TCW, Season 1, Episode 12: Family Pole-Vaulting

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The Clone Wars, Season 1, Episode 12: The Gungan General 

Oh, Wacky Spaceland: what have you wrought this time? Previously, on Dave Filoni and George Lucas’ Fever Dream: The Animated Series, Count Dooku got himself kidnapped by Hondo Ohnaka’s pirate crew, and Team Handsome was dispatched to go confirm that their evil old grandpa was, in fact, the one who’d been taken hostage so that the Republic could decide whether or not they wanted to pay the ransom to get him out of there.

As we concluded the last installment, the Kenobi-Skywalkers were toasting a mission well done (for once, except not really) with some Adult Beverages at the pirate bar — after sneakily ensuring that they did not take the drinks that had originally been offered to them, which were tainted with some kind of a sleeping potion. I want to be very clear about this last point as we move into the next series of events, because Voiceover Recap Guy — and the rest of Team Star Wars — would like you to believe that they just went on ahead and chugged those drugged drinks. They did not — at least, not in anything they show us on-screen.

The Morning After
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So naturally as we begin today’s episode, we find the boys sleeping next to each other in a jail cell, as Anakin wonders what possibly could have happened to land them in this very embarrassing position.

Initially Obi-Wan is unconvincingly all “oh my goodness I guess those beverages were Quite Strong Yes Indeed!”, as he probably often does when he wakes up next to Anakin, and Anakin protests that he only took a sip (sure.)

Obi-Wan then quickly is like “oh right well OBVS we were drugged.” Uh huh. YOUR STORY IS MADE OF LIES, BOYS. Although I am frankly astonished you’re both fully-clothed.
tcw-s1-e12-0007They speculate: what’s the deal? Why would the pirates do this when they were just about to get all that scratch for capturing Dooku?
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Family Reunion

Ah! Speak of the devil, look who’s here! And chained to both of them!

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Amusingly, Dooku has said less than 20 words total so far and Anakin is like GODDAMNIT IT’S BAD ENOUGH I HAVE TO SIT HERE WITH YOU BUT I ALSO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE SOUND…

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Anakin, I know the dude cut your arm off, but please chill out. I like how Obi-Wan is already having to hold him back. Lord.

Dooku is like FINE. I’ll just sit here while my ungrateful grandchildren figure out how to get us out of here. You guys totally have a plan, RIGHT?! He’s met with awkward silence…

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Ha! Dooku’s been watching Star Wars carefully, I see.

Hondo Ohnaka, Mama’s Boy

Hondo is busy discussing how brilliant he is for taking the Jedi hostage along with Dooku:

His associate here, Turk Falso, is not convinced that this was the best way to go. Maybe the Separatists would have paid more for Dooku! Hondo shoots back that they might also have just shown up with a droid army and killed them all.

As he concludes this walk-and-talk, he reminisces about how Mama Ohnaka always gave him great advice about hostage-taking, as all good parents do. The main thing I’m taking from this exchange is that clearly Star Wars needs more Young Hondo Adventures.

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Admit it: you all want to know more about The Wisdom of Mama Ohnaka.

Recurring Theme: Double-Crossers

Turk, however, is still not on board with all of Hondo’s big plans here, and so he makes a side-plan to swipe the spice the Republic is bringing and then lie and tell Hondo that the ship that delivered it was destroyed with all its cargo, while he and some other pirates make off with the spice before Hondo can realize he’s been had. DUN DUN DUUUUUN!

Speaking of two-faced liars, back in Palpatine’s office (I love how it feels like everyone is always standing/sitting in the same spots every time they’re in here, like Palpatine has a very strict seating chart) the usual suspects are holo-Skyping with Senator Kharrus, who — along with Jar Jar — is being sent to go drop off the ransom and pick up Dooku. Well that sure sounds like a setup that will go off without a hitch and with zero hijinks whatsoever!

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Recurring Theme: The Death-Defying Senators of Star Wars

As Kharrus and Jar Jar set off on their adventure, Kharrus recalls a previous mission:

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I just feel like I should mention that, not that this is a huge revelation to most people, it often feels like actual United States Senators do not work even CLOSE to as hard as the Senators of Star Wars. Here in the GFFA, many Senators seem to spend a ton of time involved in these Very Dramatic Life-or-Death Rescues For The Good of Democracy (and indeed, the actual Rebellion itself is started by a bunch of them), while over here in reality…well, let’s just say I don’t see quite that commitment to Justice. Ahem.

Aaaanyways as they approach the Pirate Planet, Hondo’s backstabbing friends show up and start shooting at their ship.

Count Dooku, Suffering Grandpa
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Back in the Cell for Force-Using Hostages, Dooku is attempting to Force-lift over a plate that has food on it. Anakin, unable to stop being a little shit for even point-oh-five seconds, provides some running commentary:

Ah, but lest you think that Anakin comes into his snarkiness on his own, Obi-Wan joins the fun:

Ah, comedy! Dooku reveals that what he was actually aiming for was not, in fact, the food on the plate, but a knife — which he now uses to bust open the lock on their cell door. This ridiculous trio makes their way, still all chained together, down the hallway.

Recurring Theme: Death of a Person Who’d Be Really Helpful Right About Now

The clones and Jar Jar are examining the site of where their now-crashed ship has landed, and the situation is grim:

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…not only that, but Senator Kharrus has also departed this mortal coil, to Jar Jar’s dismay:

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Uh oh! Well, that’s going to be a problem. And what’s more, the pirates are onto them, too:

But no: Hondo won’t be informed — they’re gonna stick to the plan!

My Jedi Grandsons, Coming This Fall

The Gang of Idiots is making their way down the hall some more and Anakin, unsurprisingly, will not shut up. I love how he was bitching about Dooku’s “constant chatter” at the beginning of this and yet he is EASILY the noisiest person in this group: what are we doing? What’s happening? Why do we have to listen to Dooku?

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Ha! Dooku, witheringly, is like YES I was brought this way when I was taken hostage, OK???tcw-s1-e12-0064

Ah, but are we super-duper sure this way is SAFE? But of course, we say, flinging the door open to reveal a bunch of armed pirates! Who saw that Twist coming.

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I love that Anakin is smirking here, and Obi-Wan looks downright ENTERTAINED. Like, guys, you do realize that you are also hostages here, right? And that you’re chained to Dooku, so if his escape plan was foiled, then yours is too? LOL. Evidently they realized the Comedy here outweighed any personal inconvenience. I support this. When life hands you lemons and all, amirite boys?

Recurring Theme: Ironic Question Time

So the gang gets taken BACK into a cell, this time tied up a bit more, and before Hondo begins his round of interrogation and grandstanding, the following question is asked:

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GEE, ANAKIN, I REALLY DO NOT KNOW. THAT IS A VERY GOOD QUESTION THANK YOU FOR ASKING IT. Perhaps you ought to consider writing said question down, and hanging on to said question, and re-reading said question periodically. FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY.

Hondo waltzes around the group:

He ultimately leaves them in the cell for now, but Obi-Wan observes that they’ve got to GTFO of here before the Republic shows up.

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Recurring Theme: Jar Jar Binks, Accidental Responsibility-Holder

Back at the site of the Republic ship crash, the clones are taking stock of what they have and what they’ll need to do next: first off, who’s in charge here?

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Oh Star Wars, it is such a very huge surprise that this is our story.  Jar Jar, meanwhile, is observing that the landscape here is dotted with geysers that are shooting off some kind of acid — one that even the local wildlife seems wary of. I am sure that this piece of otherwise extraneous information won’t be Key to helping the day get saved!

The question is asked: tcw-s1-e12-0084tcw-s1-e12-0085

…but we’re not ready to answer that just yet. Not when there’s some more Jedi Snark and bonus pole-vaulting to be done!

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Warper of Minds

Naturally, the Team and their Cranky Sith Pop-Pop aren’t just going to stay in their cell like Hondo very nicely requested that they do. This time it’s Obi-Wan’s turn to help them bust out, and he’s doing it using the thing he loves most of all: staring meaningfully at people until they agree to do whatever he wants. Er, that or he’s Mind-Tricking them. Either way is entirely possible.

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Obi-Wan’s charm/persuasion having worked, the guard walks off the job, and Dooku gives a compliment that comes off like an insult:

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Look I know you guys are all mortal enemies and whatnot but do you people even WANT to get away? Stop wasting time dragging each other and MOVE! For God’s sake, Star Wars as a whole would be about HALF as long as it actually is if you cut out all the parts where people are mocking each other.

Recurring Theme: Escape Plan That Could Easily End Up Disintegrating You

tcw-s1-e12-0097The clones and Jar Jar have come under Pirate Fire, and in search of cover they end up hiding out in one of the Acid Geyser Craters, and the pirates assume that’ll be the end of them:

Jar Jar observes, however, that they’ll be safe hiding in there until the local Giant Space Whatevers start running away from the geyser again — a sure sign that it’s about to start spitting out acid rain.

This ends up being correct, and the crew is able to get out of the geyser before it goes off again. After this happens, the pirates take off and take the spice ransom along with them, leaving the Good Guys behind to figure out what to do. At first it’s suggested that they wait at the ship for help, but Jar Jar’s not willing to wait:

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Awww. Ani and Obi. Shucks, Binks. That’s kinda cute.

Obi-Wan and Anakin, Elder Disrespecters

…so then we check in with Ani and Obi themselves, and OH MY GOD the sass is outta control now, as Obi-Wan is bitching at Dooku to get a move on as they ONCE AGAIN ATTEMPT AN ESCAPE:

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Anakin, never one to pass over a chance to do some sass-talking of his own (and let’s be real, he’s probably delighted that he and Obi-Wan get to gang up on someone else rather than just getting sassed AT like he did THE ENTIRE PREVIOUS EPISODE,) throws in there:

What a couple of little shits. I mean, it’s hard to feel actual sympathy for the Sith Lord who almost killed these guys before but STILL. LOL. And hey! Lest you fear that Dooku can’t dish it out — that he’s somehow lost touch with a core principle of this Jedi Lineage — you need not be concerned:

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HAHAHAHAHAHA. You know what, Dooku? I love the absolute hell out of those two idiots, but after having recapped their nonsense for what feels like ten thousand years now, I can sort of understand where you’re coming from.

While this nonsense carries on, the Backstabber Pirates trade fire with Jar Jar and the clones, who are pursuing them on Giant Space Whatever-back, ultimately succeeding in running several of them down and retaking the ransom spice:

The Family That Pole-Vaults Together Will Eventually End Up Killing Each Other

The Kenobi-Skywalkers and their grandpa make their way outside and Anakin grabs a gigantic metal pole that’s sitting around for some reason:

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…and that is when TCW decides to add “Old Ben, Darth Vader, and one of their Original Adversaries LITERALLY TRY TO POLE-VAULT THEIR WAY OUT OF A PIRATE PRISON” to the Master Listing of Things That Obi-Wan Pointedly Left Out of His Story He Told Luke About The Clone Wars.

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…Old Ben really was leaving out some of the most important parts of the story. (Also I really, really hope Qui-Gon’s Force Ghost was watching all of this while eating popcorn.)

No Argument Here

Anakin observes, as they struggle to clear the compound, that things aren’t going well, while Obi-Wan and Dooku make a Chain of Done that’s hanging from Anakin’s legs:

Hondo appears now and he’s all BUMMER I THOUGHT WE WERE GONNA BE BFFs AND EVERYTHING:

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…awww, don’t worry, Hondo! You’ll still totally end up being pals. And you’ll be talking about it for FOREVER.

With the boys hung up (har!) for the moment, the rest of their Republic Buddies try to trace their way to the Pirate Compound by following the power lines they’ve spotted:

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Swear to Tell The Whole Truth

Hondo gets word from Turk: honest to goodness, the Republic never sent any ransom! And they attacked us! And they’re coming to kick our asses!!

Hondo sighs: JFC, all I wanted was to get through a day without having to torture someone. But, I guess that’s not an option now!

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Third Time’s The Charm

Team Handsome is in a detention cell with Count Dooku AGAIN and AGAIN they’re like “we’ve gotta get outta here before the Senator and Jar Jar do!” Anakin snots that it’s time for them to “lose the dead weight” while looking at Dooku and just…like, is this a CLASS the Jedi Order offers? Snarking at your enemy?

Their job’s easier this time, though, because instead of a stealth escape, some pirates swing by to take them — just Obi-Wan and Anakin — out of the cell. Oh good! I am sure it is not because they’re about the get electrocuted for the zillionth time in this series (spoiler alert: yes it is.)

Recurring Theme: This Isn’t True About Anyone Here

The clones and Jar Jar spot some pirate tanks heading towards them, as Hondo ordered earlier. Uh oh! They’ll need Jar Jar to help negotiate their way outta this one! I am sure all will go smoothly.

As one of the clones voices his concern about Jar Jar’s ability to pull this off, he’s reassured: that guy is way smarter than he looks. Oh come now, Star Wars: that’s not true of absolutely anyone in this series.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Human Lightning Rod

So we cut back to Anakin and Obi-Wan, who are being held up by some kind of an electric restraint that HILARIOUSLY makes them look like they are being suspended in the shape of a giant heart. Hahahaha, awwww! Star Wars, no one ships these guys more than you and we all know it.

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Obi-Wan frets: I guess the Republic didn’t send the ransom, huh? Everyone laughs: very funny, Kenobes — they sent an ARMY, not a ransom! Anakin’s not buying it:

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Hondo counters: you callin’ me a liar?! Anakin proceeds to help things not at all by refusing to come out of Sass Mode:

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Hondo is aghast: now on top of everything, you’re gonna INSULT ME?! Shock! Horror! The Pain Of It All!

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Negotiator

Obi-Wan butts in: um, Anakin…shut up.

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Anakin is like WHAT IT’S ACCURATE: he IS a pirate! Obi-Wan goes into that finessed Negotiator Mode he is famous across the galaxy for and insists: really. Shut up. It is REALLY not…

Anakin keeps yammering on and then the two of them get hit with a blast of electricity, for neither the first nor last time for either of them BUT ESPECIALLY ANAKIN:

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Jar Jar Binks, Negotiator

Jar Jar is standing in front of the pirate tanks as per The Plan: he identifies himself as a Representative, and the pirates get all smirky: oooh, he might actually be worth something as a hostage! Why don’t you come here and discuss with us?!

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…Naturally, the end result of Jar Jar boarding their tank is that a ton of stuff ends up on fire or blowing up, and the power to Pirate HQ gets cut in the process. Handy!

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Recurring Theme: We’re Busting Outta Here!

With the power cut, Dooku is able to free himself from his cell…

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…while The Team breaks away from their electrocutioning and springs back into action, nabbing their lightsabers in the process: tcw-s1-e12-0178

…and, as the pirates start to realize they might not be getting their spicy payday after all, Dooku jumps into a ship and prepares to haul ass offworld:

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Hondo Ohnaka, One of Us

Hondo is trying to keep up a front of control: unhand me, and I might let you live, blahblahblah! A tank comes rolling up and he’s like OH WELL LOOK AT THAT:

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But of course, that’s not entirely true:

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Anakin is confusedly surprised to see him, and Obi-Wan praises his good work:

Now, Obi-Wan continues: assuming the pirates still have Dooku, I suppose we could arrange a prisoner trade, yes? Obviously it is at that exact moment that Dooku goes flying off into the Wild Yellow Yonder:

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…and here we witness the birth of Hondo’s great lifelong love affair with the Jedi (or at least with Obi-Wan, and who can blame him, really?) as he gradually begins to realize that, with Dooku gone, the Jedi are just…gonna leave.

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Don’t feel bad about it, Ohnaka: falling for the Jedi Order’s doofusy charms happens to ALL of us.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Liar

Jar Jar is like WAIT: YOU GUYS were prisoners, too? I didn’t know YOU were in trouble! And Anakin, for the second time in as many episodes, is like WHAT NO WE WERE SURELY NEVER EVER IN TROUBLE:

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SKYWALKER, you were in prison THREE GODDAMN TIMES IN THIS EPISODE. And you got electrocuted. Please. ALSO YOUR FACE HERE IS LIKE THE LEAST CONVINCING THING EVER, hahahaha.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Smartass
BONUS Recurring Theme: Hondo Loves Obi-Wan

Hondo is still aghast: so after all of that, you’re just…leaving? WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE?

Hondo is touched:

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Ah, but let’s not go giving Obi-Wan TOO much Good Guy Credit here, because as our boys board a ship headed back home, he smugly throws this out there:

Ha! What a delight. I love him. (You all knew that.)

HONDO’S FACE as he watches them take off is a sight to see.

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…and that’s a wrap! The good guys head home, their job not only NOT done, but with a large amount of property damage and loss of life having occurred — to say nothing of the fact that Obi-Wan and Anakin, two of the Republic’s Most Important Generals, just got their brains fried by high-voltage torture equipment. Yes, just another successful mission for the Republic, folks! See you next time (and thanks for reading!)