The Clone Wars, Season 2, Episode 2: Cargo of Doom
This is the second installment in this arc. To start at the beginning, go here.
Welcome back to TCW’s Chad Something Steals a Holocron arc! Today’s installment comes with the moral that “overconfidence is the most dangerous form of carelessness”, which, as we know, is a moral that Darth Maul and Darth Vader AND Darth Sidious should have taken to heart before they got their asses kicked (and, in two out of three cases, lost their legs to Obi-Wan.)
This episode also significantly features a(nother) Sneak Preview of Anakin getting baited into doing something he really, really should not do, that would possibly result in the loss of innocent lives, because he thinks one of his friends might die and he cannot deal. Well, I mean, at least we can’t say The Turn was completely out of left field, right, since this seems to happen to this guy like on a weekly basis during the Clone Wars? Anyways: let’s find out who exactly will be learning a lesson about overconfidence the hard way this time! (Spoiler: everyone does get to keep their legs, but possibly only because Obi-Wan’s not in this episode.)
Voiceover Recap Guy’s got an update for us on some stuff that happened since we stepped away: Cad Bane’s already kidnapped Jedi Master Bollo Ropal, the guy he said he was gonna kidnap in the last episode! This means he has his mitts on the Kyber crystal already! The Separatists are sending a fleet to help him get away! But Anakin’s like “oh hell no, here comes the Chosen One to stop your escape, asshole!” and they’re presently in the middle of a big space battle because Star Wars loves dropping us right off into the thick of things like that! That’s about it!
That Bad, Huh?
Anakin gets a disconcerting update from the clones on the surface of the planet below: they’ve been overrun, Ropal’s been taken aboard one of the fleeing ships, and to punctuate the gravity of the situation, the guy talking to Anakin gets his neck snapped right there mid-Skype call. Yeesh. Anakin sets out to find out which ship Ropal is on.
We next see Master Ropal being put into electro-shackles and getting zapped by battle droids, who warn him that he’ll need to remain conscious, because Cad Bane’s got some questions for him. I would like to pause here, briefly, to point out something that a friend noted to me: at the end of the last episode in this arc, Obi-Wan said he was going to look for Cad Bane on Coruscant, and now here Bane is in outer space with Anakin in hot pursuit. So…did Obi-Wan even do any investigating at all? Did Cad Bane elude him? My theory is that Obi-Wan just said he was going to hunt down Bane in order to look good in front of the bosses, and then immediately afterwards told Anakin “yeah…I’m not doing any of that. You go find Bane, I’ve got soaps to catch up on.” And, frankly? Kenobi kind of deserves a spa day anyways, so I hope he took one. Get that man a fluffy robe and some cucumbers for his eyes.
He’s Beauty, He’s Grace
Anyhow, as of right now, Bane’s scoping out Anakin’s battle prowess and notes:
Impressed though he may be, he’s not gonna stick around and find out how much of a badass Anakin is — instead, they’re jumping into hyperspace and getting the hell out of here.
Anakin gets an update that Bane’s ship is leaving the battle, and logically concludes that this ship must have Ropal aboard.
Don’t Leave Home Without It
Anakin and the Admiral get into it about how they can’t board Bane’s ship because they left their boarding craft at home — they were only planning to land on the planet surface, not board another ship and like, REALLY: they just left the equipment behind? Like, what if there’d been an emergency mid-air that required them to board another ship? How much equipment are we talking about here? Did Anakin need the extra space for all his hair products and fan mail? This just sort of seems like the kind of thing you wouldn’t just be like “meh, we probably maybe won’t need it.”
Anyhow, Anakin’s like “whatever, we’re going to board his ship regardless of the fact that we lack the basic equipment to do so,” and then the Admiral’s like “that’s a bad idea Anakin, you are an unstable person whose poor decision-making will possibly ruin the universe someday but I don’t wanna spoil it for the viewers at home. Anyways, are you serious?”
…and Anakin’s like “well I don’t care if you think it’s a bad idea, I’m doing this crazy thing anyways”, which is a quotation that I hope Luke put in Anakin’s obituary:
Anakin “Darth Vader” Skywalker
Father, Husband, Brother, Jedi Knight, Sith Lord, Jedi Knight (Again)
Born: Not Sure, Tatooine
Died: Earlier this evening, Death Star II, after a long battle with repeatedly getting electrocuted
Preceded in death by his mother, his wife, his longtime boyfriend, 50% of his original body parts, and democracy. Survived by his children, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, his droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, and the legacy of complaining and drama he leaves behind.
Memorials to the Sand Eradication Foundation appreciated.
“Well I don’t care if you think it’s a bad idea, I’m doing this crazy thing anyways”
…I digress! Anakin instructs his crew to target Bane’s ship’s hyperdrive so they can’t make their speedy exit.
Cad Bane gets an update from a battle droid that the hyperdrive is toast, and he’s curious:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Extra Extra
As it turns out, the Jedi in question doesn’t really know either, as Anakin, Rex and Ahsoka huddle up and both Ahsoka and Rex are like “So…just out of general interest, did you have ideas on how exactly we were actually going to pull OFF this plan, or are you just expecting us to badassedly wing it like we do in every single episode of this show?”
Anakin is lost in thought:
…and then has a lightbulb moment as the Admiral returns to offer help and be the color commentator on The Dream Team’s Crazy-Ass Plan — he’s going to use ground transportation to land on an in-flight spacecraft!
Didn’t He Almost Have It All?
Ahsoka and Rex follow his train of thought and are enthusiastically on board with his insane plan — especially Ahsoka because Anakin is her big brother and she idolizes him and she loves him and Padme loves him and so does Obi-Wan and then remember how he ends things with all of them later? GOD I HATE THIS SHOW SOMETIMES. Star Wars is just so good at giving you these heartwarming moments where you’re like “Awww this is so sweet I love this” and then almost immediately you get hit with “OH WAIT OH GOD EVERYTHING HURTS.”
Recurring Theme: The Electrocutions Will Continue Until Morale Improves OR I Accidentally Kill You
Back aboard the SS Cad Bane, Bollo Ropal is getting repeatedly electrocuted as Bane tries to get him to open the stolen holocron for him. Ropal Is A Jedi, and won’t do it.
Bane keeps cranking up the voltage on him, against his droid’s recommendations, until he accidentally kills him. And, with that, we can add yet another character getting electrocuted to death right in front of our faces to the tally of reasons why I will never understand why people don’t think Star Wars is anything but a lighthearted children’s series.
Well, this leaves Cad Bane in a bit of a predicament, since now he needs to find himself another Jedi.
Sidious Promises a Lot of Things
So now here comes Team Drama, landing walkers on top of a ship as Nute Gunray is like BANE WTF I LOANED YOU MY SHIPS DON’T SCUFF THEM UP. He says that last he talked with Sidious about this whole thing:
Anakin and Ahsoka tear it up as they always do, flipping around and zipping to and fro (or, as I prefer to say in honor of one of the best lines ever spoken in this entire franchise, “hither and yon”,) and the battle droids report back to Bane that they are getting their asses kicked by the Jedi.
Bane does some reshuffling and starts initiating a self-destruct sequence on the ship. He leaves the bridge of the ship to some hapless battle droids, and makes off before Anakin, Ahsoka and Rex enter.
Once they realize he’s not there, Bane holo-Skypes at them that he’s got the holocron and the crystal. Ahsoka laments:
Recurring Theme: You Can’t Give Up Hope Just Because It’s Hopeless
So, now they’ve gotta find Ropal, AND the crystal, the holocron and Bane, and as Anakin starts barking out orders, they get an update: uh, the ship you’re on is kind of exploding, guys, so maybe you should evacuate. The Hero With No Fear is not budging yet, though:
Bane reveals his plan, which is to slowly draw out one of the Jedi, grab them, make their escape and then let the rest of the ship blow up.
Off they go through the ship’s detention cells, in search of Ropal. Eventually Ahsoka finds him, but…well, yeah:
Anakin orders his body be taken back to their ship. Ahsoka is like “well, OK, this sucks BUT if this ship blows up with the holocron on it, at least Nute Gunray won’t get it!” Anakin’s like “we can do better than that, Snips”:
The Dream Team’s moving on to capture the holocron, and Rex walks into a pipe and I laugh (…sorry Rex. It was kinda funny.) The clones switch to Night Vision on their helmets.
Spring the Trap
Bane goes tearing down a hallway to lead the Jedi to follow him, which works:
So. Now we’re at the Confrontation Scene, and Bane decides to make the playing field a little uneven by locking himself down to the floor, and turning off the gravity:
And, let’s just be real here, writers: I mean, this is a good move on Bane’s part, but you nerds know you really wrote this in here so that you could see Anakin be a badass in zero-G.
Recurring Theme: It’s A Trap!
BONUS Recurring Theme: We’ll Take Him Together, My Impulsive Doofus Student
There’s a whole bunch of flipping and shooting and droid-dismantling and eventually Artoo turns the gravity back on, and Cad Bane, still in possession of the holocron, gets Ahsoka to follow him down a hallway. This gives Anakin the opportunity to recycle some prequel and original trilogy dialogue:
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka are Basically Lightning Rods
Anakin gets separated from Ahsoka, and a huge chunk of the ceiling falls down on him and he gets trapped, impeding his ability to reach her before Bane makes off with her. Ahsoka and Bane mix it up in the hallway, and Ahsoka completely kicks his ass…
…until he manages to start zapping her and like MAYBE REMEMBER THAT YOU JUST ACCIDENTALLY SHOCKED YOUR LAST JEDI TO DEATH, BANE:
Recurring Theme: When There’s Just a Touch of Satan In Your Heart
Anakin, under the rubble, senses Ahsoka’s peril and opens his eyes with that rageaholic look that the Jedi get periodically when they’re just going to like maaaaaybe summon just a smidge of Ancient Evil for a quick second just so that they can kick some ass don’t tell anyone (see also: Obi-Wan v Maul, Episode 1.)
He busts out from underneath the wreckage and barks out some evacuation orders to Rex. He tries to contact Ahsoka unsuccessfully, then gets an update from the Admiral that, uh, the entire ship is blowing up now, Skywalker, so get the fuck out of there. He replies:
Recurring Theme: The Skywalkers, Ruiners of Lives
The Admiral asks himself a question that, like, every person in the entire Star Wars canon asks themselves at one point or another:
Ahsoka, meanwhile, is handcuffed in a cell. Bane tells her, as she struggles to free herself, that the restraints will only get tighter as she pulls on them:
Aaaaanyways, she and Bane have a bunch of back and forth about how Anakin’s going to come save her and she looks sad and he zaps her again, and Anakin starts Vaderishly stalking down the hallway on his way to find her.
Eventually Anakin shows up, and his arrival is announced thusly over the PA by a battle droid:
Bane uses Ahsoka as bait: open this holocron for me, and I won’t open the door and let her fly out into the void to die. We gotta deal, Skywalker?
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker Won’t Let You Die Unless He’s The One Killing You
Predictably, Anakin can’t let her die because that is kiiind of a central thing about Anakin upon which the entire plot line of the Star Wars saga depends, so even though Ahsoka is begging him not to, Anakin agrees. Bane is smug and triumphant.
Meanwhile, Rex and co. start moving to evacuate ASAP:
…and here’s Anakin doing something dumb for a bad guy so that someone he likes won’t die:
So, like, WAY TO GO ANAKIN, you’ve hand-delivered a list of all the Jedi Babies in the universe directly to Ultimate Evil. Why don’t you just kill them yourself or something? (OH. WAIT. EVERYTHING HURTS AGAIN.)
Recurring Theme: Last-Minute Escape From the Clutches of Doom
Suddenly, Anakin grabs his and Ahsoka’s lightsabers and attempts to take Bane on. Bane flips open the hatch, takes off, and Anakin and Ahsoka have to fight to keep themselves from being sucked out into space.
They survive, but now Bane’s on the run.
Recurring Theme: Take a Chill Pill, Anakin
Bane tells Gunray he’s got the holocron, and that he’s got a plan for getting himself off this ship before it blows. Rex tells Anakin and Ahsoka to get a move on, because the ship is like 8 seconds away from blowing, and Anakin is like “but hang on I’m STILL MAD AT CAD BANE” and tries to go after him until Ahsoka talks some sense into him:
They get to the departing shuttle on time as the ship explodes, and it looks like, from their perspective, that the holocron — and Bane — explode along with it. But Anakin notes that he can still feel Bane’s presence…even though he has to be dead, right? FYI, Anakin, get used to this sensation.
So the gang is back on board the Resolute, and the following exchange occurs. Question #1: Anakin, did you do either of the two things you said you’d do?
And question #2:
Uh, I hate to break it to you Skywalker, but:
- you almost died
- Ahsoka almost died
- your troops almost died
- I’m guessing some of your troops actually did die
- you didn’t get here soon enough so a Jedi Master was electrocuted to death
- Cad Bane isn’t actually dead, and I kiiiinda think you already know that on some level
- Cad Bane now has a bunch of really important information that he’s going to hand off to Ultimate Evil
- you failed the I Am A Jedi test because you were afraid someone you love was going to die, and as a result some innocent children might die, and not for the last fucking time
So, sure: I guess you maybe think you were “successful”. But also you weren’t. (PS: this is kind of your life story, by the way.) We’ll call it success from a certain point of view?
…oh hey! No more time to rant at a fictional character, because here’s the iris-wipe, so this entry’s done! Next time, on Chad Something Steals a Holocron, Cad Bane gets put on kidnap duty by Ultimate Evil again, and we get to take a quick preview stroll past the river of lava where Obi-Wan and Anakin will have their worst date night ever. ‘Til next time!