
They get through the ship and locate the decoder which they attempt to steal and manage to do so after a fight breaks out between the Republic team and the Tactical Droid leading the ship as well as some Battle Droids. The heroes win and escape, taking the broken Droid with them and escaping on their shuttle.
They are forced to exit Hyperspace early when they enter a field of ice comets. The Shuttle is damaged and crashes into a nearby desert planet.
Gascon wants to stay with the ship but the Droids get him to leave to find help. They come across another ship full of dead bodies and broken down Droids.
Gascon climbs to the top of the ship and as he’s about to give up he sees a settlement which, after they make heir way towards it, turns out to be a mirage. The Astromech Droids take the decoder and head off on their own whilst Gascon and the Pit Droid bicker about the difference between programming and training when a flock of bird like creatures (kind of like Gallimimus from Jurassic Park) run past them. They manage to mount a couple and as they travel they both see a settlement.
When they reach it they find the Astromechs have already arrived and the team is reunited.
In the settlement, Gascon attempts to get some food at a Diner but is thrown out by the owner. The Pit Droid finds an alley that the Diner’s back door opens to and there they meet the Pot Washer, Gregor, a Clone who has amnesia.
The Astromechs go on a scouting mission and finds a Republic Shuttle surrounded by Battle Droids. Gascon decides to help Gregor remember his past. At the Clone’s apartment, they find his I.D. Chip and it turns out he was a Clone Commando who had gone missing at the Battle of Sarrish. It turns out his ship had crashed on Abafar and he suffered from amnesia and was taken in by Borkus who runs the Diner.
They go to the diner where Gregor finds his armor and weapons and they go to the landing pad where the Droids are loading the ship with explosives.
Gascon’a team make their way to the Shuttle whilst Gregor covers them. Gascon and his Droid get stuck but Gregor saves them. Gregor tells them to leave and he will make his own way back. As the shuttle takes off, heading for a Republic Cruiser in orbit, Gregor blows up all of the explosives on the ground.
Once on the Republic Cruiser, the team soon realises something isn’t right, especially when they arrive on the bridge to find the command crew are all holograms. They are spotted by a Tactical Droid and they get chases from the Bridge. They manage to evade capture but find a detonator in a command station, and it’s linked to enough fuel to destroy a whole fleet of Republic Ships.
As the cruiser enters Hyperspace they find out that it’s destination is a Space Station where numerous Commanders/Generals/Republic Big-Wigs are meeting to discuss tactics.
The team find a group of Republic Droids who have evaded capture but end up in trouble when a Buzz Droid leads them into a trap. R2 manages to protect the group but it’s Gascon’s Droid that saves the day by opening the air lock, sacrificing itself but also getting rid of the enemy droids.
The team splits up, Gascon leads the main group back to their ship whilst R2 goes to deactivate the detonator. Gascon gets everyone on board but R2 is unable to deactivate the bomb but instead sets the explosives off early. The shuttle escapes and R2 is believed to be destroyed.
A salvage vessel finds R2 much to Anakin’s delight (who of course was on the Space Station at the time). The team celebrates and Gascon is given permanent command of the squad (except of course R2 who goes back with Anakin).
This is definitely my least favourite arc of this Season and I really feel like it could be at least one episode shorter (get rid of ‘A Sunny Day in the Void) and it’ll be a start. I really think the writers were onto something great but then felt like they needed to pad the season out so they either added a new episode or extended what would have been a great two-part arc into a poor four part arc.
The premise is solid, a team of Droids infiltrating Separatist ships, seems pretty great to me, add in a humorous leader, ok, do the job, get out, a few shenanigans and then we win. But it’s just so long. Thank god for the recaps because if I were watching this week-to-week I would easily have forgotten about the decoder that was the mcguffin for the whole story.
I really liked the introduction of Gregor, and really wanted to see more of him but we are led to believe he is killed in the big explosion in the third episode, but those of us who have seen ‘Rebels’ know differently.
The final episode of the arc could have been any of the character from the series at all on the captured Republic Cruiser, and quite possibly it could have been at one point but it got retooled to close this arc. I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been a squad of Clones with a similar tone to the episode ‘Rookies’ from Season 1.
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