The Clone Wars, Season 3, Episode 18: The Citadel
Gather round, kids, it’s Clone Wars time once again! Today’s episode is The Citadel, an episode where the Space Family hijinks — and Obi-Wan’s Supreme Smugness — are at full-throttle. We also get “introduced” to a character that, well…let’s just say he and Anakin are gonna be frenemies/co-workers for a long time.
Voiceover Recap Guy gives us the scoop to get things going: Jedi Master Even Piell’s been taken prisoner by the Separatists! He was coming back from the Outer Rim with information about some sort of Secret Hyperspace Route called the Nexus Route! Now he’s being held in the Separatists’ most secure facility: The Citadel! He will surely need the Jedi to send their most daring and handsome employees to go save him! We’re off!
Recurring Theme: These Two
Plo Koon is giving Team Handsome the skinny on the Citadel’s layout.
Apparently this place has never been breached, and Anakin immediately says:
…to which Obi-Wan replies:
So they have this map of the Citadel, but it’s based on old and incomplete data, so Obi-Wan unnecessarily points out that the map won’t be of much use.
Anakin is like “great, so we’re basically going in blind, fantastic” and Rex wonders how they can even be sure Master Piell is still alive. He’s told that they are fairly certain he must still be alive, because he has that information about the Nexus Route, which Plo explains will give whichever side possesses it a huge advantage in winning the war. They won’t want to kill him until they get that information first. Class dismissed!
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Savoring the Hell Out of This
Ohhh my God I love this part. So The Jedi Space Dad Trio goes strutting down the hall together and first of all, look at how fancy they all are:
They discuss how they’re going to need to outsmart the scanners at the Citadel that check every approaching ship for life forms. Anakin, looking VERY much like he is up to no good already, notes:
Obi-Wan, unsurprisingly, does not look thrilled about this. In fact he looks like just hearing Anakin say this has taken another year off his life.
Ahsoka, out of breath, comes running up behind them and she is PUMPED. She’s like hey guys sorry I’m late I AM SO READY TO ROCK THIS RESCUE MISSION and practically holds out a hand for Anakin to high-five.
At this, Plo is like AWK-WARD…guess you guys have some stuff to chat about, and as Obi-Wan and Plo walk away, Obi-Wan makes one of his greatest faces ever at Anakin:
THIS FACE. OMG. It says it all, really. “Have fun. Payback’s a bitch!” Unfortunately what Obi-Wan has failed to remember is that he’s probably going to have to listen to Anakin complain about this later, so, he only sort of comes out of this victorious. Still: I love this so much.
Recurring Theme: Ahsoka Tano, From a Long Line of Hotheads
BONUS Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Won’t Let You Die Unless He’s The One Killing You
Anakin is like “oooh, my bad, Snips. I forgot to tell you…”
Ahsoka is pissed: but this is a Big Time Mission! You’ll need help!
Anakin recalls that the Citadel is meant to be impenetrable:
Ahsoka is insistent: how in the hell am I gonna learn how to be an Ultimate Badass if I don’t get to go on all the Badass Missions and cheat death at every turn like OMG I’m already like 15 years old OK MASTER GOD and Anakin, of course, is like “but you could die on this mission and I am not OK with anyone dying, ever. So…sorry.”
Ahsoka watches him leave, and she doesn’t look pleased:
R2-D2, Queen Bee
Oh, hilarity: in the next scene, as everyone assembles to head out on the mission, Threepio sees Artoo rolling up with a trio of battle droids behind him and is like OMG ARTOO NOOOO LOOK OUT!
As it turns out, these droids have undergone the K-2SO treatment and have been reprogrammed to hang with the Good Guys. Artoo is so very amusing here, and is like “yeah this is my crew now, they take orders from me, Threeps” and proves it by barking out a few commands. Artoo clearly thinks he is hot shit here and I am dying.
The clones are a little nervous about having to use the dreaded clankers as part of their ensemble here (which seems fair, I suppose, given that like a zillion of the clones have been killed by them,) but Cody tells them that unfortunately, they’re the only way they’ll be able to sneak into the Citadel, so…they’re stuck with them.
Anakin also appears to have reservations about these droids and tells Artoo to keep a close eye on them.
Plo Koon, Up To Something
Ahsoka, glumly, walks over to where Plo is helping get things set to go. She asks if she can talk to him and he says this:
And there is just not enough yelling available on Earth for me to express how little I can handle Plo Koon calling her this pet name all the time. Like, WHY, Star Wars. Why. I didn’t need this to be happening between a guy I get to watch get Order 66’d AND his space daughter, whom Darth Vader may have personally murdered. Well, at least Plo’s gonna get one over on Anakin in this episode, so there’s that.
Anyways Ahsoka is all “MY DAD WON’T LET ME GO IT’S NOT FAIR” and Plo is like “well…he is your dad…he gets to decide…” and she’s like “But I should get to decide if a mission is too scary for me, not him!”
Plo appears deep in thought as this conversation ends.
Recurring Theme: Darth Vader, Cryogenist
So guess what Anakin’s brilliant idea is to help them avoid detection by the life form scanners outside the Citadel?
Yes, that’s right: everyone’s getting the Han Solo Treatment in this outing. Everybody starts to assemble in their respective spots for the freezing to begin. Our pal Fives is a little edgy about this…
…but Obi-Wan ultimately seems to be pretty chill about the fact that he’s about to let Anakin do this to all of them. Maybe Obi-Wan figures that if he never comes out of carbon-freezing, he won’t have to endure the rest of his horrible life so it’s a win-win for him either way.
Also, for no apparent reason, Anakin and Obi-Wan have a Moment right before they get frozen…
…and honest to GOD, Star Wars: was this their unspoken “…I know” moment? STOP DOING THIS TO ME. There was no reason for Anakin to make this face at Obi-Wan here except to force me to mention this in this recap. Dear Lord.
MOVING ON, the boys all get frozen:
..and loaded onto the ship.
Plo watches them go, and sends them off — suspiciously alone, ahem — with the standard farewell:
Recurring Theme: The Sneak-In
Artoo and the battle droids pilot the ship over to the Citadel and ask for access inside. In the control room for the Citadel, a droid is taking orders from the warden here, Osi Sobeck, who barks out needlessly detailed backstory on why they need to scan for life forms:
Like, dude, you are talking to a droid. The droid doesn’t care why you want to scan for life forms. Just tell them to do it. FFS.
They scan the ship…
…and are cleared! Phew!
Osi Sobeck, Telling Stories to Nobody
So I don’t know what Sobeck’s deal is, but he spends a ridiculous amount of time grandstanding and providing backstory to nobody. He caps this segment off with this:
Like, look at his raised hand here. He’s so into his story, but WHO IS HE TELLING THIS STORY TO? Oh, Star Wars. Everyone in this universe is so starved for friends and spends so much time conversing with themselves.
Recurring Theme: I’ll Build This Elaborate House of Horror On Top Of This Molten River
So we get a nice wide shot of the Citadel here, and OK: here’s another example of a structure that is probably more dramatic than it needs to be. I GET that this is a jail for Jedi or whatever, but I mean…look at it. Also, I love that we now have MORE THAN ONE significant structure in the Star Wars universe that was literally built on top of a raging inferno.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Smug Bastard
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Self-Saboteur
Recurring Theme: Ahsoka Tano and Her Dads
Oh, the utter delight that is this scene. The team is unfrozen from the carbonite, and are all coming around, including Anakin, who turns to his left and is greeted by the person next to him:
Obi-Wan, totally not purposely trying to be an ass about this, notes:
Anakin, through gritted teeth, replies:
Ahsoka explains herself:
…and then punctuates this by calling Anakin out right there and I take back what I’ve said in the past: Obi-Wan DID have at least one moment of sheer happiness in his life, and here it is right now:
Obi-Wan walks away from a conversation JUST to bear witness to this and get in some sass of his own:
LOL. Bless. Although, really, Kenobi: need I remind you that you are the one who once jumped out of a window into traffic, and then immediately yelled at Anakin for jumping out of a speeder into traffic? Ahsoka doesn’t ONLY take after one of her dads.
I also love that Obi-Wan isn’t really at all upset that Ahsoka’s there, either. I’d even go so far as to guess that he already assumed she’d find a way to be there against Anakin’s wishes. He welcomes her aboard and she smiles.
The One Time Jetpacks Wouldn’t Have Helped
The gang is standing on the rocky planet surface and looking out at the Citadel building, trying to determine the best way to get in. It’s too windy for jetpacks, apparently, so Obi-Wan suggests they’ll be stuck with an alternate method:
Unfortunately, Anakin points out that even THAT won’t be doable, because the entire building surface is covered with…
If they hit one of those, then everyone will know they’re here. Uh, and I would also assume whoever hit one would also DIE, but, y’know, focus on the important details as usual, Jedi.
So they decide they better get climbing and as this part ends, Anakin and Obi-Wan look at each other with these entertaining expressions and LOOK AT THE CLOSED CAPTIONING:
Like, this is pretty much these two in a nutshell, right?
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, More of A Badass Than You Remember
So the crew climbs up, and Obi-Wan’s leading the team and OMG he is ridiculously nimble here. He notices that they’re getting close to the entry, and jumps a bit further ahead to scope things out.
When he does this, a few droids come walking out onto the entryway platform, forcing Obi-Wan to hang on the ledge with a single hand for a SUPER long time, braced only somewhat by a foot against an uneven rock wall. What a guy!
The droids leave, and when they do, Obi-Wan is dismayed to note that the entrance is ray-shielded shut! Oh no!
Recurring Theme: Ventilation Shafts To The Rescue!
Ahsoka observes that there’s another opening a bit further up: a ventilation shaft! LOL OMG IT IS ALWAYS THE DAMN VENTS WITH THIS SHOW.
Anakin says it’s a no-go: it’s too small for them to fit through and Ahsoka’s like OH ISN’T THAT INTERESTING, MASTER:
Obi-Wan is like “hey, worth a shot, we didn’t expect to have her with us but THIS IS HANDY” and Anakin’s like all right go for it.
Sure enough, she easily gets in, and this gives us this great shot of her peeking her head down into the hallway:
She flips herself around, heads down towards the entryway, shuts off the ray shield, and lets the boys in all YOU’RE WELCOME, JERKASS:
Recurring Theme: Announce Our Arrival
As the crew finishes making their way in through the entryway, one of the clones loses their footing, and unfortunately the closed captioning gave this bit a sort of comic-book effect rather than the sad sound effects it deserved:
Obi-Wan, looking down sadly, acknowledges:
Guards, Seize Them!
…and so they do! Back in the control room, Osi Sobeck is getting the news that there’s been a security breach. He activates his security guards:
Meanwhile, the Family is making their way through the halls when all of a sudden, a gigantic wall of electricity comes barreling through and they all have to run to avoid it.
Unfortunately, another one of the clones is not lucky enough to make it through this part:
Obi-Wan, again looking dismal, says they have to keep moving and OH MY GOD WHY MUST EVERYTHING ALWAYS BE THE WORST. I like how realistically no one in Obi-Wan’s life is even equipped to help him feel better because all of THEIR lives are also terrible. This fucking galaxy, man.
Recurring Theme: Hey Everyone Check Out This Kids’ Show For Kids
In Even Piell’s cell, he is being electro-shocked and interrogated:
He Is a Jedi, though, so of course he can’t be broken and is refusing to give up the information they want.
In retaliation for this stubbornness, the droid then busts out a creepy hand with a sharp pointy implement on it and tells him this:
Jesus Skateboarding Christ, people. Is there nothing we haven’t seen in Star Wars? Electrocutions, dismemberment, child murder, people being run through with a sword, beheadings, people being set on fire…I mean, holy crap. Wow. And so now here we have a Torture-Bot threatening to blind somebody. Way to keep things light as always, Star Wars.
Recurring Theme: Thanks For Rescuing Me, Loser
So as this is about to go down, The Handsome Twins and their coterie of badasses finally get to Piell’s cell, and they just saber their way on in there as they break open the door. Anakin and Obi-Wan rush to Piell’s side and cut him down from his bonds:
This, predictably, gives us YET ANOTHER ungrateful Jedi being rescued, as Piell throws back:
GUYS. You can just say THANKS, you know. You do not all have to have your Sass turned on every single second of your lives. (Nevermind. I know you do.)
Wait, so “FINALLY you idiots showed up to save me at great personal risk” is the Jedi’s idea of a joke? Yes, guys, I’m rolling in the aisles over here. Oh my God. OK, Jedi. You guys do you.
Obi-Wan asks Piell if he has the plans for the fabled Nexus Route and he says he does — but only half of the information. The other half is with his captain: he wanted to split up the details so that, even if he somehow broke down, the baddies still wouldn’t have everything they needed. Smart! But, of course, that now means they have to go find this captain, who’s being held elsewhere in the facility. Which means…
Recurring Theme: It’s Magnetic
The crew take Piell with them and head down the hallway again…
…and, watching them through the security camera, Sobeck is like oh I don’t think so:
A whole bunch of droids show up and they proceed to have a Patented Clone Wars Fight:
Our friends appear to have the upper hand, and Obi-Wan starts yelling that they should be moving along. Sobeck flips on a magnet on the ceiling, which not only strips everyone of their weapons, but also, uh, causes Anakin to have the “upper hand” if you will — but not in the way he’d like. His prosthetic arm goes flying up, taking him with it:
…and let’s just say Anakin is about as happy about this as you’d expect him to be, as he makes this amazing face of frustration:
Sobeck then treats him to a nice electrocution while he’s up there, marking YET ANOTHER brain-zap for Anakin Skywalker. I have maybe been too hard on Anakin. I’d be confused and angry all the time, too, if my brain had been reduced to electrified sludge.
Piell and Obi-Wan try to keep the droids at bay by Force-Pushing them, but their feet are magnetized to the floor, so they just sort of bend backwards:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Human Lightning Rod
Anakin spots his lightsaber, stuck to the ceiling along with him, just barely within his reach.
Sobeck sees what he’s trying to do and zaps him AGAIN:
Anakin just sort of…muscles through it, amazingly, and grabs his weapon and frees himself by busting up the magnet. The best part is that, after he falls to the ground and is asked if he’s OK — given that he’s just been ELECTROCUTED NUMEROUS TIMES — he pretty much just dusts off his shoulders and is like “yeah whatever I’m fine.” Sure you are, Skywalker. GEE I WONDER WHERE HE LEARNED TO LIE ABOUT HOW INJURED HE IS?
Ah, right. This guy right here. Aaaaanyways, so now they all have their weapons back thanks to Anakin, and the good guys kick some ass and take some names and make their way to where this mysterious captain of Piell’s is being held.
Recurring Theme: Meet Your New Friend Who Will Eventually Be Revealed To Be Evil
They saber open the doorway, and Ahsoka kicks some metallic ass on her way in:
It is at this point that everyone assembles in the room to meet our new friend, Future Darth Vader Frenemy and Death Star Enthusiast Wilhuff Tarkin:
I love that Tarkin, even as he is being rescued from a place that no one has ever had any hope of escaping before, seems like COMPLETELY disinterested. Look at his face! Granted this is still like the most pleasant we’ve ever seen him look, but come on, man: how about a LITTLE enthusiasm? And this creep tries to tell me the Jedi weren’t amazing later. I still can’t believe Vader never force-choked this guy to death. At least we can take comfort in knowing Anakin’s son literally blew him to smithereens.
Tarkin’s like, huh, never thought I’d see you again, and oh look you brought some cute friends! Piell does the Significant Introduction:
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Strategist
Obi-Wan suggests that they split up to get out of here: Obi-Wan and his team, and Anakin with his, so that if one team gets captured at least they still won’t have the full data they want.
Tarkin is SO not into this idea and is like but but but we should all stick together and Piell pretty much just overrules him and agrees with Obi-Wan. Piell says he’ll go with Kenobi, and Tarkin should go with Anakin. Awww, they can get some evil bonding in right away this way. Cute…I guess.
Recurring Theme: Deck The Halls With Heavy Explosives
So the groups split up as planned, and Team Kenobi get to work planting a bunch of bombs in a hallway, which they then blow up.
This requires Obi-Wan to run from an actual wall of fire, Action-Movie-Style, and once again I cannot help but think of every “you have no idea who you’re talking to” face he makes at Han and Luke in Episode 4. Han and his whole “she’s fast enough for you old man” routine, OMFG. I am embarrassed FOR Han Solo.
Recurring Theme: Everyone In The Empire Hates Each Other
While Obi-Wan’s team is keeping Sobeck occupied, Anakin’s team cut through a wall into the catacombs around the Citadel and start making their way to freedom. Anakin says, pleased:
And, with this, he and Tarkin get into this very contentious back and forth about whether or not the plan was a good plan and whether or not they know what they’re doing and I just need to acknowledge something important here, namely: that everyone in the Empire pretty much despised each other. I have NO idea how they even managed the couple decades of rule they did given the bitchery and backstabbing or planned backstabbing that was going on. Think about it: Vader and Tarkin kinda hate each other, Sidious and Vader pretty much hated each other, Tarkin and Krennic totally hated each other…I mean, for God’s sake, there had to be SO much dysfunction going on there.
So evidently Anakin and Tarkin decide to get a head start on this here:
Finally, Anakin says that he reserves his trust…
I’m going to assume that Vader was not exactly crying in his bacta tank about this guy getting blown to bits along with Death Star I. Just a hunch.
In response, Tarkin makes a somewhat inscrutable face…
…and thaaaaaat’s it for this episode! The iris wipe escorts us to the lobby, and we’ll have to wait until next time to learn how our pals (and, uh, “pals”) are gonna get out of this one! See you then!
More From This Season of TCW
Padme goes to visit Satine; martini-drinking and mystery-solving ensues.
Ahsoka teaches some kids a lesson in Being Awesome; I have questions about Satine’s nephew.
The fate of the universe rests on Padme’s ability to serve a fruitcake; Artoo takes a spa day.
You Might Also Enjoy
Anakin and Padme’s marriage is maybe temporarily saved by convenient carnage; everything’s coming up Palpatine.
K-2 proves once again that droids should not stay with the ship; Krennic gets a talking-to; no cause is complete without a couple of space monk husbands.
Kanan goes on a Force Quest, Hondo is still delightful, and Ezra’s got Issues.