Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008/2010) – Clone Cadets, Supply Lines, and Ambush

“Brothers in arms are brothers for life”

After the introduction of the series in the previous cluster of episodes, we get a look at the training and the lessons clones (Dee Bradley Baker) have to go through before they can join their brothers on the battlefield.

The training is overseen by the Jedi Shaak Ti (Tasia Valenza) and a pair of bounty hunters, Bric (Larry Brandenburg) and Es-Les (Nolan North) and Domino Squad is the center of the story.

This episode was written by Cameron Litvack and served as the third season opener, airing on 17 September, 2010.

We learn that not all clones pass, and may join a group of ‘defective’ clones known as 99s, something Bric recommends Domino Squad for. The unit is determined to pass their final tests even as the Kaminoans recommend new material to clone from.

There’s a lot going on in the background for this episode, as we get a look at what is going on behind the Army of the Republic.

Domino Squad composed of Hevy, Echo, Fives, Cutup and Droidbait and they’ll have to learn to work together, adapt, and improvise to prove they are ready to join the fight. Bric refuses to believe in them, while Es-Les makes an argument for them, and they may get one last chance to prove themselves.

The episode layers out what we learned in Attack of the Clones, and the action beats that introduced the series (chronologically speaking of course).

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“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Supply Lines was penned by Steven Melching and Eoghan Mahony. It aired on 24 September, 2010 as the third episode of the third season.

Jedi Master Ima-Gun Di (Robin Atkin Downes) and his forces are trapped on Ryloth. Bail Organa (Phil LaMarr) and an unlikely companion, Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) head to Toydaria to negotiate with the neutral king, Katuunko (Brian George) to send aid to the Twi’lek people who live on Ryloth.

We are introduced to Cham Syndulla (Downes) whose daughter will play a large part in the rebellion to come. He is the leader of the resistance forces on Ryloth, and is focused on his people and their freedom.

Chronologically this was the character’s first appearance, but he actually debuted in a season one episode that takes place later in the timeline.

To the series credit, the Toydarians, and even Binks come off better than they were portrayed in the Prequel Trilogy. The Neimodians are still rather scheming and dubious in their actions.

The episode balances the action beats with the negotiations as lives hang in the balance. As the clones and Ima-Gun Di attempt to outwit the Separatist forces, Jar Jar is let to negotiate while Bail leads a dangerous mission, but the battle is gong to cost…

It’s a great episode, and shows that perhaps Jar Jar only acts like a fool as a bit of cover, and maybe (?) shows Cham’s daughter, who will become integral to the fight in a few years.

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“Great leaders inspire greatness in others.”

Melching pens the first episode of the first season that debuted on 3 October, 2008. On a moon of Rugosa, Master Yoda (Tom Kane) and his squad of clones must confront innumerable battle droids (Matthew Wood) and Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress  (Nika Futterman).

The episode ties in directly with the previous episode as Katuunko is approached by  Count Dooku (Corey Burton) and Ventress in regards to their alliance with the Republic, and the plan to allow them to build an outpost on their moon.

Dooku suggests a deal, that if Ventress and her droid army can vanquish Yoda and his squad, then the Separatists can use the moon instead.

This move layers the character of the King a little more when seen in context with the previous episode. But he does seem to believe that Yoda will best the Separatists. And it’s also pretty cool to see the little green guy taking on the battle droids, and just taking them apart, even as the clones lend their assistance and firepower.

Unfortunately, the computer animation style isn’t as strong as in later seasons, though still nicely done, and there’s too much time given to the battle droids and some of their silly dialogue. Something that the series moves away from a little as it progresses.

The war continues next week in a galaxy far, far away…

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