- "The best confidence builder is experience."
"Rookies" is the fifth episode of Season One of Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. It first aired on Cartoon Network on October 24, 2008. It was later shown on TNT, premiering on February 25, 2009.
On the remote Rishi moon, the small unit of rookie clones stationed there, including Hevy, Echo, Fives, Droidbait, and Cutup are restless and bored. Hevy wishes he could be on the front lines when Sergeant O'Niner reminds them that their listening post is vital to keep an eye on Separatist activities and make sure they don't try to slip past and launch a surprise attack on Kamino, the center of clone production and training. The Sergeant orders his men to prepare for an inspection by Captain Rex and Commander Cody, who are en route. Just then the station detects an incoming meteor shower and raises shields. But the meteors aren't all meteors—two of them are Droch-class boarding ships carrying BX-series droid commandos.
With brutal efficiency, the droids infiltrate the base, shot the Sergeant's leg which dropped him and wasted no time to kill the Sergeant and the three rookie clone troopers, forcing the remaining four clones to flee the base. The commando droids report their success to General Grievous. Pleased, Grievous contacts Asajj Ventress on Kamino, where she is making secret preparations for a Separatist invasion.
Meanwhile, Cody and Rex contact the Rishi station as they enter the system. The commando droid leader adjusts his vocabulator to mimic a clone's voice, puts on a helmet, and tries to trick the two officers into canceling their inspection. Rex and Cody are suspicious, and continue toward the base.
Hevy, Echo, Fives, and Cutup emerge from a maintenance tunnel into a deep crater below the outpost and plan their next move. Suddenly a massive Rishi eel silently emerges from one of the many caves in the crater, snatches Cutup in its jaws, and disappears back into its hole taking the other rookie's by surprise. Just then Cody and Rex's shuttle flies in for a landing high above. Hevy, Fives, and Echo are unable to make contact by radio, so they decide to use a warning flare.
Up on the platform the clone officers are met by a peculiar "clone" who gestures awkwardly and talks like a droid. The "clone" tries to convince them that the base is in perfect condition right when Rex and Cody notice the flare sent by the real clones. With the appearance of the warning flare, Rex immediately shoots the impersonator, revealing it to be a droid commando in disguise. Suddenly more droids begin to attack them and destroy their ship with thermal detonators. Under the cover of the explosion, Rex and Cody escape into the crater where they meet up with the rookie clones. Suddenly, the eel comes back right when Rex shoots it in the eye. They explain to the rookies that they need to take the base with their new support. Rex and Cody are determined to retake the base, and Hevy, Fives, and Echo are up for the task.
Rex poses as a droid in armor, using a severed droid head to convince the droid guards to open the door. The clones charge into the base, killing the droid commando commander and quickly regaining control. Unfortunately, the Separatist fleet led by Grievous has arrived, and when he can't make contact with the commandos, Grievous sends down reinforcements. Not wanting the base to fall back into enemy hands, the clones resolve to blow it up with liquid tibanna, which would disrupt the all-clear signal, thereby alerting the Republic. As the other clones escape through the tunnels, Hevy tries to arm the explosives but the remote doesn't work, so he decides to activate it manually. In a heroic last stand, Hevy is felled, but not disabled, and he activates the explosives. The base, along with Hevy, is destroyed. Alerted, the Republic fleet jumps into the system and Grievous is forced to retreat.
When they return to the Resolute, Echo and Fives are granted medals and Rex inducts them in the 501st Legion. The rookies feel they don't deserve the honor, but Rex says they've earned it.
"You showed me something today. You're exactly the kind of men I need in the 501st."
-Rex to Echo & Fives during the latters induction to the 501st legion.
- Dee Bradley Baker as Clone troopers
- Nika Futterman as Asajj Ventress
- Tom Kane as Narrator, Wullf Yularen
- Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker
- James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Matthew Wood as General Grievous, Battle droids
- Gwendoline Yeo as Bettie-Bot VJ
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Behind the scenes
- "What the hell was that?"
- ―Hell being stated in the episode.
In the original showings of this episode on Cartoon Network, the word "Hell" was used as an expletive twice. During the replay on November 7, 2008, before Downfall of a Droid premiered, the word was censored due to complaints from parents. When broadcast in Canada, neither CTV nor the Space network censored it, however the series is rated 14A in Canada, roughly equivalent to PG-13. During its showings on TNT, the word was not censored. However, in the iTunes version, it was censored only once.
On the screen of the detonator used by Hevy to destroy the base, the words “ATTE RUL3Z SOME TEXT” can be found written in aurebesh.
When Fives and Echo are awarded their medals the camera is behind them and Echo is just holding his hand out with out a helmet. And when the camera is front of the clone trooper Echo is holding his helmet.
In the scene when Echo and Fives are receiving their badges, Echo is seen without his binocs, but on the second scene he is seen with the binocs on his helmet.