Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Movie) - TV Tropes (2024)

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a CGI animated film set in the Star Wars franchise that takes place during the three-year time period between the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in addition to being the Pilot Movie of the television series (which later aired its first episode after this on October 3, 2008). It was also produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which also held the home media distribution rights to the series as a whole. The film premiered on August 10, 2008 at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre while screening in wide release on August 14, 2008 across Australia and August 15, 2008 in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Clone Wars earned over $14 million in its opening weekend and went on to earn over $60 million worldwide. A major marketing campaign for the film included toys, fast food, and comic books.

The film marks the first appearance of Ahsoka Tano, the young Jedi Padawan learner of Anakin Skywalker. By order of production, the film also features the first appearance of Captain Rex, a clone captain serving under Anakin, and Asajj Ventress, a Sith apprentice of Count Dookunote.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars contains particular-to-this-film examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: While he is surrounded and seriously outnumbered by battle droids demanding surrender, Rex's response is to retort "We have you outnumbered!"... moments before a Republic airstrike that he did not know was coming.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • Yoda is featured prominently on the poster, but is only in a few scenes, none of them involving action.
    • Commander Cody is as prominent as Captain Rex on the poster, but only has a small amount of lines and is in a few scenes.
    • Mace Windu appears in the film and its marketing, but disappears about halfway through the film in addition to having only a small amount of lines and scenes.
  • Anachronic Order: The film serves the role as The Clone Wars' introduction, but chronologically takes place after "Cat and Mouse" (2:16) and "The Hidden Enemy" (1:16).
  • The Apprentice:
    • Ahsoka Tano is introduced as Anakin's new Padawan.
    • Asajj Ventress is the Sith apprentice of Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku.
  • Bad Boss: Ziro executes his best assassin droid after gloating that this is their first-ever failure, despite years and years of faithful service.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Padme is rescued from Ziro the Hutt's clutches, it initially looks like it's just C-3PO and he's taken up slinging grenades. Then a moment later after he reveals himself, the much more plausible squad of Clone Troopers kicks in Ziro's front door.
  • Bald of Evil: Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku's Sith apprentice, is hairless and is one of the antagonists in the film.
  • Batman Gambit: When Ahsoka arrives, Obi-Wan is the one expecting a new Padawan, but she insists that she has actually been assigned to Anakin. He is initially reluctant to take her on, but warms up to her after an early mission, telling her that she is reckless and "never would have made it as Obi-Wan's Padawan, but you might make it as mine." After speaking with Yoda, Anakin realizes that Obi-Wan deliberately put him up to this and was never actually planning on taking up a new Padawan for himself, something that Obi-Wan's smirk does not deny.
  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: At the end of their duel, Count Dooku warns Anakin that once his Separatist droids kill Rotta, they'll drag Ahsoka before Jabba the Hutt, who will punish her for murdering the Huttlet. Anakin, scared for Ahsoka's life, rushes to Jabba's palace and misses Ahsoka's fight with the MagnaGuards. When he's brought before Jabba, they each believe the other has killed their loved one. As Jabba's henchmen prepare to attack Anakin, while he has Jabba at lightsaber-point, Ahsoka arrives with Rotta on her arms and stops them by shouting at them. Subverted when Jabba orders his men to execute the Jedi, and is stopped only by Padmé's call, which reveals Dooku and Ziro's plot.
  • Big Bad: Count Dooku is the leader of the Separatists and responsible for the kidnapping of Rotta. He's technically in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Ziro, forming an alliance so he can gain hold of Jabba's territories and with it, but the Hutt is clearly the lesser of the two.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Ziro the Hutt joins with Dooku in order to overthrow Jabba. However, he's nowhere near as big of a threat as the Sith Lord and is easily captured after he's exposed.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Commander Fox and the Coruscant Guard bust into Ziro's nightclub to save Padmé. Also, Obi-Wan and his forces come to Rex's rescue when he is surrounded by the Separatists droids.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Jabba tries to have Anakin executed on the spot for allegedly abducting his son Rotta, and Anakin's threats only tick him off further. Even when his son is returned to him by Ahsoka, Jabba still wants them killed, despite the fact that there are now two Jedi in the room.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Anakin gets surrounded by Separatist droids and, to make things difficult, he has to be careful not to activate even more as he cuts them down. Ahsoka saves him by pulling a wall down on the Separatist droids that had a hole in it just above Anakin's position.
  • Call-Back: Anakin has learned Obi-Wan's trick of catching Force Lightning with your lightsaber.
  • Call-Forward: Even this early on in the Clone Wars, there are hints of what is to come.
    • Anakin and Obi-Wan have ditched their Attack of the Clones appearances for ones that are similar to their Revenge of the Sith ones, which they will formally acquire in the series' seventh season.
    • Anakin and Dooku get into a duel on Tatooine, with Anakin gaining the edge briefly by tapping into his anger. While their duel in this film ends in a draw, Anakin will eventually tap fully into his anger and kill Dooku in Revenge of the Sith.
    • Sidious appears at the very end of the film to indicate that everything is going according to plan, as he will many, many times in the future.
    • Early on, Yoda and Obi-Wan say that Anakin will make a fine teacher, and will bond with Ahsoka well. The problem, they then say, will be Anakin learning how to let go of his Padawan. One of the greatest contributors to Anakin's turn to the Dark Side was his inability to let go of people that he loves.
  • The Cavalry: Anakin's strike force on Teth are overwhelmed by Ventress' droid forces until Obi-Wan and his troops arrive to even the odds.
  • Children Are Innocent: Rotta, the infant son of one of the biggest gangsters in the galaxy, is an adorable, sweet little guy.
  • Character Development: Ahsoka starts off as an impulsive, aggressive individual who basically is a stand-in for Anakin's portrayal in Attack of the Clones. By the end of the film, she has taken a distinct, if small, level in maturity and is a true Padawan learner.
  • Compilation Movie: Technically inverted, as the film was created out of four already produced episodes ("The New Padawan", "Castle of Deception", "Castle of Doom", "Castle of Salvation") edited together, but it was released in theaters as the Pilot Movie of the series before its premiere on television with "Ambush". However, all the difficulties with this format shine through, as there are obvious breaks between what would have been the stories of the separate episodes.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The heads of the bounty hunters that Jabba hired to rescue his son Rotta are brought back to him to show their obvious failure.
  • The Dragon: Asajj Ventress serves as this to Count Dooku.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Clone pilot Matchstick is visible among the group of clones listening to Ahsoka brag about her saving Anakin on Christophsis. He's formally introduced in "Shadow of Malevolence".
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The pilot movie's overall tone is noticeably Lighter and Softer than the rest of the series, with the only characters that actually die on-screen — with the possible exception of some unnamed hangar techs when a Republican cruiser is on the receiving end of a kamikaze attack by a droid fighter — being clone troopers.
    • The dialogue sometimes has a Totally Radical feel to it, with characters (especially Ahsoka) often preceding words with "star", "space", or "Jedi" whether or not it makes sense in context. This would lessen and eventually disappear altogether during the first season.
    • Kevin Kiner's soundtrack has a much more varied and experimental style compared to the rest of the series, where his style becomes much more akin to that of John Williams' soundtracks for the live-action films.
  • Ensign Newbie: Lampshaded by Rex, who's quick to point out that even if Ahsoka does outrank him, it doesn't make up for her lack of experience.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Jabba may be evil, but he clearly loves his infant son, Rotta.
  • Evil Laugh: When Anakin takes off on Count Dooku's speeder bike to save Ahsoka, Dooku can be heard "laughing maliciously", as the subtitles describe it.
  • Evil Uncle: Ziro the Hutt tries to have his nephew Jabba along with Jabba's son Rotta murdered so he can take over Jabba's "businesses" and position in the Hutt Clan.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Obi-Wan has ditched the mullet he had back in Attack of the Clones, and Anakin has grown his hair out into a manner that is similar to what he will have in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Fat Bastard: This trope is typical for a Hutt. However, Ziro takes the cake when he plots to have his great-nephew kidnapped and killed in order to rise in the Hutt ranks.
  • Follow the Chaos: Obi-Wan sees fighting at the monastery on Teth and immediately knows that Anakin is in the middle of it.
  • Frame-Up: Count Dooku frames the Jedi in front of Jabba for the kidnapping of his son, Rotta.
  • Friend to All Children: Ahsoka is shown to be quite good with children, exemplified in the way she takes care of Rotta.
  • Giant Flyer: The can-cells are dragonflies that are large enough to carry Anakin and Ahsoka for a considerable distance.
  • Green Around the Gills: Ahsoka notes that Rotta is so sick he turned every shade of green except the one he's supposed to be.
  • Gunship Rescue: Rex and the other surviving clones of Anakin's initial strike force on the monastery are surrounded by Separatist droids and heavily outnumbered when Obi-Wan's forces arrive just in time.
  • Heroic Willpower: Captain Rex's willpower is powerful enough to resist a Jedi Mind Trick by Asajj Ventress.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The Battle of Christophsis features the clone troopers running out of their hiding spaces into the beam spam. In fact, one of the clone troopers actually runs up to a battle droid and tries to punch it out with his fist, which results in him injuring his hand and getting killed.note This is as part of a battle with the droids (as per usual) marching slowly in formation.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Anakin reprimands Ahsoka for several personality traits that he himself very obviously shares, which is something that she eventually points out.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Even though the film's plot involves around an infant Hutt being kidnapped and possibly being hurt, no harm befalls him. This is especially strange when one thinks about it, considering that Rotta is being toted around in the middle of lightsaber duels, gunfights, and full on battles.
  • Is It Always Like This?: At the end of the film, Anakin and Ahsoka finally manage to return Rotta to Jabba... who immediately orders their execution.

    Ahsoka: Does this always happen to you?
    Anakin: Everywhere I go.

  • It's Personal: Anakin has a lot of trouble with this mission thanks to his personal history, having been a slave on a Hutt-controlled world.

    Anakin: I hate Hutts.

  • Jedi Mind Trick: Ventress attempts this on Rex. Unbeknownst to her, it doesn't actually work on him.
  • Just in Time: Ahsoka arrives just in time to save Anakin from Jabba. Subverted, as he decides to kill them anyway, then Double Subverted as Padmé's transmission saves them both.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: When Ziro explains to Count Dooku that Padmé has been snooping around, Dooku suggests that he "have her meet with an accident with extreme prejudice" if she continues to be a problem.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The film's DVD case even has advertisem*nts for all the assorted Star Wars stuff you can buy.
  • Mythology Gag: Before Ahsoka arrives, Obi-Wan is expecting a new Padawan that he supposedly requested. Ahsoka was originally planned to be Obi-Wan's apprentice before they decided to make her Anakin's.
  • New Meat: When Ahsoka first meets Captain Rex, she wonders if, as a Jedi, she is automatically his ranking superior. Rex explains that, in his book, experience outranks everything.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ahsoka accidentally triggers a droid trap that nearly overwhelms Anakin. Even when her actions end up saving his life, he's quick to tell her that he could have gotten killed along with the fact that he had everything under control.
  • Noir Episode: Noir act, really. At the end, Padmé goes to meet with Ziro the Hutt. His lair, a den of crime and vice, is in a dingy nightclub playing classic jazz straight out of a 1940s Film Noir.
  • Noble Demon: Loathsom is surprisingly amenable to simply sitting down with Obi-Wan and having a long chat to hammer out all the details of the latter's surrender. The fact that Obi-Wan spends about half his dialogue buttering Loathsom up with complements of how he's so powerful and unstoppable probably helps.
  • Off with His Head!: A helmet-based variation. During the opening battle, a clone trooper stands up to rally his fellows... and gets shot dead, with the blast throwing his body back offscreen and causing his helmet to topple in a completely different direction.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: When Ventress tries to use a Jedi Mind Trick to make Rex contact Anakin, he not only resists the mind trick, but deceives Ventress by seemingly complying. This way he's able to warn Anakin by calling him by his first name — which is something Rex wouldn't do for any other reason, since Anakin is his superior officer.
  • Papa Wolf: Jabba is ready to align with whoever rescues Rotta. When it seems like Anakin has killed him, Jabba's ready to have him executed at the spot. Also, there's his retaliation against Ziro for the kidnapping.
  • Pilot Movie: The film serves the role as the introduction of The Clone Wars.
  • Plot Armor: Despite telling Ziro to execute Padmé if she keeps snooping, as soon as Ziro catches her doing just that, Dooku interrupts to say that she can be profitably exchanged with the Republic.
  • Psychic Strangle: Ventress gives a Force choke to Rex when he comes around after the Separatist droid army overwhelm the clone troopers defending the B'omarr Order Monastery and begins shooting at her.
  • Realpolitik: The Jedi are not happy about having to ally with the disgusting criminal Jabba, but they desperately need to be able to freely pass through his territory and there's no time for other solutions.
  • Reverse Psychology: After Padmé is thrown in a cell at Ziro's club, her communicator begins beeping and she insists that the battle droids on guard not respond. Naturally, when they do, Padmé is able to warn C-3PO that she's been captured by Ziro before the battle droids destroy the communicator.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Rex declares that he and his men have the Separatists outnumbered. He's technically correct, because there's an airstrike and gunships full of reinforcements about ten seconds away, but he has no way of knowing that until they show up.
  • Rules Lawyer: Obi-Wan uses this as a stalling tactic on Christophsis by surrendering to General Loathsom before insisting on hammering out every detail of his men's imprisonment. It works.
  • Sedgwick Speech: A clone trooper jumps up on the makeshift barrier the Republic clones have erected to keep the Separatist droids out of their base perimeter. His rallying cry is abruptly cut off when he is hit by a blaster bolt and killed. The clone troopers still charge, anyway.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Anakin and Ahsoka sneak under Separatist lines on Christophsis by hiding under a box.
    • Ziro the Hutt's voice and mannerisms are a clear nod to Truman Capote.
  • Skewed Priorities: Overlapping with Casual Danger Dialogue, Anakin and Obi-Wan argue about sending their ship back to get supplies while they're under siege. To be fair, the bad guys are pretty far away from them and are being pelted with artillery fire, so they're not necessarily in immediate danger. According to Anakin, they are nearly out of supplies anyway.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, Jawas are seen playing with a Lucas logo. When the camera pans up, they freak out, and then drop the object and run away.
  • Super-Senses: Ahsoka possesses extremely fine spatial awareness, which she uses when she saves Anakin from a bunch of Separatist droids by bringing down a wall on them while Anakin is standing right under a hole on it. The Legends' novelization goes into further detail and says that Togruta like her are descended from predatory species, and thus have senses more highly attuned to movement and spatial relations (Rex himself noting that her eyes immediately dart to the tiny movements caused by a nearby rodent while they talk).
  • Three Lines, Some Waiting: There are three major plotlines, the first being Anakin and Ahsoka's rescue mission to save Rotta, the second being Obi-Wan dealing with the Separatists at hand, and the third being Padmé figuring out who really is behind the aforementioned Hutt's kidnapping.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted. Jabba ordering the execution of the Jedi who just returned his kidnapped son may seem like this, but at that point, Jabba still believes that the Jedi were responsible for kidnapping him in the first place. When Padmé reveals who was really responsible, Jabba immediately changes his mind.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Ahsoka isn't exactly impressed by the Twilight when she first sees it, although Anakin's piloting skills make the ship perform better than you'd expect in a couple of space battles.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: After capturing the B'omarr Order Monastery on Teth, the Jedi and clone troopers begin to search for Rotta. Ahsoka points out that the hard part is over. Anakin replies with "I wish you wouldn't say that", and indeed things become complicated a few minutes later.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In-Universe example: After the helpful protocol droid thanks the Jedi for freeing him from battle droids and points out where the baby Hutt is being held, he disappears from the narrative. When he reappears a few scenes later, his role is revealed, and Ahsoka actually comments that she had been wondering where the droid had gone to. The Legends novelization goes into more detail about this droid; he's actually a spy droid for Ventress, who was editing the footage of Anakin saying "I hate Hutts" to make it look more inflammatory.
    • Early in the film, Mace Windu requests three Republic cruisers to help with the current situation and is never seen again for the rest of the film, with no reference made to what the ships were for or where he is during this critical point in the war.
  • Wire Dilemma: Ventress ends up just slicing through the control panel when a couple of battle droids are wondering about which wire to cut.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: Dooku to Anakin in reference to Ahsoka.

    Dooku: I assure you my web is strong enough to catch your insignificant little Padawan.

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