Original Air Date: October 24, 2008
Production No: 114 (Season 1; Episode 14)
Written by Steve Melching
Series Writer: Henry Gilroy
Directed by Justin Ridge
Key Characters: Captain Rex, Commander Cody
Dee Bradley Baker as the clone troopers
James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Matthew Wood as General Grievous / Battle Droids
Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker
Tom Kane as Narrator / Admiral Yularen
Nika Futterman as Asajj Ventress
Gwendoline Yeo as Hologram VJ
Episode Brief:Alone on a distant outpost, clone officers Rex and Cody must inspire their rookie unit to believe in themselves to stave off a Droid Commando invasion.
Notable: All clone / droid episode.
"The best confidence builder is experience."
Clone forces rally! As the war
escalates in the Outer Rim, the
Jedi Knights are spread thinly
across the galaxy. Many new
clones are rushed into service
to support their Jedi generals.
Unfortunately, because of the
relentless demands of battle,
many young clones must join
the struggle before their
intensive training has been
completed. These clones,
manning a vital network of
tracking stations are all that
stand between the Republic
The setting is the tracking station on the Rishi moon, located on the wispy borders of Republic space, not far from the cloning facilities of Kamino. A clone sentry, CT 327, reports the skies are clear of any suspect activity -- an all too common report heard by the rookie clones within the station. Though genetically identical, they are different in personality and outlook. Hevy is the impetuous and impatient one that vocally laments his posting. He whiles the time away arm-wrestling with trooper Cutup. Echo is all about regulation manuals and protocol. New to the station are Fives (CT 27-5555), Nub (named after the non-flattering acronym "Non-Useful Body") and Droidbait.
The distracted troops snap to attention at the arrival of their commander, Sergeant O'Niner. He informs them that clone officers are due for an inspection of their outpost, one of the most important tracking stations safeguarding this quadrant of the Outer Rim.
Back at the Republic fleet, Anakin Skywalker examines data to find any trace of General Grievous, who has vanished for weeks. Obi-Wan Kenobi, visiting the Resolute, comments on Anakin's readily apparent weariness. Commander Cody reports in, noting a successful check of the tracking station in the Pastil system. The next destination for Cody and Captain Rex is Rishi.
At the tracking station, long range sensors detect an incoming meteor shower. The clones raise the defensive shields, which block any meteors that land too close, but several strike in the outlying crater plain. The lookout CT 327 spots something peculiar through his electrobinoculars. Within the craters are droid landing pods from which emerge sleek and stealthy droid commandos! The agile droids incapacitate the lookout and begin slicing into the door locks.
When CT 327 fails to report in, a concerned O'Niner sends Nub and Droidbait to investigate. They discover the infiltrating commando droids and are cut down by enemy fire. The clones attempt to activate the alert beacon, but the droids have disabled it. O'Niner orders a message dispatched to the fleet, but he too is killed by droid fire, leaving only Fives, Echo, Cutup and Hevy behind to carry out the mission.
The rookie clones seal the ops center and escape through a ventilation shaft before the commandos cut through. The commandos contact General Grievous and the Separatist fleet with news of their success. The droids have hard-wired the all-clear signal, thus preventing the Republic from knowing of the Separatist incursion toward their cloning centers. Asajj Ventress has already infiltrated Kamino and all is in readiness: Grievous will be able to cripple the Republic's cloning facilities for good.
Just then, Republic attack shuttle Obex arrives at the Rishi outpost. Rex and Cody contact the tracking station, and are greeted by a visual of droid commando wearing a clone trooper helmet while doing a vocal impression of a clone. The commando tries to get Rex and Cody to call off their inspection, however, the odd delivery of dialogue -- punctuated by an affirmative "roger roger" no less -- raises their suspicions.
The four rookie clones emerge in the crater-filled crags beneath the tracking station, but find no safety. They are stalked by an immense Rishi eel that chomps down on Trooper Cutup, dragging him away screaming. The remaining three clones spot Cody's shuttle coming in for a landing. The rookies have to somehow warn the officers.
Rex and Cody emerge from the Obex, not at all impressed by the lack of deck officer on duty. The doors to the station open, and out emerges a fully armored trooper with an oddly mechanical gait. The clone tries to bluff Cody and Rex into leaving without doing an inspection. Just then, an alert flare lights up the night sky -- fired by the rookie clones. Rex impetuously fires point-blank into the clone's head. After the body falls, he pulls off the helmet, revealing the scorched cranium of a commando droid. Cody realizes the flare must have come from the outposts' survivors.
Blaster fire erupts as the remaining commando droids charge the platform from within the station. The droids lob thermal detonators that destroy the Obex. Under cover of the explosion, Rex and Cody rappel off the platform's edge, and the droids mistakenly assume the officers were killed.
Below the platform, the officers discover the remaining rookies, who prove their true allegiance and status by removing their helmets, revealing that they aren't droids. Just then, a Rishi eel strikes again, but Rex fells the massive creature with one well-placed shot. The rookies briefly marvel at Rex's marksmanship, but quickly snap to attention as Cody takes command of them. The young clones, particularly Hevy, are determined to retake their outpost.
Back at the fleet, Admiral Yularen is unable to raise the clone officers on the communicator, but Kenobi and Skywalker are too concentrated on tracking Grievous to be alarmed.
At the outpost entrance, commando droids 07, 08, and 09 are met by an oddly shuffling and robotic-acting clone at the gates. It's Captain Rex, posing as unit 26 posing as Captain Rex. To complete the charade, Rex holds a decapitated droid head into the security camera frame when the commandos demand visual identification. Despite Cody's doubts about this rather unorthodox plan, the gullible droids open the blast doors, and are immediately shot apart by the clones.
Rex takes point and storms the ops center. In the gunfight, Fives is wounded, but the clones successfully wipe out the commandos. Cody examines the controls and detects the Separatist fleet invading Republic space. Aboard the Separatist flagship, Grievous receives a status update: the Rishi base is still transmitting an all-clear signal, but the commando droids are not responding. Not willing to leave anything to chance, Grievous dispatches reinforcements to Rishi.
The clones discover that the station's communications system has been sabotaged and that the all-clear signal is hardwired. They spot the incoming Separatist landing craft and realize that their situation is growing worse.
The landing craft sets down on the platform and disgorges battle droids. Rex improvises a new objective: the clones must destroy the outpost. When the all-clear signal stops broadcasting, the Republic will be alerted to the invasion. Echo suggests using LT -- liquid Tibanna -- a fuel source used to keep the lunar outpost warm during its freezing cycle. The clones plan to collect the Tibanna tanks and rig them for detonation, but also stock up at the armory to defend against the battle droids while they do that. Hevy naturally gravitates to the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon, which he uses to mow down the first wave of battle droid reinforcements.
While Yularen continues his attempts to contact Rishi and Grievous' fleet continues its incursion, the clones retreat deeper into the station, holding off the droids long enough for their explosives to be set. The Tibanna tanks are actually three plunk droids wired together to explode, but Rex is having trouble with a faulty detonator. Hevy takes over demolition duty, telling Rex and the rest to evacuate through the vent shaft.
Hevy has little luck with the detonator. As battle droids enter the ops center, Hevy seeks cover. Hevy is determined to manually detonate the explosives. He is blasted by the droids, but goes down fighting, limping back to the fuel tanks. Dying, he uses his last ounce of strength to trip the explosives, ripping the entire station apart in a fireball that sends the landing platform -- and the droid lander -- crashing into the crater.
There is an immediate result -- the all clear signal stops. The Republic fleet realizes an invasion may be underway. Republic ships immediately surround the Separatists, who turn tail and retreat. Republic gunships land on the Rishi moon, picking up the surviving clones.
Later, aboard the Resolute, the clone rookies are commended for their service and their sacrifice. They receive medals directly from Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and are absorbed into the 501st. When the Jedi leave, Echo voices regret. He still views their mission as a failure -- the tracking station was destroyed. But Cody and Rex instead explain the bigger picture, and the crucial role these rookies played in defending Republic space.
Trivia & Details
- The fauna of Rishi includes another re-use of the neebray manta model -- the fourth so far for the series. It can be seen as a tiny creature on the moon of Rugosa in "Ambush," deep space leviathans in "Shadow of Malevolence", and fluttering over Tatooine in the feature film.
- Drop-pods used to deliver droids is an idea that echoes the deployment of probots in The Empire Strikes Back. The model of the commando pod is a re-use of the pod-hunters seen in "Rising Malevolence" and the boarding craft that will appear in "Cloak of Darkness," suggesting a modular, versatile design.
- CT 327's identifying number uses the very common digits 327 -- numbers that conspicuously appear throughout the Star Wars saga. Among other things, 327 is a docking bay number aboard the Death Star in Episode IV, a landing platform in Cloud City in Episode V, and a Naboo ship type in Episode I. Though George Lucas has remained coy on the subject of explaining the number's origins, many have noted that it is a popular car engine type, invoked by name in his feature, American Graffiti.
- Careful inspection of the backgrounds in the ops section of the tracking station shows some Twi'lek model pinups photos on the work station walls.
- Rex and Cody briefly mention a previous dire situation on Tibrin. Tibrin is the Ishi Tib home world.
- Cody, a commander, outranks Rex, a captain.
- Rex touches Echo's armor after killing a Rishi eel, leaving a handprint of eel blood on his armor that remains throughout the rest of the episode, making Echo easier to identify.
- The holographic VJ hosting the music broadcast is a BD-3000 droid, nicknamed a "Bettie Bot"
- The text on Hevy's detonator screen says, in Aurebesh, "ATTE RUL3Z SOME TEXT."
"You're listening to the Grand Army of the Republic broadcast, the voice of the Outer Rim. This next one goes out to the Mud-Jumpers of the 224th, slugging it out on Mimban. Keep your heads down and your seals tight, boys." -- Bettie-Bot VJ
"Leave him alone. They kept him in his growth jar too long." -- Cutup, defending Echo from Hevy.
"Ooo. Meteor shower." -- An ironic Hevy, expressing "concern."
"Now that was an eel. That's why we have the regulation not to go outside." -- Echo, quoting procedure after Cutup is devoured.
"I have a bad feeling about this." -- Clone Commander Cody
"Hands above your heads. Take your sun bonnets off." -- Clone Captain Rex
- "They should have checked in from the Rishi station hours ago. It appears your captain follows orders as well as you do."
- "Hm. Perhaps Cody is boring Rex with standard procedures and protocol." -- Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, discussing their clone officers.
"Looks like we got ourselves a batch of shinies, commander." -- Clone Captain Rex
"Not so tough now, are ya, Sparky?" -- Hevy, to a blasted commando droid
"All right, listen up. There's only one target of interest in this sector: Kamino. It's the closest thing we clones have to a home. Today we fight for more than the Republic. Today we fight for all our brothers back home, understood?" -- Clone Captain Rex.
Related Article Links
- Video Preview A short introduction to the episode
- The Voice of "Rookies" Dee Bradley Baker talks about this episode.
- Clones Take the Spotlight in "Rookies" Director Justin Ridge talks about this assignment.
- Online Comic: Mouse Hunt Rex and Cody check out the tracking station on Pastil.
- Video Commentary What makes the droid commandos so special, and why aren't there more of them? Find out from Supervising Director Dave Filoni.
Key Databank Entries
... And more to come