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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 Domino Squad, 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. However, if the Dominoes fail once again, they won't ever see a real battlefield...


  • Alliterative Title: "Clone Cadets".
  • Anachronic Order: This episode chronologically takes place before "Rookies" (1:05) and "ARC Troopers" (3:02). This episode is also set directly after the pilot movie.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Cutup acquires his nickname with pride after Bric 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 Bric having removed their ascension cables because real battles are not forgiving environments.
  • Call-Forward: Fives and Echo approach Shaak Ti to ask for a transfer to another squad, which she denies. "Rookies" already established that the two of them will be the only members of Domino Squad to survive the battle of the Rishi moon and subsequently inducted into the 501st Legion.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": When it looks like Domino Squad is going to fail, Hevy takes being addressed by his nickname (rather than CT-782) poorly.
  • Dramatic Irony: Hevy promises 99 that he'll be back someday. In the chronologically later-set "Rookies" (his first appearance), he dies via performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Bric, who believes that Domino Squad's poor performance means that they should be shuffled off to maintenance duty. During their re-run of the Citadel simulation, Bric even makes sure that Domino Squad doesn't have ascension cables to make the test harder.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Echo doesn't like his nickname, but the others point out that they call him that because he keeps unnecessarily repeating orders. And not only then.
    Droidbait: Hey, where's CT-782?
    Echo: Yeah, where is CT-782?
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: It’s revealed that Echo was named for his habit of repeating what was just said, while Fives was named for his birth number (CT-5555) being a Repetitive Name.
  • Moving the Goalposts: During Domino Squad's second run at the Citadel, they discover that they don't have ascension cables. Bric stole them to test their skills and—if possible—see them fail.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the Citadel exercises is run using version THX variable 1138.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Commander Colt's number one rule for clones is that they fight together and never leave a brother behind. When Domino Squad leaves behind a wounded Droidbait in favor of pursuing their objective, Colt fails the team immediately and chews them out for it.
  • Pun: "Time to watch the Dominoes fall."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The members of Domino Squad — Hevy, Fives, Echo, Cutup, and Droidbait — have a difficult time with working together during the first Citadel run, so they fail.
  • Unexplained Accent: Cutup has a Scottish-sounding accent at times for no discernable reason, especially since none of the other clones have it.