Here’s Part 4 of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Chronology Walkthrough.
Part 3 wrapped up what has so far been most of the non-linear episodes. For the first two and a half seasons, The Clone Wars moved back and forth through its timeline, which is what prompted me to develop the Chronology to begin with. At the end of the Senate Trilogy, the episodes appear to air in chronological order (with one notable exception as of the end of Season 4). The word from The Clone Wars staff is that this should remain the case for the time being.
However, where that portion of the series ends, a new one begins. Until the end of Season 4, which is when I’m writing this, the series now firmly rests on a foundation of plot, characters and stories which came before. As we’ll see, even as new arcs develop, the series continues threads started much earlier.
THE NIGHTSISTERS TRILOGY
This three-part arc shows us the betrayal of Asajj Ventress by her master, Count Dooku. Under orders from Darth Sidious, Dooku is told to eliminate Ventress and the attempt, made during a space battle with the Republic, leaves her injured and broken. She makes her way back to her people, the Nightsisters of Dathomir, who take her in and help her form a plan of revenge. Her strike team fail to kill Dooku, so they change tactics by “recruiting” a Zabrak named Savage Opress. The Sisters use Dark Force “magic” to turn him into a brutal killing machine and deliver him to Dooku as a new apprentice. Opress is sent on a mission to capture King Katuunko of Toydaria, but the King is killed in the process. Dooku is angered by Opres’s failure and Ventress springs her trap, revealing Opress now only obeys her. As the Dooku, Ventress and Opress fight, Anakin and Obi-Wan, investigating Opress’s killing spree, arrive on Dooku’s ship and an all-out four-way battle erupts. It ends in a draw, as Ventress escapes and disappears, Obi-Wan and Anakin fight their way off the ship and Opress returns to Dathomir. Opress is told by Mother Talzin of the Nightsisters that he must seek out his brother: Darth Maul.
This arc sets up many details that play out over the next season and a half, so far. Dooku is now without an apprentice. Ventress is a loose-cannon. The Nightsisters are established as a new dark enemy of Dooku.
It also picks up the previous Ryloth Heptology, wherein King Katuunko signed a treaty with the Republic to allow them use of Toydaria as a staging ground. Here, Dooku exacts his revenge, though Katuunko is killed. As the Ryloth arc was one of the earliest events in The Clone Wars, it demonstrates that no plot point is too old to be revisited.
This interlude into a nexus of the Force finds Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka on the world of Mortis, a place where the Force flows into the galaxy, investigating an ancient Jedi distress call. Mortis is guarded by three individuals: The Father, The Son and The Daughter…all Force Weilders. The Weilders and possibly the Force itself grants the three Jedi visions. Ahsoka sees a vision of her possible older self, warning her that following Anakin may lead to her destruction. Obi-Wan sees the late Qui-Gon Jinn, who questions Obi-Wan about how Anakin’s training is coming. Anakin sees the his mother, Shmi, in a vision controlled by The Son. Anakin is tested as to whether he is really The One, to guide the Force from this place. He passes his test, but rejects the offer to stay and control the Son and Daughter, which the Father feels will bring balance to the Force. The Jedi try to leave, but are stopped by The Son, who orchestrates their crash-landing back onto Mortis. The Son turns Ahsoka to the Dark Side and attacks The Father. Anakin and Ahsoka duel, with Anakin horrified at her Dark Side infection. Obi-Wan joins Anakin in trying to save Ahsoka. The Daughter and The Son do battle at the same time, before The Father intervenes. The Son kills Ahsoka. The Daughter sacrifices herself to save The Father and, with her dying act, resurrects Ahsoka. Anakin and The Father know they have to stop The Son before they leave, of the Force will stay out of balance. Anakin has a vision of Qui-Gon Jinn, who tells him to trust his instincts. Anakin seeks out The Son to try to stop him and to face his own darkness. The Son shows Anakin a vision of all that he’ll become, including his eventual fall to the Dark Side. The vision leads Anakin to join The Son, who promises him that they can bring peace and order to the galaxy. The Father erases the vision and Anakin no longer remembers what he will become. The Father and the Jedi defeat The Son. The Father dies, telling Anakin he brought balance to Mortis and will do so again. The Jedi are transported back to normal space.
This arc raises more questions than it answers, mostly around the nature of the Force and what the Jedi’s actions and visions meant. Was Qui-Gon really addressing Obi-Wan and Anakin? Does the Force know Ahsoka’s future? We’re left wondering.
Jedi Master Even Piell and his fleet have been captured by the Separatists. Piell has information on the Nexus Route, a set of secret hyperspace lanes, which both the Republic and the Separatists want. He’s being held at the Citadel, a former Jedi prison. Along with R2-D2 and C-3PO, clones Echo, Fives, Rex, and Cody, Anakin and Obi-Wan plan to break Piell and his crew out. Ahsoka want to go, but Anakin refuses. She discusses it will Plo and sneaks into the mission anyway, much to Anakin’s surprise. The rescue team sneaks in carbon frozen, transported by the droids. The team break in and find Piell and the survivors of his crew, including Captain Tarkin. It turns out Piell and Tarkin each have half the information memorized for the Nexus Route. Tarkin meets Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time. During the escape, Echo and Piell are killed, but Piell has time to pass on to Ahsoka his half of the information. We also learn that Ahsoka lied to her master about Plo giving her permission to join the mission.
Upon returning to Coruscant, Ahsoka and Tarkin differ on who will get their respective halves of the information. Tarkin will only give it to Palpatine and Ahsoka to the Jedi Council. Yoda says he’ll meet with Palpatine to figure what best to do.
The Citadel prison was the basis for the final test Domino Squad and the other clone trainees had to pass in order to graduate, way back in “Clone Cadets.” It seems the Republic felt its reputation and design was effective enough to use for training their troops. Tarkin’s presence in the Clone Wars, like that of Admiral Yuleran, makes perfect sense, given his age in “A New Hope” (it’s noteworthy that Yuleran is also present at the meeting with Tarkin, Darth Vader and the rest of Tarkin’s staff aboard the Death Star in that film). In this arc, that he and Anakin grow to respect each other should come as no surprise to anyone. Peill’s death in this episode causes a significant Expanded Universe continuity problem, as other EU books explicitly have him survive past Order 66. Fives is now the lone survivor of Domino Squad.
The battleground of Felucia rages on. While on a mission there, Ahsoka is kidnapped by big game Trandoshan hunters and taken to another planet to be prey for their sport. On the planet she finds a group of former-Jedi younglings (Kalifa, Jinx and O-Mer). Kalifa is killed as the group of padawans go on the offensive to escape. As they fight to survive, a new shipment of prey brings a Wookiee, Chewbacca, whom the padawans save. Together, the prey take on the hunters head-on and are able to call for help. Wookiee reinforcements arrive led by General Tarfful, transported by the mercenaries Sugi and Seripas. The hunters are killed and the prey are rescued. On Coruscant, Ahsoka is reunited with the Jedi and her master.
Clones Sinker and Boost, part of Plo Koon’s “Wolfpack” unit appear in the episode “Padawan Lost,” having last been seen in the Malevolence arc. Sugi was last seen with Embo at Jabba’s Palace in “Sphere Of Influence” and Seripas, now without his battle armour, was last seen on Felucia (before it became a warzone) in “Bounty Hunters.” This is chronologically the first appearance of Chewbacca on screen (though other Expanded Universe stories do feature him earlier), along with Tarfful. Both appear to have a moment on Coruscant with Yoda. It’s not clear if this is the first time they meet the Jedi Master. Ahsoka’s ability to not only survive, but to lead the other prey well, using only their wits and the Force, weapon-free, demonstrates how far she continues to come in her Jedi training, noted earlier in “Assassin.” This may not be the last we see of padawans Jinx and O-Mer, now that they’re pack in the care of the Jedi.
The fallout from the Separatist bombing on Coruscant has reached Naboo, in the form of rumours that the Gungans are planning to switch sides. Anakin and Padme are sent to meet Jar Jar and the Queen there to see what’s going on. The new Gungan Boss, Lyonie, is indeed pressing for a revolt against the Naboo people and a march on the city of Theed. It turns out Leoni is being controlled by a nefarious Gungan minister, Rish Loo, who is in league with Dooku. Lyonie is seriously injured when he confronts Loo and Loo flees. Lyonie’s orders to march on Theed can’t be reversed by Lyonie while he’s in a coma, so it’s decided that Jar Jar, virtually his twin in appearance, will impersonate Lyonie in an attempt to stop the invasion. The Separatist army arrives and Jar Jar is brought before Grievous to explain why he called for the invasion to halt, while Anakin chases down Loo. Gungan General Tarpals, aiding Jar Jar, sends word to Padme that Grievous is preparing to invade the city. In one on one combat, Tarpals is able to defeat Grievous, sacrificing himself for the sake of victory. The Gungans capture Grievous.
Anakin tracks Loo to a secret hideout on Naboo and confronts Dooku, who kills Loo. Anakin is bested in their duel (fighting Dooku and a squad of MagnaGuards) and Padme later agrees to a prisoner exchange, Anakin for Grievous (Sidious’s idea, as he needs Grievous for the war) and both captives are returned to their sides. Jar Jar is commended for his role in stopping the conflict on Naboo by the real Lyonie and the Queen.
The prisoner exchange at that end pretty much erases Tarpal’s sacrifice. The Republic had Grievous and exchanged him for a lone Jedi Knight, costing them an opportunity to gain substantial ground at the expense of the Separatists. I’m not sure how the Jedi or the Senate would feel about Padme making that decision herself. And it seems more than a little out of character for Padme to give in to her feelings for Anakin at the cost of the war, which not long before she was risking her own life to try to stop (See the Senate Trilogy in the previous Walkthrough). Tarpals death also marks the death of a significant character from “The Phantom Menace” on the show.
This episode aired fourth in Season 4 , after the Mon Cala Trilogy, though the producers confirm it takes place before. It was apparently moved to give the season opener a more action-packed start. Since the end of the Senate Trilogy, this is the first episode aired out of sequence in a while.
MON CALA TRILOGY
Civil war breaks out the water world of Mon Cala, as the inhabitant races, the Mon Calamari and the Quarren, disagree on the coronation of a new Mon Cala king to rule them all. The would-be king, the young Prince Lee-Char, along with Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka, Kit Fisto, Rex, Cody, the 501st Legion and Captain Ackbar, try to stop a revolt by the Quarren, led by Separatist ambassador, Riff Tamson. The Mon Cala and Republic forces are overwhelmed and routed, and many are captured, interred and tortured. Boss Lyonie of Naboo sends an army of Gungans, the nearest force capable of underwater combat, to aide the Mon Cala, but the Separatists hold firm. Soon, though, the Quarren see that Separatist tactics of prisoner work camps, enslavement and torture are more than they bargained for. The Quarren align with the Republic forces and repel the Separatists, pledging allegiance to Lee-Char, who, after the Separatists are driven from Mon Cala and Tamson is killed, is crowned King.
Boss Lyonie pays back the debt he owes Padme and Jar Jar, from “Shadow Warrior” by sending his troops to aid Mon Cala. It would seem that, taking into account the earlier series Clone Wars, Mon Cala has had issues with Quarren uprisings before, also fuelled by the Separatists. At the start of the war, as shown in the traditionally-animated series, Kit Fisto and his troops had to quell a Quarren/Separatist revolt apparently smaller than the one featured in this arc. Captain Ackbar makes his first on-screen appearance chronologically in this arc.
In the first episode of this mini-arc, “Mercy Mission,” R2 and 3PO accompany the Wolfpack on a relief mission to the planet Aleen, which is suffering serious seismic events. The droids end up below the surface and following clues given by the underworld inhabitant, are able close a seal accidently opened. Closing it causes the underworld dwellers to stop the earthquakes and surface dwellers can live peacefully again. 3PO tries to explain all this to the clone troopers and they are more than a little sceptical of the droids adventure.
In the second episode, “Nomad Droids,” R2 and 3PO escape Adi Gallia’s cruiser as it’s attacked by Grievous and his droid army. The droids land their Y-wing first a planet inhabited by tiny people known as Patitites. After accidently crushing their tyrant leader, the droids leave the planet and the Patitites work out who will take over. They fly their Y-wing to another planet, Balnab, but after exposing that some pit droids are manipulating the locals, the droids power reserves run out. They’re picked up by Weequay pirates and reactivated. Before long, Grievous attacks the pirates and the droids flee to his ship, which is set upon by Republic forces who rescue Master Gallia (and the droids). 3PO tries to tell clone Commander Wolffe of their adventures and Wolffe, again, is sceptical.
This arc is certainly a homage to the ‘80s series Droids, which featured R2 and 3PO’s adventures between “Revenge Of The Sith” and “A New Hope.” It also takes story points from “Gulliver’s Travels” and “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz” books.
Now six episodes into Season 4, this series of Walkthroughs will resume with the Umbara Tetrology. As always, I’m open to suggestions and alternate view points on the order of these episodes, which, aside from “Shadow Warrior,” appear to progress in straight line.
Feel free to share any thoughts, comments or ideas.