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Coffee and The Clone Wars 1: “Cat and Mouse” (2:16)

Coffee and The Clone Wars 1: “Cat and Mouse” (2:16)

Cat and Mouse Anakin

Here we go! Time to start from the very beginning of Star Wars: The Clone Wars with the episode “Cat And Mouse”, Season 2, Episode 16 (2:16). Chronologically, this is the first episode of the entire series (which may seem counterintuitive, but should be interesting to see how it all pieces together). The animation is gorgeous and epic in scope, which was cool to see, as my mind’s eye did not recall how majestic the visuals of this series appeared early on.

As “Coffee and The Clone Wars” will be approaching the series canonically, this is the first appearance of Christophsis, as well as Admiral Trench and Admiral Wullf Yularen, with Blackout and Spark as the clones introduced.

Summary of the Episode

The planet Christophsis is in desperate need of supplies and aid, but is surrounded by a Separatist blockade, led by Admiral Trench, who, we are told in this episode, is something of a strategic legend. Anakin Skywalker is on the move, but must wait for Obi-Wan to arrive and assist the urgent mission. Anakin finds himself in the position of taking a defensive route, (at the request of Ob-Wan Kenobi) despite his inclination to take the fight to Trench. However, Obi-Wan reveals the Republic’s new stealth ship, which has a cloaking device that is virtually in-detectable. This leads to an exciting, suspenseful conclusion, reminiscent of a good naval thriller.

Admiral Trench

What this Episode means for Star Wars

It was interesting to look back at this particular episode, mostly due to the juxtaposition of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship. As Star Wars fans know, they experience more than their share of ebb and flow, and while “Cat And Mouse” features the two quite irritated with one another, it’s more along the lines of brothers than enemies. This could arguably be pointed to as a moment of Obi-Wan enabling Anakin, who clearly disobeys a direct order from his Master. Naturally, Anakin’s immeasurable talents and charisma win the day, and Obi-Wan’s reaction is played for laughs.

And it should be, because it’s funny. However, it does stand to reason that if this were, in fact, an example of directly disobeying a direct order from a superior officer, the subordinate would most likely be reprimanded. But, Anakin seems to circumvent the system quite regularly, and from a certain point of view, this is a relatively minuscule (but no less poignant) example of Anakin believing his strength in the Force, as well as his will, come before the decrees of the Jedi. It could be argued that the mere existence of the Clone Wars creates a dynamic where the Jedi have to continually, as a collective, behave in a manner that is personified by Anakin’s actions here. Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship in this episode is a metaphorical commentary on the Jedi’s struggle against their core belief system. An intriguing microcosm that will be almost perpetually manifest throughout the series.

“A Wise Leader Knows When To Follow”

One of the most intriguing things about this series (that I miss in Star Wars Rebels) is the text at the beginning of each episode. Here, even though the episode is focussed on Anakin, the fortune cookie seems to point to Obi-Wan’s decision to trust in Anakin, even though it goes against his instructions. Anakin’s natural tendency to trust in the validity of his instincts over the wishes of others is in full regalia here,and ironically, Obi-Wan does the exact same thing, trusting in Skywalker over his own initial beliefs. The fact that there are no repercussions for Anakin are digestable, because countless lives are saved. This is war, and a different set of ideals replace those in times of peace.

There are no easy solutions here, but there is heroism, bravery, and some spectacular examples of Anakin’s flying acumen. The brief scenes that feature clones Blackout and Spark also feature an example of the mentor/mentee relationship, and set the stage for the motif of loyalty present amongst this brotherhood.  Sometimes following is the best leadership one can provide, and “Cat And Mouse” provides many captivating examples of that.

One down, one hundred and twenty to go!  Next time, it’s “Hidden Enemy”, episode 116. Happy viewing!

 

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8 Comments

  1. Indiana Jim
    March 26, 2016 at 09:44 Reply

    You really touched on something that I didn’t even realize I missed now that we have Rebels, and that was the text at the beginning. It seemed that every episode had a distinct theme. There was some sort of guiding philosophy relating to the events of the episode that Rebels doesn’t seem to have. And I suppose it’s easy to pinpoint why, because Clone Wars and Rebels are two very different shows when it comes right down to it. But often it seems that certain episodes of Rebels are sorely lacking in purpose.

    For instance, Brothers of the Broken Horn was just an excuse to bring Hondo back in for no apparent reason. Though I love Hondo, he’s not the Hondo he used to be, and we don’t get any background on that. Wings of the Master was an excuse to introduce the B-Wing, which is inordinately (and conveniently) powerful.

    Meanwhile, you have really good episodes that give you background and stakes, like Blood Sisters and Protectors of Concord Dawn for Sabine, or Homecoming for Hera, or Legends of the Lasat for Zeb. Or Stealth strike, which in my opinion is the best episode of the entire series that doesn’t feature Vader or Ahsoka.

    Perhaps it’s the difference in demographic between Cartoon Network and Disney XD that lends the show to this sort of thematic vaguery. But we’ve seen that Rebels isn’t afraid to get a little dark now and again. We’ll see just how dark and complicated they’re willing to go very soon.

    1. Dan Z & Cory Clubb
      March 26, 2016 at 22:57 Reply

      Interesting points, Jim. I personally loved Wings of the Master, due to the metaphorical nature of Hera and flying. we discussed it on Rebels Reactions. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

      Thanks for joining me on this blog too. 🙂

      1. Indiana Jim
        March 29, 2016 at 14:35 Reply

        I listened to the episode and I totally respect your fondness for it and I must admit I don’t go as deep into metaphor as you. I feel like it’s the english teacher coming out there, because you know the rep lit profs get for finding symbolism in everything. 🙂

        I don’t necessarily believe that the symbolism isn’t there, but if so then it felt to me like an episode done strictly FOR the symbolism, and it otherwise has little narrative value to me. It could also be that I don’t have much fondness for Hera as a character. Homecoming was the first time I felt like I was getting to know who Hera is because up til now she was Keith from Voltron. She just IS the leader and that’s it. I have not read A New Dawn but those character-defining moments haven’t really been there much in the show.

        One of the reasons I didn’t care for it is the retcon of the B-Wing into some amazingly powerful fighter with a superlaser. Make it fast, make it maneuverable, let her take down a squadron of TIE fighters singlehandedly to show her prowess, but don’t put a superweapon on a ship that doesn’t have one later in the timeline. I hate when they take characters or ships from the original source and make them do something they never did, because now this causes RotJ to have a glaring omission of something that obviously would have heavily weighted the battle in the Rebellion’s favor.

        Now they’ve painted themselves into a narrative corner in that EVERY TIME they have a space battle, if they don’t have the ‘Voltron-kills-the-robeast’ moment to end it there’s a gaping plot hole. This was a contrivance because PLOT REASONS and that’s weak to me.

        1. Dan Z & Cory Clubb
          April 5, 2016 at 09:31 Reply

          All sagely presented; you have given me food for thought. I appreciate that.

          And you’re right, I can’t turn off the English teacher. Never. 😉

          I believe the B-wing weapon not being in Jedi has been addressed, but I can not recall where I’d heard it. I can try to find out, however.

          1. Indiana Jim
            April 5, 2016 at 10:11

            It also suddenly occurred to me that they don’t ever use this stealth ship again during the series.

          2. Dan Z & Cory Clubb
            April 5, 2016 at 14:58

            I was wondering if we would see it again. It must be in a shipyard somewhere with that B wing. 🙂

  2. domcpa
    April 20, 2016 at 14:03 Reply

    I liked this episode. It throws you right in the middle of the action, the way any good Star Wars story does. Admiral Trench is a great example of a character that works awesome for animation.

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