After suffering a series ofdisastrous defeats at thehands of General Grievous,the Republic's foothold in theOuter Rim is in jeopardy.Commissioned to protect thestrategic world of Bothawui,Anakin Skywalker and hisweary battle group are all thatstands between the systemand domination by thedroid army....
A flotilla of three Jedi cruisers, led by the Resolute float beyond the inner rim of the rocky ring surrounding Bothawui. Admiral Yularen advises the fleet not to approach too closely to the asteroids as they await the appearance of enemy forces.
Within the Resolute's hangar bay, Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2 tinker with his yellow Jedi Delta-7B starfighter, modifying its thrust ratio to become the fastest ship in the fleet. A surly Treadwell droid gives Artoo some electronic guff, and the astromech droid returns the favor by igniting the ion engines when the Treadwell is caught within the backwash. Anakin chastises a giggling Artoo just as Ahsoka Tano rushes to tell Skywalker of an urgent transmission.
Anakin, Artoo and Ahsoka join Captain Rex on the bridge, where a holographic Obi-Wan Kenobi reports some grim news. The Republic continues to get hammered, losing a battle group at Falleen. Grievous' fleet is now headed towards Bothawui. Noting that Anakin is outnumbered, Kenobi advises retreat, but Skywalker refuses to give up such a strategic point in the sector. He has a plan up his sleeve.
Separatist frigates emerge from hyperspace and approach the planetary rings. Aboard the lead vessel, General Grievous orders the fleet to enter the asteroid field to engage the Republic warships, an unorthodox approach that strips the advantage from the Republic. The warships ease through the swarm of rocks with full power to the forward shields. Their undefended aft sections are covered by the asteroids.
The hangar decks on the Republic warships open and disgorge Gold Squadron's V-19 Torrent interceptors, with Gold Leader -- Anakin Skywalker -- in command aboard his Delta-7B. Anakin grins to Artoo that Grievous is falling into his trap. The Separatist ships emerge from the ring and open fire.
Cannonades pelt the Resolute and its sister ships while the Republic starfighters zoom to intercept. One of the Venators is crippled by the barrage, and a clipped V-19 spirals out of control, taking out a wingmate. Anakin orders the Torrents to take evasive action, but he and Artoo use the overpowered thrusters of the Delta-7B to push forward. Anakin notes that the Separatists are in position, and orders Ahsoka to unveil their surprise. She radios to Rex to join the party.
The asteroids directly behind the Separatist frigates are crawling with AT-TEs. Rex leads the walkers in outflanking the Separatists, and the rock-hugging walkers open fire, blasting the warships in their unprotected aft sections. As the frigates struggle to redistribute their shields, the Venators open fire, catching Grievous' fleet in a deadly crossfire. Anakin weaves his fighter through the enemy fleet, darting past an unprotected bridge tower and blasting it apart. Grievous orders a retreat and storms off the bridge.
The frigates are effectively boxed in. Grievous boards his personal starfighter and leaves his doomed flagship. Anakin spots him retreating and gives pursuit. Grievous starts to power up his hyperdrive and Anakin presses his ship even harder. Unfortunately, a shrapnel hit is bleeding power from the ship's systems. He redlines it, causing a catastrophic system failure. Something aboard his ship explodes and it spins out of control into the asteroid field.
Anakin awakens in a medical bay with a 2-1B droid looming over him. Rex and Ahsoka inform Anakin that his plan saved the day: Grievous has fled but his fleet was destroyed. Any rejoicing over the victory is short-lived, however, when Anakin discovers that R2-D2 did not return from the battle.
Later, Obi-Wan holographically congratulates Anakin, but Skywalker is distracted by the loss of R2-D2. Obi-Wan doesn't see the importance of that particular astromech, however, and simply suggests Anakin get another, but Skywalker won't have it. He's insistent on recovering Artoo. Anakin reveals a secret about R2-D2, however. After all their time together, after all their missions, Anakin never erased Artoo's memory. The little droid is programmed with tactics, base locations, and other vital information that could be exploited by the Separatists. Obi-Wan is livid. He orders Anakin to find the droid.
A short time later, the Twilight is prepped for departure. Anakin finds Ahsoka aboard with a new astromech droid, R3-S6, which Ahsoka has nicknamed "Goldie." Ahsoka is a little too enthusiastic about the new droid for Anakin, who is still glum about Artoo's absence.
The Twilight inspects the debris field of the space battle, its illuminator probing the wreckage-filled void. Anakin spots his derelict Delta-7B, but its droid socket is distressingly empty. Anakin's convinced that R2-D2 must have somehow escaped, but the scanners only reveal another vessel in the debris: a Trandoshan scavenger ship, Vulture's Claw. The Twilight docks with the other ship.
Anakin and Ahsoka don simple peasant ponchos and board the foul-smelling scavenger vessel with R3-S6 in tow. An electronic eyeball probes the newcomers' intentions; Anakin explains that he is looking to buy a droid. The entrance hatch irises open, and out climbs a fat, flatulent and lazy-eyed Trandoshan, Gha Nachkt. His stench is enough to actually knock over Ahsoka.
Anakin says that he is looking for an R2 unit. Nachkt explains that the R series are hard to find due to war shortages. Gha eyes the credits that Anakin flashes. He lets the customers into his unkempt cargo hold, but warns them to be careful around some of his more "unique" collector's items.
As they explore the hold, Anakin and Ahsoka discover a pair of deactivated IG assassin droids. Anakin orders R3 to access the ship's computer and find the inventory manifest. R3 plugs into a terminal. Anakin's keen hearing detects a familiar sounding whistle from another part of the hold: he thinks he hears Artoo, but Ahsoka is not convinced. Anakin orders R3 to open a blocked hatch, but Goldie instead turns on the hold lights and, somehow, activates the IG assassins.
The cylinder-headed droids begin attacking. Anakin and Ahsoka ignite their lightsabers to defend themselves as the agile, relentless assassins press their assault. The two Jedi cut through the droids and sheath their blades. Anakin scolds R3 for his inappropriate actions, but Ahsoka defends the little droid. R3 finally opens the door, and Anakin finds Gha Nachkt eavesdropping.
Anakin confronts Gha Nachkt, demanding the return of his droid but his command is met with silence. Ahsoka insists that Artoo is not aboard. Anakin, realizing he has nothing to go on, leaves the indignant Gha Nachkt and his pungent ship behind. As the Twilight flies away. Gha Nachkt opens a channel to General Grievous. He has R2-D2, and is en route to rendezvous with the Separatist general.
Anakin and Ahsoka once again report into Obi-Wan Kenobi via hologram. The case of the missing droid is pretty much shut; Obi-Wan tells Anakin to assume that R2-D2 has been destroyed. There are more pressing matters: Republic intelligence has confirmed the existence of a Separatist listening post. Kenobi orders Anakin to split his forces, seek out the base, and destroy it.
Anakin will take point in the sweeps, scouring the outer corridors of suspected space while the remainder of his forces concentrate along a more central path. Ahsoka insists that Anakin take R3-S6 aboard his starfighter, though Skywalker is skeptical of "Goldie" and his abilities. In space, Anakin docks his fighter into a hyperspace transport ring and rockets away.
Meanwhile, aboard the Vulture's Claw, Gha Nachkt's guard is down as he naps and snores loudly. R2-D2 takes the opportunity to remove his restraining bolt by rubbing it against a bulkhead. His attempt to escape is intercepted by an IG droid, whom Artoo lures into an airlock and blasts into space. But Gha Nachkt awakens in time to catch Artoo.
Anakin emerges from hyperspace in an area of suspected Separatist activity. He orders R3 to activate long-range scanners; the droid instead activates the long range tracking beacon. Back at the fleet, Ahsoka detects Anakin's signal and realizes that something must be wrong. She tells Rex to gather some troops. She's going to get to the bottom of this.
General Grievous, aboard a Separatist frigate, also detects the Jedi tracking beacon. Grievous relishes the turnabout: Skywalker has fallen into his trap. Anakin deactivates the signal just in time to see a Separatist fleet emerge from hyperspace in front of him.
Anakin hurriedly orders R3 to prep the hyperdrive engines for escape, but the droid instead drops the engines. The transport ring disengages and is blown to smithereens by Separatist cannon-fire. Anakin is now stranded, and furious at the glitching astromech.
Grievous launches a swarm of vulture starfighter droids to pursue Skywalker. The droids fire multiple volleys of missiles at Anakin's fighter, but Skywalker cuts engines and spins around, opening fire at the incoming warheads. Anakin then has trouble getting R3 to start up the engines again. The droid also reports the fighter's laser cannons aren't functioning.
It seems quite dire, until incoming laser blasts from the Twilight take out the droid fighters. Ahsoka radios to Anakin to fly his fighter into the Twilight's open cargo bay, but Anakin bitterly reports that R3 is having trouble with the engines. Ahsoka sweetly asks R3 if everything is all right, and the little golden droid cooperates, firing up the Delta-7B's ion engines. Rex and his clone troops serve as gunners aboard the Twilight, offering cover fire as Anakin docks with the freighter.
With Anakin safely docked, Ahsoka plots an escape course directly between the Separatist warships. She retracts the ship's outrigger pylon and squeezes past the closely spaced frigates, scraping hull plates and leaving a trail of sparks in her wake. The pursuing vulture droids aren't so lucky, as they collide with their mother ships. Rex then takes the Twilight into hyperspace, successfully escaping from Grievous' reach.
After Goldie's lackluster performance under fire, Anakin is now more determined than ever to find R2-D2.