TCW, Season 6, Episode 1: Pre-Order

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The Clone Wars, Season 6, Episode 1: The Unknown

Ah, welcome! You guys are ready to laugh, aren’t you? After all, that’s why you’d be reading a blog that is intended to be humorous, right? Well BOY are you all in luck, because we’re going to visit The Clone Wars today! You guys totally love that wacky show! And why wouldn’t you? It’s so funny, really, with the Hutt Hijinks and all the Pirate Shenanigans and Obi-Wan making bedroom eyes at everybody but especially Anakin all the time. And so here we are again, in an arc that SURELY won’t let us down. How could it? We all know Star Wars would never go out of its way to depress us! That’s not its thing! Its writers surely don’t subsist entirely on cocktails made with our collective tears!

Ahem. OK, OK, fine: this arc, from TCW’s Lost/Last season, is anything but a good time, but, uh…it makes Revenge of the Sith even sadder in hindsight? So, it’s…got that going for it, I guess? I promise we’ll still have a few laughs, friends: regular readers know that I am just as at home wallowing in the TragiSad of Star Wars as I am cackling during its stupider moments. With that, settle in and prepare for Clone Feels, kids: in today’s episode, Anakin — fresh off of the pain of watching Ahsoka walk out of the Order in the season before this — spends a lot of time worrying about other members of his 501st Family, one Jedi gets a firsthand preview of things to come, and we make our way through all of this Angst and Misery with the knowledge that at the end of the day, no matter what, we’re heading full-steam ahead towards this:

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Oh, sure: I suppose I could focus on how Luke is eventually going to help Anakin slam dunk Sidious into oblivion and we’ll all get to go to that raging kegger the Ewoks threw, but then, of course, there’s also the matter of this little shit and his creepy Vader Lust to come to terms with:

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…so ultimately I have a hard time being at all optimistic about anything here. Nothing good will ever happen and Obi-Wan’s Force Ghost is probably gonna be forced to watch all of it helplessly, just like always.

I do apologize; it appears I’ve veered wildly off course here once again. Fortunately for me, Recap Voiceover Dude is here to get things back on track as he kicks things off in his usual fashion by yelling at us all about how Brave and Handsome Anakin Skywalker, accompanied by his clone buds, is kicking ass in an attempt to liberate a giant space station encircling the entirety of Ringo Vinda!

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With them are Jedi sisters Tiplar and Tiplee, who have a seriously awesome hair/tentacle game going. They’ve been locked in this battle for a while without making meaningful progress, but now that’s gonna change! And everything will be fine! And we’ll all live happily ever after! I swear!

Dave Filoni, Paid Attention At Star Wars University

Just to make sure we don’t spend even one fraction of a second not feeling ways about things, in the initial melee, Fives is helped out of a jam by Tup, and they have some Kenobi-Skywalkerian Banter about how many times Tup has saved Fives’ ass before, and aggghhh COME ON SHOW WE’RE ONLY LIKE 15 SECONDS INTO THIS.
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Tiplar, Tiplee, and a handful of the other Brothers advance down a hallway, using a couple of clever tactics to take down some droidekas.

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Anakin and the rest follow behind them, and Anakin has both the gait and facial expression of Vaderkin tearing up the Jedi Temple, because Star Wars was concerned that we might have forgotten where they’re going with all this. How thoughtful of them.
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Anakin Skywalker, Occasionally An Adult With His Shit Together

The gang sit down to regroup briefly, and Anakin hands out orders to everyone: each Jedi is going to take a group of clones and head down separate hallways towards their target — ideally meeting up with each other all at once and converging on the enemy, overwhelming them. Honestly, I’ve spent so much time making fun of Anakin for being an emotional disaster with zero chill that when this show does show him, you know, actually being a competent grown up who maybe even knew how to dress himself without asking Obi-Wan for help this morning, I’m momentarily blown away:

Anakin instructs Fives and Tup (and Tup’s manbun) on their next steps:
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Excedrin Migraine Isn’t Gonna Cut It This Time

As they’re packing up, Tup winces, earning him some concern from Fives. Oh, don’t worry my buddy my pal! I am sure it is nothing. You can just go on ahead and ignore that Obvious Sign of Impending Doom!
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For the briefest of moments, though, we are given a Sneak Preview of Nothing Good when he lays eyes on Tiplar:
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…he shakes it off quickly, though, and the two of them hustle to catch up with the rest of their men.

Anakin’s plan seems to be working, and honestly, he looks absolutely incredible, and so do the Jedi Sisters and this entire battle is just really gorgeously animated and a screengrab or two can’t do it justice and NO I’M STILL NOT OK WITH DISNEY NOT MAKING THIS SHOW ANYMORE.  I want 10 more seasons of this Beautiful Nonsense. I don’t even care if they eventually ran out of actual stories to tell. I would watch episodes of this show even if they were just about Obi-Wan doing his laundry in between assignments. Sigh.

Good Thing This Will Never Happen Again LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU

They’re making great strides in the battle, but Tup keeps falling behind, knocking on his own helmet, like he’s trying to snap himself out of something.

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Eventually he removes his helmet (which seems a little weird, but OK,) and is distracted by staring at Tiplar:
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…he walks calmly over to her, and — just as everyone is starting to clue in that Something is Wrong — he fires, killing her.

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GEE ANAKIN, IT WOULD BE AWFUL IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS EVER HAPPENED AGAIN.
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This obviously throws a bit of a wrench into the Republic’s collective ability to prevail here, and they eventually begin retreating, with Anakin informing Fives that Tup is now Fives’ responsibility. Fives leads them out, with Tup in a headlock:
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Instant Replay
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Admiral Trench takes all of this in from a command center of sorts, and let me tell you: Trench is something else. Half-giant-tarantula, half-robot (WHY ARE SO MANY VILLAINS HERE PART ROBOT?!), and 100% Star Wars Silliness. He’s informed (by one of those droids like the one that made the Rebels gang play Clone Wars with him in that one episode, which ALSO had Momentary Clone Feels in it,) that the Republic’s backing off! Trench is intrigued: he goes to the security footage, only to discover that one of the Jedi was indeed felled by her own clone.
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That’s new, and Likely Significant! He takes to holo-Skype to loop in Count Dooku, who I am certain could never imagine a clone going after a Jedi like that.

Count Dooku, May Need To Look For That Warranty Card

Trench relays this turn of the events to our wayward ex-Jedi Crabby Uncle. He saw a clone! Kill a Jedi! Like for real! Dooku raises an eyebrow:
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Trench assures him that it was indeed on purpose. Dooku then dismisses this somewhat: he’s heard of this sort of thing happening before. The clone must be a Traitor!
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Trench is not so sure: this seemed different than someone who wanted to kill her. It was almost as though he…couldn’t help it!

…why, I can’t imagine how that could be! Really.

Dooku preeeeettty much hangs up the call with a quickness after this, possibly to go read the Terms and Conditions that came in that packet called “So You’ve Decided to Order a Custom Army of Human Men”. I hope Kamino’s got people staffing the help desk, because Palpatine’s gonna be pissed when he hears about this little glitch!

I Must Obey Our Master

Having fully retreated, Anakin shifts from Angry Battle Face to Sorrowful Pouty Feelings Face, and makes his way to Tup for answers. Aww, Anakin. He cares so much about so many things. LOOK HOW SAD HE IS:

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Anakin Skywalker: needs a hug. 

Anakin asks Rex how Tup is doing.
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Rex leans down, demanding to know if Tup’s aware of what he’s done. In response, Tup has an episode of sorts, his eyes rolling around in his head, leaving him unable to say anything other than the same thing over and over and over:


I’ve gotta say, it’s a lot more entertaining when the person whose brain is broken is, say, MAUL and they can’t stop muttering Obi-Wan’s name over and over again. Even if that ALSO frequently ends with someone dying.

Suddenly, Tup spots Tiplee, and then he shifts focus:

She Force-pushes him back into the wall, and Anakin declares that they’ve gotta figure out WTF is going on with Tup…tcw-s6-e1-0074

They’ll Do Their Job
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We’re now back in that RIDICULOUS office of Dooku’s (WHY? HOW IS DOOKU’S OFFICE SOMEHOW MORE INSANE THAN ANYTHING WE EVER SEE SIDIOUS IN, EVEN WHEN HE’S THE EMPEROR?! WHY WOULD ANYBODY EVER CHOOSE THIS LIGHTING SCHEME AND DECOR? I mean, obviously I know why Dooku prefers to sit in little to no light, given his Jedi Past, but still. There is no reason for this room to be THIS huge — does no one have to pay for heating and cooling in this universe? — nor illuminated by what appears to be puke-green-colored light bulbs.)

ANYWAYS, he’s on the phone with Sidious, and he carefully explains to the boss that he thinks there may be a bump in their Road To Universal Dominationone of the clones just executed a Jedi General. Surely this must be in error! Sidious didn’t fall asleep on the remote and accidentally execute the Galaxy’s Most Infamous Order Number ahead of schedule, did he?
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Sidious, for his part, seems a little bit unsettled about this, which is interesting only in that he usually is like SO cool and collected, possibly because he’s gotten so much of this shit lined up now that any number of things could theoretically go off-script, and he’d STILL be likely to emerge victorious at this point. He insists that they’ve gotta figure out if this was an isolated incident or if the clones are Going Rogue. He orders Dooku to take custody of Tup so that they can analyze what’s going on.

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Oh, and wouldn’t THAT be a shame.

Ghosts of Star Wars Future

In a medbay, Tup is strapped to a bed and the Good Guy Gang is trying to get to the bottom of all of this (spoiler alert: they never will, and everyone is going to die. Except Anakin, who will be helping with the murdering.) (Sorry.) (Well, OK, fine: Obi-Wan will still be alive, but only physically since his heart will be dead.) (And Ahsoka will still be alive. Until Anakin probably kills her later.) (Again, I’m sorry. I don’t know why I feel compelled to make this arc worse.)

OK! Tup’s snapped out of his little Murder Coma now and is horrified when he’s informed of what he’s done. He adamantly denies it; fighting to escape his restraints until he’s sedated.

Anakin has the posture and demeanor of a guy who absolutely did not need THIS on top of everything else he’s dealing with, and that is 100% accurate, because God knows Anakin’s ability to deal with anything is pretty much nonexistent. tcw-s6-e1-0086

Kix tells the group that Tup’s scans are all clear, leading him to conclude that Tup must have some kind of PTSD. Rex takes exception to this:
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…and accept any and all incredible insanity thrown our way. 

Factory Refurb

Fives frets that it seems like Tup has no memory of what happened:

Anakin moves the conversation out into the hallway, where he nervously asks if there could possibly be a way that the Separatists could be behind this:
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Well, at least TUP will have an excuse, huh Anakin? (Sorry again.)

Tiplee says there have been rumors that such a thing was being pursued:

Eventually they come to the conclusion that in order to find out what’s REALLY going on here, they’ll need to take Tup back to Kamino.

Tup is prepped for transport, and Fives takes a moment to give his buddy a send-off in the sweetest possible way because this show hates me:

Tup is unable to reply — merely repeating his “good soldiers…” mantra — and Fives assures him as he’s led away:

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I AM FINE. REALLY.

Recurring Theme: Buzz Droid Attack!

Moments after departure, though, the ship carrying Tup is overwhelmed by enemy forces, which deploy waves of Space-walking battle droids and buzz droids at them. A number of the men are killed or sucked out into space, and after a heartbreaking scene or twelve, the droids carry Tup off in one of those same weird coffin things Anakin winds up in later.

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Can I ask: was all this necessary? Couldn’t Palpatine have stuck his nose into the details of what was going on with Tup without having to have Dooku kidnap him for him? I mean I get that he was trying to ascertain whether or not it would be obvious that they’d meddled with the clones’ programming as part of the Overarching Evil Plan, but I just…whatever. I’m either over, or under-thinking this. It just seems like a lot of wasted time and money.

Anakin Skywalker, Living Up To His Name

Anakin, Rex and Fives decide to go check out the wreckage of the ship after being informed about what happened. Rex notes that it makes no strategic sense for the ship to have been attacked, and Anakin notes — this is true, unless they needed something from that ship.
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The three of them end up Skywalking (ha!) over there to get a better look, and rummage their way around amidst a number of floating dead clone bodies. Again: kids’ show, everyone!

They determine that Tup’s been removed from his gurney, and thus likely kidnapped by the Bad Guys. Anakin rightly surmises that:
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Anakin, my dear sweet doofus: you are SO CLOSE TO FIGURING SO MANY THINGS OUT IN THIS ARC AND THEN YOU DON’T AND IT KILLS ME. Just…ugh.

Trench informs Dooku that they’ve got Tup, and Dooku orders him to send him over ASAP. Overnight him if you have to — and make sure you don’t kill him by accident, either!
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Anakin Skywalker, Good Clone Dad

Anakin, Fives and Rex determine that Tup’s on the move — his signal is faint, but in motion. They head to the where Tup is about to be flown away into Dooku’s Evil Clutches, and as they space-walk their way over, they get to briefly walk around upside-down:
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Recurring Theme: Space Family Bonding
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The three of them peer over the edge of the hangar, and get a glimpse of just how hard it would be to snag Tup from this place as Fives entertainingly interrogates Anakin about the state of his scopes:

Anakin’s all ready to just plow in there anyways — a line of thought that definitely made Obi-Wan have a mild stroke wherever he was during this — but fortunately for Obi-Wan, Rex talks him out of it:

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…oh, come now, Anakin: he doesn’t sound THAT much like Obi-Wan. Rex didn’t say your name in an over-dramatically exasperated way while winking at you, for one thing.

Fives pipes up: he has an idea that might not even kill them!, he says, pointing out his grappling gun. Anakin is pleased and impressed, as is Rex:
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AWWWW. God, I hate everything.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Dramatic Hallway Spree-Killer

The boys use their grappling guns to latch onto the shuttle and climb aboard, and narrowly escape being noticed by the battle droids who are piloting:

LOL. Naturally all of this sneaking-aboard-unexpectedly allows Anakin to engage in one of his Very Favorite Moves: busting through a door and wasting everything in his path!
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Above: one of Anakin’s favorite moves.

With the droids all taken care of, they make their way to Tup’s side, but Fives is worried:

Recurring Theme: And Now For Some More Dramatic Irony

Anakin wraps things up for this installment of Why Are You Like This, Star Wars by insisting to Rex that he wants a full report from Kamino:
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Ha ha! Yes. Truly, Anakin. You have no idea. How widespread. The Evil Plot. Is. I’m…I’ll just be over here quietly sobbing.

Fives begs Rex to let him come along. I’d like to mention that I never asked for any of these feelings, Star Wars. Not once.
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So with that, Rex and Fives begin escorting Tup back “home” to Kamino. As their flight departs, Anakin Vaderishly watches through the window, and wishes them luck:
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YOU GUYS. It all gets so much more painful from here. Why did I agree to recap this?! Well, at any rate, join me next time, when ARC Trooper Fives begins his all-too-brief reign as the least-clueless person in this story, Shaak Ti tries to put the pieces together but doesn’t quite get there, Tup becomes the latest victim of Palpatine’s Evil Plot, and the Kaminoans prove they are still a shifty bunch. (Who knew that a planet full of beings who seem utterly unfazed about creating a bunch of sentient killing machines for the express purpose of warfare would not exactly be models of ethical conduct? Who could have seen that coming?) It’ll be a blast! I’ll bring the tissues.