Jedi Even Piell, future Death Star commander Tarkin – this week's episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars features two new characters we've previously seen on the big screen. Not too shabby. The action-packed “Citadel” is the first of another three episode arc. The second half of the third season hasn't disappointed so far, and the great stories keep coming.

Carbonite Freezing!

Jedi Master Even Piell was captured by Separatist forces; they want to get information about secret hyperspace lanes known as the Nexus route from the Jedi. Controlling these lanes could help the Separatists win the war. They take Piell to a maximum security prison – the Citadel. No one has ever escaped the impenetrable facility. The information Piell has is too important; the Jedi cannot risk the Separatists extracting it. Master Plo Koon sends Obi-Wan and Anakin to the Citadel to rescue Piell and any remaining members of his crew. To get around the life form scanners that are in place for security, Anakin devises a clever plan. He gives command of a few battle droids to Artoo so that they can pilot the ship without arousing suspicion. Then he, along with Obi-Wan and all the clone troopers accompanying them to the Citadel, take a dip in carbonite (Original Trilogy alert!). The battle droids line the carbonite blocks up in the ship like furniture.

The ship arrives at the cracked, purple planet of Lola Sayu. The warden of the Citadel, Osi Sobeck, is on his toes. He knows the Jedi will come for their captured comrade. He seems eager at the thought of capturing more of them; breaking Jedi is the Citadel specialty. Obi-Wan and Anakin's ship manages to make it through the life form scanner though. Instead of going to the cargo bay as directed, they land the ship near the Citadel. The droids unfreeze everyone. As they shake off carbon sickness, Anakin realizes that Ahsoka is with them. She wasn't supposed to come on the mission. She says she talked to Plo Koon about coming but her story sounds thin. She reminds Anakin that she's learned to disobey orders from his examples anyways. Since she's there, Anakin includes her in the plan to break Master Piell out.

They take a closer look at the Citadel and realize that their original plan of using grappling hooks won't work. They have to climb straight up the side. Apparently, they get fantastic grip with their boots. They must have visited the rock climbing supply store on Coruscant. They manage to get in, but one of the troopers falls over the side at the last moment and sets off the alarms. Sobeck activates maximum security lockdown and sends out his special droid units.

Alarms echo throughout the prison, and the Jedi and clone troopers have to fight their way through battle droids and electrified walls to get to Master Piell. He's been tortured, but he didn't give in. He only has half of the necessary coordinates for the Nexus routes. When they were boarded, he had his captain memorize the other half. Piell figured that was safest in case either of them cracked under torture. He thinks the droid guards have the officers held in the same place. Time for a new plan.

Future Grand Moff TARKIN

As they attempt to find where the officers are being held, Sobeck sends a special unit of droids against them. Piell's resilient, and he joins the fight despite the fact that he's been electrified repeatedly in the not so distant past. The unit gives them more trouble than the Jedi were expecting, but they destroy all the droids. Then they find the officers, and the captain is none other than Tarkin (Original Trilogy alert!). The one who holds Vader's leash meets Anakin Skywalker for the first time, and they don't like each other. They have to put that aside to escape the Citadel. They split up to keep the full coordinates for the Nexus routes safe. Piell goes with Obi-Wan, and Tarkin goes with Anakin and Ahsoka. Even if you are meeting Tarkin for the first time, you can tell he is keeping some sort of secret. It could be his constant sour look too.

Sobeck is so infuriated that he has come to the Citadel himself to capture all the Jedi. No one has ever escaped, and he doesn't want that record tarnished. While he stomps around, several of his droids are destroyed in an explosive diversion set by Obi-Wan's team. The distraction let Anakin's group to get away into an old, hidden part of the Citadel. Will they escape? What will Tarkin do? We'll have to wait for the next episode.

Trivia & Notes

The Citadel break-in was intended to parallel the break-in of the original Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope.

James Arnold Taylor (the voice of Obi-Wan) voiced the sadistic Osi Sobeck. The halting rhythms of Christopher Walken's voice influenced Taylor's performance of Sobeck.

In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader says of the carbonite freezing station "This facility is crude, but it should be adequate for freezing young Skywalker for his journey to the Emperor." Now there's a concrete reason for Anakin to be saying such a thing, as he's seen a more ideal facility.

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