Welcome to another installment of EUCantina’s weekly opinion column, EU Action/Reaction! Each week, I tackle a specific Star Wars EU event that has garnered a significant reaction from Star Wars fans and offer my own view to further the discussion. Once you read the article, feel free to leave a comment and offer your own thoughts!
This week, I’ll be doing something different. A new The Clone Wars trailer was released online today, and it contains some of the most interesting things we’ve ever seen in Star Wars. The entire thing is complex and confusing, so it seems like a good idea to break it down, scene by scene, and examine what’s happening. To do this, I’ll be joined by Austin Blankenship, EUCantina’s webmaster. This column is in the form of a running diary, with the timestamps from the trailer indicating which part we are writing about. Read on to get speculation and discover parts of the trailer you might have missed! You can watch the trailer here.
0:8 (seconds): Chris: Nice use of the Duel of the Fates music. Looks like Felucia, too.
Austin: The planet we see this ship approaching reminds me of an island with buried treasure and pirates. If we were to zoom out a little, I bet we’d realize the entire thing is shaped like a skull.
0:10: Chris: Looks like our heroes are running on some big ol’ tree branches. Same planet just introduced? This doesn’t look like Felucia, though.
Austin: This appears to be on Dathomir, the main location of the first three episodes coming in January. The characters jumping on the branches are too far away to make out, but I’m guessing they are Nightsisters.
0:15: Chris: Anakin approaches someone kneeling. Looks like a similar character model to Dooku. Looks like a monk, rather than a Force-user, though.
Austin: There are three new characters in this trailer that really intrigue me. This old man in blue robes is one of them. He sits in a meditating pose in some sort of temple. Do you remember the line in A New Hope from Owen Lars, where he calls Obi-Wan a “wizard”, presumably because of his Force abilities? The man here is the true picture of a wizard; long beard, robes, and a pointed hat. I think that a very different area of the Force is going to be explored in the second half of this season, and it will center around three people.
0:16-0:18: Chris: This is definitely Felucia. Looks like we’ll be seeing a battle there, with Ahsoka. Given Felucia’s history, and the odd connection it has with the Force during The Force Unleashed, perhaps we’ll see a similar connection in the show?
Austin: Felucia for sure, and most probably at night. This allows for some awesome scenery, as many of the plants appear to glow and light up in the dark.
0:19: Chris: Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are walking, and the landscape behind them changes from barren to beautiful. They don’t seem worried, so either they caused it or (more likely, in my opinion) this is a Force vision.
Austin: My first thought here was mirage. It’s like Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are walking in a desert, dying of thirst, and suddenly their eyes start to play tricks on them, revealing lush and beautiful land. But looking closer, I think this is more of that strange magic/using of the Force in a way that we’ve never seen before. Obi-Wan and Ahsoka act like they are just taking a walk through the park, so it’s probably not threatening. Though, it could be a trap.
0:21: Chris: Scaling a cliff, but by hand instead of in vehicles. Perhaps the reason is because of the electricity? Looks dangerous.
Austin: The electricity we see is purple, and we’ll get a look at some more of that later in the trailer.
0:24: Chris: Someone in carbonite! But who? The outline makes me think it’s Anakin. Definitely looks male.
Austin: I’m looking at this carbonite very carefully. Only two things are clear: A) Whoever is in the carbonite is a possession of the Separatists, based on the battle droids, and B) The person in carbonite is a guy. To me, he looks like a clone with a military flat-top haircut, which fits the description of the clone officers aboard many of the Republic ships. And if you look very carefully at this short clip, you’ll notice droids pushing a second someone in carbonite in the lower right corner of the screen.
0:25: Chris: Looks like a ship flying into a giant holocron…
Austin: At last, the incredibly large holocron of Leland Chee makes an appearance in Star Wars. That’s no moon.
0:27: Chris: Ahsoka is captured! Based on the previous frame, I’d say that the giant holocron in the sky is probably where she’s being held.
Austin: Ditto. Will we see some Ahsoka torture for the second time this season?
0:28: Chris: An angry Anakin, flanked by Toydarians. I’d hazard a guess that he’s hot on his padawan’s trail.
Austin: This is one of the oddest scenes in the trailer. First, Anakin is some kind of prisoner himself, as we see him struggle against his chains. But as we zoom out, we see a large arena with two giant winged beasts on either side of Anakin. I think the one on the right is the Man Bat that we see later in the trailer. Watching this peculiar scene from a ledge above is the old man with the pointed hat. Very interesting. We know that much is to be revealed about the prophecy of the Chosen One this season. Perhaps the odd sorcery is connected to that.
0:30: Chris: Obi-Wan and a shiny, green-haired woman pay a visit to a guy I’m going to dub Dracula. Dude looks seriously fierce, considering in the next frame, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka face off against him. And in the following frame, Dracula and Green-Hair Chick blast Force lightning at each other. I’m starting to think Dracula and Green-Hair Chick are from two different Force-using sects, similar to the sects found in the Expanded Universe already. And it seems that Dracula kidnaps Ahsoka, based on the trailer, which makes me wonder if Obi-Wan loses her – which would cause some great drama between the two friends.
Austin: Here, we are introduced to the other two characters that intrigued me. Obi-Wan is with a lady that is glowing, and reminds me of the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz. They are talking to a man who is the single most interesting part of the trailer. He is bald with two red stripes on his head, and red eyes to match. The stripes are similar to what we see on Darth Malak. The scene transitions to Obi-Wan and Ahsoka drawing their sabers on the man (two lighsabers for Ahsoka), followed by the him blasting purple lightning at the Good Witch (she catches it with confidence and action similar to what we saw with Yoda and Palpatine in Episode III ensues). Several things to note here. First, that the purple lightning is probably the same that we saw on the cliff being scaled at the start of the trailer. Second, I was probably wrong in saying that this was the introduction to the Good Witch and the new bad guy. It seems very likely to me that they are the strange winged creatures that hover on either side of Anakin in the scene before.
0:36: Chris: Looks like Ahsoka and some padawan buddies face off against some bad guys, maybe on Felucia? The other characters look definitely younger.
Austin: This looks like the same planet that we saw the ship fly towards in the very first scene, and – wait – it’s the same ship! I see a Twi’lek and what could be a Cerean (maybe even Ki-Adi-Mundi, though the character model looks a little different from what we saw in Season 2).
0:38: Chris: And here, it would appear that Obi-Wan and Ahsoka’s duel with Dracula ends when the dude literally turns into a giant bat man. This again makes me think he’s part of some outside Force sect.
Austin: The defining piece of evidence that the flying beasts with Anakin are, in fact, the Good Witch and Purple Lightning Guy. More of the crazy magic/Force powers that we’ve never seen before.
0:39: Chris: Some obligatory ship chase scenes and droid shooting…
Austin: I think some of those droids being shot are the Commando droids from the Season 1 episode, ‘Rookies’.
0:42: Chris: Oooooh, Even Piell!
Austin: A note for the continuity concerned: Even Piell dies after Revenge of the Sith. He is featured in the book Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight. However, after appearing in Episode I and Episode II, he is absent from Episode III. Could The Clone Wars decide to explain his absence by killing him off now?
0:43: Chris: Some seriously sinister looking alien there, with cracks all over his face.
Austin: This guy comes off to me like a deformed Trandoshan. The eyes are similar, at least.
0:44: Chris: Aw snap! More Even Piell goodness!
Austin: Both shots of Piell feature him in combat. People die in combat. I’m just saying. (Don’t panic.)
0:45 – 0:50: Chris: There seems to be two interconnected scenes in this bit of the trailer. We have Ahsoka, in the same setting as when she’s with her padawan buddies, and it looks like she’s chasing someone. We also have Anakin, facing off against some shield carrying baddies, who appear to be led by the alien with cracks on his face.
Austin: The shield people make me think of more tribal and deadly Gungans.
0:51 – 0:55: Chris: Ahsoka on the attack, perhaps rushing to help Anakin? We also get a glimpse of some Trandoshans here, so slavery might be an upcoming issue in the show?
Austin: These are Trandoshans for sure. I have a gut feeling that they were in that ship we saw in the opening scene.
0:55: Chris: Anakin’s lightsaber attacks against Dracula are blocked by the dude’s wrists. He’s clearly a powerful Force user… either that, or something else entirely.
Austin: What is this guy using to block the lightsaber? Also, I love how his face appears to have the same expression every time we see him. I don’t know who this guy is, but I would be cool with him never talking, and just keeping the same look at all times. It’s just ice cold.
0:57: Chris: Hey, it’s Saesee Tiin!
Austin: Saesee Tiin, in a ship, where he belongs. This is starting to remind me of the Gendy series. (Side note: SPOILER for the Savage episodes – Tiin appears in The Clone Wars for the first time in the Savage Opress story arc, but only for about 10 seconds. Glad to see him used more here.)
0:58: Chris: Obi-Wan gets some sort of weapon? Something happening to his lightsaber? Perhaps to give him an advantage over this Dracula guy?
Austin: If anything, I think there is some sort of disadvantage. It’s almost like Obi-Wan’s lightsaber (or other weapon) is turning into dust in his hands.
Ending: Chris: Ahsoka with a cracked face, Anakin screaming “NOOOO!” ala Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith, and ends with Ahsoka leap slashing at Anakin. Clearly, based on the music, this is being built up as a Anakin/Obi-Wan level battle. But given that the show is so early in the overall time frame, I just don’t believe that Ahsoka is going to be long-term corrupted.
Austin: Poison. I think Ahsoka has been poisoned by something, physically or mentally. Just look at the big black veins that have appeared all over her – it’s like she has a disease. No, I don’t think that this is any kind of turn to the dark side. She’s been corrupted by something, but it’s not a mindset of being evil. It’s something they can cure and most likely will.
– Chris and Austin