Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review - Season 2, Episode 16: "Cat and Mouse"
(Image via StarWars.com)
By Chris "HothIcePlanet" Smith
Original Air Date:March 26, 2010
Key Players:Anakin Skywalker, Admiral Yularen, Admiral Trench, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bail Organa
Key Locations::Christophsis and Space around Christophsis
Tagline:“A wise leader knows when to follow.”
Newsreel:An impenetrable defense! Separatist ships blockade the resource-rich planet of Christophsis, trapping Senator Bail Organa and his relief effort. Desperate to aid the esteemed Senator, a Republic task force under the command of Anakin Skywalker must break the impasse. But time runs short for the Senator and the good citizens of Christophsis…
The Story:On the surface of Christophsis, Bail Organa is in the middle of a battle with the Separatists. Via hologram, Bail begs for relief from Anakin Skywalker and Admiral Yularen, who are in their cruiser, the Resolute, in space above the planet. Bail needs more food, water and men to continue the fight. Anakin is having problems of his own though against the Separatist cruisers that are blockading him from achieving his mission of aiding Bail. Having only three Republic cruisers, Anakin’s badly outnumbered and waits for Obi-Wan to show up with reinforcements.
Aboard the bridge of the Resolute, Admiral Yularen commands the forward shields to be raised due to incoming fire. Coming directly toward them is the dreadnaught flagship Invincible commanded by the arachnid Admiral Trench.
Aboard the flagship Invincible, Admiral Trench commands to fire all forward guns to cut off the Republic supply ships and separate them from their escort cruisers. His strategy works, as one of the smaller supply ships takes some heavy fire. Seeing the damage, Anakin then commands to fire all guns and to blow right past the Separatist blockade.
Obi-Wan then comes out of hyperspace to join the battle. Anakin was supposed to wait for his arrival to engage the enemy, but as usual Anakin has gone ahead and done his own thing.
Back aboard the Invincible, realizing the Republic ships aren’t backing down, Admiral Trench commands for the forward shields to be intensified. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan contacts Anakin via hologram and asks him to withdraw. Obi-Wan says he has brought a new toy. The fleet retreats behind the moon to regroup.
Aboard Obi-Wan’s cruiser, the Negotiator, he shows off his new weapon to Anakin, but Anakin doesn’t see anything at all. Anakin asks where it is, and Obi-Wan says, “Two steps forward and you would actually be kissing it.” Obi-Wan reaches up and knocks on an invisible ship. A trooper de-activates the cloaking device and the ship becomes visible. The mission now is to use this ship to run supplies down to the surface to help out Bail Organa. Anakin doesn’t like this at all, he wants to stay and fight.
Meanwhile, Admiral Yularen is doing some research on the markings he saw on the enemy’s ship. He discovers that this ship belongs to someone who he thought was dead, Admiral Trench. He sends notice to have Anakin wait on him before the Jedi leaves on his mission.
Admiral Yularen meets with Anakin in the launch bay and explains what he’s found. Both of them comment on how it was believed that Trench was killed at the battle of Alastair, but Yularen also thinks it could be him because his tactics and maneuvers are the same. Yularen asks if he can join Anakin on this mission, and Anakin welcomes him to come along.
As they prepare to launch, a new clone named Spark boards to report for duty, and trooper Blackout takes him under his wing. The troopers sit at their stations and contact Anakin to announce ready for departure. Once they launch, they engage the cloaking device and go invisible. They continue toward the enemy cruisers and Anakin gets so close they can almost reach out and touch them.
Aboard the Invincible, Admiral Trench and his service droid try to understand why the Republic has not attacked again. Admiral Trench sends out some hyena bombers to make some attack runs on the surface of Christophsis to bait the Republic into another fight. The bombers fly right by the invisible stealth ship and continue to make their attack runs on Bail and his men on the surface.
Bail Organa contacts Obi-Wan once the bombing starts to plead for some help. Obi-Wan then contacts Anakin and tells him to deliver the supplies to the surface, and he will engage Admiral Trench. Anakin and Yularen both feel this is a trap, and Anakin disobeys Obi-Wan and proceeds with his own plan. Obi-Wan gives Anakin an order, but Anakin tells him his plan will work and don’t worry.
Anakin’s plan is to uncloak the stealth ship and launch four torpedoes at the Invincible. Anakin realizes the torpedoes won’t be enough, but he wants Admiral Trench to focus on him rather than Bail’s men on the planet. Anakin uncloaks, fires the torpedoes and then goes invisible again. Trench fires torpedoes at Anakin’s ship, but Anakin launches flares to destroy them. Trench fires all guns in space toward the area of the cloaked ship, but Anakin’s skill as a pilot saves them from being hit.
Back aboard the Invincible, Admiral Trench’s service droid relays the news that they didn’t hit the ship. Trench realizes that whoever is flying the cloaked ship must be a Jedi. Admiral Trench sends out a message on an open frequency. Clone trooper Spark notifies Anakin and patches it through to him. Anakin’s first reaction is, “Hello, ugly.” Admiral Trench’s intimidating message confirms his identity. He says he knows he’s fighting a Jedi and that it has been a long time since he has had such a worthy opponent.
Anakin and Yularen contact Obi-Wan via hologram to discuss the strategy of their next move. Trench’s history shows he has used tracking torpedoes to lock onto a ship’s magnetic signature before. Anakin quickly decides his next move and acts upon it. He decides to uncloak and fire more torpedoes at Trench’s cruiser, which takes a lot of energy from Trench’s shields. Trench proceeds to drop his shields to fire tracking torpedoes at Anakin’s ship, which is once again clocked. Anakin now heads toward Trench’s cruiser, the tracking torpedoes hot on his tail. Trench orders the shields up again, but they are still recharging. Anakin does a flyby across the nose of Trench’s cruiser, pulling the torpedoes right into the bow. Kaboom! Trench’s ship is destroyed. Anakin proceeds to carry the supplies to the surface while Obi-Wan continues to clean up in space.
Anakin and Admiral Yularen enjoy a brief moment on the surface with Bail Organa.
The Dish:While “Cat and Mouse” is certainly an enjoyable episode, it does feel out of place at this point in the season. A seemingly stand alone episode, it brings the momentum of the overall story arc to a bit of a halt. There are no major character revelations or developments from our heroes in this episode either. We will just have to wait and see where things go from here.
It’s certainly nice to see a good old-fashioned space battle though! Admiral Trench is a cool, interesting new character who will almost certainly be available in plastic on toy store shelves everywhere. His arachnid character design is marvelous, with every last detail perfectly cast. Unfortunately, his quick death squashes our chances to see more of him (unless we flashback in time). Admiral Trench is proof that with this ever-expanding universe, there are so many great and interesting characters to explore that we can’t possibly spend enough time with each one!
Along with Trench, another great piece of character design is that of the Clone Pilots on the new stealth ship. Clearly their look bridges the gap to the design of the TIE fighter pilots we see in “Star Wars: A New Hope”.
Bail Organa’s line, “Help us, General Kenobi! You’re our only hope,” was a great throwback to Princess Leia’s famous plea for help to Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: A New Hope. These great little touches from the Lucasfilm team continue to make these episodes sparkle each week.
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