- "A wise leader knows when to follow."
"Cat and Mouse" is the sixteenth episode of Season Two of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. It aired on March 20, 2010 in the UK and on March 26 in the US. It serves as a prequel to all the other episodes, and is chronologically followed by Season One's sixteenth episode The Hidden Enemy.
From the surface of Christophsis, Senator Bail Organa conferences via hologram with Anakin Skywalker and Admiral Wullf Yularen on-board the Star Destroyer Resolute. Separatist forces are on the verge of overrunning his position, and his food, water and munitions have all but run out. The hologram is cut off as another Republic ship is hit by incoming laser fire, and Skywalker and Yularen desperately try to salvage their own losing battle against the Separatist blockade around Christophsis. The enemy flagship Invincible bears down on the Republic fleet, with the Separatist commander Admiral Trench concentrates his fire on the smaller Republic supply ships. As Skywalker prepares to over-fire all reactors on the Resolute and charge the enemy flagship, another Republic cruiser, the Negotiator commanded by Obi-Wan Kenobi, emerges from hyperspace behind them. At the insistence of Kenobi—who claims he has a new toy—and Yularen, Skywalker reluctantly orders a retreat to behind Christophsis's moon. Trench allows them to go, reminding his tactical droid that their orders are to blockade, not pursue.
Crossing over to Kenobi's cruiser, Anakin discovers his Master's new weapon: a prototype stealth ship equipped with a powerful cloaking device. Skywalker is excited by the potential of this ship, but Kenobi insists his new mission is not to engage the Separatist fleet; instead, Skywalker is to use the stealth ship to sneak through the blockade and deliver supplies to Senator Organa on the surface of Christophsis. Meanwhile, Admiral Yularen, doing some research of his own, notices something on the enemy flagship: a strange emblem that he recognizes in horror. Catching up with Anakin as the Jedi is about to depart, Yularen explains that the symbol is the personal crest of the infamous Admiral Trench. Anakin is surprised, since history tells Trench perished at the Battle of Malastare Narrows. Yularen, who fought at the battle, relates what he remembers about the battle. Trench had been in command of a corporate fleet blockading Malastare and his tactics had been deadly enough to thwart the Republic fleet sent against him. Yularen comments that he lost many good men and the Republic fleet barely managed to survive. Only when a Jedi-led task force arrived did the tide of battle turn. It was assumed that Trench went down with his ship, but the tactics used in the earlier battle and the appearance of Trench's symbol makes Yularen believe his old enemy has returned. Undeterred, Anakin takes off with the stealth ship, accompanied by Yularen as a volunteer.
Meanwhile, Trench, wanting to add pressure to the Republic fleet still hiding behind the nearby moon, dispatches a squad of Hyena-class bombers to the planet surface, with the intention of bombing Organa's command center. After narrowly avoiding an inadvertent collision with the bombers, and having receiving a message from Obi-Wan regarding Bail's peril, Anakin decides to attack Trench's ship directly, hoping to divert Trench's attention from the planet. De-cloaking to attack, the stealth ship fires four proton torpedoes, only for them to explode harmlessly against the Invincible's thermal shields. Trench responds with two missiles of his own, but Skywalker utilizes decoy flares to divert the missiles away from his ship, and is able to re-cloak. Trench orders a barrage of laser fire, but Anakin skillfully avoids it. Trench surmises that the stealth ship must be piloted by a Jedi, since no clone is skilled enough to avoid such a barrage. Trench transmits a message over an open frequency, commending Skywalker's bravery and daring, but warning he has faced and beaten ships armed with cloaking devices before.
Skywalker contacts Kenobi, who explains that Trench's war record confirms his threat: he has defeated ships with cloaking devices before, but mostly in cruiser to cruiser engagements. In all previous cases, Trench used tracking torpedoes to destroy the enemy whether or not their ship was cloaked. Since none of the ships Trench has faced before were as small as the stealth ship, Skywalker theorizes that Trench locks the torpedoes onto an enemy ship's magnetic signature. On board the Invincible, Trench's tactical droid calculates that the Jedi will not turn back as the admiral suggested. Trench agrees, stating that a stealth ship could have slipped past the blockade, but this Jedi chose to attack instead. Sensing a way to use this against him, Skywalker attacks again. The stealth ship's torpedoes are again ineffective, but this time Trench is able to lock onto the stealth ship's magnetic signature and fires tracking torpedoes, ignoring his tactical droid's warning that he would have to lower his shields to do so.
With the torpedoes locked onto them, Skywalker diverts all power to his ship's engines and flies straight at the Invincible. Realizing his mistake too late, Trench orders the shields be raised, but his tactical droid states that they are still re-charging. As Trench watches in horror, Skywalker flies the stealth ship inches past the Invincible's bridge, scraping the hull as it goes past. Accepting defeat, Trench closes his eyes and awaits his fate. Seconds later, the tracking torpedoes slam into the bridge, destroying the Invincible.
With Trench's flagship destroyed, Kenobi and Commander Cody launch a new attack on the leaderless Separatist fleet, while Anakin and Yularen pilot the stealth ship down to Christophsis to deliver the vital supplies to Organa and his men. On the surface of the planet, Senator Organa thanks Skywalker, stating that he has saved a great many lives today. Then, Yularen expresses both concern and admiration for Skywalker's daring, if unorthodox, tactics.
- Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker
- Tom Kane as the narrator and Admiral Yularen
- Dee Bradley Baker as the clone troopers and Admiral Trench
- James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Phil LaMarr as Bail Organa and the tactical droid
- Matthew Wood as the battle droids
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It is the sixteenth episode of Season Two. Like also the sixteenth episode of the first season it is also a prequel to the series and the Clone Wars movie. Chronologically, it takes place before all previous episodes of The Clone Wars (followed by The Hidden Enemy), hence Skywalker and Yularen getting to know one another for the first time.
Almost the entirety of the Sith Dreadnaught cruiser article from the fan site Wookieepedia was copied verbatim to a data screen seen in the episode. The text, translated into Aurebesh, and still containing a  reference number and an anachronistic and contradictory use of BBY, appears on a data screen entitled "Enemy Ship Profile," which is displayed on the bridge of Anakin's cruiser, when an officer reports that a supply ship had been hit. The screen seems to indicate that Trench's ship, the Invincible, belongs to the Sith Dreadnaught class.
The overall events of the episode, more specifically the usage and design of the Stealth Ship, were based on Submarine Warfare during World War II.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
- ↑ UK broadcaster's EPG listings
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology dates Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones to 22 BBY, while The Essential Reader's Companion dates the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film to 22 BBY. Since places "Cat and Mouse" between both films, it can be concluded that "Cat and Mouse" also takes place in 22 BBY.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Launchpad"—Star Wars Insider 116