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Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a CGI animated film set in the Star Wars franchise that takes place during the three-year time period between the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in addition to being the introduction of the TV series (which later aired its first episode after this on October 3, 2008). It was also produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which also held the home media distribution rights to the series as a whole. The film premiered on August 10, 2008 at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre while screening in wide release on August 14, 2008 across Australia and August 15, 2008 in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Clone Wars earned over $14 million in its opening weekend and went on to earn over $60 million worldwide. A major marketing campaign for the film included toys, fast food, and comic books.

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The film marks the debut of Ahsoka Tano, the young Jedi Padawan learner of Anakin Skywalker. By order of production, the film also features the debuts of Captain Rex, a clone captain serving under Anakin, and Asajj Ventress, a Sith apprentice of Count Dookunote .


Star Wars: The Clone Wars contains particular-to-this-film examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: While surrounded and seriously outnumbered by battle droids demanding surrender, Rex's response is to retort "We have you outnumbered!"... moments before a Republic airstrike that he did not know was coming.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • Yoda is featured prominently on the poster, but is only in a few scenes, none of them involving action.
    • Commander Cody is as prominent as Captain Rex on the poster, but only has a small amount of lines and is in a few scenes.
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    • Mace Windu appears in the film and its marketing, but vanishes about halfway through the film in addition to having a small amount of lines and scenes.
  • Anachronic Order: The film serves the role the series' introduction, but chronologically takes place after "Cat and Mouse" (2:16) and "The Hidden Enemy" (1:16).
  • The Apprentice:
    • Ahsoka Tano is introduced as Anakin's new Padawan.
    • Asajj Ventress is a Sith apprentice of Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku.
  • Bald of Evil: Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku's Sith apprentice, is hairless and one of the antagonists in the film.
  • Batman Gambit: When Ahsoka arrives, Obi-Wan is the one expecting a new Padawan, but she insists that she has actually been assigned to Anakin. He is initially reluctant to take her on, but warms up to her after an early mission, telling her that she is reckless and "never would have made it as Obi-Wan's Padawan, but you might make it as mine." After speaking with Yoda, Anakin realizes that Obi-Wan deliberately put him up to this and was never actually planning on taking up a new Padawan for himself, something that Obi-Wan's smirk does not deny.
  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: At the end of their duel, Count Dooku warns Anakin that once his Separatist droids kill Rotta, they'll drag Ahsoka before Jabba the Hutt, who will punish her for murdering the Huttlet. Anakin, scared for Ahsoka's life, rushes to Jabba's palace and misses Ahsoka's fight with the MagnaGuards. When he's brought before Jabba, they each believe the other has killed their loved one. As Jabba's henchmen prepare to attack Anakin, while he has Jabba at lightsaber-point, Ahsoka arrives with Rotta on her arms and stops them by shouting at them. Subverted when Jabba orders his men to execute the Jedi, and is stopped only by Padmé's call, which reveals Ziro's and Dooku's plot.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Count Dooku and Ziro the Hutt form an alliance, although Ziro is obviously the lesser of the two.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Ziro the Hutt enters into an alliance with Dooku solely to gain hold of Jabba's territories and with it, control over the Hutt Council.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Commander Fox and the Coruscant Guard bust into Ziro's nightclub to save Padmé. Also, Obi-Wan and his forces come to Rex's rescue when he is surrounded by the Separatists droids.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Jabba tries to have Anakin executed on the spot for allegedly abducting his son Rotta, and Anakin's threats only tick him off further. Even when his son is returned to him by Ahsoka, Jabba still wants them killed, despite the fact that there are now two Jedi in the room.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Anakin gets surrounded by Separatist droids and, to make things difficult, he has to be careful not to activate even more as he cuts them down. Ahsoka saves him by pulling a wall down on the Separatist droids that had a hole in it just above Anakin's position.
  • Call-Forward: Even this early on in the Clone Wars, there are hints of what is to come.
    • Anakin and Obi-Wan have ditched their Attack of the Clones appearances for ones that hold trappings of their Revenge of the Sith ones, which they will formally acquire in the series' seventh season.
    • Anakin and Dooku get into a duel on Tatooine, with Anakin gaining the edge briefly by tapping into his anger. While their duel in this film ends in a draw, Anakin will eventually tap fully into his anger and kill Dooku in Revenge of the Sith.
    • Sidious appears at the very end of the film to indicate that everything is going according to plan, as he will many, many times in the future.
  • Children Are Innocent: Rotta, the infant son of one of the biggest gangsters in the galaxy, is an adorable, sweet little guy.
  • Character Development: Ahsoka starts off as an impulsive, aggressive person who basically is a stand-in for Anakin's portrayal in Attack of the Clones. By the end of the pilot movie, she's taken a distinct, if small, level in maturity and is a true Padawan learner.
  • Compilation Movie: Technically inverted, as the film was created out of four already produced episodes ("The New Padawan", "Castle of Deception", "Castle of Doom", "Castle of Salvation") edited together, but it was released in theaters as the Pilot Movie of the series before its premiere on TV with "Ambush". However, all the difficulties with this format shine through, as there are obvious breaks between what would have been the stories of the separate episodes.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The heads of the bounty hunters that Jabba hired to rescue his son Rotta are brought back to him to show their obvious failure.
  • The Dragon: Asajj Ventress serves as this to Count Dooku.
  • Ensign Newbie: Lampshaded by Rex, who's quick to point out that even if Ahsoka does outrank him, it doesn't make up for her lack of experience.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Jabba may be evil, but he clearly loves his infant son, Rotta.
  • Evil Laugh: When Anakin takes off on Dooku's speeder bike to save Ahsoka, Dooku is said to be "laughing maliciously" according to the subtitles.
  • Evil Uncle: Ziro the Hutt tries to have his nephew Jabba along with Jabba's son Rotta murdered so he can take over Jabba's "businesses" and position in the Hutt Clan.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Obi-Wan has ditched the mullet he had in Attack of the Clones, and Anakin has grown his hair out into a manner similar to what he will have in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Fat Bastard: Typical for a Hutt. However, Ziro takes the cake when he plots to have his great-nephew kidnapped and killed in order to rise in the Hutt ranks.
  • Force-Choke: Ventress gives one to Rex when he comes around after the Separatist droid army overwhelm the clone troopers defending the B'omarr Order Monastery and begins shooting at her.
  • Frame-Up: Count Dooku frames the Jedi in front of Jabba for the kidnapping of his son, Rotta.
  • Friend to All Children: Ahsoka is shown to be quite good with children, such as the way she takes care of Rotta.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When he notices that the Separatists are advancing behind a Deflector Shield on Christophsis, Rex's reaction includes the word "damn".
  • Giant Flyer: The can-cells are dragonflies that are large enough to carry Anakin and Ahsoka for a considerable distance.
  • Green Around the Gills: Ahsoka notes that Rotta was so sick he turned every shade of green except the one he's supposed to be.
  • Gunship Rescue: Rex and the other surviving clones of Anakin's initial strike force on the monastery are surrounded by Separatist droids and heavily outnumbered when Obi-Wan's forces arrive just in time.
  • Heroic Willpower: Captain Rex's willpower is powerful enough to resist a Jedi Mind Trick by Asajj Ventress.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The Battle of Christophsis features the clone troopers running out of their hiding spaces into the beam spam. In fact, one of the clone troopers actually runs up to a battle droid and tries to punch it out with his fist, which results in him injuring his hand and getting killed.note 
  • Hypocritical Humour: Anakin reprimands Ahsoka for several personality traits that he himself very obviously shares, which is something that she eventually points out.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Even though the film's plot involves around an infant Hutt being kidnapped and possibly being hurt, no harm befalls him.
    • Which is really weird when one thinks about it, considering that Rotta is being toted around in the middle of lightsaber duels, gunfights and full on battles.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Ventress attempts this on Rex. Unbeknownst to her, it doesn't actually work on him.
  • Just in Time: Ahsoka arrives just in time to save Anakin from Jabba. Subverted, as he decides to kill them anyway, then Double Subverted as Padmé's transmission saves them both.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: When Ziro explains to Count Dooku that Padmé has been snooping around, Dooku suggests that he "have her meet with an accident with extreme prejudice" if she continues to be a problem.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The film's DVD case even has advertisements for all the assorted Star Wars stuff you can buy.
  • Mythology Gag: Before Ahsoka arrives, Obi-Wan is expecting a new Padawan that he supposedly requested. Ahsoka was originally planned to be Obi-Wan's apprentice before they decided to make her Anakin's.
  • New Meat: When Ahsoka first meets Captain Rex, she wonders if, as a Jedi, she is automatically his ranking superior. Rex explains that, in his book, experience outranks everything.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ahsoka accidentally triggers a droid trap that nearly overwhelms Anakin. Even when her actions ended up saving his life, he's quick to tell her that he could have gotten killed along with the fact that he had everything under control.
  • Noir Episode: Noir act, really. At the end, Padmé goes to meet with Ziro the Hutt. His lair, a den of crime and vice, is in a dingy nightclub playing classic jazz straight out of a 1940's Film Noir.
  • Noble Demon: Loathsom is surprisingly amenable to simply sitting down with Obi-Wan and having a long chat to hammer out all the details of the latter's surrender. The fact that Obi-Wan spends about half his dialogue buttering Loathsome up with complements of how he's so powerful and unstoppable probably helped.
  • Off-Model: A few moments of this. Cody is missing his helmet visor when Obi-Wan orders him to launch the gunships on Teth and, not that long later, Rex is missing his kama when Obi-Wan asks him where Anakin has got to.
  • Off with His Head!: A helmet-based variation. During the opening battle, a clone trooper stands up to rally his fellows...and gets shot dead, with the blast throwing his body back offscreen and causing his helmet to topple in a completely different direction.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: When Ventress tries to use a Jedi Mind Trick to make Rex contact Anakin, he not only resists the mind trick, but deceives Ventress by seemingly complying. This way he's able to warn Anakin by calling him by his first name — which is something Rex wouldn't do for any other reason, since Anakin is his superior officer.
  • Papa Wolf: Jabba is ready to align with whoever rescued Rotta. When it seems like Anakin had killed him, Jabba's ready to have him executed at the spot. Also, there's his retaliation against Ziro for the kidnapping.
  • Pilot Movie: The film serves the role as the introduction of The Clone Wars.
  • Realpolitik: The Jedi are not happy about having to ally with the disgusting criminal Jabba, but they desperately need to be able to freely pass through his territory and there's no time for other solutions.
  • Reverse Psychology: After Padmé is thrown in a cell at Ziro's club, when her communicator begins beeping, she insists that the droids on guard not respond. Naturally, when they do, Padmé is able to warn C-3PO that she's been captured by Ziro before the droids destroy the communicator.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Rex declares that he and his men have the Separatists outnumbered. He's technically correct, because there's an airstrike and gunships full of reinforcements about ten seconds away, but he has no way of knowing that until they show up..
  • Rules Lawyer: Obi-Wan uses this as a stalling tactic on Christophsis by surrendering to General Loathsom before insisting on hammering out every detail of his men's imprisonment. It works.
  • Sedgwick Speech: A clone trooper jumps up on the makeshift barrier the Republic clones have erected to keep the Separatist droids out of their base perimeter. His rallying cry is abruptly cut off when he is hit by a blaster bolt and killed. The clone troopers still charge, anyway.
  • Shout-Out: Anakin and Ahsoka sneak under Separatist lines on Christophsis by hiding under a box.
  • Skewed Priorities: Overlapping with Casual Danger Dialogue, Anakin and Obi-Wan argue about sending their ship back to get supplies while they're under siege. To be fair, the bad guys are pretty far away from them and are being pelted with artillery fire, so they're not necessarily in immediate danger.
  • Super Senses: Ahsoka possesses extremely fine spatial awareness, which she uses when she saves Anakin from a bunch of Separatist droids by bringing down a wall on them while Anakin is standing right under a hole on it.
  • Three Lines, Some Waiting: There are three major plotlines, the first being Anakin and Ahsoka's rescue mission to save Rotta, Obi-Wan dealing with the Separatists at hand, and Padmé figuring out who really is behind the aforementioned Hutt's kidnapping.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Ahsoka isn't exactly impressed by the Twilight when she first sees it, although Anakin's piloting skills make the ship perform better than you'd expect in a couple of space battles.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: After capturing the B'omarr Order Monastery on Teth, the Jedi and clone troopers begin to search for Rotta. Ahsoka points out that the hard part is over. Anakin replies with "I wish you wouldn't say that", and indeed things become complicated a few minutes later.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In-Universe example: After the helpful protocol droid thanks the Jedi for freeing him from battle droids and points out where the baby Hutt is being held, he disappears from the narrative. When he reappears a few scenes later, his role is revealed, and Ahsoka actually comments that she had been wondering where the droid had gone to.
    • Early in the film, Mace Windu requests three Republic cruisers to help with the current situation and is never seen again, with no reference made to what the ships were for or where he is during this critical point in the war.
  • Wire Dilemma: Ventress ends up just slicing through the control panel when a couple of battle droids are wondering about which wire to cut.


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