The Clone Wars Movie

Ke tskado! (Get ready!) It’s time for The Pilot Movie. One hour and 38 minutes of series-launching action that I vaguely remember seeing theater posters for back in the day.

  • [10 seconds of shouting and other Faintly Heard Conflict Dialogue over black screen with studio logos] …no, brain, we are not currently watching Fury Road. Maybe we can watch Fury Road and throw around ludicrous crossover ideas later.
  • [A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…] see? There we go.
  • Opening sequence: *opens*
  • Hey it’s Kit Fisto and… and that guy!
Pictured, left to right: Kit, That Guy
    • Turns out it is carrying the plot
Seriously, check this thing out
  • Is anyone else slightly unsettled by this rendition of Palpatine’s hair or is it just me
  • #tfw Republic naval uniforms aren’t actually all that different from Imperial and you get super confused for about 4 seconds because part of you is thinking about Rebels
  • This officer looks slightly like John Cleese but does not sound nearly enough like John Cleese
  • Oh hey it’s Christophsis. Running! Shooting! Bickering!
    • Seriously, the clones have to have come up with drinking games or something for this. Or bets on how long it will take before either Kenobi or Skywalker make That Face(™).
  • Whoa, have not seen these hefty marching droids before. Nice “headless bipedal tank” look, still not as cool as droidekas. But then, few things are.
  • That one trooper who patted R2 reassuringly had better be okay. Yeah, you, by the heavy artillery.
  • …I’m pretty sure Cody knows just as well as you that Anakin knowing the plan does not automatically ensure Anakin following the plan, but okay, Obi-Wan.
  • Was the plan “leap on top of the, um, arachnoid tripod bacteriophage-ish droid and distract it while the clones try and bring it down?” I’m not positive that was the plan.
  • And now for what will be the first of many, many headlong melee rushes between clone troopers and B1s.
    • Including one dude just straight up punching a droid in the face before falling.
  • Cody over here doing spin kicks in the middle of blaster fire. You go, Commander.
  • Obi-Wan is basically doing beheading strikes at the B2 droids and it’s… working? I guess by the molten metal he’s just slicing some off the top but okay. Far be it from me to critique his battle style.
    • Just kidding. I’m here to critique the shit out of everyone.
  • Who is this Scottish Separatist alien and why does he have the hatch of his tank open in the middle of a massive firefight?
    • Well, he must be important. Also neat creature design, he certainly benefits more from this animation style than poor Palps.
  • Hey, it’s Ahsoka’s first appearance! Why did we decide to drop her off in a very recently vacated war zone, again?
    • Is there a set age barrier between “youngling” and “Padawan”? How does everyone keep track of different species’ rates of maturation? Mostly, how the hell old is she?
  • Also why is this the best time to have Anakin shoulder even more responsibility? Of course he’s sulking.
  • This, however, is a cool-ass mountain sky temple.
  • Yeah, um, Yoda? The Sith Lords kind of have you beat on having strategically important people only show up by hologram. Like you, yourself, are currently doing. Is she supposed to be building character or something?
  • Rex’s face is how I feel about this.
  • *clicks stopwatch* aaaand we have nicknames!
  • “So if you’re a captain, and I’m a Jedi, then I technically outrank you, right?” ←- I think this already keeps Rex awake at night, Ahsoka, but good call
    • Actually, was she briefed at all on what to expect? She seems really flippant, which is probably partly to establish her as a match for Anakin’s own general disregard for rules, but…


  • I would still like to know the motivation behind these green crystal/prism structures that are all over the place.
  • I’m sure Anakin is delighted you find this situation hilarious, Obi. “oh ho ho teamwork” yourself.
  • Are Togruta primarily nocturnal hunters or is it just a matter of design that Ahsoka’s eyes take up a full third of her face? It’s just more noticeable given the proportions of the (admittedly older) other characters.
  • Nothing to see here, folks, just a crate someone left in the middle of the path, definitely does not contain Jedi
  • I… I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if B1s either don’t have sensors on the sides of their legs or if they’re programmed to expect and ignore slight bumps as other droids knocking into them. Or maybe “March forward” overrides all other input.
  • Speaking of droids, Obi-Wan really likes beheading them, huh?
  • Oh hey a droideka! Well, Ahsoka is good at blocking blaster fire, that’s a relief.
  • Obi-Wan: Here, let’s discuss my completely believable surrender on this comfortable piece of rubble.
  • Bundroid: *bips uncertainly*
  • Check out the nails on Separatist general dude! His species looks super adapted for digging up things. Less adapted for getting out of headlocks.
  • “What happened to the shield?” aw, look, they have a sense of wonder. Or insufficient data. Not that it matters now.
  • “You never would have made it as Obi-Wan’s Padawan… but you might make it as mine.” This is actually pretty sweet, especially when you can tell neither of them intend to argue with each other any less.
  • 26 minutes in, and pretty much a contained episode in itself. Is this going to feel like a mini-marathon more than a movie?
  • Seriously, are the buildings constructed around the crystals, or are the crystals shields, or what?
  • Obligatory Dancing Twi’lek(™)
  • The mighty Jabba has no use for subtitles, apparently.
  • …those sure are severed heads
  • I appreciate that Bodyguard #3 took the time for an intimidating little “raaargh” at Obi-Wan, even if it was wasted on him. No clue about the species, if they have a name; they look sort of like distant Jem’Hadar cousins.
    • Founders: Congrats on your clone army
      Jedi Council: …Thanks? I think?
    • /DS9 references
  • SUPER INTENSE CLOSE-UP ZOOM TIME from which only the protocol droid seems to be exempt. I guess you need eyelids.
  • I know Comical Ineptitude is the B1 signature ability but it keeps surprising me. Maybe they just literally don’t have much short-term memory storage.
  • Okay I’m generally less than impressed by the GAR as a whole but a tank/transport that can walk almost vertically up a sheer rock face is pretty neat.
    • …unless you’re on it when it gets hit and starts sliding back down. Good thing there weren’t any important characters in there!
  • Ahsoka, he’s doing the best he can while piloting several tons of metal up a fucking cliff under enemy fire. No one appreciates, uh, front-windshield drivers.
  • I really like the more guitar-focused music in these past couple scenes, although it makes me wish we had Bear McCreary.
  • Whoa, it’s like a protocol droid but with a fly’s compound eyes (and a “snout” a little bit like mouthparts)! Is that custom? Where do you get those? Are they designed specifically for quick sight-based information gathering or just to creep non-insectoid sapients the hell out? I have so many questions and none of them are going to get answered because this is clearly a trap.
    • I keep hoping it will rub its hands together like flies do with their forelegs, but I think that’s grooming behaviour and wouldn’t make much sense in a droid.
  • The amount of eloquent distaste Ventress can put into three words (“Skywalker is here”) is probably part of why Dooku likes her, ngl.
  • Hologram communication consistently fails to do justice to Sir Christopher Lee’s voice.
  • A very small Hutt. a Huttling. a Huttlet.
  • Dooku: >:C
  • Ahh, here he is in person. Much better.
    • Although the fact that his lower lip is the exact size and shape of his eyebrows is… interesting?
  • Okay yes the little guy is in some discomfort but do we know what a healthy Hutt’s body temperature is in the first place?
  • Yep here is fly-droid spying on our heroes, although its visual feed doesn’t look any different.
  • Wait “Huttlet” is actually the canon term, excellent
  • So far the theme seems to be “Anakin learns you sometimes have to make moral concessions in war when it comes to having allies or minimising risk, and does not like it one bit”
  • I guess there’s some kind of droid ejector seat because R2 launched himself out of the ship in a perfect little arc just before it exploded
  • The clone troopers having absolutely no resistance (and no training) to resisting Force persuasion is a tad unsettling knowing the Jedi commissioned them, regardless of whether or not it was all secretly orchestrated by Sidious.
  • This planet is really magenta when seen from space. I wonder what the clouds have to be made of to reflect light like that.
  • So this yellow-accented battle droid is a ranking officer and clearly has more autonomy, but is also capable of being flustered. I really think these traits and personalities kept consistently emerging after production, they weren’t planned for, because the Geonosians found the bare minimum hardware and coding necessary to handle “walk forward”, “shoot at enemies”, and “communicate to allies” and just started churning them out from there. And somehow that arrangement is conducive to a very particular kind of budding personality.
    • When overthinking B1s starts being less entertaining than the plot, I’ll stop.
  • You could say the Separatists are very EMP-hatically blocking communications
    • (☞゚ヮ゚)☞
  • Punching battle droids so hard their heads literally spin seems to be a very well-practiced move. It probably also takes a little stress off the troopers.
  • “Great. Rolling death balls.”
  • I love these… I guess we’ll call them dragonflies? They’re very insectile but sturdy enough that Anakin and Ahsoka can both ride on one without crushing it, and they seem to roost together like bats.
  • Do battle droids know what a dog is, or did they just pick up that it was an insult?
    • wait, has anyone in Star Wars seen a dog? Like, ever? I mean, it does get the point across more clearly than “you Republic [insert comically-named alien animal here]s”, but…
  • Obi-Wan *casually does a Force-somersault out of a starfighter* Kenobi, everybody.
  • I appreciate that this ship makes the exact same noises as a fussy internal combustion engine.
  • Asajj’s cloak trick was pretty nice, but she does need to save gloating for after dispatching her enemy. Don’t pause just to say “Now, you die!” Didn’t Dooku give her a copy of the Evil Overlord List?
  • Good lightsaber battle, though Obi-Wan needs to work on his attack-to-snark ratio.
  • And somehow, in the middle of a space dogfight, we have ended up with a classic road trip AU. At least Anakin has absolutely no incentive to threaten to turn the ship around.
  • Padmé: everyone back the fuck up and let someone with skill points in Diplomacy handle this
  • Palpatine: *sigh*
  • We have now reached the Slow and Sultry Saxophone levels of Coruscant. Anyone not sufficiently noir should turn back.
  • “Hutt nightclub owner/crime boss” is a pretty straightforward concept, I’m just wondering who on the development team looked at Ziro and went “no, he needs to be at least 300% more camp”
  • Awww, look at these little burrowing guys. The Dune Sea ecosystem must be interesting.
  • Ahsoka, you could also talk about, I don’t know, the metal as fuck sand dragon skeleton about two feet to your left? The shadows of whose ribs you and Anakin are pretty symbolically walking through?
  • It looks like Ziro’s body art is actually meant to evoke some kind of centipede, which is pretty neat.
  • And all three of Tatooine’s moons are in the same phase. I guess they all have the same orbital period?
  • OMINOUS CHANTING TIME but not Duel of the Fates because that’s Maul’s thing
  • Anakin, negotiating usually means you maintain a polite distance with your lightsaber from the other party’s throat, but you do you.
  • Guys, maybe you can soulfully stare into each others’ eyes later? Was this relationship ever remotely a secret?
  • *squints* that looks like an Ithorian in the background. What are you doing on a desert planet, vod? The dryness can’t be good for you.
  • Oh, and we’re done now. The Republic gets safe passage through Huttspace, Jabba is reunited with his son, and Sidious and Dooku go to Plan Besh. Woo?

The Verdict:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It was okay. Some of the dialogue was predictably clunky, and it doesn’t really highlight any of the good things I’ve heard about the series, but at worst it was only tedious? I think the amount of time I spend pondering battle droids’ inner workings vs actually commenting on the plot might be a decent indicator of how engaged I am, though.

In other words–


Mando’a Headcanon Word of the Day: None, actually. Couldn’t really come up with anything inspired by this that wasn’t already in the dictionary. 😐 Narudar, though, is a temporary ally or your enemy’s enemy, which fits the relationship with the Hutts that the Republic and Council are scrabbling to maintain.

Screencaps from Star Wars

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