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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S1E1 "Ambush"

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Great leaders inspire greatness in others.

Jedi Master Yoda is on a secret mission to forge a treaty with the King of the strategic system of Toydaria when his ship is ambushed by Count Dooku. Yoda and three clone troopers must face off against Count Dooku's dreaded assassin Ventress and her massive droid army to prove the Jedi are strong enough to protect the king and his people from the forces of the Clone Wars so that Toydaria can join the Republic.


  • An Aesop: The morals are introduced in this episode.
  • Ambadassador: Both Yoda and Ventress serve as this in order to negotiate with King Katuunko on behalf of the Galactic Republic and the Separatist Alliance respectively.
  • Amusingly Awful Aim: A battle droid tries to shoot down Yoda's escape pod and misses by a mile. Another droid calls him out, to which he replies, "Oh well, it's my programming." In "Shadow of Malevolence", another droid (or possibly that same one) complains that he still can't hit anything even with the targets disabled, to which Grievous angrily smashes his head.
  • Anachronic Order: This episode chronologically takes place between "Supply Lines" (3:03) and the Ryloth Trilogy ("Storm Over Ryloth", "Innocents of Ryloth", and "Liberty on Ryloth"; 1:19-21).
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Ventress and Dooku go from trying to convince King Katuunko to join the Separatists to trying to murder him after he tells them that he will join the Republic.
  • Big Good: Yoda takes up the role as the ambassador of the Galactic Republic. He is on a mission to negotiate with King Katuunko in order to prove the Jedi are strong enough to protect the king and his people from the forces of the Clone Wars so that Toydaria can join the Republic, and eventually succeeds.
  • Call-Back: Ventress escapes in the same manner that Count Dooku did back in Attack of the Clones through forcing Yoda to save his companions while she flees to her ship.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When King Katuunko has Ventress' lightsabers up against his neck, he's pretty calm.
    Katuunko: Jedi Master Yoda. I am very pleased to meet you.
  • Clone Angst: Setting up a theme for the series, the clone troopers spend much of the episode lamenting their clone status, while Yoda emphasizes their individuality and importance to the Force.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Yoda tells the three clones (Jek, Rys, and Thire) that they are each individuals in the Force.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The B1 droids are always good for this.
    Droid: Yoda? How will we know what he looks like?
    Ventress: He'll be the small shriveled green one with a lightsaber. [ignites her own]
    Droid: Small, huh? We'll get him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Asajj Ventress challenges Yoda and he disarms her effortlessly with the Force.
    • Yoda takes on a battalion of Separatist droids with tanks and cuts them all down.
  • Deadly Dodging: Yoda's first fight against a squad of Separatist droids ends this way, without him so much as drawing his lightsaber.
  • Escape Pod: Yoda and his clones get down to the moon where the meeting is taking place this way, with the rest of the ship's pods launched as well to provide cover while the ship itself leaves the system.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Upon seeing Ventress attempt to blatantly cheat in order to subdue Yoda, King Katuunko immediately decides to form an alliance with the Republic, enraging Dooku and Ventress.
    Dooku: I urge you to reconsider, wise king. I promise you won't regret it.
    Katuunko: Your agent also promised me Yoda would get a fair fight! I will not deal with those who break their words.
  • Faceless Goons: This is explored in the episode when Yoda asks his clone troopers to remove their helmets. Yoda then proceeds to remark on the unique character traits of each of the clones.
  • Facepalm: The OOM-series battle droid commander does this when one of his subordinates disobeys orders to not bring the tanks further into the corals and subsequently gets stuck.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: Yoda and the clones regroup while being chased by a squad of B2 super battle droids. Yoda halves their attackers' numbers by lifting one using the Force and forcing it to fire Guns Akimbo, picking off several droids until they destroy their misused comrade.
  • I Owe You My Life: King Katuunko happily allows the Republic to establish a base in his system without negotiations after Yoda saves his life.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: The OOM-series battle droid commander reports that the Separatist droids and tanks have surrounded Yoda, but "he's just sitting there". Ventress immediately orders them to fire, but moments later...
  • Leitmotif: Yoda's theme is featured in this episode. Ventress receives a distorted, two-note descending motif as her theme.
  • One-Man Army: Yoda is an extremely powerful Jedi Master, and easily takes on the droid army by himself. This is lampshaded by King Katuunko when he remarks that Jedi are reputed to be worth a hundred battle droids each, and states at the end that Yoda is worth over a thousand droids by himself. Even the clone troopers Yoda commands can't help but note that their general barely needs their help in most situations.
  • One-Word Title: "Ambush".
  • Puppet King: Invoked by Dooku when he orders Ventress to kill Katuunko, so he'll have an easier time "negotiating" with Katuunko's replacement.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Ventress does this as she describes Yoda to the battle droids:
    "He'll be the small, shriveled, green one... WITH A LIGHTSABER!"
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dooku (and by extension, Ventress) quickly go from trying to peacefully negotiate with King Katuunko of the Toydarians to trying to execute him once they realize he has no intention of joining the Separatists.
  • Zerg Rush: The entire episode is about an entire Separatist droid army trying to defeat Yoda and his three clone troopers. It doesn't work.