The Clone Wars, Season 1, Episode 22: Hostage Crisis
Well friends, today marks an exciting moment in the history of this stupid website: this is the 100th entry here on Snark Wars! Now, granted, given announcement posts and the like, this doesn’t mean I’ve recapped exactly 100 things yet. But I’m lazy, and it’s my website, and so if I wanna celebrate this milestone, damn it, I’ll celebrate it! So: welcome to my 100th post. Pull up a chair and a shot of whatever that blue stuff was that Obi-Wan drank in Attack of the Clones and let’s celebrate!
I felt like Post #100 really needed to be a Clone Wars episode, given that had this show full of craziness not existed, this website probably wouldn’t either. This episode in particular earned the honor due to popular demand from readers, and I can see why: there’s a lot to love about this one, starting with the fact that A) it’s technically part of the Outrageously Silly Ziro The Hutt Arc I’ve recapped previously, and B) the Wikipedia plot summary description of this episode includes the phrase “Unbeknownst to the [bounty] hunters, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker is loose in the Senate Building”, like Anakin is an escaped zoo animal or this is the setup to a terribly stupid horror movie. It also includes copious Anakin/Padme content, which I guess I could go out of my way to say involves them being the least subtle secret couple in the history of ever, except that I assume that you all know that ANY content with these two will fall into that category. Subtlety is not a Skywalker Family Trait. At all.
All right! Voiceover Recap Guy is here, and he’s got Shocking News for us all: despite all the successful ass-kicking the Jedi have been up to across the Galaxy, the renegade outlaw bounty hunter Chad Something, also known as Cad Bane, is stirring up shit right here on Coruscant! He’s assembled a crack team of bounty hunters and they’re on their way to the Senate to do some kidnapping! Our narrator wonders — what could be the aim of this despicable act? Uh, I dunno, they’re bounty hunters? Kidnapping people for ransom or some other benefit does not seem outside their area of interest. Anyways, on that ominous note…
Recurring Theme: Murder That Ends With Clothes-Stealing
So Chad and his posse roll up to the Senate building all la-dee-da, and of course some Senate guards show up to yell at him about landing in a restricted zone, and inevitably there’s a bunch of pew-pew-pew as Aurra Sing and the gang take out every last one of the guards. I have to say, these guys really did not put up much of a fight.
Cad Bane finishes one guy off by snapping his neck (kids’ show!) and then instructs a couple of his guys to steal their uniforms while he and the rest of the crew head inside. Fully half of the murders in Star Wars end with the victim losing their clothes posthumously.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Deadbeat Employee
We then cut to Senator Padme’s office, where she’s doing actual work on a Space Laptop and Anakin — LOL, OK, I started laughing at Anakin BEFORE HE WAS EVEN ON SCREEN in this episode, because before we even SEE him, we hear him talking about how he’s supposed to be on a meditational retreat — so naturally here he is, sitting in his wife’s office being a distraction and helping exactly nobody instead of DOING WHAT HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.
Anakin…for fuck’s sake. (Side note: did the Jedi just try to send Anakin on a retreat? Like, only him? Was this supposed to help with his many problems, or was this just because Obi-Wan was like “you will send Anakin on a retreat and get him out of my hair for a couple weeks, or I will leave the Order and change my identity and you’ll never see me again”?)
Anyways, he’s like “well since I’m skipping out on Jedi Meditation Week or whatever the fuck, maybe we should go to wherever Space Couples go on vacation (as long as it does not involve a beach because sand)!” Why, it’ll be just like they’re actually married and not secretly married!
Hilariously, Padme doesn’t even look up from her work and distractedly is all “I can’t go anywhere”, and Anakin gets all whiny and pouty and is like but wwwwhhhhhyyy not?? He then proclaims that it’s “only two weeks” and that they’d be back before anyone even notices they’re gone. Anakin, I am pretty sure members of the government can’t just DISAPPEAR OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH FOR WEEKS WITHOUT NOTICE.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker vs Democracy
Padme explains that, given that she actually gets work done sometimes unlike some people around here, she has a bill she needs to bring before the Senate. It’s really important!
Anakin, in the smug voice of a man who knows he is easy on the eyes and who is probably well-versed in using this exact flavor of manipulation on Obi-Wan, is all reeeeeeaaaallly: is it more important than meeeeee? God, I love when Star Wars makes him almost as ridiculous in actual canon as I JOKE about him being. Padme, sighing, is like “well, no? But it’s still really really important?” Honestly, Amidala, I’d have been tempted to be like “YEAH, ACTUALLY, IT IS THAT IMPORTANT, SKYWALKER. IT’S A BILL THAT REQUIRES THE JEDI TO PROVE THEY WENT ON THEIR MEDITATION RETREATS INSTEAD OF BOTHERING THEIR WIVES AT WORK.”
Padme inexplicably continues to pay attention to this nonsense as Anakin blathers on about how the work she’s doing — that they both do — for the Republic are just “ideals”, but SURELY they can’t be MORE important to her than THEIR LOVE?? Padme attempts to clarify and Anakin cuts her off mid-sentence to be like NEWP, you gotta pick: boring Senate bill? Or me and my obviously winning personality? Have you seen my shirtless nightmares, Padme? Hmm? HAVE YOU?
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Laying It On Thick
Padme starts a sentence that I am POSITIVE was going to be “Anakin, don’t be so dramatic,” but she gets cut off YET AGAIN so that Anakin can demonstrate Just How Very Serious He Is About Their Love and Also Get a Chance To Mention Obi-Wan Again.
He busts out his lightsaber and is like “CHECK THIS: Obi-Wan told me that this weapon was my life. I then went on to break or lose it several times, and I’ll do it at least one more notable time in my life, but we won’t talk about that right now. And now I’m just gonna go ahead…and give it to you.” (Author’s Note: there is pretty much no way for me to describe Anakin giving his lightsaber to someone without it sounding at least vaguely sexual. My apologies.)
Padme Amidala, Taking An Afternoon Meeting
Padme insists that she can’t accept it, but Anakin hands the lightsaber to her anyways and she’s like “wow, it’s heavier than I thought” and I…I’ve got nothin’, OK people? He declares that it’s hers, which…this is a nice gesture and all, I guess, but eventually you ARE gonna need that back, Skywalker. Although the idea of Padme packing heat in the Senate and slicing through people who oppose her bills when she gets pissed off is pretty entertaining.
Padme gets irritated:
Anakin saucily explains that that’s not what he wants:
Well! All right then! Office Sexcapades! Oh, Star Wars. I never know what the hell to expect any given time we meet. Beheadings? Dark magic? Zombies? Virgin birth origin stories? Cartoon hijinks? Extreme sexual tension from all corners of the sexuality spectrum? Musical numbers? Ewoks? I mean, any and all can be in the mix at any given time, and that is why Star Wars is the best thing ever.
Anyhow, with that, Padme puts down one lightsaber to presumably pick up another (har!), and the scene ends.
Crouching Jedi, Hidden Doofus
Cad Bane’s crew makes their way through the building, taking out people in their way and proceeding with the next step of their plan, which is apparently to cut the power. They leave a member of their group behind in the electrical closet (hey! At least we know the Senate has electricity, although as we will see they are not really making maximum use of it!) while the rest of them head off to places as yet unknown.
Meanwhile, the Skywalker-Amidalas continue their Hot Office Makeout when all of a sudden they hear voices outside the office. Uh oh! It’s Threepio and Bail Organa, here to cock-block Anakin!
In an effort to hide their shenanigans and Anakin’s playing hooky from his WORK SPONSORED VACATION, Anakin HIDES UNDER HER DESK, and Padme grabs his lightsaber off her desktop and hides it behind her back.
Guys, just so we’re all on the same page here: this episode introduces into canon That Time The All-Powerful Jedi Messiah Hid Under His Wife’s Desk So No One Would Know He Was Seducing Her When He Was Supposed To Be At Work. I mean…really nothing can compete with the actual official Star Wars story. It’s amazing.
All right, so Bail walks in and Padme, incredibly nervously, is like OH HEY BAIL I WAS JUST HANGING OUT IN MY OFFICE FOR A SEX — I MEAN, A SEC! He tells her that one of their colleagues has called a meeting in the lobby before they vote on what is LEGIT CALLED THE “ENHANCED PRIVACY INVASION BILL”. LOL. The Actual US Senate at usually tries to give their bills more euphemistic names than that, guys. He leads her out of the office and Padme leaves Anakin behind. I love that she has PLENTY of time to quickly toss his lightsaber back to him discreetly, but nope, this episode wouldn’t be as ridiculous otherwise, so she TAKES IT WITH HER.
Anakin peers over the desk and watches her go.
Chad Something, Man With a Plan
Cad Bane and his cohorts sneak down a hallway and take out another slew of Senate guards by waiting for their shift change and then hurling a bomb into their quarters. Well, that’s one way to take care of things! You know, I think I get why Cad Bane was such a popular character: he really is easily one of the most competent villains, or really just characters overall, in this franchise. A surprising number of his plans pan out.
In the lobby, which looks like it gets about as much power as the Jedi Council Room (or the Senate just likes to keep things Romantically Lit for all the sexual trysts going on in here, apparently,) the Senators have assembled. With them all handily in one spot, this is Bane’s cue to walk in and announce that — surprise! — they’re all hostages now.
One of the Senators doesn’t take too kindly to being kidnapped:
OK then! Bane’s not fucking around, guys! Padme turns to Bail to start strategizing, and Bail is like what’s the point?:
Ha! Yes, it’s not like Padme has a weapon on her or anything THAT’D BE NUTS.
I’m Not Sure Who to Root For Here
Over in Sheev’s office, we find the Chancellor just…staring out his giant picture window, dreaming his evil dreams and thinking his evil thoughts. He’s interrupted from his fantasizing by Orn Free Taa, who rushes in with an Emergency Message From Chad Something:
He lays down his terms: he wants Ziro the Hutt let out of prison, and he’ll let the Senators go. Palpatine is indignant: this will not stand! He’ll pay for this!
It’s at that moment that the power finally gets cut, leaving Anakin to stumble around all “huh?”:
You wanna know what’s going on, Skywalker? (Like, in general, or just in this episode? Because I can help you with one, but I REALLY cannot help you with the other. No one can. It’s why the Original Trilogy happens.) For now, THIS is what’s going on:
Bane hangs up on Palpatine, and all the various doors (including the one to Palps’ office) get sealed shut. DUN DUN DUUUUUN!
Sheev Palpatine, Still Needs These Guys On The Payroll For Now
Sheev tries to comm over to the Jedi Temple to ask them to save his ass again, but alas: the communications have all been disabled! Golly, if only there was a Jedi hanging around skipping work who knows how to hotwire stuff!
Meanwhile, in the lobby, Cad Bane is starting to search each of the Senators to apprehend their communication devices. Uh, but I thought we JUST determined that comm devices weren’t working, so who the hell cares if they have them or not? OK.
Padme Amidala, Inadvertent Arms Smuggler
Guess who’s a little nervous about being searched? Yes, Padme, the woman who stupidly carried her husband’s lightsaber out of her office earlier. She panics to Bail: she can’t be searched!
Before she can elaborate, Chad Something comes sauntering over:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Spectacle-Causer
BONUS Recurring Theme: I Guess The Star Wars Senators Aren’t a Generally Attractive Bunch
Anakin has by now picked up on what’s going on, and he crouches in the shadows as he listens to Bane being all villain-y at Padme:
Now, I feel like I should mention that Bane then is all OH WELL: aren’t you a little young…
This is at least the second time someone has complimented Padme on being pretty FOR A SENATOR. Here all this time I’d been blaming that initial statement on Anakin’s sweaty, hormone-drenched freakout and total lack of flirt game back in Attack of the Clones, but now that Bane’s smoothly throwing this out there, perhaps I’ve misjudged Anakin (note: just kidding; I have not.) Maybe the Star Wars Senate is, on the whole, just generally unattractive and so this is a notable thing.
ANYWAYS. Padme sees Anakin out of the corner of her eye, and Bane follows her line of sight:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Here to Save Poor Palpatine
So then there’s a bunch of dimly-lit hallway action where two of Bane’s guys go after Anakin, and at one point Anakin ducks into a room and hotwires his own comm back to life so that he can talk to Sheev. I have no idea how Anakin activating his comm suddenly makes Palpatine’s also work clear on the other side of the building, but whatever. Anakin’s mom was impregnated by the Force, so pretty much everything is possible in this universe.
Anyways, Palpatine does his usual OH THANK GOD MY DEAR BOY YOU’RE OUR ONLY HOPE AND NOT OBI-WAN WHO IS PROBABLY JUST JEALOUS OF YOU AND ALSO MAYBE SLEEPING WITH YOUR WIFE:
The bounty hunters that were tracking down Anakin appear in the room, and Anakin crouches down in the shadows, employing a move that shows that, hey, he must have paid attention to Obi-Wan at least once in his life:
Aww, he’d be so proud. Except for the part where you were here in the first place because you were skipping work to make out with Padme, Anakin.
Eventually the bounty hunters split up, and Anakin kicks the droid bounty hunter’s ass, leaving his body to be discovered with an important clue left behind:
Padme Amidala, Really Half-Assing the Cover-Up Here
The remaining bounty hunter returns to the lobby to give Cad Bane the late-breaking news:
Yes, this guy had taken note of the fact that the droid was not harmed by a lightsaber, which could mean only one thing: Anakin’s just stalking around in the Senate building unarmed for Some Reason! Bane is pleased:
It’s at this point that Padme decides she’d better come clean, and she spills to Bail about her secret weapon. Because Bail Organa is not an idiot, this leads him to the obvious question:
Padme’s brilliant response is to basically be like YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW, ORGANA, and just totally brushes it off:
Well, OK, Amidala, I mean, that’s ONE of the questions in play here. God, the only person who had to be LESS surprised to find out that Anakin knocked up Padme than Bail was MAYBE Obi-Wan. Maybe.
Chad Something, Making Demands
Bane tells them all to put a sock in it so that he can call Palpatine again: he demands a pardon and release for Ziro the Hutt:
Palpatine acquiesces, but insists that Bane will be held accountable for his actions:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Human Lightning Rod
OK, regular readers of this site and/or anyone who’s ever watched a handful of TCW episodes: wanna guess how the bounty hunters subdue Anakin and take him into custody once they converge on him in the hallway? Hmm? Anyone?
WHO SAW IT COMING? Not Anakin, evidently, although that is probably because HIS BRAIN IS ALREADY MUSH FROM BEING ELECTROCUTED SO MANY OTHER TIMES.
They haul his limp body into the lobby (where a dismayed Padme looks on,) and Bane gloats: Anakin’s not so impressive…
Ziro the Hutt, Winner of the Highly-Competitive Most Ridiculous Star Wars Character Ever Award
As all this is happening, Ziro is being freed from prison, and I want you all to know that the “Oh my God” in the caption below is being muttered by a clone trooper in reaction to Ziro’s absolutely goofy theatrics.
He gets his pardon and his release, and demands to be taken elsewhere (which as it turns out will involve a space fanboats and a HUTT MUMMY and really, if you haven’t ever read the recap from which Cad Bane’s nickname on this site was borne, you really should go read that next.)
Unfortunately for Ziro, though, his getaway is going to involve a quick stop back at the Senate building, and he? Is not pleased:
Try Not To Get Blown Up While I’m Gone!
Bane and his cronies load up the room with the Senators and Anakin with a bomb, telling them that if they step into any of the motion sensor beams around them, they’ll be blown to smithereens. What a nice way to say your goodbyes, Bane.
Immediately after this happens, some clone troopers burst through Palpatine’s huge picture window to make sure he’s safe. Look, not that I really care about Sheev’s well-being, but he was probably a lot safer 5 seconds ago before you all BROKE A GIANT PANE OF GLASS INTO HIS BACK, GUYS:
Cad Bane, Good at His Job
The bounty hunters exit the Senate building, but before they can flee in their getaway vehicle, they’re stopped by more troopers and a holo-Skype from Palpatine:
Ah ha! Sheev isn’t usually prepared to deal with this level of competence in an adversary (or an ally, for that matter, ANAKIN.) Bane shows off how he’s rigged the Senate lobby and that, with one push of a button, he could blow them all up. The Republic’s been beaten this time!
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Saving The Day Through Property Destruction
Anakin comes to in the lobby, and amusingly clearly thinks he’s waking up at Padme’s place at first since he’s all like heeeeeeey girl, reaching out for her face as he asks:
Padme artfully deflects his touch and is like HI THERE GENERAL JEDI I AM JUST FRIENDS WITH AHEM, and Anakin clues in and stands up, looking at the predicament they’re all in. He frets: it’s too bad he doesn’t have his lightsaber.
Padme is like OH WHAT A COINCIDENCE HERE IT IS:
Yeah, dropped it. INTO MY HANDS WHILE PLEDGING YOUR LIFE TO ME.
She cuts Anakin’s hands loose from the binders he’s been in, and Anakin gets to work slicing through a hole in the floor to free them all from the rigged room:
Cad Bane, Doesn’t Mind Burning A Few Bridges
The bounty hunter gang, with Ziro in tow, is now heading out of town. The writers decide to give us one more round of Ziro’s ridiculous complaining before we part ways today, as Bane notes that prison doesn’t seem to have been too hard on Ziro:
Bane suggests that, to pay the Republic back for imprisoning Ziro, maybe they ought to head out of town with a bang:
He presses the bomb detonator on his wrist. Oh no! I sure hope Brave Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker has managed to carve through the floor in time!
Recurring Theme: See You Totally Not In Bed Later, Master Jedi
…and so he has! Phew! And here I was worried something terrible was going to happen to Anakin and Padme and Bail oh HA HA HA I MADE MYSELF SAD.
Padme thanks the brave dude who just saved her that she is just friends with:
I don’t doubt it, Skywalker. I don’t doubt it. This was pretty heroic and all, but I am dying at how you’re going to explain to everyone why you were here to save the day when you were supposed to be like, on Jedha or something meditating with Chirrut Imwe right now, but whatever.
…and so, having set off a farewell explosion, the Bad Guys head off to Parts Unknown, as Bane says to Ziro, ominously:
…I hope you’ve got your checkbook ready, Ziro! Otherwise it seems like more wackiness awaits us all (spoiler: you have NO IDEA. Oh my God.)
And that’s all for this Very Special Episode of Snark Wars! Thanks as always for reading, whether you’ve been here since Recap #1, or if this insanity was your first introduction to how things operate over here. I’ll see you all back here for more fun in the GFFA again soon!