I have a confession to make: while watching Clone Wars for the first time, I skipped a few episodes. In particular, I skipped the episodes about 3PO and Artoo having adventures, and also the Ahsoka arc with the younglings.
I know, I know: sacrilege. Without knowing much about them, I deemed them frivolous and impatiently skipped over them to the more serious, exciting episodes with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka. I can always go back and watch them later, I told myself. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. And here’s what I’ve learned: there are no frivolous episodes in Clone Wars.
First, the youngling arc: Season Five, Episode 6 (The Gathering), Ep 7 (A Test of Strength), Ep 8 (Bound for Rescue), and Ep 9 (A Necessary Bond).
The Gathering tells the story of Ahsoka bringing a group of younglings to Ilum for an important rite of passage: to find their kyber crystal for the lightsabers they will build. Ahsoka and Yoda are there, but the younglings must find their crystals themselves. There’s a time limit, as the cave opening will freeze shut after a certain amount of time, and the younglings must learn some important lessons about themselves during their quest.
In A Test of Strength, Ahsoka and the younglings’ ship is attacked by pirates who want their valuable kyber crystals–and Hondo Ohnaka is the pirate leader! If I knew that, I would have watched it immediately. Hondo is one of the best characters in the entire series.
In Bound for Rescue, the younglings decide to rescue Ahsoka from the pirates, who had captured her in the previous episode. They manage to do so by impersonating carnival performers, but get caught again on the run.
In A Necessary Bond, the Separatists have taken over the planet they’re on, and the pirates choose to work with Ahsoka and the younglings to now save Hondo; he has some ships hidden somewhere that they can use to escape the planet. It’s during this episode that Hondo becomes fond of a youngling named Katooni, and we see he’s really just a big softie.
I really ended up enjoying this arc, especially Hondo, and the droid Huyang, who has taught the Jedi younglings how to build their lightsabers for a thousand generations, including Yoda.
What made me sad was wondering if any of these younglings lived through Order 66. Wahh!!
So on that note, onto the droid episodes and arcs:
S3 Ep 8: Evil Plans. Cad Bane kidnaps 3PO and Artoo to get information for his next mission. I actually kind of like Cad Bane, and he made this episode worth watching.
S4 Ep 5: Mercy Mission. In this one, Artoo and 3PO are sent with a group of Clone troopers on a relief mission to a planet that has suffered in the war. While there, they discover the planet’s natives need help to keep the peace with another group of natives that lives beneath the ground. Without the clone troopers ever knowing (and who also hold them in some contempt), the droids heal the breach, and become unsung heroes.
S5 Ep 6: Nomad Droids. On their way back from the relief mission, the Republic ship they’re on is attacked by Separatists, and the droids crash land on another planet. They again unwittingly solve a crisis between the planet’s natives and some droids running the show ala the Wizard behind the curtain.
S5 Ep 10: Secret Weapons. Artoo and a group of astromech droids are chosen to go a mission to retrieve an encrypted code disk on a Separatist ship which will help the Republic in the war. The droids were all fun, and I especially like the pink one called QT (get it?), but I can’t believe I missed out on Colonel Meebur Gascon, a 12 inch-high bundle of bluster who led the group:
This guy is great, and SO entertaining. He begins the arc with a disdain for droids, but by Point of No Return he grudgingly admires them and their abilities to get the job done. One of the best comic relief characters since Hondo, in my opinion, a hidden Clone Wars gem.
S5 Ep 11: A Sunny Day in the Void. After bravely retrieving the code disk, our little group becomes stranded on a desert world. After Colonel Gascon suffers from the heat, the droids quarrel about who will lead them. By the end of the episode, they find a settlement.
S5 Ep 12: Missing in Action. In the small community they find, they discover a Clone soldier with amnesia doing dishes in a diner. Yes, really. He turns out to be Gregor, and after remembering who he is, helps the group escape the planet to a Jedi ship orbiting above. Gregor seems in possession of all his marbles here (once he overcomes the amnesia), so I’m not sure how he got so goofy in Rebels. I’m not sure how he even survives in this episode, as he seems to give his life to help the group. Anyone know?
S5 Ep 13: Point of No Return. On the Jedi ship, Gascon and the droids discover that the Separatists have commandeered the ship, and are en route to a Republic conference on a space station with plans to destroy it. Now they must prevent the battle droids on board from carrying out their devious plan.
Turns out these skipped episodes were really quite good, and I learned a lesson to not judge a book by its cover–or rather, an episode by its main characters. Kind of like the characters in these arcs: both the younglings and the droids are underestimated in these episodes, and they prove everyone wrong–even me. I am glad I had these additional Clone Wars episodes to watch, however, since I was missing the show quite a bit. A little Clone Wars gift to myself!
If you’ve watched Clone Wars (or Rebels, for that matter–in which I did not skip any), have you skipped any episodes? Which ones and why? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
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