Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2009/2010) – Sphere of Influence, Evil Plans, and Hostage Crisis

“A child stolen is a lost hope.”

Katie Lucas and Steven Melching pen the first episode up this week, and it debuted on 1 October, 2010. Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Senator Chuchi (Jennifer Hale) set off in pursuit of kidnapped children, when newly elected senator Papanoida’s (played by George Lucas in the films and voiced by Corey Burton in the series) daughters are kidnapped.

The Padawan and young senator investigate the Trade Federation while Papanoida follows a lead to Jabba the Hutt (Kevin Micheal Richardson).

While Chuchi and Ahsoka sneak through a Trade Federation ship, Papanoida, and son (Seth Green) tear up Jabba’s palace when their lead brings them to the devious Greedo (Tom Kenny).

It’s a different kind of episode in that barely glimpsed characters in the film series, in fact, not much more than a director’s cameo, gets a fleshed out story, and is in fact the lead character of the tale, making him seem much cooler than he did on the big screen to say the least.

Ahsoka gets to use some of her Force powers, and we see she’s been working on her mind trick. And in a nod to continuity, we see Jabba’s huttling son, whom we haven’t glimpsed since the theatrical film.

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“A failure in planning is a plan for failure.”

Threepio (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 get a moment to shine in this episode written by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle. It debuted on 5 November, 2010 and sees our favourite pair of droids being targeted by Cad Bane (Burton) who wants to extract top secret information from their memory banks.

I mean, they’ve never had their memories wiped. So you know they have lots of info up stored in their memory.

The droids are unaware, and are simply seeking to carry out their assignment, finding some jogan fruit for a reception that is being held.

The plans find their way to Jabba, who consults with the rest of the Hutt Council before commissioning Cad on the next part of his mission, which actually takes us back to an episode from the first season, if we are to follow the Clone Wars episodes chronologically, as opposed to production and broadcast order.

This one was a little silly, and seems like a bit of a nod to the slapstick comedies of yesteryear without being very slapstick, or comedic. It does, however, explain how Cad was able to pull off the things he was in the next episode.

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“A secret shared is a trust formed.”

Hostage Crisis was the final episode of season one, and first aired on 20 March, 2009. It was written by Eoghan Mahony, and sees all of the build up over the past couple of episodes as a plan to spring Ziro the Hutt from his holding cell.

And to do that Cad Bane takes hostages in the Senate Building. Unfortunately for the bounty hunter, he doesn’t know that Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) is in the building as well.

And while some of it plays like the Star Wars version of Die Hard, Cad and his cronies are able to outwit Anakin, and make off with the released Ziro, which you know is going to cause our heroes some problems when they cross paths again… in the next episode.

The battle rages on in a galaxy far, far away next week as I watch more of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

May the Force be with you!

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