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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S1E2 "Rising Malevolence"

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Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction.

Creating panic throughout the galaxy, a devastating Separatist mystery weapon terrorizes the clone starfleet. When Jedi Master Plo Koon and his fleet are unreachable after tracking the weapon to the Abregado system, Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan Ahsoka Tano head off in search. Stuck in an escape pod, Master Plo and a squad of clone troopers are in dire need of help as the Separatist pod-hunters sent to ensure there are no witnesses close in on them...


  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: All Anakin can think to do is run away from the ion cannon. That makes sense when it's still warming up, as the cruiser would be able to turn faster than they could get out of its aim, but not after it's fired.
  • Activation Sequence: During the first time the Malevolence fires its fleet-disabling weapon, the order is given, battle droids activate the system as an electronic hum begins building up, and the emitter near the front of the ship begins to glow before firing a disk of electromagnetic energy that leaves its targets helpless.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The debris field from Plo Koon's three wrecked cruisers is an artificial version of this, having settled as a dense cloud of jagged metal shards, ruined machinery and general wreckage. It proves difficult to navigate through, but is also useful for characters to hide in while trying to evade the Malevolence.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The podhunter. Escape pods have no armor or shielding, so a few shots from a turbolaser would make short work of them. They might as well send vulture droids to comb the debris field.
  • Bad Boss: General Grievous frequently smashes battle droids who annoy him. Count Dooku reminds him that the battle droids are expensive.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When one of the clones wonders how their situation could possibly get worse, Plo Koon reminds him that going asking for trouble will lead to it finding you.
    Sergeant Sinker: How are we gonna make things worse?
    Plo Koon: When you ask for trouble, you should not be surprised if it finds you.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Apparently, Kel Dor like Plo Koon can survive in space for a short time with only their breathing masks protecting them.
  • The Conspiracy: Count Dooku and General Grievous use the Malevolence as the ultimate weapon against the Republic, using the ion cannon to disable the vessels, unloading every turbolaser they have into the crippled enemy, then sending out podhunters to kill any survivors. All of this is to hide the fact they have a weapon on their hands that could easily wipe out the Republic within days, if not weeks. Unfortunately for them, Anakin is able to bring home survivors to expose the weapon's existence.
  • Continuous Decompression: The clones in escape pod 1977 are killed when the podhunter battle droids cut open the viewport of their pod and they're sucked into space.
  • The Cynic: Sergeant Sinker is rather pessimistic and looks on the bleak side of things. His name, "Sinker", also is a clue on his personality.
  • Determinator: Ahsoka is quick to try and find Master Plo despite the odds of his survival being slim. When contact is first lost and the Council orders Anakin to make sure his fleet arrives on schedule, Ahsoka quickly interjects and points out that there is a slight possibility of survival. She actually raises a few eyebrows with her outburst, and gets a mild scolding from Anakin immediately after. Both parties don't give up their search for Plo until the Chancellor himself calls and encourages Anakin to return home, at which point he complies, but Ahsoka refuses to give up and is able to find him almost immediately.
    Palpatine: Boldly spoken for one so young.
    Obi-Wan: She is learning from Anakin.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The droid driving the pod-crusher briefly hums the Imperial March.
  • Disappointed in You: Dooku is not happy that Grievous let the survivors of Plo's fleet get away, and plans on discussing his failures with Sideous. Notably, it's one of the few times he's actually present with his subordinate.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: The first escape pod that Plo and company encounter in the debris field is turned around to discover that it's been attacked and cut open, with a dead clone floating in the hole in the viewport.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Commander Wolffe is shown without clone armor, but dressed in a standard Republic Naval Officer's uniform, and has both eyes attached. Later appearances saw him with only one eye, and wearing a custom set of clone armor designating himself as part of the Wolf Pack.
  • Exact Words: When Anakin and his fleet are ordered to protect military hyperspace routes, he sends his fleet to the coordinates, but he himself leaves the fleet in a small ship called the Twilight with Ahsoka and R2 in order to search for survivors. He even lampshades this trope to teach it to Ahsoka.
    Anakin: Doing what the council says? That's one thing. How we go about doing it? That's another.
  • Expendable Clone: This trope is lampshaded by the clones themselves, who state that they're meant to be expendable. Plo Koon tries to argue against it, but the only reason they are saved is because Ahsoka refused to give up searching for him.
  • Explosive Decompression: Averted and lampshaded by Plo Koon. Before leaving the escape pod, he orders his men to put on their helmets and follow him. He doesn't need any protection because, through a combination of sturdier biology and the breathing apparatus he already wears, he can survive in space long enough to deal with a few battle droids.
  • A Father to His Men: Plo Koon serves the role as the compassionate general for the clone troopers. He even tells his troops that even though they're clones, they aren't dispensable in his eyes.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Plo Koon appears in Revenge of the Sith, which is set after the cartoon's timeframe, so his survival in this episode is inevitable.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The firefight after the podhunter attaches itself to the escape pod. The battle droids and the clone troopers are about 20 feet away from each other and it takes a hilariously long time for any shots to land.
  • Internal Homage: When the ion cannon of the Malevolence is charging, battle droids are shown ducking away from the energy coursing through the tube, as the Death Star officers do when the super laser fires on Alderaan in A New Hope.
  • Latex Space Suit: The clone troopers' armor is revealed to be able to protect them for a short time in space.
  • Leave No Witnesses: It's noted that the Separatists are being unusually tidy in making sure there are no survivors to tell the Republic the details about their new superweapon.
  • More Dakka: The Malevolence unloads enough turbolaser blasts into enemy vessels to completely destroy the defenseless ships.
  • Mythology Gag: The escape pod that Plo, Wolffe, Sinker, and Boost witness being attacked by the podhunter is numbered 1977, which is the year that A New Hope came out.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Malevolence doesn't exactly sound friendly.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Jedi, when they realize that they forgot to turn off the medical droid and the Malevolence has detected its power signature.
  • Outrun the Fireball: At the climax, Anakin has to fly the Twilight out of the debris field to where it'll be safe to pull a Hyperspeed Escape with the giant wheel-shaped ion blast from the Malevolence's ion cannon bearing down on the ship, which will deactivate its systems and leave it easy prey for the giant warship's turbolasers if it catches them.
  • Parental Substitute: Plo Koon is revealed to be this for Ahsoka, as he was the Jedi who found her and brought her to the Jedi Temple.
  • The Power of Friendship: Ahsoka is able to find Master Plo by sensing his presence in the Force due to the bond they have.
  • Sink the Lifeboats: The purpose of the podhunter is to destroy any escape pods that survived, since Count Dooku doesn't want any witnesses.
  • Something We Forgot: When they try to hide from the Malevolence's sensors, Plo has every system aboard the Twilight shut down, including R2. However, they forgot about the medical droid treating the clones at the back of the ship, which they only realize when the droid walks in to ask what's going on.
  • Space Is Noisy: This is a universal Star Wars trope anyway, but Plo, Sinker, and Boost being able to easily converse while outside of the escape pod bears mention.
  • Tempting Fate: Sinker's comment about how their situation cannot get much worse is followed shortly thereafter by the podhunter noticing them.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The entire purpose of the Malevolence is to wipe out entire enemy forces, so they've installed thousands of turbolasers on the massive vessel to unload enough firepower into crippled enemy ships, rendering them into space-dust.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: The podhunter's purpose is to crack open escape pods and kill those inside, often through decompression.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: The battle droids, who are usually depicted in a comical or bungling way, are very efficient at tearing open the life pods containing the living beings. Their high-pitched, almost child-like voices plotting the killing of the survivors just makes it even creepier.