With excitement building over the coming release of a seventh season of The Clone Wars in 2019, we’re taking a look back at each episode of the first six seasons – doing so in chronological order. Today, we’re looking at the first episode chronologically, the sixteenth episode of season two, titled “Cat and Mouse.”
The people of Cristophsis are in desperate need of aid, and Senator Bail Organa is trapped on the surface of the planet along with the people by a Separatist blockade led by Admiral Trench. Anakin Skywalker commands the Republic forces attempting to get through the blockade, but to little success. Obi-Wan Kenobi soon arrives with reinforcements, but calls Skywalker to retreat behind the moon to regroup and see his new weapon. The Republic fleet does so, and Kenobi shows Skywalker a prototype stealthed ship. It hasn’t been tested in battle before, but Kenobi wants Skywalker to take the ship and sneak past the blockade to bring relief supplies to Organa and the people. Admiral Yularen, meanwhile, does some research after becoming suspicious during the earlier battle and confirms his fears: it must be Admiral Trench leading the Separatist attack. Yularen had faced Trench years earlier, during the Battle of Malastare Narrows, where Trench supposedly went down with his ship. Yularen knows that Trench is a real threat, so he joins Skywalker and a group of clones on the mission aboard the stealthed ship.
Trench soon grows suspicious of the Republic’s delay, so he sends bombers to the planet to attempt to draw the Republic out of hiding. These bombers narrowly miss Skywalker’s stealthed ship, and he decides to go on the offensive to get Trench’s attention away from the people on the planet. He briefly de-cloaks the ship and fires torpedoes at Trench’s flagship, which do no good against the shields but which do attract Trench’s attention. Skywalker narrowly avoids a laser barrage with the cloaked ship, telling Trench that it must be a Jedi piloting the ship. Trench sends a communication to Skywalker telling him that he’s dealt with a ship like this before. Skywalker again goes on the offensive, and Trench locks onto the ship’s magnetic signature before it cloaks again. He then sends tracking torpedoes after them, but in order to do so the flagship’s shields are lowered. Skywalker uses this to his advantage, turning the ship straight toward the flagship with the torpedoes in pursuit. Skywalker narrowly avoids a collision, but in doing so he sends the torpedoes right into Trench’s flagship, destroying it and (presumably) killing the Admiral. He then proceeds with the mission to carry relief supplies to Organa while Kenobi finishes off the rest of the Separatist forces.
This episode introduces us to Admiral Trench, a Harch hailing from Secundus Ando. A spider-like creature, Trench is a visibly unsettling image – and Skywalker, upon seeing him, says, “Hello, ugly.” It’s cool that Admiral Yularen has a bit of a rivalry with Trench, given the fact that they faced each other before (where Yularen lost a lot of men). Trench seems to have a reputation as a good military commander, and one who has a way of avoiding certain death. That will come into play again, as this wasn’t the last of Trench planned for The Clone Wars.
Really, this episode is a good old fashioned battle between Skywalker and Trench, giving both of them time to shine as commanders of their respective ships and fleets. Skywalker ultimately gets the upper hand, and his stealthed ship actually served as the inspiration for Grand Moff Tarkin’s eventual ship, the Carrion Spike.
This episode is almost entirely about ship-to-ship combat, but it’s not just a straightforward dogfight. It’s packed with drama, too, and the look of the interior of the stelthed ship, as well as the general idea behind it, kind of reminds of a submarine battle – only in space. It’s a unique feel to the battle against a new interesting military commander, and these things help make this episode memorable.
My grade: 8.2/10