Season One, Episode Twelve — “The Gungan General”

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

By Jason Gibner. A weird, weird episode of Clone Wars, this one is. I can imagine the sparks in the eyes of everyone inside the writer’s room back in 2009 when the idea of an episode where Dooku teams up with Anakin and Obi-Wan while Jar Jar leads an army of clone troopers riding some kind of fat cows was initially brought up. (Writing that just made me wonder if I actually do love this episode. Loyal readers, believe me — I wish I did. However, this one is just a mess.)

When we last saw Ani and Obi they had just foiled the plans of Hondo and his Weequay pirate crew. Strangely, “The Gungan General” opens with our heroes waking up from a chemical-induced sleep and connected to the wicked Count Dooku via some space electro rope. Meanwhile, Jar Jar has a pointless side plot with the clones about some spice or something. As I said back in my recap for “Bombad Jedi”, I have a deep compassion for the much maligned Gungan… but the guy here is just irritating. It’s a rare misstep for Clone Wars but it’s also a fascinating type of mess. Let’s get to it.

WHAT WORKED: Most of the episode’s 22 minutes is spent with our Jedi heroes literally dragging Dooku around behind them while they try to escape their little space pirate prison. Because none of them are able to do their thing (which is have a fast paced yet well choreographed lightsaber duel), we get a lot of great banter between them. Lots of gags about Dooku’s age and lots of cracks about how disgusting the Count finds the Jedi. Part of me wishes this episode could been done in live action: just imagine the great Christopher Lee in his cape, rolling his eyes at the sight of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan. You could tell the show’s always excellent voice actors were really enjoying these moments, as there’s a looseness in the lines that sometimes Star Wars animation can lack.

WHAT DIDN’T: Jar Jar, I love you and you truly shine in animated Star Wars, but you just don’t work in this one. And what the heck is up with him not being voiced by Ahmed Best? In this episode we have BJ Hughes doing his darndest to sound like Best’s JJB, but it never once feels right — actually, it comes across as rather unsettling. This is especially weird, considering as Best was voicing Jar Jar like a world champion just a few episodes back. Where was Mr. Best? What happened? The world may never know, but in a strange way we will always have “The Gungan General” to remind us how crucial Ahmed is as that orange goofball.


As my sweet mother always said, ‘son, if one hostage is good, two are better, and three, well, that’s just good business!’” – Hondo.

Anakin: “You should be more patient, Master. After all, the Count is an elderly gentleman and doesn’t move like he used to.” Obi-Wan: “I suppose you’re right.” Dooku: “I would kill you both right now if I did not have to drag your bodies.”

Jar Jar: “Der be some bombad clankens comin’ dis way.” Commander Stone: “Er… uh… what? ‘Bombad clankens?’

I warned them. I didn’t want to torture anyone. But now… even in a galaxy at war, you hope to find some honor.” – Hondo.

BEST MOMENT: In an episode filled with head scratching moments and “meh” vibes, there is an awesome moment where Dooku steals one of Hondo’s ships. On the way out he Force chokes a couple pirates in a way that could only be described as “total dark side rage.” Dooku, like Maul or Grievous, is so compelling as a character, but saw so little screen time in the films. Seeing him be the nasty Sith Lord we knew he could be in moments like this is a really tasty treat.

EPISODE’S MVP: Does Obi-Wan’s wiseguy smirk (given as his apprentice verbally insults a Sith Lord) automatically make him this week’s MVP? I’m saying yes.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.


– The late great Senator Kharrus’ staff was is the freaking Staff of Ra from Raiders of the Lost Ark! This is but one of many connections the Indiana Jones series has had with the Star Wars films: 3PO and R2 can be seen carved into the wall in the Well of Souls; there’s Club Obi-Wan, in the masterpiece Temple of Doom; the Ark of the Covenant has been featured in Clone Wars before; and a ding-dang Crystal Skull shows up later in a Trandoshan trophy room.

– One of the swoop bikes has nose art depicting a Twi’lek Mudflap Girl and there’s a Twi’lek pinup girl poster in the garage of Hondo’s gang. Classy dudes.

– The title “Gungan General” mentions the military rank Jar Jar fought under during the Battle of Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Nice touch, but it just makes me wonder why we never once saw the beautiful Boss Nass in The Clone Wars. He was at Padme’s funeral so you can’t tell me he wasn’t still around. The mystery deepens…

– Jedi Fortune Cookie: “Fail with honor rather than succeed by fraud.”

5 out of 10

Next: “Jedi Crash”, soon.

Before: “Dooku Captured”, here.