Clone Wars : Lost Missions the Clovis arc

March 14, 2014 in Guest Blogs, The Clone Wars by GuestBlogs

Continuing our Lost Missions series Mindless-Droid talks about the Clovis arc.

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On Friday March 7th The Clone Wars: Lost Missions debuted and in it was the three part Clovis arc intended for season five. The Clovis arc had several clips in the season five trailer and an exclusive clip of Embo chasing Anakin, Padme and Clovis while snowboarding on his hat was shown at Star Wars weekends 2012 (has it been nearly two years already?) but was pulled from season five.

(spoilers after the break)

The arc not only showed us Sidious putting another piece of his master plan in place by orchestrating a clandestine takeover of the financial system but also showed us a dark side of Anakin and his struggle with attachment that made Padme question their relationship. A quick aside it was cool to hear Ian Abercrombie one more time portraying Palpatine/Sidious he was just so great in that role.

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The arc starts with An Old Friend. Traveling to Scipio to oversee a bank transfer Padme is surprised to learn Rush Clovis is a special representative to the banking clan. Refusing to do business with Clovis Padme walks out on the negotiations. Later that evening Clovis visits Padme and tells her of corruption at the highest levels of the banking clan. At first Padme is reluctant but after an attack by the bounty hunter Embo and after a discussion with the chancellor she has a change of heart and agrees to help Clovis. Clovis’ plan to infiltrate the main vault and access the information proving the corruption is successful but it costs the life of Padme’s aid Teckla and Padme is imprisoned on espionage charges. Anakin arrives and Padme is released into his custody. She takes him to Clovis’ residence to find the disc with the information on it. They find the house ransacked and Clovis in hiding. Shortly thereafter they are attacked by Embo and chased through the mountains of Scipio barely escaping. Embo contacts Lord Sidious who deems his mission a success and will take over from hereon.

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I like this episode the animation of planet Scipio the vaults and power plant were top notch. As was the power plant explosion and the chase through the Scipio mountain side. There was also the little details like seeing the characters breath in the cold. It’s the attention to details like that that made this show so good. I was surprised that Embo killed Teckla I didn’t see that coming. When Padme said “I have powerful friends…” I immediately thought of Leia in Return of the Jedi. I liked when Padme mentions Clovis you hear the background music turn dark with Anakin’s reaction. I had to chuckle when Anakin called Clovis lover boy and when Clovis answered by calling him a pilot. It was cool to see Embo again and who wouldn’t want to have an Anooba like Marrok.

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The second episode of the arc The Rise of Clovis begins with the leaders of the banking clan concerned over the information that Clovis and Padme had obtained. We also see that Nix Card is in on Sidious’ plan to control the banks. Clovis, Padme and Anakin arrive on Coruscant and present their evidence to the chancellor who asks them to continue the investigation a request that does not sit well with Anakin. Obi-wan visits Anakin in his quarters and discusses Anakin’s relationship with Padme. Later Padme and Clovis are discussing the investigation in her apartment. During the discussion Clovis tells Padme of his background being adopted by a Muun family and that they are good people as a reason for exposing the corruption. He also questions Padme’s relationship with Anakin and tries to get close with her. Just then Anakin walks in and his rage and jealousy overcomes he snaps and loses control pummeling Clovis. Captain Typho enters and Clovis covers for them. A medical droid is summoned and Clovis will be okay. Padme distraught questions her relationship with Anakin and tells him they should not see each other for a while. The medical droid tending to Clovis is actually a servant of Count Dooku. Dooku convinces Clovis he is on his side and will help Clovis become the head of the banks. He gives Clovis the information to prove Clovis’ accusations. This leads to Clovis exposing the leaders of the banking clan and he gains the Separatist and Republics approval to run the banks.

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This episode was one of the better political episodes of The Clone Wars. Not only did we see Palpatine’s plan furthered along but it also showed us Anakin’s dark side a dark side that would not only eventually cost him everything but lead to his fall to the dark side. Palpatine’s plot is ingenious not only is he engaging in the plot to take over the banks but also gets to stoke the fire of hate and anger in Anakin at the same time. The brief scene in Anakin’s quarters between him and Obi-wan gives insight into how much Obi-wan knows or suspects about Anakin’s relationship with Padme. I liked the poster on the wall of Sebulba and Ben Quadinaros. The brief reference to Satine was a sad moment. Some have questioned because of that reference sounding like Satine was still alive that this arc chronologically should come before the Maul Deathwatch arc but the official chronology by Leeland Chee places this arc in season six. That this scene comes after Satine’s death shows Obi-wan’s adherence to the Jedi code and that he has controlled his anger and fear of loss and does not have the attachment issues that Anakin has.

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One thing that stuck out and it’s an odd thing but to me having seen the play-doh food on Star Trek and the chalk sticks that Luke carried around I thought the animation of the food was done better than most and just the simple detail of Padme and Clovis eating was something that stood out to me for some reason. Just another one of those details that The Clone Wars team would put in to make the show that much better. Then there is the fight it was intense. Clovis punching Anakin’s cyborg hand was a cool spot. You get to see Anakin snap and be somewhat consumed by the dark side of his personality as he was beating the stuffing out of Clovis. This is like a preview of when he gives himself to the dark side in ROTS. You get to see that he didn’t just snap that night in the chancellor’s office it shows us another example that this had been building in him for some time. Also after Padme told him to leave in his ship he at first was sad but the expression of sadness turned to anger as the scene cut away. Clovis trusting Count Dooku was somewhat naive but I guess he felt that he had Dooku under control. What I want to know is how did Dooku walk in the holo transmission? During the senate debate and vote we get another of the quick shots of Palpatine with the smirk on his face as his plans are unfolding. I also liked that they showed Chuchi voting yes and Bail voting no. The last scene with Anakin and Palpatine you just know Sidious is thinking this is a very good two for one plan insert Palpatine smirk.

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The final episode of this arc Crisis at Heart begins with Clovis assuming his new post as leader of the banking clan. Shortly after Clovis is visited by Dooku who puts the squeeze on Clovis forcing him to raise interest rates on the Republic. The Senate does not take the news well. This combined with a Separatist invasion fleet make Clovis appear to once again be a Seperatist traitor. The Seppies attack and overwhelm the small detachment of Clones lead by Commander Thorn. Padme is captured by the droids and Palpatine orders an emergency session of congress to authorize a Republic counterattack. Meanwhile on Scipio Dooku arrives and as Padme grabs a blaster from one of the droids holding her Dooku in a stunning moment uses the force to move the blaster that she is holding and kills Separatist Senator Bec Lawise. The senate approves a as Palpatine says mercy mission to Scipio lead by General Skywalker. Before the Republic fleet arrives Count Dooku leaves Scipio his goals have been accomplished. Anakin and the 501st arrive on the surface as Rex and the boys hold off the droids Anakin goes to rescue Padme. As Anakin confronts Clovis, Clovis takes Padme hostage. During the standoff a vulture droid is shot down and crashes into the tower that they are in causing a partial collapse. Padme and Clovis nearly fall but Anakin grabs both of them as they hang over the edge Anakin can’t pull both of them up. In a final act of self-sacrifice Clovis let’s go allowing Anakin to pull Padme to safety. Due to the chaos on Scipio the Muun government cedes control of the banks to the supreme chancellor and to Darth Sidious another piece of the master plan has been put in place.

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This episode had more action then the previous two and ended the arc on a high note. Sidious’ plan come to full fruition. Palpatine really knows how to manipulate the bureaucracy. It reminds me of the prologue to A New Hope “Aided and abetted by restless, power hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected president of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the republic.” We see here how the leaders of these systems are corrupted by the power even as the general population is unaware what is happening. They pointed that out well with how the Muun people not their leaders were portrayed.

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The battle of Scipio was good but unfortunately like many other episodes we get introduced to a new clone commander Commander Thorn and he is immediately killed off. I believe it was Killian Plunkett who said on one of the Clone Wars DVD’s “bonus content” that they make these great new characters and then kill them off calling it show up and blow up. I think Dee Bradley Baker may hold the record for portraying death scenes in a series we have lost a lot of good clones.

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Dooku or should I say Lord Tyranus was downright evil in this episode not only setting up Clovis, forcing Padme to kill Senator Lawise but casually kicking the dead clones as he walked over them one of them in the head what a jerk. Let’s not forget he also abandoned the droids forces on the surface. They may just be mindless droids but still.

Once again we get the evil smirk from Palpatine as he tells Anakin that he should handle this matter on Scipio. As Yoda sends Anakin on his mission you wonder how much he suspects about the relationship between Anakin and Padme.

It was good to see the 501st in action. Anybody else think “Good shooting Wedge” when Hawk shoot down the vulture droid it was very reminiscent of the sounds of the battle over the first Deathstar. The vulture droid crash was an amazing scene the way the shot was filmed the fire and debris flying everywhere. Having unwittingly being manipulated into doing Palpatine’s bidding at least Clovis’ end was a noble one of self-sacrifice. I like how they panned the senate at the end when Palpatine was giving his “Once this is over” speech you can see Mon Mothma fold her arms and is not happy about this turn of events as is Padme.

Overall I like this arc more than I thought I would. You had the intrigue of Palpatine’s plot to wrest control of the financial system from the Muuns. The subplot of Palpatine stoking Anakin’s jealousy and hatred of Clovis and his attachment issues with Padme. Throw in some good Bounty hunting from Embo and a nice battle on Scipio and you have the best of the political/Padme episodes of the series to bad it will probably be the last one.

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