Recap: Star Wars The Clone Wars S 3 E 18 The Citadel

"Adaptation is the key to survival."
Episode Moral

Returning from a dangerous assignment, Jedi Master Even Piell's cruiser had fallen under Separatist attack. Seeking the crucial intel he caries about the secret Nexus Route hyperspace lane, which can provide a strike force with easy access to key worlds on both sides, the Separatists captured him and his crew alive, and transferred them to a prison designed to hold Jedi: The Citadel. Obi-Wan and Anakin are tasked to lead a team of clones to rescue Piell and his men.

This episode provides exampls of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Subverted and lampshaded by Ahsoka. With the entry point the Jedi wanted to use blocked, Anakin and Obi-Wan debate how to get in, and Ahsoka points out the ventilation hatch. Anakin brushes this idea off — it had already come up in planning and been dismissed because no one on the team is small enough to squeeze through the vent — but Ahsoka, who stowed away to join the mission, is small enough to make it, barely.
  • The Alcatraz: The eponymous Citadel, which can be found on a remote, volcanic half-of-a-planet. The tower is full of traps, and guarded by battalions of droids. It's explicitly stated that even if someone manages to escape the institute, they still can't really go anywhere because the broken, lava-strewn landscape is almost impossible to cross — especially while being chased. And then to get off the planet they need a ship, and then make it past the Separatist blockade.
  • Ascended Extra: Even Piell, who had no spoken lines in the two movies he appeared in. Captain Tarkin might also count.
  • Blatant Lies: When Ahsoka is released from the carbonite with the rest of the team, despite Anakin forbidding her from joining the mission, she tries to excuse herself with a not quite well-thought-out lie:
    Ahsoka: I received orders to join the team. I thought you knew.
    Anakin: Orders? From who?
    Anakin: He didn't tell me.
    Ahsoka: You were already in carbonite.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Tarkin is not happy with his rescuers' tactical decisions, because he isn't a big fan of how the Jedi are conducting the war in general.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Anakin's idea to bypass the life-form sensors is to carbon-freeze the entire infiltrator team. Fives' reaction takes it home:
      Fives: [examining the carbon freezer] Are we sure this thing is safe? I don't wanna end up a wall decoration.
    • Anakin's uncharacteristic overprotectiveness towards Ahsoka isn't all that surprising once you remember what happened to her in "Altar of Mortis", two episodes earlier.
    • After Echo got a new Phase II armor for being promoted to an ARC-trooper, he painted Rex's handprint on it, which Rex put on his original, "shiny" armor using a Rishi eel's blood, way back in 1x05 "Rookies". Similarly, Fives has painted a stylized Rishi eel on his own helmet, as a reminder of their teammate Cutup, who was eaten by one of the eels.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Ossi Sobeck, the prison warden.
  • Determinator:
    • Master Piell refuses to share the intel, even under heavy torture.
    • Anakin takes back his lightsaber from an electromagnet, while hanging from his own right hand, which is also stuck to the magnet, and while being electrocuted.
  • Electric Torture:
    • The interrogator droid first tries this to get the intel from Master Piell.
    • Ossi Sobbeck electrocutes Anakin while he is captured by an electromagnet stuck to his mechanical arm.
  • Eye Scream: Master Piell had already lost his left eye prior to The Phantom Menace, and after the Electric Torture fails, the droid attempts to gouge out his other with a needle in its hand. It was millimeters away from doing so when the rescue team arrives.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: One clone falls while scaling a cliff, and detonates an electro-mine. Another is killed by an electrified wall trap.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Tarkin is still just a simple Navy Captain here. Flash forward 20 years, and he's the commander of the Death Star, and destroyer of Alderaan.
  • Human Popsicle: Anakin freezes the entire infiltration team in carbonite and uses droid pilots to evade the Citadel's life-form scanners.
  • Husky Russkie: Even Piell speaks with a heavy Russian accent.
  • Jerkass: Captain Tarkin.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang/Never Split the Party: Obi-Wan suggests splitting into two groups, so that even if one party is captured, the enemy would only have half of the intel, while Tarkin counters that a stronger, unified team has a better chance of protecting it. Ultimately Piell decides to go with Obi-Wan's plan.
  • MacGuffin: The Nexus Route coordinates.
  • Mean Brit: Captain Tarkin.
  • Oh Crap!: The warden Ossi Sobbeck has one upon realizing that the Jedi have managed to infiltrate the Citadel.
  • Shattered World: Some past cataclysm has pulverized half of the Citadel's planet, with the still-glowing mantle exposed to space and the remaining crust forming an Asteroid Thicket around the world. The Citadel itself is built near the exposed zone so that any escapees must face a Lethal Lava Land with very few possible landing sites for hostile ships.