Nightmare Fuel: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

As Senator Padme Amidala once told C-3PO, it's a big universe out there. That means there's also some horrors waiting that could stick into the minds of even the most fearless Jedi, whether it be the horrors of war, creepy locales, species or psychopathic individuals.

He's back. And this is just the beginning of the things he does.

    open/close all folders 

     Season 1 
  • In "Rising Malevolence" (and only the second episode of the series to boot), clones getting their escape pods cracked by the nonchalant droids... humming a jaunty tune. Somewhat creepy coming from the usually goofy B1s/OOMs.
  • The episode "Lair of Grevious" had a much darker tone compared to others.
    • The very nasty fight with Grevious that has the Jedi chopping his legs off, while he crawls on the ceiling.
    • A clone trooper getting incinerated in a lava pit, ala Temple of Doom.
    • Grevious' horrifying "pet" which mauls another clone trooper to death.
    • Grievous' droid doctor telling him that there may be "some discomfort" and then beginning to cut open his head as he screams in agony.

     Season 2 
  • In "Cargo of Doom", there's a scene where Cad Bane tortures a Jedi using electricity. The entire sequence - Bane's coldness, the Jedi's death, complete with tongue sticking out, and what really sealed it was the emotionless battle droids.
  • The scene in "Children of the Force" where Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Mace try to gain information from Cad Bane by using a Jedi Mind Trick on him, all at the same time. It's pretty creepy to watch the cold, calculating bounty hunter thrash in obvious agony as they assault his mind, with the Jedi knowing full well it could destroy him both mentally and physically.
  • The spider assassin-droid in "Voyage of Temptation". Imagine a giant metal spider with dozens of glowing red eyes, and it's trying to kill you. Now imagine that when you kill it, it starts spewing out dozens of little metal spiders, also trying to kill you.
    • There's also that one scene of it moving one unfortunate Clone Trooper's corpse like a macabre marionette when Anakin comes across it before throwing the corpse at him.
    • Anakin killing Tal Merrick, sure he justifies it but scarier part is The Imperial March plays after he does it.
  • The Geonosis arc was heavily-action packed for the most part, but the second half episodes ("Legacy of Terror" and "Brain Invaders") took a dive into horror territory.
    • If you didn't think undead Geonosians were creepy enough, the source of their reanimation is even worse: the Brain Worms, which can not only control dead Geonosians, but living members of other species too.
      • One of the Geonosians pulls out a mind-control worm and shows it to Luminara. Anakin wishes to free her, but Obi-Wan tells him to wait it out. The Geonosian then puts the worm on Luminara's face and Obi-Wan is still waiting to see how the worm will enter her head, although he really wasn't and was just stalling Queen Karina so Commander Cody's men can get ready to blind her and the undead for their rescue plan.
    • Even with the death of Queen Karina the Great (the Geonosian Hive Queen controlling the worms), the worms are still a threat, as they now look for a new host for control. At the start of "Brain Invaders", the first worm enters a clone and his eyes roll back into his head as the worm starts taking over, and when he wakes up, he suddenly gets back up on his feet in a way not dissimilar to a reanimating corpse.
    • The scene where Ahsoka and Barriss watches a bunch of infected clones force a brain worm up another clone's nose. It gave a whole new meaning to Mind Rape.
    • Ahsoka's lightsaber duel with the worm-possessed Barriss, who at one point screams at Ahsoka with the worm coming out of her mouth like a long, snake-like tongue.
    • Anakin interrogating Poggle, the only person who knows the worm's weakness. Anakin punches the prisoner into a wall after he refuses to comply, then followed by him full on FORCE CHOKING the now victim. It's horrible enough on it's own and with the protocol droid translating everything Poggle says in a Creepy Monotone, but the background music sends it further into Nightmare fuel. The music? The Imperial March.
      • And guess what? This is only the first of several "Vader moments" for Anakin in this series.

     Season 3 
  • Savage Opress' transformation in "Monster", where his body is mutated into a larger, more powerful form, with his bones audibly cracking as they extend. The change to his personality is no less horrifying: he is turned from a decent, honourable man into a violent, brutish monster, willing to murder his own brother in cold blood with only a moment's hesitation. The murder of his own brother doubles as a Tear Jerker.
    • Savage's death scene in "The Lawless" lends itself to some disturbing Fridge Horror: as he dies, Savage's body changes back to it's original appearance, and his personality seems to revert back to his pre-transformation self, which raises the question of whether any of Savage's evil acts were his own choice, or if he spent the final months of his life as a slave of the Nightsisters' brainwashing.
  • Also from "Monster", Savage's rampage on Devaron. Both a Moment Of Awesome for Savage and a horrific Mook Horror Show for the clone troopers he kills. He takes a blaster bolt to the chest, and doesn't even slow down.
  • The Son from the Mortis arc, who's basically the Dark Side incarnate. He also sounds like Emperor Palpatine at times.
    • From the same arc, Anakin's vision of his future was horrifying. He's basically watching himself butcher innocent children, fatally throttle his beloved wife, attempt to murder his best friend, and be party to the destruction of a planet and the genocide of billions of innocent people, all while being unable to stop the visions. Forget turning to the dark side, he's lucky he didn't go insane from the experience.
      • And the worst part? There's nothing in those visions that he cannot prevent.
    • Ahsoka after the Son brainwashes her into becoming his dark side servant in "Altar of Mortis". Especially the part where we see her eye open, where we see it turn yellow (the colour for dark side eyes).
  • The torture scene in "The Citadel" deserves mention, especially those six words said by the torture droid as it reached for Even Piell's eye; "Say goodbye to your good eye." Brr...
  • "Padawan Lost" gave us a lovely close-up on the face of a Wookiee skin (empty eye sockets included) in the Trandoshans' hunting lodge. [1]
    • Going even further, being hunted for sport is a terrifying concept, but these Trandoshans also take trophies from sentient prey, and it's not limited to Wookiees. In addition to animal trophies, that hunting lodge mentioned above includes the heads of an Ithorian, a Gungan and a Gran among others stuffed and mounted on pedestals.
      • And then we have the not very kid-friendly implication that if Garnac (leader of the Trandoshan hunters) was the one who came out on top in the S3 finale, he would have gone through with his promise to nail Ahsoka's hide to the wall for killing his son. *shudders* And you know how Kalifa mentioned that there were other Padawans/younglings on Wasskhah before Ahsoka came? They were most likely taxidermied after being killed too.

     Season 4 
  • Exploding Gungans, Mon Cala and Quarren, courtesy of Riff Tamson's knife bombs. It gets even more gruesome when Lee-Char blows Tamson to bits with one of the shark-man's own bombs. We not only see blood onscreen, but also some of Tamson's remains, including his head, sink to the bottom of the sea.
  • Riff Tamson himself is pretty terrifying on his own. The aquatic life forms are all based off of squids, octopus and some kind of amphibian. Tamson? He's a freaking Shark. It's shown that he's fast enough to catch enemies on motorized water skis with just his own swimming prowess, and on top of his exploding knives, it's shown that his own teeth can crack glass meant to withstand the pressures of deep-sea diving. He's also a ruthless and cunning warlord. If it wasn't for his preference for close combat, Prince Lee-Char might have never stood a chance against him.
    • Even worse is he brought along more of his race to help him in the Prince's public execution, and their method of execution is to eat him alive while chained.
  • Being from the clones' perspective, the Umbara arc is a study in War Is Hell, especially once General Pong Krell takes command of the 501st Legion.
    • Even before Krell takes command, things aren't that much better for the 501st. First off, the native forces are much more technologically advanced than the Republic. They may also attack you while you're sleeping in the trenches, and according to the episode guide's trivia section, those suits provide the Umbaran militiamen with a gaseous stimulant that not only keeps them awake, but also enhances their stamina and reflexes; in short, they tire less easily than clones. Also, one of the most powerful weapons in the Umbaran arsenal, the HMC Juggernaut, is nigh invincible to Republic weapons, can move faster than its size suggests and as far as we know, only the Umbarans' weapons are able to destroy them.
    • The planet itself isn't safe either, especially with the existence of two particular creatures encountered in the campaign. The first of these is the Vixus. Because it's Always Night on Umbara (thus lowering visibility), you might not notice that the vine you just tripped on was the tentacle of a large sarlacc-like passive predator with a claw-tipped tongue, and there's more than one of these things on the planet. Oh, and the inside of its mouth glows. You also need to keep your eye on the sky, or an Umbaran banshee may swoop down on you looking for a meal, and those things are big enough to lift a full-grown human off the ground. However, because they're carrion feeders, you look promising to them when you're either dead or wounded, and since this arc has a really high body count, more food for the banshees. With creatures this dangerous lurking in the wilds, it's no wonder the Umbarans are so technologically ahead of the rest of the galaxy: they had to develop faster.
    • The Reveal in "Carnage of Krell" that Rex and his men have been killing other clones because of Krell's manipulations.
    • General Krell's rampage in "Carnage of Krell", as well as his obvious sadistic glee in taunting and butchering the clones.
  • A more subtle one, but in the first episode of the "Deception" arc, after Obi-Wan fakes his own death to go undercover as Rako Hardeen and insists that keeping Anakin in the dark was vital because "everyone knows how close we are" and Anakin's reaction would sell it. So, Anakin's best friend and Heterosexual Life Partner, who knows Anakin has major issues with rage, grief, and loss, purposefully manipulated his emotions to hurt him to further the mission. Ouch. No wonder Anakin has such major trust issues by the time Revenge of the Sith rolls around. In fairness, Obi-Wan's horror at seeing how much his "death" has unhinged Anakin in "Friends and Enemies" seems to caused him regret.
    • Actually he might well not know. It is highly likely that Anakin never confided any of his... family issues to anyone but Padme, and certainly he didn't do so on screen. The council's plan was still hardly farsighted or morally sound.
    • From the same arc, Obi-Wan's transformation into Rako Hardeen, which looked very agonizing.
  • Almost everything from "Massacre", including Mother Talzin's Cold-Blooded Torture of Dooku via voodoo doll and the Nightsister zombies.
  • Quite a few things from "Brothers" and "Revenge":
    • Darth Maul. He's become a psychotic, deranged lunatic, skittering around on a spider-like contraption, ranting dementedly. If possible, his single moment of sanity at the end of his first appearance is even worse; an unblinking, yellow-eyed Death Glare, showing that beneath his insanity, Maul is still a vicious predator, obsessed with revenge.
      Darth Maul: Revenge... I must have revenge...
      • He's laughing and crying at random intervals between broken ramblings interspersed with coherent phrases about revenge, and there's the implication that he is fully aware of his broken mental state.
        Darth Maul: The chains... The chains are the easy part. It's what goes on in here that's hard [taps head, begins to sob].
      • While's he's in his state of insanity on Lotho Minor, it is said he's been feeding on vermin and other creatures to stay alive. Considering that Lotho Minor's an uninhabitable hellish junkyard world and that he's malnourished, what's not to say some of the creatures he's been eating were sapient if Morley's comments about feeding on the left-overs are anything to go by? Also, according to a documentary on the Season 4 DVD set, his lower body would've been formed from the scraps of the creatures he has been feeding on before they settled on the scrap metal.
      • He's no less horrifying after being healed. Now, instead of being a crazy, ranting lunatic, he's a vicious, calculating psychopath who's willing to butcher dozens, maybe hundreds of innocent people just to get Obi-Wan's attention. Adding on his torture of Obi-Wan, the "beyond excruciating" vengeance he had planned, and his sheer implacability makes Maul into, perhaps, the most terrifying villain to appear in the series to date.
      • The forging of Maul's new legs: the wires from destroyed battle droids fuse themselves to his spine, then the metal is superheated, with the legs themselves being forged from the slag. And through it all, despite being in a magical sleep, Maul never stops screaming.
    • While it's not shown on screen, it's implied that Maul killed a bunch of kids in "Revenge".
    • The Raydonian village after Darth Maul's rampage in "Revenge". Having Maul himself there, standing in front of a burning village, makes him look like something that crawled from the depths of hell and only makes the scene even more nightmarish, and provides the page image.

     Season 5 
  • D-Squad being overrun by Buzz Droids.
  • Though it's a quick scene, Grievous' treatment of one very unfortunate clone in "Bound for Rescue". Grabbing him in one foot, before using him to bludgeon another clone hard enough to kill that one instantly, pinning him down while he desperately struggles to get free, then casually crushing him to death as he desperately reaches a hand out to Obi Wan.
  • The idea of someone like Darth Maul ruling an entire planet.
  • Darth Sidious in action. The way he moves/fights is inhuman and demonic, his power is enough to make even someone like Maul beg at his feet in terror, everything about Sidious being Satan is true... and he does it all with a smile of sadistic glee with a few Evil Laughs thrown in.
    • This cannot be said enough. He instantly slams Savage and Maul into windows way off the ground and pins them there. The only reason they got to fight at all instead of getting crushed to death/Force-choked is because he let them.
    • And worst of all: this man is the same "Good Chancellor Palpatine" we have seen for five seasons. This man is the kindly and parental authority figure for Anakin and Padme. This man rules the Republic and the Confederacy, and the powerful warriors Dooku and Grievous are utterly subservient to him. The Jedi have no idea. That power you see him use? He's masking it-we literally see him every episode.
    • It's frightening enough to see Maul kill Satine just to torment Obi-Wan, but when you find someone who can make Maul afraid, then you realize how terrifying Sidious is. Maul, at best, is a planetary threat. Sidious holds the entire galaxy in his pocket. The way Sidious effortlessly beats Maul and Savage, you start seeing how he's been compared to Satan and deemed more evil.
  • The episode "Sabotage" introduced exploding nanodroids that were feed by Letta to her husband, turning him into a living bomb. She used him to commit a sabotage against the Jedi Temple. All that was left of the poor guy was his hand.
    • Doubles as Paranoia Fuel, as you could end up being made a host without even realizing it. And considering who Letta was willing to use.
  • Letta's claim that a Jedi came up with the plan to bomb the Temple. It's possibly untrue, but the implications are still bone-chilling.
    • As it turns out, it's true, and it's someone one would've least expected: no less than Barriss Offee, who's grown disillusioned with the Jedi.
  • The final few minutes of The Jedi Who Knew Too Much. Watching Anakin and Ahsoka confront each other is chilling. And it's only accented by Anakin desperately trying to pacify his understandably pissed off, hurt and confused Padawan, with Ahsoka growing near hysterical to the point that she's outright yelling at him. The episode then ends with Ahsoka jumping onto a freight headed for Coruscant's Underworld. Holy crap.

     Season 6 / The Lost Missions 
  • Order 66 can be seen as such, as the arc exploring the origins of the Order retroactively make it more disturbing both in this series and Revenge of the Sith. For starters, the clones have chips planted in their brains before birth that take the form of tumors, and when the Order is finally given, it takes over their thought processes, although Dr. Nala Se claims that these inhibitor chips are designed to make them more compliant and repress any insanity inherited from Jango Fett (Jango was not insane). In other words, the Jedi have unknowingly been leading an army of Manchurian Agents throughout the entire war, and said agents are just as much of victims of Order 66 as the Jedi are. When Tup has a malfunction in his chip that causes the Order to trigger prematurely, he's shown to be a lot crazier than clones that would eventually receive the Order from Palpatine.
    • Not only that, but when the bout subsides occasionally (read: any time he doesn't see a Jedi), Tup has amnesia. Imagine you suddenly have amnesia, and then learn you killed your general completely randomly. That's pretty likely the reaction of every single clone after Order 66.

    • To make things more disturbing, it's implied that - despite being in on the Sith conspiracy to an extent - the Kaminoans are unaware of the true purpose of the "inhibitor chips" and that Dooku is lying to them too (Dooku said they were inhibitor chips in his conversations with Lama Su and Nala Se; they may not be aware that Tyranus and Dooku are the same person or that Tyranus is a Sith Lord).
    • Getting a better look at the true nature of the Kaminoans, you get the feeling life for the clones would have been a lot worse without Jedi such as Shaak Ti around. If a clone is seen as defective, they will at best be resigned to maintenance duty like 99 (who was only born malformed), or at worst, be euthanized for having any mental defects. Barring Pong Krell, the Jedi at least have the decency to treat them like human beings, whereas the Kaminoans only see them as slaves and property.
  • We get more buzz droid-related horror in "The Unknown" during the attack on the medical shuttle. Let's just say you don't want to be meeting those little gremlin-bots out in space. If you're the pilot and they drill into the cockpit, you're already dead.
  • Let's talk about Anakin Skywalker. You know? The guy with a list of Berserk Buttons and eventually becomes Darth Vader? He's been shown to be pretty scary in the past if you've managed to push one of those buttons (being a slaver, endangering or killing those he cares about, etc) , but his brutal beatdown of Rush Clovis for advancing on his wife in "The Rise of Clovis" is probably his darkest action in the history of the series. If Padme hadn't told him to stop and that he went too far, he probably would have fallen to the Dark Side a lot sooner.
    • What makes it somewhat more disturbing is that, unlike in the movies, he is shown a lot more as a good person. The series basically shows how you can turn a hero into a villain without mind control, just a slow process that becomes slowly evident as the seasons go on. Many of Anakin's dark moments have some form of reasoning behind them (Force strangle Poggle the get the information to stop a zombie worm outbreak, his freakout over Rush Clovis being partially jealously, partially the fact that the last time he was around his wife, she was poisoned, etc.) If Sidious wanted to see someone else as his apprentice (Mace, Obi-Wan, etc), you'd probably see the same process be applied to them.
  • The Frangawl Cult's modus operandi reminds one of the Dark Reaper from the 2002 Clone Wars video game, specifically draining the living Force out of organic beings. And this is coming from a story arc that was otherwise a light-hearted Indiana Jones homage with Jar Jar Binks as one of the main characters.
    • Also, Mother Talzin uses those stolen life-forces to power her magic. And according to Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, she wastes away some of her body every time she casts a spell, adding another reason to why she's harvesting the living Force. You can tell she's already losing some of her body after having restored Darth Maul's sanity just by the fact that parts of her character model are phasing in and out of reality and "leaking" some of her magic. When her plan's foiled, she dissipates letting out a scream and she's left without a physical form for some time.
  • Part Crowning Moment of Awesome as well, Darth Sidious Force choking Count Dooku. To put it in perspective, he did this from nearly half-way across the galaxy... through a hologram transmission. When you consider that Coruscant in in the Core Worlds (where Sidious usually operates) and Serenno is in the Outer Rim, no place in the galaxy is safe if your on Sidious's list of contacts.
  • What happened to Silman, an aide of Chancellor Valorum's who accompanied Sifo-Dyas in dealing with Pyke Syndicate before he died, in "The Lost One". After shooting down Sifo-Dyas's shuttle over Oba Diah's moon and killing him, the Pykes took Silman - who survived the crash - hostage and held him as leverage. When Obi-Wan and Anakin find him, it's very clear the Pykes didn't take very good care of him for the last ten years. Silman's now insane (not unlike Darth Maul's Spider-Maul phase) and asking for food not because he's starving but because he's worried about the maggots in his cell getting angry (probably because he doesn't want them eating him due to his health, and they're already crawling around him). It also looks like he's developed Stockholm Syndrome, believing his cell to actually be his home.
  • In "Destiny", the idea that Yoda of all people has a Dark Side.
  • Then there was Yoda's trial for temptation in that same episode: he saw the temple in ruins with various Jedi slain, including a lingering shot of Petro. Then he comes across a dying Ahsoka Tano, who asks him if she'll still be able to become one with the Force even after being expelled from the Order. If anything, this shows us he still regrets his part in the Season 5 finale.
  • Moraband/Korriban is pretty scary, though that's to be expected, seeing as it's the Sith homeworld. We have talking Sith snakes forming a larger snake and some Sith ghosts spouting out their fatalistic philosophy of no life after death (whether it's The Nothing After Death or Cessation of Existence isn't entirely clear), including that of Darth Bane. Sure the Priestesses said they were a part of Yoda's trial, but whether they're fabrications by the Priestesses or a normal part of Moraband that they knew they could use as part of the trial (as is the case with old Expanded Universe interpretations of the planet) remains a mystery. It says something about Yoda when he isn't scared of this stuff and can talk down (or up, rather) to Darth Bane's ghost.

     Post-series stories 
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir

"Crystal Crisis on Utapau" reels
  • The incomplete animation may slightly put it into Nightmare Retardant territory, but that's just it; the animation is only incomplete and some of the grislier scenes would've been more detailed had it been finished. In the third reel, we are given a first demonstration of what a giant kyber crystal is capable of when it has absorbed enough laser energy and then intensifies and releases that energy on a Sugi warrior (to put in perspective, he's being shot with only a fraction of the Death Star's power). As "Breaking Ranks" demonstrates, a kyber-powered shockwave disintegrates everything it touches, so had the animation been completed, the Sugi warrior would have been visibly disintegrated on-screen by the laser.