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"Cat and Mouse"
Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 16
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg, Brian Larsen
Directed by Kyle Dunlevy
Production no. 2.17
Original airdate March 26, 2010[1][2][3]
Episode chronology
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"Senate Murders" "Bounty Hunters"
List of Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes

"Cat and Mouse" is the sixteenth episode of Season Two of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series.

MoralEdit

A wise leader knows when to follow.

PlotEdit

On the surface of Christophsis, Bail Organa conferences via hologram with Anakin and Admiral Yularen; Separatist forces have overrun his position and his resources have all but run out. Unfortunately, the hologram is cut off, while Anakin and Yularen desperately try to salvage their own losing battle against the Separatist space blockade around Christophsis. The enemy flagship Invincible bears down on the Republic fleet: the Separatist commander, Admiral Trench concentrates his fire on the smaller Republic supply ships. As Anakin prepares to launch a full attack, another Republic cruiser commanded by Obi-Wan emerges from hyperspace. At the insistence of Obi-Wan and Yularen, Anakin reluctantly orders a retreat to behind Christophsis's moon; Trench allows them to go, surmising that they will be back.

Crossing over to Obi-Wan's cruiser, Anakin discovers his old Master has brought a new weapon with him: a heavily armed stealth ship equipped with a powerful cloaking device. Obi-Wan insists his new mission is not to engage the Separatist fleet; instead Anakin is to use the stealth ship to sneak through the blockade and deliver supplies to Bail on the planet. Meanwhile Admiral Yularen, doing some research of his own, notices something on the enemy flagship; a strange emblem that he recognises in horror. Catching up to Anakin as the Jedi is about to depart, Yularen explains that the symbol is the personal crest of the infamous Admiral Trench. Anakin is surprised, since history tells Trench perished at the Battle of Malastare Narrows. Yularen, who fought at the battle, relates the known facts; Trench had been in command of a corporate fleet blockading Malastare and his tactics had been deadly enough to thwart the Republic fleet sent against him; Yularen comments that he lost many good men and the Republic fleet barely managed to survive. Only when a Jedi-led task force arrived to support did the tide of battle turn. It was assumed that Trench went down with his ship, but the tactics used in the earlier battle and the appearance of Trench's symbol makes Yularen believe his old enemy has returned.

Undeterred, Anakin takes off with the stealth ship, accompanied by Yularen, who volunteered to accompany him, given his knowledge of Trench. Meanwhile, Trench, uneasy that the Republic fleet has not resumed its attack and learning there are still pockets of Resistance holding out on Christophsis, dispatches several Hyena-class bombers to the planet surface, in the hope of luring out the Fleet to rescue their comrades on the ground. Narrowly avoiding a collison with the bombers, and after receiving a messge from Obi-Wan regarding Bail's peril, Anakin decides to attack Trench's ship, since it is the only chance of helping the Senator. De-cloaking to attack, the stealth ship fires torpedoes, only for them to explode harmlessly against the Invincible's shields; the stealth ship manages to re-cloak before Trench counter-attacks. Trench sends out an open broadcast, commending Anakin's bravery and daring, but warning he has faced and beaten ships armed with cloaking devices before, and that unless they retreat, he will destroy them as well.

Anakin contacts Obi-Wan, who explains that Trench's war record confirms his threat: he has defeated ships with cloaking devices before. In all previous cases, Trench used tracking torpedoes to destroy the enemy whether or not their ship was cloaked. Since none of the ships Trench has faced before were as small as the stealth ship, Anakin guesses that Trench locks the torpedoes onto an enemy ship's magnetic signature. Sensing a way to use this against him, Anakin attacks again: the stealth ship's torpedoes are again ineffective, but this time Trench is able to lock onto the stealth ship's magnetic signature and fires tracking torpedoes, despite his tactical droid's warning that doing so requires them to lower the ship's shields. With the torpedoes behind them, Anakin flies straight at the Invincible: realising his mistake too late, Trench orders the shields be raised, but as they are still re-charging, it is impossible. As Trench watches in horror, Anakin flies the stealth ship past inches from the Invincible's bridge; accepting defeat, Trench closes his eyes and awaits his fate. Seconds later, the tracking torpedoes slam into the bridge, killing Trench and destroying the Invincible.

With Trench destroyed, Obi-Wan and Cody launch a new attack on the leaderless Separatist fleet, while Anakin and Yularen pilot the stealth ship down to Christophsis and get the supplies to Bail Organa and his men. In the battle's aftermath, Yularen expresses a concern and an admiration for Anakin's daring tactics.

TriviaEdit

  • Chronologically, this episode occurs before all the others that have been broadcast to date. "Cat and Mouse" is followed by Season One's "The Hidden Enemy" and then an episode originally titled "The New Padawan" that was re-edited into The Clone Wars feature film. This is partly why Skywalker and Yularen appear to be getting to know one each for the first time, and Obi-wan's distaste (rather than acceptance) for Anakin's disregard for following orders while getting the job done.
  • The cloak ships' pilot helmet design resembles the Tie Fighter helmet design see in the movies Episodes IV to VI (which are a hybrid between Darth Vader's helmet and the Storm Trooper helmet)
  • Among the Republic starships destroyed by Admiral Trench—according to intelligence reports displayed on Admiral Yularen's screen—are the cruiser The Righteous and the frigate Swift Return
  • Composer Kevin Kiner was inspired by James Horner's music from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to underscore the submarine-like battle between Anakin and Trench.

Cutting Room FloorEdit

  • Cut from the episode but present in the script was the name of the Jedi Master in charge of the Republic task-force at the Battle of Malastare Narrows: Jedi Kep-She.
  • Early in production, Admiral Trench's name was rendered as "Admiral Taranch," a more obvious nod to his tarantula/arachnid inspiration. Though his name was changed, Yularen's intelligence report shows the original spelling in Aurebesh.

HomagesEdit

  • Admiral Trench's line "Our orders are to blockade, not chase." comes from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, when the Empire warships make their presence known to contain the "surprise" rebel attack on the Death Star.
  • Bail Organa holomessage, and line "Help us Obi-wan Kenobi! You're our only hope..." after the bombing is from Star Wars IV: A New Hope, the classic message from Princess Leia
  • There are numerous homages to submarine movies, particularly The Hunt for Red October:
    • The time period used to engage the caterpillar vs cloak mechanism
    • Sonar pings to determine location of other ships
    • Using Admiral Trench's torpedoes to destroy his own ship by passing close enough that the tracking can't distinguish between ships before hitting one
  • The following exchange is Han Solo and Princess Leia's dialog from Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back:
    • Anakin: "Doesn't look like they can detect us."
    • Admiral Yularen: "Yes, but if you get any closer they may not need scanners to know we're here."

ReferencesEdit

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