Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano mount a rescue mission for Artoo in Duel of the Droids"You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head."
What's the story:
Anakin, Ahsoka and replacement droid R3-S6 embark on a dual rescue/sabotage mission when they discover R2-D2 is being held at General Grievous' secret enemy listening post.
Concluding the R2-D2 rescue mission story set-up in episode 6, Downfall of a Droid, Duel of the Droids is a return to top form for the animation (Downfall… was the second episode actually produced and looked jerkier than more recent adventures) and storytelling, matching Rookies and Shadow of Malevolence for enjoyment and excitement.
With the story established in the previous episode, writers Kevin Campbell and Henry Gilroy (who also wrote The Clone Wars movie) enjoy themselves telling an incident-packed adventure that sets itself the challenge of rivalling the movies for giddy spectacle.
Anakin leads Ahsoka, Captain Rex and select clone troopers lead an assault on General Grievous’ spy station Skytop to snatch back the abducted Artoo, opening the episode a dramatic skydive into the station hanging high in the sky.
Amidst the subsequent rollercoaster ride of action, Gilroy and Campbell weave in character depth that will be resonate in later episodes – Ahsoka’s bravery and trusting nature, Grievous’ callousness (the cyborg tyrants skewering of an informant is The Clone Wars strongest moment so far), and Anakin’s devotion to Artoo that lends him a compassionate edge that will deepen his character arc in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Director Rob Coleman acted as animation director on Episodes I – III, so small wonder the episode has a cinematic feel, from a Halloween-like scene when Grievous stalks Ahsoka through a dark storage room and some Die Hard action in a ventilation shaft, to the climactic battle between Jedi, clones and droids in a spacious, explosion friendly hangar, plus a duel between Artoo and his evil counterpart on a vertiginously high bridge that works as both a parody of action cinema and possibly the most unexpectedly great Star Wars moment since Yoda flicked on his lightsaber.
Add a neat plot twist and the sight of R2-D2 broken down into component parts and this is a Clone Wars story to treasure.
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