The Clone Wars (2003 Microseries), Chapter 22
The Clone Wars! A wacky time for one and all, as regular readers here are no doubt fully aware. But long before a Hutt rode in a space fanboat, or we learned that being a pacifist still involves a lot of yelling, or the fate of democracy rested with a fruitcake, there was the 2003 Clone Wars microseries, a series of brief (usually about 10-15 minute-long) snippets of Insane Adventures of The Heroic Jedi that ran for a time on Cartoon Network after Episode 2 came out but before Episode 3 did. Think of it as like, a TCW warm-up lap.
Now non-canon, the microseries is easily one of the most-requested pieces of media for Snark Wars. So, to mark the occasion of this site’s first birthday this week, I thought I’d make an effort to acknowledge the will of the people who have graciously given me their free time to read this silly website this past year. And with that, I ask you to settle in and enjoy That Time That Anakin Ate Bugs.
The Two Horsenerds of the Dorkpocalypse
We kick things off right out of the gate with some Evil Grandstanding, done by this guy:
He makes a bunch of bold pronouncements about how the Good Guys are gonna have to send like zillion Jedi to take him on, and a battle droid helpfully notes to him that he’s spotted them. How many Jedi did the Republic send, you ask? Our Evil Friend guesses, and over and over is wrong. Would YOU like to guess, Reader? I bet you can take a stab at it…
The droid sees only two. Gee, who COULD they be?
Two?! How can that BE? He pulls on some binoculars, and OH MY GOD LOL:
Some Things Never Change
Yes, it’s Obi-Wan and Anakin. What a surprise. A bunch of Republic ships show up now and start shooting at the baddies, and in the cloud of smoke (!!! LOL), Team Handsome LEAP INTO THE AIR AND APPEAR ONLY AS DRAMATIC SILHOUETTES:
OK OK: so, this is like…one of their MOST dramatic entrances? And keep in mind that I have now recapped probably HUNDREDS of them. So they kick some ass and then STOP TO POSE IN THE SMOKE:
…and then as the smoke clears, THEY STAY THERE SO THE CAMERA CAN PAN UP ACROSS THEIR FANCINESS. For. Fuck’s. Sake. WHO DOES THIS? (Answer: Obi-Wan and Anakin. That is who does this. All the time. This is the most believable, in-character thing ever.)
The very best thing is that what I’ve just described? Is the entire scene. Nothing else happens except that this show just wasted 1 of its 12-ish minutes on Obi-Wan and Anakin being fancy drama queens.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, PLEASE
Then we cut to a space battle, and Saesee Tinn and Anakin are each flying around…and then we suddenly cut AGAIN to a group of Jedi fighting some gigantic droids, which spit out these sort of…weird bubbles of entrapment at the Jedi, encasing them (LOL OK.)
Anakin, appearing from out of nowhere (what is even happening right now? Where are we? Is this is the same battle from before?) badasses his way around to save his Jedi buddies and this includes not only some flips and shit, but at one point he just dramatically throws out his arms like he’s standing on a mountaintop, and then he does this:
OH MY GOD. OK, you know what? I bet the Jedi really appreciated all this day-saving Anakin did in the Clone Wars, but you cannot tell me they were not all just a LITTLE bit like “WOULD YOU PLEASE TONE IT DOWN SKYWALKER JFC.”
Anakin pops their bubbles, freeing them, and they fist-pump in gratitude:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Risky Pilot
So I guess the day was saved? He popped some bubbles and did some flips and then the Republic excused him for the day? Where’s Obi-Wan right now and why did this episode start with them posing but then Anakin just left to go be dramatic? It’s been a while since I watched all of these episodes in order, but I feel like I’d be confused even if I just had.
At any rate, we hear Across the Stars Lite kicking in, so you know it’s time for some Thoughtful Staring from the Amidala-Skywalker Household.
Padme is awaiting Anakin’s arrival, and Anakin lands his Jedi interceptor like RIGHT ON TOP OF HER. (THIS was the best, safest place to land?)
Wow, I’m So Happy To See You.
This? Is easily like the LEAST excited either of them have ever been to see each other. LOOK AT THEM:
I was JUST about to be like “what the HELL, Anakin? Why so glum?” but then I remembered:
Ah, yes, at the time this was made this was supposed to be The Story of the Scar Reveal. Anakin makes a face like DON’T LOOK AT ME I’M HIDEOUS, like all it’s going to take is a scar on his face to make Anakin Skywalker un-handsome.
Padme looks briefly stricken and then reaches out for his face. Awww.
They embrace, and I’d also like to point out that Anakin is gloveless here.
This scene ends with an exterior shot of a building with a light going out. Uh, did the microseries just imply evening sexy times with the Skywalkers? Or is this just marking the end of the day?
The Unbearable Doneness of Obi-Wan
Meanwhile, Obes Kenobes is trying to get some shut-eye in some sort of a makeshift camp. And it’s raining. So, Obi-Wan has to sleep outside and get rained on, while Anakin goes to bang his hot wife at a hotel? Is that what this show is trying to lay down here? WHAT THE FUCK THAT IS SO NOT FAIR. God, Anakin, you selfish little ass.
Eventually, my poor little peanut who deserved absolutely none of this treatment gives up and sits up, making this face:
Cody shows up now to tell him that the siege is going well and that, with a “continued BARRAGE”, they should have the shields here down within three MONTHS. So, if they just CONSTANTLY ATTACK FOR THREE MONTHS, it’ll all be swell. Obi-Wan is crestfallen:
…they’ve already been there a month! Cody, chipper as can be, is like YUP! Right on schedule, sir!! And then he jets off and Obi-Wan looks absolutely miserable. Well, good to know this show stayed true to his life story here.
Anakin Skywalker, Foodie
Anakin shows up (OK, I will be honest: I know I’m not watching these in order right now, but I have absolutely no idea how much time this episode is supposed to cover, and I feel like children watching this would be flummoxed. Didn’t we just see Anakin with Padme? Did he leave and come back? Does Anakin honestly fuck off in the middle of assignments to go sleep with her? AND NO ONE NOTICES OR CARES? OK, in fairness, that sounds EXACTLY like what would have happened, so, let’s go with it.)
Anakin is hauling a sack of something over his shoulder, looking pleased with himself. He takes a seat in front of Obi-Wan and starts to open it. Obi-Wan, looking wary, asks what it is in a tone of voice that suggests that he suspects that he is not going to like the answer because Obi-Wan is not brand-new here. Anakin sprawls it out, revealing a plethora of bugs, and announces that this is lunch and proceeds to happily chow down.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Questioning His Entire Life
Obi-Wan looks on with unveiled disgust, and asks Anakin how in the hell he can eat this stuff. Anakin, being an asshole, proudly replies that Obi-Wan “always taught him to feed off the living Force.” ANAKIN, PLEASE.
Obi-Wan begins to retort that that isn’t what the lecture was intended to convey to him, but gives up because Obi-Wan has already given up on life in general.
Recurring Theme: I Love Them
Anakin continues to munch away and Obi-Wan stares at him like this:
…and I die because can I please tell you all that I will never ever love two characters more than I love these two together. Never.
Obi-Wan finally inquires: where did you even find that stuff? Anakin, cockily putting his hand on his hip, says he stole them from the enemy camp.
Obi-Wan, aghast, asks him what the hell he was doing there. Anakin says it was reconnaissance, and when Obi-Wan asks him how he even got over there in the first place, the show cuts to a shot of Anakin SLURPING DOWN A WORM:
As he does this, he tells Obi-Wan that he found an ancient sewer that leads right into the city. Obi-Wan, That One Eyebrow raised, says oh so I guess we’ll just stalk our way through there, break in, kill the shield generator and then our troops will flood in and overwhelm the enemy, huh? Anakin stands up and is like YUP, and heads off. Obi-Wan, as the scene ends and AMAZINGLY jaunty Cartoon Hijinks Music starts, gives just the slightest hint of a smile before the scene ends. Awww. He still loves Anakin even though Anakin eats bugs. That makes sense: if he didn’t stop loving him for all the other reasons, I don’t see why eating bugs would be the line in the (ha!) sand.
Anakin and Obi-Wan, Sewer-Dwellers
So the boys take to the sewer and Obi-Wan recycles some dialogue about the Incredible Smell They’ve Discovered, and they end up at a blocked passageway, where Anakin declares that they’ll have to swim (which Obi-Wan obviously complains about.)
They emerge on the other side, and JUST LOOK AT THEM OK:
They climb out of the sewer, and I die because both of them swam through that thing WHILE STILL WEARING CAPES. Which are now sodden and dragging behind them. Smart choice, boys. Practical!
Recurring Theme: The Sneak-In
Once inside, Anakin initially is like GANG WAY HERE I GO BITCHES, but Obi-Wan predictably holds him back, sending out some grenades instead while Anakin complains that THIS WAY IS NOT AS FUN, because obviously wartime is supposed to be a Jolly Holiday.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Anakin
This is pretty much all they have to do: the shield gets deactivated and the clonetroopers head for the city as per the plan. Obi-Wan and Anakin ARE ALREADY OUTSIDE HEADING OUT OF THE CITY LIKE, IMMEDIATELY. HOW THE FUCK DID THEY GET THERE SO FAST!?
As they leave, even this series decides to be like LOL TAKE THIS as Obi-Wan places a hand on Anakin’s shoulder and kindly tells him he’s done a good job. Even non-canonical Star Wars hates me. Sigh.
Recurring Theme: Disorienting Time and/or Location Skip
There’s a montage after this that is just shots of different planets fighting battles: some that are wins for the Seppies, some that are wins for the Republic, all of which Palpatine probably watches on a highlight reel at the end of each day while eating popcorn and drinking wine. I’m not sure if this was in here to emphasize the scale of the war, or that both sides are suffering losses, or to imply the passage of time or (more likely) some combination of all three, but it’s in here and then it’s done and now we’re gonna go watch Grievous go to Jedi Trainee Camp (minus the terrible haircut.)
Count Dooku, Jedi Instructor
Grievous is hanging out with Dooku now, getting the lowdown on how to Fight Like a Jedi with all those fancy lighsabers Grievous has collected from people he’s murdered. Ah, the lightheartedness of Star Wars, alive and well!
While they’re training, all of a sudden a holo-Skype from Sidious pops up and this reminds me: have you ever noticed how often holo-Skypes just START without anyone accepting the call? CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW AWKWARD THIS WOULD BE IN REAL LIFE? There you are, going about your business and them BAM: your parents, your kid, your boss, whoever is just suddenly VIDEO CHATTING WITH YOU, whether you want to accept the call or not? What if someone’s in the bathroom? What if they’re, uh, intimately engaged? Yikes. The GFFA must be a universe where everyone keeps masking tape over the camera on their laptop screens at all times.
Sidious barks out some orders at them in his usual creeptastic way and says something about moving their latest Evil Plot into motion.
Anakin and Obi-Wan, Having a Campout
Obi-Wan and Anakin are…still on that planet where they blew up the shield before, so I guess THAT much time must not have passed. Obi-Wan complains that oh of COURSE the rain’s stopped now that they’re heading home. Just kidding: of course they’re not heading home now, which they find out as they head back into their tent, which is actually pretty swanky as war zone tents go. Now it’s time for them to have their own call with Evil Uncle Palpatine, who has brought Mace Windu to the chat:
Recurring Theme: This Guy Always Knows Where Grievous Is
Palpatine’s got some inside info for them: he knows where Grievous is! HUH! ISN’T THAT SOMETHING. It’s so remarkable how he always seems to have this Brand New Information about where Grievous is at just the right time. What a great Chancellor he is; he must have an excellent intelligence network.
Please note the face that Mace Windu makes at this guy as he tells them the details:
Yep. No one had an inkling about this guy before The Big Reveal. Newwwwwp.
Palpatine swears he has accurate info, and that Grievous is hiding on some outer rim planet so they should totally go there and check it out. Windu, warily, agrees that Grievous is the key to ending the war and Palpatine BEAMS and is like OH GOLLY WE CAN ONLY HOPE SO MY GOODNESS.
Recurring Theme: The Kenobi-Skywalkers, Own Biggest Fans
As the call concludes, Obi-Wan frets that sending them on a recon mission doesn’t feel right. Anakin, a dork with a violent streak, tells him to think of it as “reconnaissance in force” as he pounds a fist into his hand. Ohhhhkay, Anakin, simmer down little buddy.
The best part is that, after initially giving him the side-eye, Obi-Wan smirks and is like “awwww, you crazy little murderer you, that’s your favorite kind of mission isn’t it gosh I’m so nuts about you!” and the two of them LAUGH THEIR ASSES OFF LIKE THE ENORMOUS DWEEBS THEY ARE:
I’m like…not even sure what the hell is so funny here? But I’m happy they’re happy. You do you, guys.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Bad With Animals
So they get to their target planet, and they’re trudging through the snow here. Something rustles in a bush and the clones turn their weapons on it, only to discover it’s like a Fluffy Little Space Bunny that scampers away, causing Anakin to dryly remark that he doesn’t think it’s a threat (har!).
Still, he and Obi-Wan sense that something’s scaring the local wildlife, and it’s not them.
Just then, a gigantic beast of some sort jumps out at them, stomping on some of the clones and nearly missing others:
Anakin is like STAND BACK I’LL SAVE US while Obi-Wan yells out his required ANAKIN NO, which obviously Anakin completely ignores. He ends up landing on top of the monster and stabbing it in the brain, killing it (really):
As soon as he does this, the non-fluffy-bunny inhabitants of this planet show themselves, and THEY ARE PISSED:
Obi-Wan looks at Anakin, tells him warily that he doesn’t think Anakin should have done that, and the episode wraps as Anakin gives him a “gee thanks” face in return. And on that happy note, it looks like our boys are about to be taken into custody! Fun times. I hope the local jail serves the kind of bugs Anakin likes! ‘Til next time!
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Qui-Gon collects his winnings; Anakin says a significant goodbye (and a significant hello); Palpatine is, was, and ever shall be the goddamn worst.