Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Clone Wars: Season 1 - Episode 12, The Gungan General
The Clone Wars: Season 1 - Episode 12, The Gungan General sees Representative Jar Jar Binks in the thick of things and is the conclusion to Episode 11 - Dooku Captured. The episode has the Moral, "Fail with honor rather than succeed with fraud".
Dooku held for ransom! After escaping capture from Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the villainous Count Dooku fell into the clutches of Pirates led by bridged Hondo Ohnaka. Eager to get custody of Dooku, the Republic agreed to pay Hondo a hefty sum in exchange for the Sith Lord. But Anakin and Obi-Wan had not counted on the treacherous cunning of Ohnaka and his band.
The episode starts with Anakin and Obi-Wan waking up in a Pirate holding Cell. Despite their evasive actions to prevent it, it appears they were drugged at the previous nights banquet after all. To make matters even worse, the pair are shackled to the evil Count Dooku.
Ohnaka's plan is once he receives the Republic ransom for the Sith, he will then set up another ransom for the Jedi. His colleague, Turk, thinks he has a better way to make money, but goes along with Ohnaka or... so it seems.
The Republic arrive in Florrum air space in the form of Senator Kharrus from Malastare, Representative Jar Jar Binks and an attachment of Clone Troopers led by Commander Stone. They are here to exchange Count Dooku for the ransom of narcotic spice.
Pirate Turk has other ideas and decides to double-cross the leader Ohnaka and take the spice for himself. He orders some of his trusted group to intercept the Republic ship. They do so and shoot it down, forcing a crash-landing. Senator Kharrus is killed in the crash, effectively leaving Jar Jar as the highest ranking one amongst them.
Turk is desperate to capture the Spice. On hearing that there are survivors of the Republic ship, he and his small gang, decide to take Speederbikes to the crash site and eliminate them.
Meanwhile, Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi have been trying to escape their cell. The first attempt is engineered by Dooku when, using the force, he takes a knife and springs the door locking mechanism. They are quickly recaptured when the pirate's pet Kowakian monkey-lizard raises the alarm. The second attempt, Kenobi uses his favoured Jedi mind trick to control the Weequay guard into letting them escape unchallenged. Unfortunately this second effort is again unsuccessful and almost gets them killed when Anakin attempts to vault a high wall to the outside. Ohnaka warns them not to complicate things by breaking out again.
At the Republic crash site, a clone troop is trying to repair the ship's homing beacon to aid in a possible rescue. The planet is dangerous. Numerous obnoxious geysers are periodically spouting plumes of corrosive acid. Jar Jar Binks is now technically in charge and the mission objective is in serious jeopardy. With no ship, they will have no way of safely holding onto Count Dooku if any exchange is made.
Binks spots Turk's renegade Pirate group approaching on Speederbikes. Any hopes they are here to provide an exchange for Dooku are quickly dashed when the advancing Pirates open fire on them! Outgunned, the clones form a defensive circle, before retreating into a Geyser crator. As soon as it goes off however, they will be completely fried by acid! Sensing it may be about to erupt very soon, they decide to leave and head back to the downed shuttle. The Pirates are nowhere to be seen. They have made off with the Spice and jointly towed it away. Bink has an idea how they can catch up with them.
If you remember the Kwazel Maw from the episode Bombad Jedi you will be aware that Jar Jar Binks always seems to have a way with dumb animals. He and the Clones hitch a ride on some fat looking hog beasts native to the harsh planet. Using these, they are able to catch the Pirate Speeders and engage them in a fierce fire fight. Some of the lasers fired set off a number of acid geysers, taking out a percentage of the bikers. A few get away including the traitor Turk, but Binks and the clones retake the Spice ransom.
The Clone Troopers and Jar Jar make their way toward the Pirate Base by following a trail of power-lines.
Turk meets with Hondo Ohnaka after his failed attempt to grab the spice for himself. He lies that the Republic had set a trap and a huge army was waiting for him. Ohnaka believes him. He agrees to let Turk go back against them with their tanks while he himself will deal with the troublesome Jedi.
Dooku, Kenobi and Skywalker are back in their Cell. Weequay guards arrive and lead the Jedi to the waiting Ohnaka. The Count is left alone with a single weequay on guard.
On their way to the Pirate base, Jar Jar is the first to notice the Pirate tanks coming their way. The Clone, Commander Stone, instructs Binks to go and negotiate with them... maybe he remembers how Binks fared against the Droid Army tanks on Naboo seen in The Phantom Menace. "He's probably going to get himself killed," comments a Clone Troop. Commander Stone answers, "Don't worry, he's smarter than he looks"... yes, well, that isn't exactly hard is it?
Ohnaka has the Jedi suspended on an electrical torture device in the Main Hall. Unaware of Turk's treachery, he feels betrayed by the Republic. He tells Anakin and Obi-Wan that the Republic sent a large army. Anakin doesn't think this can be right, but Ohnaka is in no mood to discuss things any further. He activates the torture device and force-like lightning is sent painfully through the Jedi's suspended bodies.
As maybe a little predicted, Jar Jar's discussion with the Tank Commander has led to a crazy and bizarre cascade of slap-stick accidents. Two tanks have collided causing multiple explosions and one has crashed into the Power-line cutting off all the Pirate Base's power. The Base is powerless. Shocked and battered, the Clone Troops defeat the remaining Tanks.
Without power, the torture device holding the Jedi is now useless. Anakin and Obi-Wan rapidly escape, force-grab their lightsabres from the Kowakian monkey-lizard and take the surprised Hondo Ohnaka hostage before he has a chance to move.
Dooku has also taken advantage of the Power-Cut to escape from his cell and kill the guard outside. He plans to escape before the Jedi and Republic can get hold of him.
Sensing things are going badly, the Pirate Traitor Turk also decides to leave. He doesn't get the chance. An arriving Count Dooku force chokes him several feet off the ground. He falls down dead, but not before he's also inadvertently shot his number two thanks to Dooku's manipulation. Dooku takes Turk's ship and escapes the Republic's grasp.
Binks arrives with the captured tanks to joig Anakin and Kenobi and from here their escape is easy. They release Ohnaka as taking hostages or seeking revenge is not the Jedi way. Ohnaka seems genuinely impressed by this show of honour. Kenobi warns him, Dooku does not share this kind of honour and now knows what he lives.