April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Clone Wars “Rookies”

Cody and Rex need to help some Shinies stop a Separatist plot.

Alright, here’s another stand-alone with a small voice cast.  That’s mostly because this is a clone-focused episode, and all those guys literally sound the same.

That said, for all this is still good guys vs bad guys, this is an episode that accomplishes two things.  First, it gives some insight into how the clone troopers, left to their own devices, see themselves and each other.  Secondly, it has a really large body count.  True, that’s pretty much exclusively clone troopers the audience has never seen before, but the point stands.  For this episode, a number of the clones are given names and at the least a rudimentary personality, distinct from each other, so even if they all have the same voice and nearly identical faces, there are still ways to show the different clones have different ways of seeing things.

That can come in a number of ways, such as here when Anikin and Obi-Wan, knowing that their clone commanders are off together on an inspection tour, comment on how their respective comrades are just a little different.  Obi-Wan clearly prefers the by-the-book Commander Cody (who I don’t think has been on the show before) while Anikin like the more improvisational style of Captain Rex (who has been kicking ass since the pilot movie and will eventually break the “Order 66” programming to help Ahsoka escape an attack by his comrades at the end of the series).

But then there are the others.  The opening narration says there’s such a need for clones that many are rushed out to the front lines before they can complete their training.  That seems to be what’s going on with the outpost that is the scene for most of the action.  The only experienced one there seems to be the one called “Sarge,” and that’s due to his general air of authority and gray hair.  But Sarge goes down early on in a droid attack, mostly acting as cover to help some others escape.  And even the escape doesn’t work as one of the four to get away is soon eaten by a giant worm thing.

But the remaining three are there to make up for it when Cody and Rex, far more experienced, recognize a trap and manage to escape on their own.  And while these droids aren’t that much smarter than most, these are a new sort:  Commando Droids, ones that have a bit more armor on their torso and seem to need headshots to take down.

Anyway, Grievous’s plot this time is to capture a valuable Republic monitoring station and make sure it doesn’t stop transmitting an “all clear” until he’s able to attack Kamino.  That plan might have worked had Cody and Rex not come by.  Kamino is, as Rex says, the clones’ home.  They need to protect the place for their sake and the sake of their clone brethren back there.  Plus Rex uses a droid head and some bad puppetry to get into the station.

Aside from that, there’s the new clones Hevy, Fives, and Echo.  Echo seems to be a comms expert.  Fives has that number in his serial number quite a bit (and again has a big storyarc in the final season), and Hevy hates his assignment but finds the largest gun he can lift when the clones need to rearm in the armory.  Hevy also sacrifices his life to blow the station up, alerting the Republic just as Grievous’s fleet is passing by because I guess the Republic’s ships were just able to zip over there in a matter of seconds.

Anyway, Echo and Fives will be hanging around for a while if nothing else.