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|"Liberty on Ryloth"|
|Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode|
|Episode no.|| Season 1|
|Written by||Henry Gilroy|
|Directed by||Rob Coleman|
|Original airdate||March 13, 2009|
|List of Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes|
Compromise is a virtue to be cultivated, not a weakness to be despised.
As Mace Windu and his forces head to Lessu along a cliffside path with AT-TE walkers, they are ambushed by several Armored Assault Tanks. The tanks incapacitate the first walker in the line and then target the rear walkers, seeking to trap and kill the Republic forces. Mace saves the gunner, and then orders Lightning Squadron to the front while he Force-pushes the first walker off the cliff, clearing the path. Mace, Commander CC-6454 and Lighting Squadron then overrun the tanks using AT-RTs, but have lost thirty-two men and the command crews of three walkers. A recon droid spies on them, discovering that the Republic forces are heading to Lessu.
Watching the stream, Emir Wat Tambor confers with his Tactical droid, TA-175, refusing to retreat, despite the odds being against him. In a holographic conference, Anakin Skywalker informs Mace, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Yoda, Admiral Yularen and Senator Orn Free Taa that the space around Ryloth is secure. Mace mentions that Obi-Wan has taken the Jixuan desert, and that the southern hemisphere of Ryloth is secure; the only thing that remains is to retake Lessu. Yoda asserts that they must capture Tambor, but Mace is unsure if that is possible: Tambor has chosen his stronghold well, and with the only way in or out of Lessu being a plasma bridge, a siege could drag on indefinitely. With his forces stretched thin, Mace decides to enlist the help of the Twi'lek Freedom Fighters under the command of Cham Syndulla. Senator Taa mentions that before the War, they were political rivals, and still are. Palpatine requests reinforcements to be sent, but Admiral Yularen informs him that none are available.
Mace and his forces arrive in the flatlands of Cazne, discovering the site of the massacre, accompanied by Twi'lek graves. Mace discovers fresh Blurrg tracks, and they hear the sound of one of the animals. Mace heads along with Razor and Stak.
Meanwhile, Count Dooku informs Tambor that his tactical droid has informed him of the "pitiful job" he has done. Tambor insists that the droid has exaggerated, and asserts that he has not lost; Dooku orders him to retreat with what valuables he can and destroy everything. Tambor is rather alarmed, but soon encompasses the purpose: the massacred planet will demonstrate to the galaxy the cost of a "Republic victory". Mace and the two troopers come across a patrol of battle droids looking for another lost patrol, but instead of defeating them, Mace allows the rebels to attack them. They come across the freedom fighters, but Cham Syndulla is rather adamant against giving his help to the Republic.
TA-175 notifies Tambor that their bombers are ready for launch and states he will ready Tambor's ship for evacuation. However, Tambor is not yet ready to leave. Mace, Razor and Stak accompany Cham to his hideout under a wrecked C-9979 landing craft. Mace mentions that they can stop another massacre from happening, but Cham states that when the droids invaded, the Republic was unable to help, and they were forced to surrender. Stak examines a blurrg, but after it snaps at him, Tae Boon chuckles and mentions that his blurrg is faster than their riding machines, though Stak is doubtful.
Despite his misgivings about the Republic, Cham displays the tradition of the Twi'leks to give their guests whatever food and drink they still have. The Separatist bombers launch, and Tambor targets all the villages with in range, starting with the inhabited ones. Ponds leads his troops to a village, but the village is suddenly overrun and blasted to bits by the bombers. Cham tells Mace that he doesn't trust Senator Taa. Despite the fact that the clone troopers will stay for a while after the war to ensure security, Cham insists that another armed occupation is not a free Ryloth. As the two receive a report from Ponds about the destroyed villages, Cham decides that he will speak to Taa.
Tambor decides to wait for all the valuables of the world to arrive and be loaded onto his shuttle, much to the fury of Dooku, who wants him out of the sector before the Republic arrives: once Windu has invaded the city, Dooku orders it to be bombed from afar. Cham and Senator Taa engage in a holographic conference and begin to verbally spar; Mace regulates the conference, and Anakin reports that his fighters are trying to destroy the bombers, but there are too many. Mace instructs him to destroy the bombers and then meet him at the capital, and Anakin continues to engage the bombers with assistance from his Padawan Ahsoka Tano. With assistance from Mace, Cham and Taa reach an agreement: Taa will not let Ryloth fall to another armed occupation, while Cham promises he will not seek power, and Cham rallies his men.
Meanwhile, battle droids escort the civilians of Lessu to the outer wall. As Mace and Cham discover this, they spot two Multi Troop Transports making their way toward the city. Cham reports that they are filled with treasure, and they decide to use them to get across and activate the bridge. Mace, Razor and Stak slice a battle droid and enter the rear transport, while Cham prepares to lead the attack. Mace orders Ponds to create a diversion. The plasma bridge is activated for the transports, and they begin to cross; Tambor prepares to leave with their treasures. However, the battle droids scan the transports, and they pick up an anomaly in the second transport. Mace and the troopers exit the transport and destroy the two battle droids, while the Republic forces begin to fire. The bridge is deactivated, and Mace uses the Force to push Razor and Stak across. Mace uses an STAP to get to the other side, and battle droids begin to attack the three. Mace orders the troopers to get the bridge back up while he holds the droids off, and Cham begins his charge. Mace takes out an entire squad on his own, while Razor and Stak get the bridge up just in time for Cham and his forces to cross. The citizens of Lessu wave happily at the passing freedom fighters; Mace instructs Cham to take care of the droids while he finds Tambor.
In the control room, Razor and Stak are ambushed by a few droid commandos. TA-175, not waiting for Tambor, leaves the planet with his shuttle, and Dooku gives the order for the bombers to destroy the city. Mace corners Tambor, and while the bombers approach, Anakin and Ahsoka attack and destroy them. While Tambor asks Cham for his terms of surrender, Cham states that they are unconditional, and Tambor reluctantly agrees. Later, Cham and Senator Taa wave to the people in a parade. Ryloth is free.
- The Ark of the Covenant, a very famous ancient biblical artifact (as seen in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, written and produced by George Lucas), can be seen being loaded onto Tambor's shuttle with other treasures from Ryloth. The only difference is that the golden cherubs have been replaced by golden Twi'leks.
- Blurrgs make an appearance, creatures first seen in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
- The original plan was to have Mace Windu using his lightsaber to cut open the fallen walker's canopy, but this was changed to showcase his talent for finding and using shatterpoints.
- An earlier version of the story had Mace rescuing captive Twi'leks from a prison suspended over a volcano; however, early designs ended up looking too much like Mustafar, and the story was changed.
- Second appearance of the BX-series commandos droids; the droids first appeared in Rookies
- Cham Syndulla was originally to be allied with the Separatists, working for Wat Tambor and lying to the Twi'lek people. He was to escape with the Separatists on the shuttle. However, due to plot complications, Syndulla was changed to a "freedom fighter".
- Twi'lek Cham Syndulla wears the same kind of chest armor as Bib Fortuna in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
- First appearance of recurring character: Twi'lek Senator Orn Free Taa