Original Air Date: January 16, 2009
Production No.: 22 (Season 1; Episode 22)
Written by Katie Lucas
Series Writer: Henry Gilroy
Additional Writing by Scott Murphy
Directed by Rob Coleman
Key Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Aayla Secura, Captain Rex, Commander Bly, Tee Watt Kaa, Wag Too
Key Locales: Quell; Maridun
Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano
Jennifer Hale as Aayla Secura
Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker
Dee Bradley Baker as Clone Troopers
Tom Kane as Narrator/Admiral Yularen
George Coe as Tee Watt Kaa
Alec Medlock as Wag Too
Matthew Wood as Battle Droids/Tactical Droid
Episode Brief: When Anakin is gravely injured in battle, Jedi General Aayla Secura must teach Ahsoka the Jedi philosophy of having no personal attachments -- while they brave the hostile planet in search of medical help for the Jedi Knight.
Full Synopsis"Greed and fear of loss are the roots that lead to the tree of evil."
The Republic fleet is on the defensive
and pushed to the brink! As war rages
in the much contested Outer Rim
Territories, chaos and fear mount as
the Separatist army wages an epic
battle against heavily outnumbered
Republic ships in the far reaches of
the Quell system. Anakin Skywalker
and his Padawan Ahsoka race across
the galaxy to aid Jedi Knight Aayla
Secura who is in the midst of a fight
for her life as the sinister droid army
High in the rarified atmosphere of the cerulean planet Quell, a trio of Jedi cruisers is pelted by concentrated cannonades from a cluster of Separatist frigates. The occupants of the command ship's bridge are shaken by the repeated attacks. A bridge officer reports to Aayla Secura that the shields are gone. Before long, the command ship is the only Republic vessel still maintaining altitude. Its flanking cruisers are ablaze and being tugged into the clouds by gravity.
High above the atmosphere, the Jedi cruiser Resolute snaps out of hyperspace. A determined Anakin Skywalker orders the gunships to scramble. Meanwhile, aboard the lead Separatist frigate, a calculating tactical droid surveys the battle and dispatches rocket pack-equipped super battle droids.
The cloud of airborne droids spans the distance between Separatist and Republic vessels in no time. The super battle droids begin landing on her ship's battered hull, exploiting its breaches to board the perforated warship. Aayla orders her clone officer, Commander Bly, to repel invaders. The ship starts to list and enter further into the atmosphere.
The Resolute arrives at the site of battle, and heavily armed gunships stream from its docking bays. They streak toward Aayla's flagship, leaving the sky littered with contrails. The rocket droids spot the newcomers, and some blast off to intercept. One droid lands atop Anakin's gunship, and begins to tear apart the cockpit canopy. Anakin orders Rex to save the pilot, while he impetuously leaps out the open door and into the sky.
Anakin lands on a rocket droid, riding the out-of-control automaton down to Aayla's cruiser. Meanwhile, the gunship pilot bails from his compromised cockpit, landing in the gunship's open troop bay. Anakin lands his rocket droid in a hull breach, and continues his fight aboard Aayla's ship, not missing a single step as he cuts down battle droids. The pilotless gunship slams into the hull breach moments later, and its occupants -- Ahsoka, Rex and more clones from the 501st, spill onto the scorched deck,
The tactical droid is growing impatient and changes plans. He orders his gunners to blow the cruiser out of the sky, regardless of the hundreds of rocket droids now crawling over its surface. Inside the ship, Ahsoka and Rex catch up to Anakin, and they in turn find Aayla and Bly. Anakin reports to Aayla that he's ordered a ship to dock in the lower hangar.
The plummeting cruiser's ventral hull begins to glow from atmospheric friction. A Republic frigate matches speed and eases into the belly hold, extending the docking port. The Jedi arrive at the lower hold, extending the gangway. Just then a series of explosions tear through the corridors, consuming clones and droids alike. Anakin alone spots the growing fireball. He uses the Force to push his fellow escapes into the gangway airlock, which seals shut. He then turns as the blast doors close on the explosion, but he knows the bulkheads won' t be enough to contain the blast. He offers what reinforcement he can through the Force, but the hatch buckles, and the force of the blast knocks slams him against the airlock.
Ahsoka won't leave Anakin behind. She tries to open the blast door, but it will budge only enough for her to peer through and see him unconscious and gravely wounded. She uses her lightsaber to slice through the door. She pulls Anakin's inert form, but time is running out as the plummeting cruiser continues to convulse and shudder around them. The make their way onto the frigate, which drops from the cruiser's hold and rockets away toward the Resolute. Admiral Yularen advises against docking in the middle of a battle, but Aayla insists since Anakin needs immediate medical attention beyond what the frigate can provide.
As the frigate begins docking with the Resolute, vulture droids fire at it. A hit shakes the cockpit, throwing the pilot forward into the controls, accidentally activating the hyperdrive. Bly can't shut it down. With the ship gearing for lightspeed while still in the Resolute's hold, it risks severe damage to the cruiser. Yularen orders evasive maneuvers. The Resolute turns away from the volatile frigate just as the smaller ship's hyperdrives engage, rocketing away from Quell at unimaginable speeds. Yularen orders the frigate's trajectories plotted, though he knows the odds of their survival are slim -- a jump like that through a gravity well is extremely dangerous.
ACT IIThe crippled frigate tunnels its way through hyperspace. Ahsoka will not leave Anakin's side as he lies in the ship's abbreviated medical suite. Aayla arrives, ordering her and Commander Bly to the bridge. Aayla suggests to Ahsoka that her greatest help to Anakin would be getting the ship to safety. Bly arrives with grim news. The result of the overhasty jump has plotted the ship on a direct collision course with a star.
The crew returns to the bridge, desperately flipping switches to revert the ship from superluminal velocities. Aayla orders a complete power down of the ship, but Ahsoka objects: such a move would shut off Anakin's life support. Regardless, Ahsoka carries out Aayla's command.
They cut power, and the frigate drops out of lightspeed. Its forward momentum still hurtles it towards the star. Aayla switches the power back on in time for the ship's drives to fire up, and it begins to vector away from the searing stellar furnace. Ahsoka slingshots the ship around the star, sending it hurtling towards a nearby grass planet.
The ship plows into the plains, bursting into flames. The clones and the Jedi blow the escape hatches and flee the burning wreckage. Ahsoka and Aayla carry Anakin's limp but living form. The twisted metal eventually burns itself out, and the Republic castaways erect a makeshift shelter to tend to Anakin. His condition is worsening. He will need help that night if he is to make it to morning.
Ahsoka suggests Aayla and Bly head to the south while she and Rex stay with Anakin. Aayla disagrees; the Jedi must work together, even if that means Ahsoka must leave Anakin behind. With difficulty, Ahsoka concurs.
Bly's cursory search of the surrounding area has uncovered a carved tablet with a crude illustration of a humanoid fending off a predator. There are intelligent inhabitants on this grassland planet. Using the tablet as their only clue, the Jedi head out to seek the giant trees depicted in the carving. Captain Rex stays behind at the camp to watch over Anakin while the rest of the team leave to the west. Aayla tries to console Ahsoka, and offers her advice about dealing with attachments. Aayla can sympathize. She felt a similar connection to her master, whom she had to eventually let go.
Night falls. The scouting party arrives at an enormous tree. Enormous falling seedpods nearly crush them, but Aayla spots a path in the grass suggesting that an intelligent culture has found use for the pods and has dragged them away from the tree. The team continues along this new direction.
Meanwhile, the sound of animals stirring in the grass keeps Rex on alert. Anakin begins to awaken just as a mastiff phalone, a deadly turkey-headed quadruped, lunges at Rex. The wicked animal pins Rex, but he manages to squeeze off a blaster shot that startles the monster and causes it to run away into the grasses.
Aayla, Bly, Ahsoka and the rest of the team continue their trek through the tall grasses. Two mastiff phalones lunge at them, bowling over the Jedi and tearing into the clones. Bly shoots one dead, and the other scampers away, but the damage has been done. The clones Cameron, Lucky and Flash are dead. The team, now half their previous size, keeps moving. Meanwhile at camp, Rex continues his vigil.
Dawn breaks. Bly, Ahsoka and Aayla discover a clearing with a village made of enormous seed pods. Lurmen villagers -- small, furred bipeds with huge, expressive eyes -- warily watch the outlanders as they approach. The village elder, Tee Watt Kaa, greets them not with hospitality, but with suspicion. He asks to know their business; Aayla responds that they are peacekeepers in need of medical help.
Tee Watt Kaa begins lecturing that violence breeds violence; he doesn't believe the Jedi are peacekeepers, but instead those who perpetuate war, fear and death. The Lurmen colonized Maridun, this grassland world, in an attempt to escape the Clone Wars. Tee Watt Kaa asks the Jedi to leave, for only destruction will follow in their wake.
The Jedi try to appeal to his compassion, but Tee Watt Kaa is looking out for the best for his people. With Ahsoka's heartfelt plea, Tee Watt Kaa agrees to send his son, Wag Too, a healer, to help Anakin. But he insists that a Jedi stay behind as a gesture of faith, and to insure Wag Too is not kidnapped. Tee Watt Kaa also specifies that the clone and his blaster cannot stay. Ahsoka, Wag Too and Bly then hastily depart, rushing to save Anakin.
Later, in his seedpod hut, Tee Watt Kaa offers Aayla a cup of tea. She sits cross-legged on the hut floor, and the two discuss the war. Aayla reminds the village leader that the Jedi did not start the conflict, but it makes no difference to Tee Watt Kaa. No side is free of fault, as it takes two to fight. Aayla defends the Jedi, stating that liberty is worth fighting for, but to Tee Watt Kaa, the destructive nature of violent solutions undoes any claims of peacekeeping on the Jedi's behalf.
Two mastiff phalones stalk the campsite, and Anakin can feel their approach. He cannot rest. He alerts Rex and the two draw weapons to defend themselves against the rapacious creatures. Rex guns one down, but the other charges, smashing apart the campsite. Anakin is tossed aside and collapses in the dirt. But before the mastiff phalone can turn to attack, it is suddenly circled by Wag Too, who trails a rope around the creature's legs. Ahsoka lights her blade, ready to strike the creature, but Wag Too tells her to stop. Even now, in the face of such a dangerous beast, the Lurmen are seeking a non-violent end.
Ahsoka and Rex join Wag Too in tugging at the rope, tripping up the mastiff phalone. Wag Too ties its feet up. Meanwhile, Bly tends to Anakin. Wag Too stabilizes his condition, and the clones prepare a gurney and carry the fallen Jedi back to the Lurmen village. Wag Too applies rags drenched in healing oils from the seedpods over Anakin, and he rests to recover.
As the sun falls once more, Ahsoka realizes that Aayla's wisdom prevailed. Had she stayed with Anakin, the Jedi would probably have not found the Lurmen village in time to save him. Anakin will recover, but the Jedi are still stranded on Maridun.
Trivia & Details
- The original "fortune cookie" in the script read, "For one to not become attached is the greatest gift."
- The script described the battle over Quell as happening in space, but it was moved to the upper atmosphere for dramatic effect as the show entered preproduction. Of course, such an altitude shift creates all sorts of problems for a hyperdrive, according to established lore on how such devices operate near planets.
- The display screen that Bly uses to inform Aayla and Ahsoka of the ship's impending collision with a star has the rather stark label on it, "IMPACT", written in Aurebesh.
- If you listen carefully to Anakin's ventilator while he's recovering aboard the frigate, it's the same breathing effect as Darth Vader's famous breathmask.
- The Aurebesh legend on Anakin's medical status screen reads STAND BY FOR PROGNOSIS.
- Though Aayla never names her master, she is referring to Quinlan Vos, a Jedi character featured extensively in the Star Wars: Republic comic series. He seemingly abandoned the Jedi path when he went on an extended undercover mission for the Republic.
- The design of the grass planet Maridun stems from Ralph McQuarrie paintings and illustrations originally produced for Return of the Jedi. An earlier draft of the Jedi story depicted a grassland planet named Sicemon. Years later, the Sicemon concept art was resurrected to depict the grasslands of Alderaan in a 1995 coffee table book, The Illustrated Star Wars Universe. The structures seen in the grasslands became "Killik mounds," large abandoned termite-like hives from a supposedly vanished race. These structures became the basis of the seedpod designs seen used by the Lurmen in this episode.
- "Hey, kid!"
- "I know! I know! I'm hanging on!" -- Rex and Ahsoka, during a typical rough landing
"Nice entrance, Skywalker." -- Aayla Secura greeting Anakin
- "Are all Jedi so reckless?"
- "Just the good ones." -- Admiral Yularen and Aayla Secura
- "I'm just glad he wasn't awake to see that landing!"
- "He would've been proud."
- "I've certainly perfected the art of demolishing ships and almost getting my master killed." -- Ahsoka and Aayla, discussing Anakin and landings
Related Article Links
- Video Preview A short introduction to the episode.
- Video Commentary Dave Filoni talks about the origins of Maridun, Lurmen and Aayla Secura from a variety of sources.
- Jedi Aayla Secura Makes Her Clone Wars Debut Director Dave Filoni discusses bringing Aayla to animation.
- Ahsoka and Anakin's Bond Strengthens in "Jedi Crash" Ashley Eckstein discusses the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka.
- The Clone Wars: Headgames A lead-in story that features Aayla Secura and her clones versus a tactical droid.
- Seeing Blue: Aayla Secura The original 2001 production update revealing that Aayla would make the jump from the page to the screen.
- From EU to Episode II: Aayla Secura The very first interview with Amy Allen about bringing Aayla to life in Episode II.
- The Force Runs Strong in This Family: Jett, Amanda & Katie You may have recognized the name of the writer of this episode as George Lucas' daughter, Katie. She was first profiled on StarWars.com back in 2005 in this article.
Key Databank Entries
... And more to come.