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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Movie)

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 3D CGI animated theatrical film that is set in the Star Wars Canon and takes place during the three-year time period between the theatrical films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in addition to being the introduction of the installment (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 holds the home media distribution rights to the installment as a whole. The pilot movie 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 pilot movie earned over $14 million in its opening weekend and went on to earn over $60 million worldwide. A major marketing campaign for the pilot movie included toys, fast food, and comic books.

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


The pilot movie provides examples of:

  • The Apprentice:
    • Ahsoka Tano is introduced to be new Jedi Padawan learner of Anakin.
    • Asajj Ventress is a Sith apprentice of Darth Tyrannus/Count Dooku.
  • Bald of Evil: Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku's Sith apprentice, is hairless and one of the antagonists in the pilot movie.
  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: At the end of the pilot movie, Dooku warns Anakin that once his Separatist droids kill Rotta, they'll drag Ahsoka before Jabba, 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.
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  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Dooku and Ziro form an alliance, although Ziro is obviously the lesser of the two.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Ziro the Hutt entered into an alliance with Dooku solely to gain hold of Jabba's territories and with it, control over the Hutt Council.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Jabba tries to have Anakin executed on 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 droids that had a hole in it just above Anakin's position.
  • Children Are Innocent: Rotta, the young son of one of the biggest gangsters in the galaxy, is an adorable, sweet little guy.
  • Cool Starship: The Twilight is introduced in the pilot movie.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The heads of the bounty hunters Jabba hired to rescue his son are brought back to him to show their obvious failure.
  • The Dragon: Asajj Ventress serves the role as this to Count Dooku.
  • Ensign Newbie: Lampshaded by Rex, who was 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 tried to have his nephew Jabba along with Jabba's son Rotta murdered so he could take over Jabba's "businesses" and position.
  • 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.
  • Frame-Up: Count Dooku framed 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, Jabba's infant son.
  • Giant Flyer: The can-cells are dragonflies large enough to carry Anakin and Ahsoka for a considerable distance.
  • Green Around the Gills: Ahsoka noted that Rotta was so sick he turned every shade of green except the one he was supposed to be.
  • Heroic Willpower: Captain Rex's willpower is powerful enough to resist a Jedi Mind Trick by Ventress.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The first battle scene of the pilot movie has the Clone Troopers run out of their hiding space into the beam spam, one of them actually runs up to a Battle Droid and tries to punch it out with his fist. It doesn't work.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Even though the plot of the pilot movie involves around an infant Hutt being kidnapped and possibly being hurt, no harm befalls him.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Ventress attempted to do this on Rex. It doesn't work.
  • 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: And how! The pilot movie's DVD case even has advertisements for all the assorted Star Wars stuff you can buy.
  • 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. Throughout The Clone Wars, there are frequent introductions of Clone Troopers who have not previously served on the front lines and they try to deal with gaining real-world experience on top of their training.
  • 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 was quick to tell her that he should not have been in that situation in the first place.
  • Noir Episode: Noir act, really. At the end of the pilot movie, 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.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: When Ventress tried to use a Jedi Mind Trick to make Rex contact Anakin, he not only resisted the mind trick, but fooled Ventress by seemingly complying. This way he was 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 was ready to align with whoever rescued Rotta, and when it seemed like Anakin had killed him, Jabba was ready to have him executed at the spot. Plus there's his retaliation against Ziro for the kidnapping.
  • Red Wire Blue Wire: Asajj ends up just slicing through the control panel when a couple of Battle Droids are wondering about which wire to cut.
  • Sixth Ranger: The Pilot Movie introduces the Retail Caucus, the sixth corporate entity to pledge allegiance to the Separatists.
  • 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 was standing right under a hole on it.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong??: After capturing the B’omarr Order Monastery, and they begin to search for Rotta, Ahsoka points out that the hard part is over. Anakin replied with "I wish you wouldn’t say that", and indeed a few minutes later things became complicated.
  • 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 now revealed, Ahsoka actually comments that she had been wondering where the droid had gone to.
    • Early in the pilot movie, 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.

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