Review: Star Wars: Clone Wars “Cat and Mouse” Episode 2.16

A Wise Leader knows when to follow.

Cristophsis is blockaded with Senator Bail Organa on the planet’s surface. Anakin is leading the attack, but it’s going rather badly.

We are now introduced to a new Separatist admiral who is a Harch, an arachnid species of alien. The Republic forces do not know his identity either.  Anakin is engaging the enemy, even though Obi-Wan gave him a direct order no to (because he’s Anakin). After a transport is destroyed, the rest fall behind Obi-Wan’s position behind the moon, for protection. The Spider Alien’s flagship, the Drednaught Invincible, has to recharge its canon.

Luckily, Obi-Wan has brought a new toy an invisible pointy ship with stealth capabilities! Obi-Wan orders Anakin to run a mercy mission down the the planet. But, Anakin, as usual, wants to fight. Meanwhile, Admiral Yularen discovers that the commander is Admiral Trench, a ruthless commander who is thought to have been vaporized at another battle. However, Adm. Yularen recognized his his tactics and symbol on the Invincible.

Unsure of what the Republic forces are planning, Admiral Trench has decided to send Hyena droids to the surface to attack Sen. Organa and draw the Republic forces out from behind the moon. Unfortunately, he elects to send them through the area of space that Anakin and crew are traveling through in the stealth ship. They mistakenly think they were detected, so they power down and drift, avoiding collision with the Hyena droids.

Obi-Wan messages saying they’re going to attack after Trenchs’ robots have been deployed. Anakin disagrees with Obi-Wan’s plan and thinks the stealth ship should begin the attack. A clone troop on the ship comments, “When you work for gen. Skywalker, You’re always on the offensive.” They uncloak and fire a volley of torpedoes, but they are ineffective. The Invincible fires torpedoes in return, so Anakin shoots off a few flares before cloaking. The flares absorb the torpedoes attack. Then, Trench fires a barrage of laser blasts. But, Anakin dodges them. Trench realizes that a clone must not be commanding the ship and opens a channel of communication. He says that they should retreat because he’s seen that kind of ship before. After discussing the comment with Obi-Wan, Anakin comes to the conclusion that it was a larger ship and he may have tracked it with the ship’s magnetic signature.

Sure enough, Anakin’s hunch is correct. Using the ship’s magnetic signature, Trench fires another volley of torpedoes at it. Anakin turns off cloaking device and reverts power to the engines. As they charge toward the Invincible, Trench commands the droids to turn on the shields, but they have not finished recharging since they were turned off to fire the torpedoes. Anakin grazes the top of Trench’s ship, causing the torpedoes to hit him instead.

After the successful attack, they complete the delivery to the planet. Admiral Yularen admits to Anakin that he was surprised by the reckless nature of tactics, but he can’t disagree with results. Yularen also comments that he has heard Palpatine praise Anakin’s skills and tactics.

As is his nature, Anakin was reckless and did not heed the orders Obi-Wan gave him. Regardless of whether Obi-Wan’s plan would’ve worked, this is another sign of his drift to the dark side. His military tactics and flying abilities exhibited in this episode show his already forming leadership abilities that he’ll use as Darth Vader. Yularen also comments on Palpatine’s favoritism towards Anakin which we all know is not a good thing. There was an interesting side story in this episode about a newbie clone trooper becoming a “real” clone trooper by completing this mission. Despite all being physically identical, the clones each have their own personalities and seem to value experience in the battlefield, despite homogenized childhood and education. This episode seemed fairly straightforward. I expected more from the ship and was confused why they could see while being cloaked because I was under the impression that cloaking blinded the ship being cloaked. On Twitter, Admiral Trench had been compared to Admiral Thrawn, but he didn’t seem nearly as capable to me and the resemblance ended at red eyes. I give this episode 3.5/5 lightsabers.

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