The Clone Wars, Season 3, Episode 2: ARC Troopers
Phew! Yes, it’s me! I am here, I exist, and I am recapping Star Wars for you all once again. I know it’s been ages (and I know I say this entirely too often lately), but it perhaps goes without saying that a lot of things have been going on in the last few months and if I’m honest, my lack of content here has had far less to do with not being into Star Wars and much more that the emotional stress of the last, uh, while has left me really struggling to focus and (attempt to) be funny and all that stuff. But! We’re still here! And hopefully better days await! And so now we’re gonna have some fun and take our minds off of things for a spell and talk about one of my very favorite things in all of the franchise: The Clone Wars!
Today’s episode is — at least from what I have personally observed — a fan favorite, and with good reason: it’s loaded to the brim with a bunch of Clone Wars Classics. We’ve got Clone Feels, Angst, Sass — and Ventress AND Grievous! — AND we get to gaze adoringly at Anakin and Obi-Wan, too. Well OK: *I* plan to do that last part. You don’t have to. I mean you WILL, if you have any taste. But I’m not the boss of you, and if you wanna be wrong, you can go ahead and be wrong. I guess.
…I’m only joking! Mostly! Probably! Ha! All right: Clone Wars! It’s time! Here we go, nerds.
Recurring Theme: Recurring Villains
Voiceover Recap Guy is on the scene to yell at us all that, for the seventeen-trillionth time, there’s Stuff! Happening! Again! Just once I’d like an episode to start with, like, “DAWN ON CORUSCANT! GENERAL OBI-WAN KENOBI is taking a personal day! The Jedi has some tea while he prepares to watch Netflix and maybe get started on his taxes! Meanwhile, GENERAL ANAKIN SKYWALKER helps his PADAWAN AHSOKA TANO with her math homework, as GENERAL MACE WINDU oversees the Jedi Temple’s quarterly floor-waxing!”
Alas: nope, more of the usual bullshit is afoot, and this time, it involves Ventress and Grievous teaming up to plot an attack on Kamino (“Buy 6 Million, Get the Next 6 Million Half Off!“). Meanwhile, “aboard a Jedi cruiser”, a couple of dumbasses are on the case:
Yeah, I know, I’m as shocked as you all are.
They’ve intercepted a message from General Grievous — or rather, I should say, the clones have, and are decrypting the audio for them while Obi-Wan and Anakin stand around looking pretty.
We hear Grievous emphasize that they must stop the production of additional clones if the Separatists are gonna win this thing (spoiler: they’re not, but I guess neither is the Republic so hey — technically that means everyone’s a winner! Or loser. Sigh.)
Rex, for one, is mighty displeased about the idea of these guys going after the clones’ home planet: he’s got a few relatives over there, you know!
Obes, stroking his beard like the thoughtful, pompous dork he is, muses that the Separatists attacking Kamino is a big, risky undertaking.
Rex is like “yeah well no matter why they’re doing it, all I’ve gotta say is that if somebody walks into MY house…”
Well! Technically since it’s Greivous and Ventress it’s more like they’ll be carrying somewhere between 6 and 37 lightsabers, but sure. I understand your meaning here, Rexy.
Cody has Rex’s back here and agrees:
I…am not going to be ready to see whatever the angst monsters at Lucasfilm have in their back pocket for what happens with these two post-Order 66. You know it’s gonna be something, and whatever it is, it’s going to hurt. DON’T MAKE ME WATCH BUT ALSO WHAT TIME IS IT GONNA BE ON.
Anakin, being Anakin, is like “don’t worry we – and especially me, specifically — won’t let anybody die for absolutely any reason in perpetuity throughout the universe, so go tell the rest of the 501st they’re going home to dispense some Justice”, and Rex and Cody take their leave.
Recurring Theme: …To Evil!
Grievous and Ventress are on the phone (again? still? who knows, but I love it if the Republic was intercepting this call and then just hung up and stopped listening halfway through) and Ventress says that she knows where the “clone DNA room” as well as the clone barracks are. OK, um, for one thing they make it sound like Kamino’s storing gallons of genetic material, which is amusing because for GOD’S SAKE how many places are using cloning technology out there and why is this not a WAY bigger deal in the universe?!, and also I like how she makes it sound like it’d be hard to find the barracks when Kamino is housing like 800 zillion of these guys. Half the fucking planet must be barracks at this point, right? Greivous busts out a fantastic Villain Proclamation:
LOL. They’re gonna destroy the clone DNA room, guys. WHEREVER WILL THE REPUBLIC EVER GET MORE OF JANGO FETT’S DNA WITHOUT IT????? It’s not like they have literal millions of Jango Fetts just walking around…oh.
Ventress pissily retorts that uh, this is BOTH of our project, Dooku assigned BOTH of us, and Grievous is like yes yes, of course…looking forward to the official in-person kickoff meeting!!
They hang up, and Ventress rides off towards Kamino’s weird office buildings via some sort of Space Squid Submarine as Obes and Anakin’s ride arrives at the same time.
Recurring Theme: Shaak Ti, Clone Mom
The boys strut off their ship (what else is new) and are welcomed by Shaak Ti, who is basically like…the Clone Army’s Den Mother, I guess. She welcomes them to Kamino, and I crack up knowing that Obes has been here at least once before, but the key difference this time is that he has at least 50% more of an idea of what the fuck is going on.
Honestly? Nothing even funny is really happening here, but I am still laughing at these two idiots. Anakin’s resting angry-yet-confused himbo face remains one of the greatest things about Star Wars:
Everyone’s Shaken that the Separatists could be trying to start shit here, even with the Republic blockade in place. Shaak Ti looks thoughtful as we clock wipe to the next shot.
Recurring Theme: Batshit Crazy Home Sweet Home
The clones are feeling some nostalgia as they make their way around the facilities:
Ah yes, it feels like only yesterday that they were chilling in a test tube before rapidly aging to adult man-size whilst being trained to fight in a war against robots while being shepherded by a bunch of absolutely ridiculous wizards. Simpler times, really.
After aww-ing over some baby clones on their way to target practice, Echo and Fives run into 99, a “defective” clone we met in an earlier episode, whom they are surprised to discover remember them, too!:
*cries* EVERYONE ENDS UP TOTALLY FINE BY THE WAY. Fives is ALIVE and 99 is having a quiet and comfy retirement and ECHO IS NOT AN UNDEAD CYBORG OR ANYTHING BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE CRAZY. Also Anakin agreed to go to therapy and is currently being carefully studied by a council of the galaxy’s most-renowned psychiatrists while Obi-Wan takes a nap.
Recurring Theme: Oh Why Star Wars
…I’m getting ahead of myself. 99 says he remembers all of them (ALL of them?! Jesus damn, I’ve seen this show too many times and I can barely remember the names of just the guys we’ve seen in various adventures.) To ensure that we do not spend entire minutes of this show needlessly not being sad about anything, he asks:
Echo explains that Hevy took one for them team, and 99 is deflated and sad in response.
99 pulls out the medal Hevy gave him, and we all cry again, and then the boys get down to explaining why they’re here — the impending apparent attack, blahblahbhlah. 99 immediately throws his hat into the ring to help. Teamwork! Brotherly love! The certainty of pain!
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Best Star Pilot In Galaxy According to Totally Unbiased Source
Grievous gets the attack underway, and Yularen is given an update from one of the clones:
Yularen already looks so, so tired and he’s not even working for the Empire yet. Anakin and Artoo, meanwhile, jump into Anakin’s Jedi starfighter and take to the sky. Obi-Wan, continuing to thoughtfully stroke his beard, stands around looking handsome while Shaak Ti takes note that the fleet is smaller than she expected it to be. She calls the shots:
Anakin’s up in the action, and tells Broadside that “you know [him]”…
I mean, probably? But also Obi-Wan is at the command center, Skywalker, and OH MY GOD ANAKIN WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO HIM WHILE YOU’RE GONE??? THEN WHAT??????
Then: whoosh, fwish, swoosh, y’all know the drill:
The Seps’ ships are really taking a beating, which Shaak Ti takes note of while Obi-Wan strokes his beard for the 4th hour in a row:
Yes dude, we get it, you are Thoughtful and Proper and Wise. You keep it up you’re gonna rub that thing right off your face! He observes that something about all this…is fishy.
Ventress, below the water’s surface in her submarine thingy, sends out some aqua droids. Anakin, still in the air, tells Obi-Wan he’s gonna press on with the attack, and of course Obi-Wan is all no Ahhhhhnakin, wait, which I am sure will be heeded immediately as always:
Obes says that something’s up here: it’s too easy. Anakin complains, to the surprise of exactly no one, and Obi-Wan explains that whatever’s going on here, the debris falling from all these ships into the water is the key. Shaak Ti asks Obi-Wan: what is he thinking?
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Wet and Wild
We now cut to Obes, in an itty-bitty submarine (and regrettably not, in fact, going for a dip in itty-bitty swim trunks. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.) He’s comm-ing with Anakin, who is pissy because Gaaaaaahd, Obi-Wan…
Obi-Wan suddenly sees Ventress’ aqua droids — and they’re assembling assault craft, right there underwater!
He then gets to do the thing we all know Obi-Wan loves to do best:
Let’s just call that screengrab “Star Wars: A Summary“, shall we?
Anyways, Obi-Wan explains that that debris falling into the water from the air assault? It was carrying components for an underwater attack! LOL. This is ridiculous but I guess also pretty clever. Well played, Team Evil.
Obi-Wan, saying Anakin’s name again because a good 50% of this show’s dialogue is literally just James Arnold Taylor saying “Anakin” in various tones of voice, tries to get Anakin to confirm that he’s heard him when he’s informed, by an aqua droid, that he’s under UNDERWATER ARREST! I love this show.
Obes is worried. Dun dun DUUUUUUN!
The droids try to break into his little sea-pod thinger, and eventually Obes has to get out and swim, which is probably a gigantic bitch to do wearing Obi-Wan’s standard 17 layers of clothes plus armor:
Recurring Theme: St. Kenobi of Assisi
He’s running short on air, and grasping at his neck, when he sees some space creatures — aiwhas — swimming by. Ah, of course! Animal friends. Obi-Wan’s trusty standbys. I LOVE THAT ANIMALS LOVE HIM. He grabs onto one and hitches a ride out of the water:
*cries* If the Obi-Wan series does not have at least 45 solid minutes of Obi-Wan singing to his animal friends like the goddamn Disney princess he is, I am going to sue.
Ventress’ attack goes into full-swing now, and Obi-Wan sees it. He comms over to Anakin again:
He says the above in the most hilarious way, like it’s Anakin’s direct fault that this is happening and he’s not mad, just disappointed.
Anakin, not acknowledging that Obi-Wan has been right about absolutely everything thus far (SHOCKER), says he’s on his way.
The clones get some marching orders, and really — just look at what is happening. Giant squid-bots are attacking Kamino, an already-ridiculous place:
Said Squid-Bots now begin to drill into the buildings, and dump a ton of battle droids out into the place:
Both Grievous and Ventress jump into the fray, havoc ensues, and our pal 99 hustles around trying to help his brothers as they blast away at the droids.
Obi-Wan, who I guess got dropped off from the giant flying space/sea manta ray he was riding moments ago (LOL), is with Anakin again and they’re looking hot and ready to kick some ass:
Obi-Wan, The Smart One, concludes that this is all a distraction — and sends Anakin to go protect the DNA Chamber, because again — obviously, if they lose that DNA, I guess the whole clone army thing is just over and the war has to end in defeat immediately. Obi-Wan announces he’ll deal with Grievous — and Anakin, to everyone’s astonishment, voluntarily leaves Obi-Wan to go fight Grievous all on his own without even having a gigantic foot-stomping hissy fit about it. See, Skywalker? We know you CAN do it when you want to.
Recurring Theme: Some Kids Showed Up For The War
99 is continuing to provide assistance to the effort, and soon the Clone Gang is joined by…children?
As if you have to ask! A lot of the Star Wars have involved child warriors. Which is…maybe not great! But anyways, this time it’s because these kids have gotten separated from the rest of their fellow cadets while being led to the barracks. 99 announces that he knows the best way to get there fast. Onwards, Fett Family!
Recurring Theme: Asajj Ventress, Dramatic Show-Off
Meanwhile, in a hallway where some droids are getting shot at, a trooper learns the hard way about the Old Force Choke…
…and about the Dramatic Bullshit of the Dark Side, as Ventress pulls him close enough to both run him through with a lightsaber and do this:
…respectfully: what the fuck, Star Wars? OK then, sure. Also this 100% would be Obi-Wan’s Signature Move if he was a Sith and you all know it. No wonder she likes him so much (well, OK, everyone likes Obi-Wan, but you know what I mean.)
Recurring Theme: The (Proto-)Imperials All Hate Each Other
ANYWAYS: yes, she smooches this poor dude and he drops to the floor, dead. Kids’ show, everyone! Grievous, taking in this show, compliments her skills and muses that she could maybe even be a match for him! Does…does this imply that Grievous has also kissed people he’s just murdered? Who can say. I wouldn’t put it past this show. Keeping with the Dark Side/Empire/whatever’s longstanding tradition of absolutely everyone hating each other, Ventress is -150% impressed with his compliment, and retorts that Dooku might have hosted that half-day Lightsaber Training Class Grievous attended, but that doesn’t make him remotely in her league.
Grievous, in return, is like HMM WELL HOW ABOUT THIS THEN, LADY:
Yeah…so…nyah nyah nyah, Ventress! He tells her to go get the clone DNA, and she counters that she doesn’t get why they don’t just destroy it. Grievous explains that the DNA may open “new possibilities for us”. Again, I ask: WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS???? You guys want clone DNA? YOU LITERALLY JUST KILLED LIKE 200 GUYS WITH THAT SAME DNA. Go grab that poor sap Ventress just gave The Kiss of Death to and pull a hair off his body. You could drain a pint of his blood into a container and have DNA to last you FOREVER. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF MISSION IS THIS? Is this just Sheev assigning busywork because he needs to kill some time before his next big chess move? Is Dooku on PTO this week but he just didn’t want Ventress and Grievous to slack off while he’s gone? I assume it’s some Traditional Star Wars Bullshit about how only the “master clone DNA” can be used or something, but also I AM CONFUSED BECAUSE THIS IS NOT SUPER HOW IT SHOULD WORK. (Add this to the pile, I guess. I’m not new here.)
This possibly-pointless undertaking agreed upon, Ventress is like “fine I’ll go get the DNA” and Grievous offers to send a droid or two with her. She sasses:
Hi-oooo! Well then. Guess he won’t be making a move at the office Life Day party this year!
Recurring Theme: Band of Brothers
In the barracks, the kids, Fives, Echo, and 99 are joined by Rex and Cody, and they all decide Now Is The Time to Fight Back! I mean, they already were fighting back, but this time they’re going to rope some small children into the mix! 99 explains that he knows where to get weapons for this Tiny Takedown:
He’s confident that they can get all the firepower they need from there. And 99? Is out to TASTE DROID BLOOD:
Meanwhile, Shaak Ti is out there being beautiful, but what else is new?
She does that thing the Jedi do that I love, where they just fling robots around like they’re swatting flies. *fans self*
AHEM. She notes that the droids are spread thin, and that now’s the time to really go on the offensive!
Ventress has indeed gotten ahold of the Master DNA or whatever, and it appears to take her like 2 seconds to get this machine in the Master DNA Room to give it up to her. Great security, guys! The Republic’s really getting its money’s worth here. She suddenly hears a door open, and turns around…
…I love that even the first time I saw this episode, I knew she knew it was Anakin, because — like basically all recurring Villains of the Week in this show — she looks peeved. THEY’RE ALL SO ANNOYED WITH HIM. This is so, so much funnier considering that a good 50% of the times they’re like “ugh, gross, it’s not even Obi-Wan”. Don’t get me wrong, because I love Anakin to an unhealthy degree, but also? THIS IS RELATABLE. She smirks:
Anakin, a gigantic dork who has been hanging around a gigantic dork for a long-ass time, quips:
LOL. I cannot stand it when The Team attempts Hero Humor. SO SUAVE, SKYWALKER!
She draws her sabers, and he draws his, and as my bonus gift to you, please enjoy yet another gem from the Anakin Skywalker’s Face Collection:
Recurring Theme: Kenobi v. Grievous
Grievous and co. head down a hallway, blasting their way through a door with the intent of mowing down the clones who are hiding out. They’re in for a surprise!
Undaunted, the droids make their way into the room in pursuit. Grievous marvels to himself: all too easy! OR IS IT:
MY BOY!!!!! He is here.
Could I love him more? I could not. LOOK AT HIM.
They launch into (yet another) duel, and Anakin keeps up his end of the deal at the same time:
Obes gets tossed around a bit, and Grievous is right there with the Villain Declarations:
..Kamino has fallen? LOL. That may be a bit premature considering that everyone has been talking about what a crappy assault this is from like, minute 3 of this episode, but OK. Nice try, Greevs! Obi-Wan responds by hurling Grievous into a wall, which it should go without saying is extremely hot of him.
Meanwhile, the clones and their kids are fighting off the wave of droids Grievous sent after them. And the kids? Holding their own, I must say!
…Anakin and Ventress keep swinging at each other, and Obi-Wan and Grievous relocate their fight outdoors to get a little fresh air…
Recurring Theme: Someone Bets Obi-Wan’s Dead When He’s Not
Cody and Rex are on their last grenade, and 99 hustles to go get more. They call back to him to stop, but he’s undaunted:
Well, this’ll end well! Sure enough, moments later, 99 takes a blaster bolt in the back:
Before anyone can really react to this beyond the legally-required “NOOOO!”, Shaak Ti informs Cody that the droids are getting overtaken. The good guys are prevailing! Yay/sob!
Obi-Wan, on the other hand, isn’t faring so well with Grievous, and ends up sliding off the LARGELY UNGUARDED AND PRESUMABLY SLIPPERY LEDGE they were out fighting on. You would think Obes would have learned his lesson from almost dying that OTHER time out on a wet platform on this EXACT PLANET like possibly less than two years before this, but evidently…not so much. Grievous, assuming Obes has fallen to his watery grave, laughs and boards a getaway craft. I am sincerely in love with the fact that someone thinking “Obi-Wan definitely fell into some water and drowned” when he did not, in fact, die, is a thing that happened at LEAST twice in canon. God. He better fall off a waterfall or something in this Kenobi show, and Vader better think he’s really dead this time for a few minutes.
ANYWAYS, yes, of course Obi-Wan’s not dead because — again — even when he actually DIES he won’t be dead either. This time his butt is saved once again by his animal friends:
Um, look at Obi-Wan. He looks like he needs sleep and a sandwich and a blood transfusion. MY POOR BABY. SOMEONE HELP HIM.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Losing It
Anakin and the clones dispatch with a whole mess of droids, effectively neutralizing the threat, and manage to grab back the Jar O’Master DNA from Ventress, who finds herself surrounded:
Anakin, definitely not slowly losing his grip on being remotely Jedi-like or anything, is like “nah, actually, I was gonna let the clones…”
…cue The Imperial March Lite! Hmm! Well. I…don’t think this move is in the Jedi handbook, Skywalker, but you probably know what you’re doing, right? It’s probably fine. Yeah.
She seethes: “not this time!”, and with that, Grievous swings by to collect her just in the nick of time, scooping her up into his escape ship so that they can both appear in this war a couple more times before this thing’s over.
Recurring Theme: Oh Why Star Wars (Reprise)
The kids, Rex, Cody, et al, take stock: they did it! They beat the droids! And yet…
RUDE, Star Wars. RUDE. Hmmph.
In the aftermath, Rex and Cody — who stay best friends forever JUST LIKE THEIR GENERALS — commend Fives and Echo (who, again, live long and extremely normal lives after this that do not involve being murdered by Ancient Evil OR becoming a cyborg).
Rex entertainingly observes that their bravery reminds him of himself — proving that Rex was assigned to EXACTLY THE CORRECT JEDI, hahaha — and Cody has an announcement:
Rex says he doubts the Separatists will be back –but if they do, Kamino will be fortunate…
Hooray! Who’s proud of Echo and Fives? ME, for one! I am also pretty amused that Anakin and Obi-Wan both kind of failed to entirely hold up their end of the deal since both Grievous AND Ventress got away. But without some Recurring Villains, who else would they sassily swoosh their hair at during this war? Each other?? (OK fine, yes, they also do that.)
So: ARC troopers Fives and Echo! It’s official! And Kamino is safe for another day, at least until whatever batshit nonsense is gonna happen with whatever the hell is going on with cloning in The Mandalorian. For all we know the place is overrun with Evil Baby Yodas by now. Only time will tell! Thanks for reading — and thanks for your patience with me, too, as I know this entry was slow in appearing. I am so pleased to have each of you here reading along — and what’s more next month, Snark Wars turns five years old! I can’t believe it. So many years of this nonsense! I look forward to celebrating with you all soon. Stay healthy and safe, friends!