Yep. It's here. FULL PLOT SPOILERS
for Star Wars: The Clone Wars
For some time now, TheForce.Net's dedicated team of spoiler-Ewoks have been working away in the undergrowth, assembling information on the up-coming animated movie from a variety of sources. Now, we're finally able to bring you the whole scoop.
Over the course of this Independence Day weekend, were going to bring you the full storyline of the movie. This is a BIG spoiler, so big that we have to split it between three large updates--one today, one tomorrow, and one on Sunday.
We're pretty confident that what follows is an accurate summary of the film's storyline. Of course, George likes to tinker with the plot, pacing and dialogue up to the last minute, so some things will probably change in the next six weeks. There's also a possibility that some scenes may have been created for pacing/exposition in one or other of the adaptations. However, unless there's an Empire Strikes Back
-style secret twist that we've not heard of, all the basic plot-points of the story are here.
But first--something to think about:
SPOILER WARNING: As we've done before with the recent Star Wars novels, I want to sound a word of caution at this point. What follows is a second-hand summary of the PLOT, not the visceral EXPERIENCE of watching the film. There's a big difference between the raw storyline and the nuanced narrative of the movie itself.
Those of you who want to go into the movie theater without any preconceptions or prior awareness of the story should stop reading now. The rest of you, think first about whether you really want to read this...
If you do decide to read on, remember that this is just a sketch outline. It may lack important pieces of emphasis and presentation that contribute to the overall effect of the film.
Got all that? All right!
This is where the fun begins!
And so, without further ado, a WORLD EXCLUSIVE... the story of the next Star Wars film.
There are some days, just occasionally, when I love this job...
, the story seems to fall neatly into a three-act structure: after a prologue that introduces the heroes, Act I sees a Jedi rescue mission go wrong; Act II is basically an extended chase sequence, as the heroes fight various adversaries in order to get to their destination; Act III is the breathless climax: it sounds as if it's going to up the ante considerably in terms of action, and also introduces a whole new element to the plot.
This story is incredibly
action-packed. There are three separate lightsaber duels, two major ground battles, and a whole sequence of dogfights and skirmishes. Within all that, however, I also think I see some strong signs of the Campbellian monomyth, the heroic narrative that informs Star Wars.
But, right now, I just have spoilers, not the actual movie.
And now... so do you!
Detailed Spoilers: Part I
There are a couple of quick clips in the trailer footage which suggest that the opening scenes of the movie will show a squid-like spacecraft approaching at Tatooine and seizing a Hutt sail barge in the Dune Sea. Those aren't included in the most thorough reports we've had, so I'm not sure if they've made the final cut or not.
At the start of the movie, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are fighting the droid army in the Crystal City on the planet Christophsis. From Coruscant, Master Yoda dispatches a new padawan to join them--a Togruta girl named Ahsoka Tano.
She brings an urgent message. The two Jedi heroes are to return to the Jedi Temple immediately.
When they meet her, both men assume that Ahsoka is going to be a new apprentice for Obi-Wan, now that Anakin is a knight; but the girl reveals that she is Skywalker
's padawan, not Kenobi's.
And they still have to deal with the droid army.
Anakin and Ahsoka stage an assault on the Separatist shield generator, while Obi-Wan and Captain Rex of the 501st fight a street-battle against the forces of the alien general Whorm Loathsom--clone infantry against massive spider droids.
Outnumbered and outgunned, General Kenobi pretends to surrender, but turns the tables on Loathsom, and takes him prisoner instead--just as Anakin and Ahsoka take out their target.
Returning to their cruiser, the three heroes find that Yoda has arrived in person (we saw parts of this scene in the trailer). Here, Anakin and Obi-Wan learn the news that prompted their recall to Coruscant: Jabba the Hutt's son Rotta has been kidnapped.
The Republic wants to win Hutt support by recapturing the Huttlet, so Anakin and Ahsoka will travel to the planet Teth to lead the rescue mission, while Obi-Wan heads to Tatooine to negotiate with Jabba.
On Tatooine, Obi-Wan meets Jabba in his fortress, and engage in a discussion--translated by the Hutt's protocol droid TC-70. Jabba want his "punky muffin" back (a line one of our sources really thought jumped the shark), and also wants the kidnappers--dead, or alive.
Meanwhile, on Teth, Anakin and Ahsoka are flying towards an old Hutt fortress when enemy fire forces their gunship to land. Believing that the Hutt was captured by renegades, they are surprised to find that their attackers are Separatist battle-droids.
With clone troopers and AT-TEs, the two Jedi scale the vertical cliffs on which the Hutt citadel rests. This is the big action scene that's already out there on the internet.
The Jedi emerge victorious, but they're puzzled by why they were facing Separatist soldiers. A servant droid directs them down to the castle dungeons, where they'll find the Huttlet.
Also waiting for them in the lower levels of the fortress is Asajj Ventress, the Sith Apprentice of Separatist leader Count Dooku. In spite of the Jedi victory, she informs him that everything is going according to plan.
As the Jedi enter the dungeons, Ahsoka asks Anakin if he realises they're walking into a trap... and yes, he does.
Soon after that, they find Rotta, leading into a comedy scene with a rather damp baby Hutt. But then the Jedi discover that Rotta is ill. Without urgent help, the Huttlet will die!!
Back on Tatooine, Jabba meets another visitor--Count Dooku himself! The Separatist leader shows the Hutt some holo footage of Anakin and Ahsoka stuffing a sobbing, snuffling "punky muffin" into a backpack. The footage makes it look as though the Jedi captured Rotta, and Dooku urges Jabba to join the Separatist struggle, in return for help in rescuing his boy.
Meanwhile, Anakin contacts Obi-Wan using the holocomm. The Jedi quickly work out Dooku's plan, and they agree that there's only thing they can do: get the sickly Huttlet back home to Jabba before he expires.
Before they can get off-world, though, Anakin's ship is destroyed on the landing pad by Vulture droids (this ISN'T the shot we see in the trailer, which comes later in the movie--it's presumably a cameo for the yellow Jedi Starfighter that LEGO released earlier this year). A renewed battle droid attack forces Anakin, Ahsoka, Rotta and Artoo to flee into the fortress and look for another exit.
The heroes find their way to the temporary shelter of the main Hutt audience chamber, where Artoo accesses the computer to find an exit, and Captain Rex contacts them.
But Anakin realises it's not really Rex. Through the Force, he detects the presence of his old enemy, Asajj Ventress. The heroes try to flee, but find Ventress herself cutting off their escape.
Anakin and Asajj trade insults, squaring off for a rematch after their last duel: but then Artoo manages to send all of them toppling down a hole in the floor--the sort of Hutt trap that Jabba will later send Luke down in Return of the Jedi
Lightsabers ignite, and battle is joined.
: here, as promised, is the second installment of the spoilers!
Detailed Spoilers: Part II
In the pit beneath the Hutt audience chamber on Teth, Anakin Skywalker and Asajj Ventress face each other, lightsabers lit.
This is a rematch, but Anakin is take by surprise when Asajj combines her two lightsabers, and attacks with a double-bladed weapon. He can't get the upper hand over the unusual laser-sword.
There's also a baby Hutt to rescue, too--so while the Chosen One and the Sith Apprentice trade blazing blows, Anakin's new padawaan Ahsoka Tano tries to get "Stinky" out of there.
She opens the door... and finds herself face to face with a rancor. Evidently, no use of the "trap-door in the Hutt's throne-room" motif from Return of the Jedi
is complete without one.
The monster charges, and the heroes and the Sith apprentice all have to flee, but Anakin and Asajj keep fighting. It seems that actually fight on
the rancor's back for part of the duel, while Ahsoka deflects attacks from battledroids, firing down through the opening from the audience chamber.
Eventually, slashed by saber wounds, the rancor collapses... straight onto Asajj.
To mark the end of the action sequence, Rotta the Huttlet throws up, narrowly missing Anakin. It seems that George's love of visual gags involving bodily fluids is undiminished.
The heroes are joined by Artoo Deetoo, and they make their way back from the rancor pit to a landing pad. But one of the enemy Vulture Droid starfighters blows up the ship that should take them away. This is the second time that's happened in the movie, and this seems to be the incident we see in the trailer.
Then the Vulture Droid comes in to land, and we finally see one of these things fighting in the ground mode that was designed for The Phantom Menace
a decade ago. After another action sequence, Anakin and Ahsoka defeat it.
While they've been busy with all that, the wider situation has changed. Obi-Wan has arrived in orbit with a Star Destroyer, and Captain Rex is under attack. Anakin, Ahsoka and Rotta hurry to help, but attacked by more battle droids, they have to retreat back through a blast-door.
Rotta is really sickly now, but he points to another of the narrow, flat-topped mountains that define Teth's landscape: there's a ship waiting on the top. This is the Twilight
, a shuttle built like a B-wing on steroids, which we've seen in the trailers and the Lego kit.
But how do the heroes get to it? Anakin simply jumps off the cliff--and reappears riding a giant flying insect.
Before they can leave, Ventress cuts through the door with her lightsaber, and attacks again, but during this onslaught, the damaged landing-pad begins to collapse. The Sith woman has to beat a retreat, while the heroes leave on their flying insect--Ahsoka clinging to her Master, Rotta being burpy.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan's troops launch an orbital assault, defeating Vulture droids on the way down, and landing at the Hutt fortress.
But if you thought that was the end of the fight, think again. To get to the Twilight
, Anakin and Ahsoka have to deal with another group of battledroids, led by the seemingly helpful droid they met when they reached the Hutt fortress (this seems to look like the black Death Star Droid from Episode IV, incidentally).
Back at the fortress itself, Captain Rex and his troops are surrounded and getting decimated by the droids, but at the last minute, Obi-Wan's reinforcements arrive, and deal with the attackers.
Inside the Hutt castle, Ventress is discussing the situation with Count Dooku on the holocomm. The count tells her to return Rotta to Tatooine herself, in order to bring the Hutts over to the Separatist cause.
Then Obi-Wan walks in, and another lightsaber battle ensues.
Meanwhile, Anakin, Ahsoka, Artoo and Rotta have taken off aboard the Twilight
. Faced with the choice of helping Obi-Wan, or getting Rotta out of danger, they reluctantly choose the second option, and head for orbit.
Unfortunately, the Star Destroyer overhead is under attack from Vulture Droids... and thinks they're another enemy ship. Anakin and Ahsoka try to clear that up, but then - in a scene we saw in the trailers - a Separatist fighter crashes into the Star Destroyer's hangar bay.
Anakin has to fly his motley crew to Tatooine aboard the Twilight
itself. They leap to hyperspace.
Meanwhile, back at the fortress, Ventress and Obi-Wan duel, trading blows and insults, in what seems to be the second big lightsaber set-piece of the movie. To end the clash, Assaj leaps on a passing Vulture droid, and speeds away.
A quick scene aboard the Twilight
shows that Ahsoka has been given some medicine, and is slightly less of a ball of vomit than he was before. But Asajj returns to the castle, and contacts Dooku and Jabba on the holocomm.
She says that Rotta is dead, and that the Jedi are heading to Tatooine. As Jabba rages, Dooku says he will deal with Anakin before the Jedi can reach him
Sure enough, as the Twilight
arrives at Tatooine, a squad of Magna Guards attack in their fighters. These are the droids who served as the bodyguards for General Grievous in Revenge of the Sith
, but their role here seems more akin to that of the "assassin droids" who served as bodyguards for Dooku and Ventress in the novel Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
After an orbital dogfight, the Magna Guards go down in flames, thanks to some great shooting from Artoo Deetoo... but not before they damage the Twilight
. The ship crash-lands in the desert.
The heroes are going to have to walk to Jabba's castle.
Meanwhile, on Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine meets Yoda - and a hologram of Obi-Wan - in a recap scene that sounds like it might be a relic of the movie's origins as a series of TV episodes.
However, mid-way through the scene, Senator Padme Amidala arrives. She offers to seek out Jabba's uncle Ziro, who's based on Coruscant.
Through him, she thinks she can persuade the Hutts of the Republic's good intentions.
: and here, finally, is the third and concluding tranche of plotline spoilers! Enjoy!!
Detailed Spoilers: Part III
On Coruscant, Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo meets with Ziro the Hutt, the uncle of the feared Jabba. She attempts to persuade him that the Jedi are really trying to rescue Rotta.
Ziro's answer is to have her escorted out--but as she's leaving, the brave Senator slips back, and eavesdrops on Uncle Ziro... speaking to Count Dooku!
But Ziro's bodyguards capture Padmé, and the Hutt has her led off to his dungeon. Seems that Leia wasn't the first Skywalker woman this happened to....
Meanwhile, on Tatooine, Anakin and his padawaan Ahsoka are travelling across the desert with Rotta, trying to reach Jabba's palace. They sense a dark side threat nearby, so they split up, with Ahsoka taking Rotta.
Back on Coruscant, Padmé is being taken down to the Hutt's dungeons, drops her commlink, but she somehow manages to use this to get a message to See-Threepio.
Meanwhile, Anakin is heading alone through the desert. Sure enough, Dooku appears on his swoop bike, and attacks. Elsewhere, Ahsoka, Rotta and Artoo are getting within sight of Jabba's palace, but then a second squad of Magna Guards appears, and attacks them.
As Dooku and Anakin fight, the Sith Lord shows the Jedi hero a holo of his padawaan in trouble--and rather than pressing his advantage in the duel, Anakin steals the Count's swoop bike, and races off.
Back on Coruscant, Padmé has been brought back before her Hutt captor, and is about to be put to death. It seems her threat that she has "powerful friends" will do no good (although it does suggest that her and her daughter were both trained identically for this situation at finishing school)...
Then an explosion echoes through the Hutt residence. A unit of clone troopers comes in, led by a certain Commander Fox (he's shown fighting a spider droid in one of the LEGO kits, but I've not heard about anything like that here). They rescue Padmé, and take Ziro prisoner.
Back on Tatooine, Artoo is kicking Magna Guard butt for the second time in the movie, helping out Ashsoka as they defend Rotta. Anakin appears on the swoop... and races straight past to Jabba's palace.
Once inside, he surrenders his lightsaber to TC-70, and is taken to Jabba. He seems surprised to learn that Ahsoka isn't there yet.
(No, I don't understand how that works, either).
Anakin uses the Force to grab his 'saber back, and holds it to Jabba's throat. As they argue, Ahsoka walks in with Rotta. Jabba is delighted to see his "punky muffin"... but still orders the Jedi to be killed.
Together, Anakin and Ahsoka face off against Jabba's guards.
And then his holocomm rings. It's Uncle Ziro... with Padmé holding him prisoner.
Ziro admits he was involved in the kidnapping. Jabba is NOT PLEASED... but Padmé seizes the moment, and negotiates an alliance for the Hutts with the Republic.
That done, Anakin and Padmé share a quiet personal moment on the holocomm.
Elswehere, Count Dooku is fleeing Tatooine, has the obligatory holocomm converstaion with his own Sith Master, the cloaked Darth Sidious.
And Anakin, Ahsoka and Artoo are reunited with Obi-Wan, as clone gunships arrive at Jabba's palace. The heroes have won the day, and now it's time to fly off into the animated TV series.
And that's the plotline of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
, insofar as TF.N has been able to work it out from our sources.
As I stressed at the start, we can't
tell you what the actual experience of the movie will be like based on this information. It seems
to be action-packed, focused mainly on Ahsoka and Anakin - and Artoo - with Obi-Wan and Padmé and the other heroes in supporting roles. But that's just a guess.
There are certainly some "Campbellian" motifs, as well--Ventress sounds like the clearest example of "woman as temptress" in the Star Wars
movies, and Padmé's appearance in Act III looks like "rescue from without". But I'd hesitate before defining a monomyth structure of the sort that you can apply to the original trilogy and some Expanded Universe novels.
Also of note are two sets of recurring motifs in the movie. As you'll have noticed by now, there are echoes of the Original Trilogy, particularly focused on the Hutt stuff at the start of Return of the Jedi
(although I was disappointed that the Padmé/Leia parallels didn't extend to a metal bikini, it seems that she'll be back in her tight white top from Attack of the Clones
). As I've put these spoilers together, I've also noticed a distinct rhythm/repetition in the movie--a basic alternation between lightsaber fights, chase sequences and holocomm calls, and more specific repeats of motifs like Vulture Droids taking out two seperate parked ships, and Artoo defeating Magna Guards in a dogfight and on the ground.
I'm not quite sure what any of this adds up to, but maybe there's something significant--or at least aesthetically deliberate--involved.
Lastly, it's noteworthy that some scenes from the trailers don't appear to feature in the movie. Notably, General Grievous and the superlaser, shown at the end of the first teaser, are presumably part of a separate episode of the TV series. That may explain why Matthew Wood, the voice of Grievous, has been so coy
about whether he's playing Grievous in the movie or not--it may be that the character is in the series, but not in the film.
More news on all this, of course, as we get it. But for now, that's all on this story, and I hope that those of you who're citizens of the U.S. of A. had a happy Fourth of July weekend!