The Clone Wars, Unaired Story Reel, Part 1: A Death on Utapau
Have I ever told you all that I am REALLY BUMMED that The Clone Wars got cancelled before they could finally get to the ULTIMATE CLIMACTIC MOMENT TWO SECONDS BEFORE EPISODE 3 STARTS??? Because I am. I was, I am, I will always be. This show was a treasury of all the things that make Star Wars good: angst, stupidity, comedy of both the intentional and unintentional variety, Obi-Wan and Anakin being married, Anakin and Padme doing a terrible job hiding their marriage, Ahsoka being better than most people…I could go on.
But I won’t, because we’ve got Stuff to do today: we’ll be visiting a part of the TCW storyline that we just didn’t quite get to see in full. Yes, as it turns out this show got the ax while it was, essentially, in the middle of a fucking sentence: the Nerds Behind This Craziness were well into another round of episodes when they were given the hook and pulled right off the stage. Fortunately for us, some of the episodes made it to the light of day thanks to Netflix’s “Lost Missions” (aka Season 6), and others that weren’t quite that completed have made it out there in the form of story reels like what we’ll be checking out today. (And in the cases where all they had were some drawings Filoni made on cocktail napkins, well, we got some insight into even those over the course of a couple Celebration panels, notably the one last summer about the series finale, which I will NEVER BE OVER EVER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.)
All right, enough of my complaining: Voiceover Recap Guy appears to usher us into this only-partially-animated adventure: Obi-Wan and Anakin are Much Less Detailed than usual, and are going to Utapau! There’s lots of different species there! Team Handsome is coming collect an “important casualty of war” from there, evidently! Take us in, Skywalker!
Recurring Theme: The Universe Is Collectively Unsure About The Jedi, Which Is Pretty Damn Rich Considering That It Fares Very Poorly Without Them
The boys arrive in what looks pretty much exactly like where Obi-Wan lands later in Revenge of the Sith, and they meet with a person named Inspector June to discuss the fact that this dead Jedi Master they’re here to pick up Died Due to Currently Unknown Reasons. Intrigue!
June drops the following comment as they head out to go visit the morgue, too, which cracked me up. Well, I mean, trouble DOES seem to follow them, but they’re trying their best OK???
They’re informed that Master Tu-Anh was discovered just like this. What — right here, laying on a slab in the morgue? Well that was handy AND thoughtful of her! (Har! Thank you; I’ll be here all week.) No, no: they mean that she was found without any obvious injuries, but inert nevertheless.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Not Good at Storytelling
Anakin places a hand on her forehead and proclaims that he’s ~sensing~ some unusual neurological activity. Of course in true Anakin fashion he neglects to elaborate on this, leaving someone else in the conversation to be like “…and?”
Anakin expands: her mind was left…unsettled. Obi-Wan examines her a bit more closely, and June chimes in to confirm: Tu-Anh really never told the Jedi Council where she was? What the hell kind of an organization are you guys running over there?
Recurring Theme: Qui-Gon Jinn, Not Like a Regular Jedi Dad
Obi-Wan explains that Tu-Anh was a “bit of a maverick”…
LOL. OK, wait just a damn minute — I knew that Qui-Gon was a little bit of a loose cannon and that he inspired some truly AMAZING eyerolls and Very Tired Looks from his Jedi colleagues if The Phantom Menace is any indication, but I didn’t realize that this meant that the guy just TOOK OFF TO PARTS UNKNOWN without so much as a note. Did Obi-Wan go with him on these random-ass errands? What the hell were they doing? I mean, from what I recall of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s undertakings in Ye Olde EU, they were usually being sent BY the Jedi. It’s not like their adventures consisted of Qui-Gon being like “well I know the Jedi TOLD us to go save this planet of starving orphans, buuuuuut…Six Flags!!!” but maybe I’ve been mistaken all these years.
Anyways, whatever: Obes clarifies that she frequently would go off on rogue investigations, her movements unknown even to the Council.
June is like “well, whatever it was that drew her here in the first place, I’d sure as hell like to know what it is.” Obi-Wan, closing Tu-Anh’s eyes (aww), agrees with her.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, P.I.
Out on a ledge with no railings because WHAT THE FUCK ELSE IS NEW AROUND HERE, Team Handsome goes to the site where Tu-Anh’s body was found. Anakin speculates:
Hey, that’s not a bad suggestion, Skywalker! Except…
Anakin asks about the scrapes they saw on her elbows and knees, and Obi-Wan agrees that that WAS weird. He busts out a holo of her body in position:
He notes that just because this is where she was found, doesn’t mean that this is where she was attacked. Anakin, picking up what Obi-Wan is putting down, deduces that maybe she got the scrapes from crawling?
So, are we in some sort of Sherlock Holmes/Star Wars Crossover universe now? And if so, how the HELL is Anakin Watson?
Team Handsome, Sometimes Pretty OK At Their Jobs
Anakin further extrapolates that, given the direction she was facing, she must have been crawling away from whatever was in a vacant building across the way. And that’s when he notices…
Obi-Wan, still on a roll here, is like “…reeeeeallly? Almost as if it was made by a…laser?” Anakin is suitably impressed and asks him how he’s made this brilliant deduction, and Obi-Wan refers back to that “neurological disturbance” or whatever that Anakin picked up on before. Given that, he theorizes: what if Tu-Anh was hit in the optic nerve by a precision laser dart?! DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!
Anakin convienently is then like “She would have had a massive seizure! Forcing her to crawl! Over there! Before dying!” and like while I’m very proud of our boys for doing such good deductive reasoninng in this episode, HOW THE FUCK DO THESE GUYS KNOW ALL THIS SHIT? Optic nerve? That being struck just so would trigger a massive seizure? Did these two go to medical school in an unaired arc? They are Space Knight Wizard Generals whose main skills are supposed to involve hacking at shit with swords, in-air somersaults, and charming the pants off of the galaxy at large. I mean, I know they see a lot of people get injured all the time but still. Color me impressed.
Obes concludes this scene by declaring that…
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Predictable As Hell
The Kenobi-Skywalkers make their way to the empty building where they think the laser dart came from. Anakin hones in on the precision of the weapon used to make such a tiny hole in the place…
As they’re talking about all this, a Toydarian starts hovering basically on top of them, leading to this hilarity:
Yeah dude! Don’t interrupt date night mmkay? They so rarely get a moment alone, you know.
The Toydarian flies off, and Obi-Wan speculates that their dead Jedi may have stumbled across a gathering of some shady characters. He then pauses to note that there appears to be some kinda Space Goo on the floor, which Anakin then immediately steps in:
Obi-Wan THEN tells Anakin not to touch it, while concurrently Anakin is, as you may have guessed, TOUCHING IT:
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Pretty Good At Tuning It Out
Obi-Wan suggests they get a sample, while Anakin stands there acting grossed out and getting the goo all over himself, and wonderfully instead of helping Anakin in any way whatsoever or even really acknowledging anything, Obi-Wan returns his focus to the nosy Toydarian:
The Toydarian insists he doesn’t know ANYTHING about any meeting, which of course leads Obi-Wan to ask: what meeting?
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Rageaholic
Anakin doesn’t even let the guy react to this, really, before storming over there Full Anakin Mode and grabbing the guy by the neck, first lobbing this interesting insult at him:
…and then just flat out threatening to kill the guy. And once again, for neither the first nor last time, someone that loves Anakin is like “tsk tsk now now Anakin,” like he’s being too loud at the movies or he’s chewing with his mouth open and not that like, Anakin might be about to stab someone. Obi-Wan, I know you know how I feel about you my buddy, but COME ON.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Understandably Not a Fan of Slavery
Anakin, somewhat backing off, hisses: he KNOWS Toydarians. Nothing gets past them. (Left unsaid, of course, the fact that he was enslaved by one, which in fairness would color my opinion of things here to the extreme, too). Poor Anakin.
So then the guy is like FIIIIINE OK a few days ago a droid gave me money to leave the building open and to keep my mouth shut!
The guy gets descriptive:
Um…so…this droid was possibly a time-traveling Darth Vader? Obi-Wan more reasonably guesses it could be a MagnaGuard — but then again, Obes, this IS Star Wars: it could just as easily be a time-traveling Vader. You’ve gotta give me that. This series has had zombies and a robot Maul that had spider legs, for fuck’s sake.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Extremely Huge Nerd
Anakin, in a tone of voice ripped directly from every meeting of nerds happening anywhere on Planet Earth right now, scoffs sarcastically: uh, well, ACTUALLY Obi-Wan…
I know his face isn’t fully animated, but just LOOK how disgusted Anakin is here.
However, it’s noted, not many droids can kill a Jedi. I would like to mention that the Jedi have been fighting an actual droid army for years now, so…not a single one has ever landed a kill shot on one Jedi? Or are those droids one of the few kinds that can kill a Jedi, and there just happen to be like 89 quintillion of them running rampant across the galaxy at the moment? These are the important questions I think about.
The Kenobi-Skywalkers, Would Kick Ass At Trivia Night Apparently
Back at wherever they are, June approaches the Team with Late Breaking News: they know what that goo that Anakin touched was:
Anakin is like NO SHIT, and she’s like LEMME FINISH, ANGRY SASSYPANTS: it’s slime from the skin of the Amani, an alien species.
Obes is like: aren’t the Amani pretty scarce around here? June is like CORRECT, LESS-ANGRY SASSYPANTS: there are a few here and there, but they mostly live underground. And they can be SUPER dangerous.
Anakin also notes that they are a primitive species — one unlikely to have precision laser darts on hand. WHY DO OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN KNOW SO MANY OBSCURE-ASS FACTOIDS ABOUT EVERY DAMN THING IN THE GALAXY?! I get it, I get it: they travel the universe and they’re superheroes and whatever but OH MY GOD, they never even have to use Actual Wookieepedia? Ever?! God, if these two ever form a pub trivia team they would DOMINATE. I hope their Force Ghosts are doing this.
They Can Come Hang With Me
Obi-Wan is like “well, if that’s the case then our MagnaGuard theory is looking better”. Excuse me, Master Kenobi, but…OUR MagnaGuard theory? Last I checked Anakin was not sold on this theory of YOURS, but whatever you say, Kenobes. Sure. It’s “our” Magna-Guard Theory, Ahsoka is “our” Padawan (HE ACTUALLY SAYS THAT ONCE YOU GUYS), and “we’ll” be together forever until “our” fuck-up that ruins the universe. (The worst part is that you know Obi-Wan does think of Anakin’s shitty choices as his fuck-up too, so. There you go: I was trying to make a joke about Star Wars and then it got sad in here. Welcome to this blog.)
…moving along. Back to the Amani and whatever: so Obes is now worried that they and Grievous could be teaming up. June agrees that this prospect is troubling, but says that before they can dig into this further…
Anakin and Obi-Wan are like “??? What does he want with us?”
LOL. Wouldn’t be the first time someone in Star Wars has expressed this sentiment about these two. Mace Windu, for example, has DEFINITELY felt this on a spiritual level, on at least one occasion. Or Ahsoka. Or Padme. Or Yoda, Quinlan Vos, Ventress, Qui-Gon’s Disembodied Force Ghost, Bail…
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Liar
The boys arrive in the governor’s office and he’s like “this whole Jedi-dying thing is turning people off, you hear me?” and they just sort of stare at each other in response:
The governor goes on: he gets that they wanna know what happened to the deceased Jedi, but having them poking around, “strong-arming citizens” is a problem for him. And OH GUESS WHO HAS AN OPINION ABOUT THIS:
GET OUTTA HERE SKYWALKER. Riiight, and you and Padme are just platonic buds, you’ve never seen Obi-Wan naked, and that village full of Sandpeople murdered itself. Also what the hell are you doing? Are you going to tackle the governor?
Entertainingly, Obi-Wan shushes him and Anakin POUTS AND HARRUMPHS BACK INTO HIS SEAT. Obi-Wan is my favorite, but Anakin? Is occasionally also my favorite. He has given me more material to work with than any writer of a Star Wars humor blog could ask for. Bless this sand-hating font of anger and drama.
Recurring Theme: Hilarity Thy Name Is Star Wars
OH MY GOD: all right, so then after acting like a child, Anakin mutters this:
…and I am not super clear, given the animation, on what is happening here. I assume he’s mumbling this about the governor? Because if he’s muttering this about Obi-Wan, it comes off a lot more sexual. Time and place, Skywalker! Time and place!
Obi-Wan, moving on, is like look dude: the Separatists might be involved OK??? That is a big fucking deal!
The governor is unconvinced:
Anakin is like But Grievous! We think he might be planning something! Obi-Wan adds that WHY or HOW Grievous may be involved is what they’re trying to find out.
The governor is 100% done now and is like NEWP, not interested in buying what you are selling here Kenobes, get out, and take that dead Jedi and also that pile of sweaty, angry hair sitting next to you with you. Meeting adjourned! GOOD DAY SIR.
After leaving the governor’s office, the boys go flying around on Space Pterodactyls now, and Anakin is doing his whole THIS AN OUTRAGE IT’S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE IT’S INSULTING shtick (again) while Obi-Wan chides him (again):
Anakin speculates that the governor knows more than he’s letting on, and the animation briefly looks terrifyingly as though Anakin’s had part of his head sawn off:
Obi-Wan agrees: he knows something or someone. Oooooooh!
Recurring Theme: Half This Fucking Galaxy Is a Bounty Hunter
They arrive at their destination — a settlement where the Amani hang out. As they arrive, Obi-Wan gives this warning:
OK, Star Wars:
- Should I assume that by saying this, Obi-Wan WANTS Anakin to anger them and is using reverse psychology? Or that Obi-Wan is really this dense that he thinks telling Anakin not to upset someone will work?
- HEADHUNTERS ARE YOU KIDDING ME. AGAIN. WHY ARE SO MANY OF PEOPLE IN THIS UNIVERSE IN THIS LINE OF WORK. How can there possibly be this kind of market for it? Jesus.
Also then he says this:
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Smarty Pants
So they lay out to the Amani why they’re there, which is a little hard to follow given that we don’t get Star Wars Subtitles here, but this just made me even more aware of something: this is a primitive culture in the outer rim? And Obi-Wan UNDERSTANDS THE LANGUAGE FLUENTLY? Without a droid? Is there a GFFA version of the Babel fish he’s stuck in his ears? COME ON HE CANNOT BE THIS GOOD AT EVERYTHING CAN HE???
Anyways the gist of the discussion is that they’re upset to see them, but will help. Anakin is apparently not as good at languages as Obi-Wan is, and asks for a recap:
…and he says that they saw this guy — and these are Obi-Wan’s exact words — “palling around” with two droids. And where those guys ran off to, is where they’re headed next. But whatever will this mysterious hideout be like? Who can say? Let us take to the sky!
Recurring Theme: Let’s Go Into a Weirdass Cave
If you guessed “I bet they’re going to yet another fucking cave because of course they are”, solid work.
They see some MagnaGuards once they reach the inside of the cave, so what do you know: “our” theory about that was right! And Grievous is involved!
Obi-Wan is like “we need to gather info from these droids, so…”
Please note that a full 86.4% of this episode has been Obi-Wan telling Anakin to stop yelling at or trying to kill things. Ahh. This is the Star Wars content I’m used to. It’s so comforting.
Recurring Theme: St. Kenobi Of Assisi
Just then, a fearsome Swamp Monster rises up behind them, and Anakin, fighting it off tells Obi-Wan to hail their rides for them — those giant birds they were cavorting around on. Awww, Anakin knows animals love Obi-Wan because Obi-Wan is the best person who has ever existed.
…Anakin injures or kills the beast, and the boys take off in hot pursuit of the MagnaGuards who are now attempting to flee the scene:
Recurring Theme: Fighting Above The Abyss
After a chase, they land on Yet More Poorly-Guarded Platforms to fight the droids directly, and as Obi-Wan dismounts his dactillion he says “thanks, friend” to it, and just GOD WHY IS HE ALWAYS THE BEST AND THE CUTEST.
Shortly after this, in accordance with Star Wars Law, Obi-Wan ends up dangling over a ledge:
…and Anakin does some badassing:
Obes, pulling himself up, is like AHHNAKIN WE NEED THE DROIDS STILL FUNCTIONING TO GET INFO OFF OF THEM, and Anakin’s like pffft we only need ONE DROID TO BE INTACT AND I PROPOSE it should be YOURS because I AM BAD AT NOT KILLING THINGS, and Obi-Wan is like OK FINE but I don’t know where my droid IS, and then…
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, The “Gives No Fucks” Years
So Obi-Wan fights his droid, ends up losing his lightsaber (what a shame! That weapon is your life, you know, Kenobes!) and is having to try to fight it while weaponless, and meanwhile Anakin gets tired of trying not to break his droid and literally just Force-pushes it into a propeller and destroys it on purpose AND THEN HE SAYS THIS:
ANAKIN SKYWALKER, YOU LITTLE SHIT.
Obes eventually gets his lightsaber back, Anakin rejoins him, and the boys pin the other droid down.
Obi-Wan, AGAIN, is like ANAKIN DON’T BREAK ANYTHING YET, and Anakin is like SO GET A MOVE ON OLD MAN:
Naturally, the droid isn’t programmed to spill the beans, so it goes into a self-destruct mode, but Anakin, Chief Robotics Nerd of the Jedi Temple, manages to snag some data out of it right before it dies.
The Plot Thickens
Obi-Wan is all like DIDYA GET IT ANAKIN HMMM??? and oh what luck, it worked! And lo and behold: they discover that the Amani had been cutting some kind of a shady deal with a Sugi arms dealer:
Back at…the Utapau police station? I don’t even know, it’s not important, Obi-Wan tells June that it looks like Grievous is in the mix for sure, and using the Amani as bodyguards as part of some kind of Big Time Arms Deal:
June explains that Utapau is a melting pot, and as such they have all kinds of characters: bounty hunters (OF COURSE), criminals of various sorts, and, yes, the occasional arms dealer too.
Gee I Wonder If This Will End Up Being Relevant Ever Again
Obi-Wan ruminates: if Grievous is involved…why, it could mean that whatever weapon they’re dealing with is…y’know. Substantial. Massive. Possibly something that is very powahful. Well whatever it is I’m sure this is the last we’ve heard about it.
He flips open a holo of the Amani they found in the MagnaGuard’s data:
He asks June if she knows which tribe the Amani in question is from, and she tells him he’s from the plains. Which means one thing:
Recurring Theme: Jedi Roasting On An Open Fire
But not so fast! Before they take off for the plains, the boys first need to attend the Jedi Funeral Roast of Master Tu-Anh:
As they watch, Obi-Wan tells Anakin that he’s had a quick conference call with the Old Folks’ Home and told them about this Mysterious Arms Deal. Anakin, of course, is immediately like UGH LET ME GUESS THAT JERKASS YODA TOLD US TO COME HOME GAAAAAAHHHD WHY IS EVERYONE SO HARD ON US BUT ESPECIALLY MEEEE, but to his surprise, Obi-Wan informs him that actually, crabbypants love of my life:
…Yoda told him not to “let her death be in vain”. Aww, Yoda.
Anakin makes a face that in the final animation probably would have just looked pleased or pleasantly surprised, but in the scaled-down version we got he mostly just gives Obi-Wan a weirdly predatory smirk:
With that, the music gets Super Drama-fied, and the governor, who’s attending this funeral as well for some reason, makes a Meaningful Face of Concern as we zoom out and then iris-wipe our way out of here. And you know what that means: that’s it for today’s recap! Will Anakin keep on being angry and will Obi-Wan just keep on loving him regardless? EMPHATIC YES! Will the boys find out what this Weapon of Mystery is? WHO CAN SAY! It definitely will not play a part in anything important or tragic in either of their lives from here on out, that’s for sure. You know Star Wars isn’t into that sort of thing. Thanks for reading, gang! Catch you next time.