Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited – Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

When I first dove trio of episodes, the first of which was called “Evil Plans”, I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting a collection of stories about Hutts and bounty hunters. In a universe where objective evil does exist, the shades of grey cast over the criminal underworld seem to be getting a bad wrap when described as “evil”.

Not that I’m complaining, I love the criminal element of the Star Wars universe, so a few more episodes that focus on them are more than welcome in my book.

Season 3, Episode 08: Evil Plans

Speaking of absolute evil, this episode might be the episode with the title that overestimates its content the most I’ve seen so far. While the title may imply some grand Sith plot or humanitarian crime, it’s actually an episode focusing on C-3PO and R2-D2 out to buy some fruit for a cake. Then they get kidnapped and tortured by Cad Bane. With none of our other heroes ever the wiser anything ever happened to them.

With some incredibly delicate political dinner about to happen, Threepio and R2 are given the very delicate job by Anakin to go and buy some fruit for a fruitcake… Okay? While they’re out, R2 basically ditches Threepio to go to a spa, while the golden droid it kidnapped by Cad Bane and his crew of droid hunters.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

While there’s obviously something nefarious things going on, I’m more confused by the idea of a spa for droids. One that’s all decked out like a normal spa for organics. I get that the droids in the Star Wars universe are very human-like and emotional beings, but all this effort still feels a little lost on them. But maybe that’s my droid racism.

Surely somewhere that maintains droids would look more like a garage than a soft and plushy place. I don’t know why I’m getting so hung up on this. Because while R2 is getting pampered, Threepio is getting tortured by Bane who wants details to the Senate building. Details the chatty droid does not possess.

Unfortunately, Threepio cannot keep his “mouth” shut and ends up putting R2 in the bounty hunter’s crosshairs. After a brief chase sequence, R2 allows himself to be caught in order to stop Threepio from getting scrapped. Thus Cad Bane gets the information he wants, wipes the memories of the droids of the past few hours and dumps them back in the street.

As it turns out, Bane was on a mission from Jabba the Hutt to break Ziro the Hutt out of that Coruscant jail he’s been sitting in. Mostly because he’s got some dirt on the Five Hutt families that could get them in some major trouble with the Republic. Who we meet for the first time, most of them haveing designs inspired by old actors of Hollywood’s past including Edward G. Robinson and Marlon Brando.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

Once again, Cad Bane proves to be amongst the most dangerous people in the galaxy, seemingly always able to pull off whatever job is thrown his way. Something we’re going to see much more of in the coming episodes.

The episode ends with Threepio and R2 getting the fruit to the party just in time, where they’re precariously placed on top of the cake… seriously? You panic and send the droids out for fruit that acts as little more than decoration. Buy this senator must have been a picky pest.

 

Season 1, Episode 22: Hostage Crisis

From here we jump back into season 1. This episode actually acts as the Clone War’s introduction to the Bounty Hunters, it being Cad Bane and Aurra Sing’s first appearance in the series in the show’s airing order. These three episodes really show what the writers can do with their anthology-style format.

With this episode acting as a basis for the two other stories that take place either side of it, recounting the events that lead up to it and then those that follow. It’s apparent this is the Duros Bounty Hunter’s first appearance because in a move I’ve come to recognise as being very unlike him; he makes a frontal assault on Coruscant’s senate building.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

Elsewhere, we see Anakin being kind of a dick to Padme, trying to pressure her into taking a break with him. Something she’s less keen on considering she’s a notable senator and there’s a war going on. Although, in an act that buys back some of his petulance, he gives her his Lightsaber as a symbol of what he sees as the most important thing in his life.

Something that will shortly backfire on him.

Because not long after, a decent number of senators (including Padme and Bail Organa) get rounded up and held hostage by the invading Bounty Hunters. Ransoming them off to Palpatine in order to secure the release of Ziro the Hutt. It’s funny, while Palpatine is this grand puppetmaster, manipulating both sides of the war at the same time: the Hutts are the one factor he can’t ever really control.

The, now unarmed, Anakin being the Senator’s only chance of escape, it’s at this point that I’m watching Die Hard. A narrative device used by more movies and television shows than I could count. While Anakin does hold his own for a while, unarmed he ends up not being a match for this team of expert maercinaries and ends up getting captured and thrown into the crowd of senators. Exactly where his Lightsaber is.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

Palpatine ends up releasing Ziro and Bane tries to blow up the Senators as a chaotic distraction to mask his escape. Them all being narrowly saved by Anakin cutting a hole in the floor to escape the explosion.

Once again, Cad Bane’s record remains almost perfect.

 

Season 3, Episode 09: Hunt for Ziro

This episode, as the title would suggest, details what happens to Ziro after he is broken out and taken to the Hutt homeworld of Nal Hutta.

Once again, I find myself noticing the lack of a moon during the establishing shot of the planet. Nar Shaddaa has long been one of my favourite locations in the Star Wars universe, and yet it’s being deftly avoided time and time again during the new continuity.

Wookieepedia informs me that the moon does exist in the new lore, but has yet to really see any attention outside of books and comics. I get a feeling that, if the smuggler’s moon hasn’t shown up in the eight years since Disney’s acquisition, then chances are it’s not really going to get any attention at all. Which is a shame.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

Speaking of old lore though; what this episode does have is the re-introduction and recontextualising of two existing characters from the franchise’s past. One being a fan favourite coming from the old continuity, the other being a minor character with a contentious standing amongst the fandom.

The first is the cannon introduction of Quinlan Vos. Based on a character that made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace, Vos was expanded upon with a vigour throughout the old comics to become a fan favourite. Being most notable for how perilously close to the dark side he constantly walked. He was something of an outcast of the Jedi Order, more content to act as a spy and saboteur than the General and leader role most other Jedi Masters took on.

He would eventually go on survive Order 66 and live a quiet life away from the Empire and the Jedi.

Strangely, this episode is his only appearance in the Clone Wars. And it’s kind of a bummer because I’m not sure this lone introduction of him does his character from the old lore that much justice. In this series, he seems more like nothing more than an unconventional Jedi with a surfer dude attitude. While there were apparently plans to give him a deeper storyline in the series, that all went out of the window when the show was cancelled.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

Although he got some more attention in the canon novel; Dark Disciple, which I feel like I want to read now.

The other character seeing a return is Sy Snootles, the controversial lead singe for the Max Rebo Band. Controversial amongst the fanbase, not within the story. She was one of the CGI additions to George Lucas’s remastered Original Trilogy, adding a musical number absent from the original release.

The writers for the Clone Wars took the character and actually expand her out, making her into something more. Between her and Vos’s original character. I feel like that’s one of the things Star Wars does so well, taking these background elements and characters and asking “what’s their story?”

Snootles is Ziro’s girlfriend apparently and breaks him out of the cell the Hutts have him locked up in on. The pair making their escape to retrieve the information that has the other Hutts so worried about him. Meanwhile, Obi Wan Kenobi and Quinlan Vos pursue him to take him back to prison on Coruscant, batting off Cad Bane, who is hired by the Hutt Families to bring him back at any cost.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

Snootles, as it turns out, was working for Jabba the whole time, and when they retrieve Ziro’s cache of information from his father’s grave (I always thought Hutts were hermaphrodite? Oh well, guess Disney didn’t want to have to deal with that one). After which Snootles kills Ziro and escapes back to Jabba, leaving the Jedi and the Bounty Hunter to fight amongst themselves when they find the body.

 

Verdict:

These episodes were a cool example of how the anthology format became a tool for the writers to use their old episodes as inspiration for future stories. Hostage Crisis was no doubt a standalone episode from its conception, but several seasons later, the writers were able to make it into something else.

Really making the whole prison break the least interesting thing about the whole trilogy of episodes. Although, maybe that might be a strong take considering Evil Plans is such an odd, nonvital episode in the grand scheme.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - Part 19: A Hutt Retcon Gumbo

The other great thing they do it repurpose those older characters and make them something a little more interesting, which is certainly the case with what happens regarding Sy Snoodles here. Quinlan Vos, on the other hand, feels like a little bit of letdown. I know they ended up having plans that went out of the window regarding him, but this lone episode doesn’t feel like the best representation of what was a pretty big fan favourite character.

These are a cool trio of episodes, I’ve always got time for the criminal element of the Star Wars universe and that’s what this entire trio of episodes are about.


 

This probably won’t play if people are reading this after the fact, but I took a week of my blog last week, and so didn’t watch any Clone Wars either. I’m looking forward to getting back into the series and we find ourself really into season 3 now.

 

I’ll be watching:

  • Season 3, Episode 10: Heroes on Both Sides
  • Season 3, Episode 11: Pursuit of Peace
  • Season 2, Episode 15: Senate Murders

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