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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S3E1 "Clone Cadets"

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Brothers in arms are brothers for life.

On Kamino, squads of clone cadets are preparing for their final training exercises before graduating and going to fight in the wars. Out of the current class, Domino Squad is considered the worst, performing poorly on the "Citadel" training exercise because they can't work together.

As the two bounty hunters who work as training sergeants disagree on what to do with the Dominoes, Jedi Master Shaak Ti, overseeing training, agrees with the compassionate El-Les to let Domino Squad re-try the exercise once more, even as the squad's members argue amongst themselves over their poor performance. But if the Dominoes fail once again, they won't ever see a real battlefield...

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Tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: "Clone Cadets".
  • Anachronic Order: This episode is the season three premiere, but takes place before season one's "Rookies", with the next episode, "ARC Troopers", set after "Rookies". This episode also takes place either right after the pilot movie, or possibly during it due to not having any characters in common.
  • Appropriated Appellation/Insult Backfire: Cutup acquires his nickname with pride after Brick calls him that as an insult.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Shaak Ti agrees that El-Les' belief that Domino Squad can do better is founded, but has no problem with Brick having removed their grappling lines because real battles are not forgiving environments.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": When it looks like Domino Squad is going to fail, Hevy takes being addressed by his name (rather than CT-784) poorly.
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  • Dramatic Irony: Hevy promises 99 he'll be back someday. In his first appearance in the later-set "Rookies", he dies.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Brick, who thinks that Domino Squad's poor performance means they should be shuffled off to maintenance duty. During their re-run of the Citadel simulation, he even makes sure they don't have grappling lines to make it harder.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Echo doesn't like his nickname, but the others point out they call him that because he keeps unnecessarily repeating orders.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since the members of Domino Squad first appeared in "Rookies" as, well, rookie clone troopers, you know that they're not going to be relegated to maintenance.
  • He's Back: Hevy storms out on the rest of Domino Squad when it looks like they're never going to be real clone troopers, and considers deserting. After a talk with 99 the maintenance clone, he returns, determined to pass the Citadel once and for all.
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  • Moving the Goalposts: During Domino Squad's second run at the Citadel, they discover that they don't have grappling cables — Brick's decision, in order to make the exercise that much harder.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the Citadel exercises is run using variant THX, version 1138.
  • Pun: "Time to watch the Dominoes fall."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The members of Domino Squad — Hevy, Fives, Echo, Cutup, and Droidbait — have a hard time working together during the first Citadel run, so they fail.
  • Unexplained Accent: Cutup seems to have an almost Scottish-sounding accent at times for no discernable reason, especially since none of the other clones have it.


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