The Clone Wars, Season 3, Episode 8: Evil Plan
Well well well, what do The Clone Wars have in store for us today, my friends? Why, this time, an Evil Plot is afoot, courtesy of The Dark Side. I know — you’re shocked, SHOCKED! This is gonna be a change of pace for us all for sure.
We’re told during the Voiceover Recap that the Jedi are distracted by the war (this show literally cannot emphasize this enough: we are told over and over and OVER again that the Jedi are super, super busy with the war. They are busy! With the war! It’s draining! They’re tired! And distracted! And their DVRs are probably FULL of shows they need to catch up on! OK???!!!)
With the Jedi too busy braiding each other’s hair and trading sexually-charged bon mots with each other to focus on anything else, the criminal element of the universe is left to run wild, and unsurprisingly Cad Bane and Jabba the Damn Hutt are involved in this. Jabba’s sent Cad Bane out on a Mission of Mystery that we are told “shall strike at the heart of the Republic”, and that the citizens of Coruscant are unaware of what danger looms on the horizon. So, you know: pretty much just another day here in the GFFA.
As we begin, I feel like I should entice you all further by pointing out that A) Artoo and Threepio buying fruit is an actual key part of the plot here, and B) Artoo literally fucks off from his mission midway through to go to a spa for robots. If that doesn’t make you want to read more, I don’t know what will. Let’s go see what Mr. and Mrs. Secret Skywalker are up to and get this show on the road!
Bless This Mess
We’re at Padme’s apartment, one of my favorite sets from Star Wars (THAT BALCONY!) where Padme is fussing like crazy over a dinner party she is planning, and Anakin is watching her with nearly the exact same face and posture we see in Revenge of the Sith’s balcony scene. Regrettably, I do not recall there being any subsequent Shirtless Nightmares in this arc, but give it time. I could be wrong. Anyways, she’s fretting about table placements and what to wear (my eternal thanks to this arc for showing me that Padme has a WARDROBE HOLOGRAM ROBOT that she uses to pick out her clothes. Sigh!)
Anakin’s worried about her because what the hell else is new:
Padme is concerned because she needs to impress her guests this evening for Political Reasons: she’s trying to make a good impression on these guys so they’ll vote with her. She’s in a tizzy, and frankly so is C-3PO, but again, what the hell else is new:
Political Crisis: Fruitcake Edition
Threepio examines the dessert offerings Artoo’s put together (Threepio put an ASTROMECH DROID in charge of the dessert? WHY!? Why is Artoo even HERE right now?!) and he is scandalized: the dessert, a fruitcake, is missing jogan fruit, which is apparently a gigantic problem because Padme looks like someone told her The Death Star just blew up Alderaan in response to learning this information:
Anakin, Deep Thinker that he is, suggests they just…go buy some of this stupid fruit? Threepio’s like I CAN’T GO NOW THERE’S NO TIME, Anakin tells him to send Artoo to do it then, Threepio’s like that guy can’t pick out jogan fruit for jack he’s the reason we have this problem, Anakin is like DUDE COME ON I WILL REPROGRAM YOU, and Padme’s like ANAKIN WILL YOU JUST DEAL WITH THIS PLEASE I HAVE SEVENTEEN HAIRSTYLES TO TRY OUT BEFORE DINNER.
Finally, Anakin’s like GODDAMN IT I’M HARDLY EVER EVEN HOME AND I HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS BULLSHIT OK FINE BUT ONLY BECAUSE I DON’T WANNA SLEEP ON THE COUCH TONIGHT: check this, Threepio — I’m sending you on a mission! Yeah, that’s it. A mission. With Artoo. Go to Tatooine and tell Obi-Wan we’ve got the plans for the Death Star and he’s our only hope. Wait. Wrong script. Guys: go buy some fruit. Ah, the Highest Drama of Star Wars: our droid pals are off to buy some produce! And don’t get lost or distracted or swindled out of this money I’m giving you, now, you hear me?
(Note: I am still unclear as to why Anakin did not just go do this errand himself. I doubt Padme was interested in listening to him bitch about Obi-Wan or blather on about sand in an attempt to get her in the sack while she was knee-deep in important party planning. If anything she should have MADE him go to get him out of her hair, just like how I always try to get my kids out of the house before hosting an event so that they’re not just hanging around annoying me and making everything take 50 times longer than it should. I digress.)
Shop ‘Til You Drop
As they head out, Threepio is wounded that Anakin thinks he could possibly get thrown off course while fulfilling their assignment, and he and Artoo start carrying on about who’s the one who gets distracted the most and honestly, everyone in Star Wars has a very antagonistic dynamic with their friends.
From a distance, Cad Bane is watching them and sends a cute little droid henchmen, Todo, out to trail them.
Meanwhile, the Droidy Duo has found some of this fruit that is apparently a bigass goddamn deal on which Padme’s political future rests, and they’re haggling over the cost with the salesman:
They end up getting totally swindled on the cost of the fruit, and I feel a pang of sadness, because Anakin’s the one who gave them the money for this and, like, how much can a Jedi possibly get paid? Did they just get swindled out of Anakin’s lunch money for like the next 6 weeks? And now he’s just going to be sitting there hungry and swiping French fries off Obi-Wan’s plate for the next few days, and then Obi-Wan’s going to catch on and be like “Do you not have money for food? What happened? What have you been wasting your credits on this time ANAKIN, and it better not be Pay-Per-View Podracing again?” and then Ahsoka’s going to feel bad and be like “…you can have part of my sandwich, Master” and Anakin’s going to be like “Nooooo, Snips, I can’t take your food it’s fine I’m fine everything’s fine” ALL BECAUSE OF THIS DAMN FRUITCAKE and WOW I really sort of went off on a Space Family tangent there, huh? Sorry.
…what was I saying? Oh yeah, the droids spend too much money on fruit (I love that Star Wars is literally making this part of the story here.) Cad Bane is still eeevilly spying on them from afar, and tells Todo they’re on the move. Get ’em!
Vanity, Thy Name is R2-D2
Threepio announces that they still have 8 credits left, and Todo starts in on scamming them by saying he can get Threepio all polished up to like-new state for exactly 8 credits! Huh! Threepio’s not interested in the offer, but hilariously Artoo is super into it and wants to hear more about this Scam.
Artoo speeds off for the “maintenance bar” Todo is pushing and as Threepio tries to chase after him, Threepio gets kidnapped. So, hang on: was their PLAN contingent on assuming that Artoo would be vain enough to be swindled by this scam? LOL, I love Star Wars.
Recurring Theme: The Electrocutions Will Continue Until Morale Improves
Now in Cad Bane’s custody, Threepio is taken to a room where his mind is searched for the floor plans to the Senate building. After extensive scanning (and electrocuting,) they determine:
Threepio not-so-brightly points out that, hey, stuff like blueprints aren’t my wheelhouse: that’s more Artoo’s deal!
Artoo’s back from his spa day and when he gets out of the building, he sees the fruit they bought earlier sitting on the ground near where Threepio was abducted, and he sounds worried.
Just as he’s asking around about Threepio, the bounty hunters are back to nab him, and he causes a great big ruckus to slip off into the crowd.
Threepio continues to be tortured and electrocuted by Cad Bane and…so, like, what is the point of this, exactly? They already know he doesn’t know anything, so why even waste the effort to keep zapping him? OK then.
Artoo is hiding from the bad guys until he overhears them talking about how they’re going to destroy Threepio if they can’t find Artoo, which of course draws him out. He’s taken by the bounty hunters and handed off to Bane.
Recurring Theme: Have This Droid’s Memory Wiped
Artoo has the information on the Senate floorplans that Cad Bane is looking for, and it gets shocked out of him. Bane tells his henchmen to wipe both of the droids’ memories of the day, and set them back where they were, so as not to arouse further suspicion.
Nothing To See Here
Back at Chez Amidala, Padme is greeting her guests WITH Anakin, and just, really, I have to ask: who exactly did these two think they were fooling by this point, exactly? Is everyone in this universe THAT DENSE? (Answer: yes. Yes they are.) Honestly though, he’s standing right behind her, greeting people and practically wearing a Mr. Padme Amidala T-shirt, and by this point they might as well have just laid their wedding album out on the damn coffee table for everyone to peruse. It really was a lovely lakeside ceremony, after all.
Anyways, Padme asks Anakin where the hell the robot he built ran off to, and Anakin helpfully says:
…the droids do indeed get a brain wipe, dumped back off at the marketplace, collect their fruit and head back home:
Recurring Theme: Let’s Go Talk To the Hutts
…and Cad Bane rolls up to Jabba’s Palace to meet with the Hutt himself. Several questions come to mind, including:
- Is sitting here staring at nothing all Jabba does all the time, ALWAYS, except for that ONE time he went to a podrace?
- Does this room have electricity, or is it yet another place in this universe that has only mood lighting available?
Bane gets his payment for a job well done, and Jabba asks him if he’d like another assignment.
Jabba’s protocol droid tells him yes, and he can name his price, but:
So, literally even the criminals in this galaxy have councils of decision-makers.
Bane notes that if the Hutt Council’s involved, this must be a pretty serious mission. J-Hutt asks everyone but Bane to leave so he can elaborate: the Hutt Council holo-Skypes in and they all chat about whether or not they should have Cad Bane go get Ziro the Hutt out of captivity for them. And…I just…like, every single thing involving the Hutts is like, weapons-grade levels of Star Wars ridiculous, but never more so than in this series.
Will Cad Bane be game to go get Ziro for them?
The Fruitcake of Destiny
Back at Padme’s party, the chef-bot and Anakin are getting ansy because the droids are STILL not back with the stupid fruit, and Anakin is like “UGH I knew this was gonna happen, that’s why I sent Artoo” — you know, the robot who peaced out to get a robo-massage earlier in this episode. Anakin has the same blind spot about Artoo that Obi-Wan has about ANAKIN.
The Senators toast the signing of their treaty, and their impending dessert, and the music gets hijinks-y as Padme looks at Anakin, doubtlessly thinking OK CHOSEN BOY, SUMMON SOME OF THIS GODDAMN FRUIT WITH THE FRICKING FORCE IF YOU HAVE TO…
… and Anakin kind of shrugs helplessly and then laments to himself:
You know, Skywalker, you’re like not even on the same planet as your spouse enough to know what “never hearing the end” of something is like, really. You can just pretend you were out of range or, you know, dueling with a Sith or something if you don’t wanna talk about Padme’s stupid fruitcake later. You don’t even KNOW domestic life.
Do Not Underestimate The Dessert Course of the Dark Side
Artoo and Threepio finally arrive and Anakin is all snarly at them, and practically goes Dark Sider right then and there OVER A FUCKING FRUITCAKE. This episode is such a delight, I nearly laughed out loud while writing this.
He’s busy laying into them about how he’ll be getting less action than Yoda if this dinner is a disaster, when Padme shows up to be like IT’S FINE ANAKIN, JESUS, THE CAKE IS FINE RELAX:
She tells Threepio he’s done well:
And Threepio basically has the best day of his entire life as a result.
Anakin snarks to Artoo:
…then, the iris-wipe appears, and we’re ushered out of this installment. Let me cut you all a slice for the ride home!
Later in this series of stories from this ridiculous show, Obi-Wan shows us that he’s capable of bitch-flirting with more people than just Anakin and Satine, as he and Quinlan Vos go on a Hutt Hunt — but before we get there, we’ll take a brief jump back into Season 1 (thanks to TCW’s weird episode orders) and see what happens when Anakin plays hooky.
‘Til next time!