Episode: "Clone Cadets"
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 3, Episode 1
Original Air Date: September 17, 2010
In "Clone Cadets," Hevy, Cutup, Droidbait, Fives and Echo are in training as Domino Squad. They are most definitely not the star pupils of the operation. They don't follow orders and don't trust each other enough to work together. As a result, they consistently fall short of other squads in their training exercises. In an important macro-narrative development, it is suggested that the group's shortcomings result from the gene pool running shallow after Jango Fett's death. We also meet 99, a malformed clone who serves as another reminder that the process does not always go exactly to plan.
In some ways, I feel like the prequel undermines the "Rookies" story. Part of the magic of the earlier episode is the fact that the five troopers involved are presented as ordinary soldiers, neither unusually good nor exceptionally bad. Caught up in a sudden crisis, they must rely upon training and instinct in order to prevail. Then again, perhaps their shortcomings would explain why they were assigned to such a remote outpost in the first place. And the underdog element has some appeal of its own.
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