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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S3E4 "Sphere of Influence"

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A child stolen is a hope lost.

The moon Pantora has been blockaded by the Trade Federation in an attempt by the Separatists to make it switch sides. Newly-elected chairman Baron Papanoida and Senator Chuchi are attempting to get the Republic to help before the Federation's senator, Lott Dod, can legitimize it. But then the Separatists decide to ramp up their pressure on the Pantorans by having the Baron's daughters kidnapped. It's up to the Pantorans, with some unofficial Jedi assistance, to rescue the women before the Separatists' efforts can become successful.

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Tropes:

  • Action Dad: Chairman Papanoida, once he goes full Papa Wolf to save his daughters. He tracks down one of the bounty hunters responsible for kidnapping his daughters, forces him to cooperate at knifepoint and then proceeds to blast his way out of a bar full of Greedo's associates.
  • Action Girl: Ahsoka is naturally this, but the Pantorans Riyo Chuchi and Che Amanwe Papanoida also qualify as the former has no qualms with calling out the Trade Federation twice regarding their bullshit and the latter manages to injure Greedo with a religious icon whilst being kidnapped and later knocks out one of her father's assailants, pilfers his blaster and shoots another one in the shoulder during her rescue.
  • Anachronic Order: This episode is set after "Corruption", "The Academy", and "Assassin" (3:05-07) as well as "ARC Troopers" (3:02), but before "Evil Plans" (3:08).
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  • Ascended Extra: Baron Papnoida was originally just a Creator Cameo for George Lucas in Revenge of the Sith. Here, he’s actually plot-relevant.
  • Badass Family: The Papanoidas, full stop.
  • Bar Brawl: The rescue of Che Amanwe sparks a gunfight in a cantina. The cantina, in fact, with Greedo himself involved.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Senator Chuchi calls her blackmailing of the Trade Federation executives responsible for the kidnapping "business".
  • Blatant Lies: Lott Dod claims to the Senate that the Trade Federation no longer has anything to do with the extremist Nute Gunray in addition to the fact that they are neutral and not affiliated with the Separatists. Despite the blatant untruth, they've managed to rustle up enough Plausible Deniability that they can still operate in Republic space.
  • Call-Back:
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    • The Trade Federation is still employing blockades in the service of their masters' goals.
    • Baron Papanoida makes reference to the events of the pilot movie while negotiating with Jabba regarding Greedo.
  • Call-Forward: Greedo still isn't the most competent of bounty hunters.
  • The Cameo: Rotta the Huttlet is seen snuggled up next to his father Jabba and is used by the Baron as an example of appealing from one father to another.
  • Damsel in Distress: Chi Eekway and Che Amanwe Papanoida are kidnapped to place political pressure on their father. It applies more to Chi Eekway, who's the quieter of the two.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of the Trade Federation flunkeys, while understanding that Sib Canay's profit margins with the Separatists can be considerable, objects to the kidnapping.
    • Jabba is more than willing to let Baron Papanoida do what he will with Greedo after being appealed to as a father who has also had his child kidnapped once.
  • Gasp!: Chuchi reacts thusly to learning that (one of) the Papanoida sisters are on the Trade Federation flagship, resulting in her and Ahsoka nearly getting discovered snooping.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Che Amanwe smashes a bottle over the head of a Quarren aiming at her father.
  • Guns Akimbo: Chairman Papanoida wields two blaster pistols during the rescue of Che Amanwe.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Separatists attempt to pressure Baron Papanoida into submitting to their deal by kidnapping his daughters.
  • Improvised Weapon: Che Amanwe uses a statuette as a bludgeon while fighting back against the bounty hunters sent to kidnap her and her sister. The blood left on it provides a clue as to who was responsible.
  • In the Hood: Ahsoka wears a cloak as a disguise when going on a diplomatic mission to the Trade Federation flagship with Chuchi.
  • It's Probably Nothing: When the Papanoida sisters return home and discover the lights won't turn on, Chi Eekway sees someone moving around in the darkened apartment, but Che Amanwe dismisses it. It doesn't take her long to discover how wrong she was.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Ahsoka uses it for what she confirms is her first time to get into a detention block on Sib Canay's flagship.
  • Literal-Minded: The guard Ahsoka mind-tricks into letting her into the detention block only lets her in, blocking Senator Chuchi, so Ahsoka has to mind-trick him again so the Senator can get in.
  • Off-Model:
    • Rex has a shot where his kama is missing.
    • Baron Papanoida's half-cape is missing when he walks into Jabba's court.
  • Papa Wolf: Baron Papanoida goes all-out when his daughters are kidnapped by the Separatists, personally going on the hunt for Greedo when he finds evidence of his involvement. When he finds Greedo and is held at gunpoint, he merely tells the bounty hunter to tell him where his daughters are or die, then wrestles his way out and holds Greedo at knifepoint for an audience with Jabba to get the truth of the matter before actually lifting the Rodian bodily from the ground and demanding to be taken to his daughters. Jabba's example of this trope is also acknowledged when the Baron reminds him of when his own son was kidnapped.
  • Plausible Deniability: The Trade Federation publicly claims that Nute Gunray is an extremist who is no longer affiliated with them so they can hide their Separatist ties, although senators like Padmé, Bail Organa and Riyo Chuchi know it's a lie. At the same time, though, the episode demonstrates that it can also hinder them.
  • Playing Both Sides: The Trade Federation is using Plausible Deniability to continue operating in the Republic even though they're part of the Separatists.
  • Police Are Useless: Inspector Tan Divo is not particularly helpful in this manner, just as he will be in "Senate Murders". He and his droids fail to find any evidence of foul play in the kidnapping of the Papanoida sisters, but the Baron finds evidence within minutes of entering the apartment.
  • Series Continuity Error: Ahsoka, suggesting that the Papanoida daughters are being held on the Trade Federation blockade ship, refers to Pantora as a planet — after "Trespass" had made its status as a moon very clear.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Ahsoka uses the Force to make some décor move noisily so she and Chuch can sneak past a guard.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Senator Chuchi went from being a timid and soft-spoken girl cowed by her homeworld's leader to a strong-willed and confident young woman who is willing to take on the Trade Federation in verbal warfare despite their renowned economic clout.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Greedo flees the scene when the rest of his associates are killed in the gunfight during Che Amanwe's rescue.
  • With My Hands Tied: Che Amanwe Papanoida smashes a bottle over the head of a Quarren aiming at her father, grabs a blaster and shoots the Gotal about to shoot her father, all while handcuffed.
  • The X of Y: "Sphere of Influence".


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