Manhunt!After a long and perilous search, theJedi finally track down Separatistleader, Count Dooku. During aheroic attempt to capture the Count,Anakin Skywalker has gone missing.Having lost contact with Skywalker,Obi-Wan Kenobi heads towards hisfriend's last known location, a loneSeparatist frigate in the far reaches ofthe Outer Rim....
In the depths of space, a lone spacesuited figure is dwarfed by an enormous Separatist frigate. Propelled by a rocket pack, he skims the surface of the warship and comes to land near an airlock. We see through the transparisteel helmet dome that it is Obi-Wan Kenobi who is entering the enemy vessel. Inside the ship, he skulks past inattentive battle droids, making his way to the detention center. After mistakenly opening a prison cell filled with surly yet surprised Nikto thugs, he finds the correct cell: the one holding Anakin Skywalker.
Kenobi hands Anakin his lightsaber and the two quickly confer. Anakin's capture is a ruse. He was purposely captured by the Separatists, unarmed, to be drawn aboard this ship. Anakin has confirmed that it is the flagship of Count Dooku.
The Jedi make their way to Dooku's quarters, where they find the Sith Lord serenely meditating in a cross-legged pose. Skywalker and Kenobi ignite their lightsabers, but Dooku does not budge. Suddenly, the ship starts to rock. It is being barraged by enemy fire from a Republic destroyer that has entered the area. It's the Resolute, and aboard its bridge, Captain Rex and Ahsoka Tano command the assault.
The Separatist ship is outgunned and targeted for boarding. Anakin orders Dooku to surrender, but the Sith Lord instead trips a trap door open and vanishes through an escape hatch. Anakin impulsively dives through the open hatch to give chase, while Obi-Wan sets off toward the hangar in a bid to head Dooku off at the pass.
Sliding through the ship's interior, the Count sends a blast of Force lightning at Anakin to ward off pursuit. Anakin blocks the incoming bolts with his lightsaber, but the glare is such that he loses sight of Dooku. This gives the Count a few extra moments to twist his way into the hangar, where he promptly boards his solar sailer. Kenobi arrives at the hangar just in time to see the exotic vessel slide through the magcon field, flanked by vulture starfighter escorts.
Obi-Wan races aboard a Neimoidian shuttle, and is quickly joined by Anakin who emerges in the hangar. The ungainly transport pulls away from the frigate, chasing down the fleeing Sith Lord. Anakin takes over the controls while Obi-Wan mans the shuttle's cannons. Kenobi radios Ahsoka for reinforcements while Anakin closes the distance between the Jedi and Dooku. A blast from the cannons wings Dooku's sailer, and its flight path begins to curve toward the nearby planet of Vanqor. The vulture escorts turn around to harry the shuttle. One the vultures collides with the shuttle's wing. Now both hunter and hunted are diving toward the planet.
Both crippled ships enter the atmosphere and come in for crash landings not far from each other. The overcast planet is marked by smoky crystalline formations. Kenobi and Skywalker emerge from their crashed shuttle, and spot the similarly downed sailer. Cautiously approaching the craft, they find it abandoned, but affixed with a homing beacon calling for help. Anakin destroys the beacon with his lightsaber while Obi-Wan surmises that Dooku isn't going anywhere and can't be far.
The Jedi start their search in nearby caves. They sense much life inside, including the unmistakable presence of Count Dooku. Using their lightsabers for illumination, the Jedi spelunk the alien interior, but are nearly covered by a cascade of crashing stalactites. Elsewhere in the shadows, Count Dooku grins at his handiwork.
Dooku uses the Force to pull Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber from the debris. Adding it to his belt, Dooku triumphantly walks out of the cave, and uses the Force to collapse its entrance. He returns to his sailer to find that it is joined by a massive saucer-shaped ship of unknown origins. A party of over a dozen Weequay pirates is pillaging the Neimoidian shuttle and sailer. The pirate leader, Hondo Ohnaka, spots the confident Dooku striding toward the landing area. Dooku sniffs disdainfully as the assembled scum, demanding to know who they are, but Ohnaka does not seem intimidated by Dooku's stately manner. He's instead covetously eyeing the sailer, realizing the wealth of this stranger.
Dooku lies, saying his ship was damaged in an asteroid collision. He welcomes the pirates to take anything they wish; he's above such notions of material wealth. Ohnaka, playing the helpful type, offers Dooku transport to the nearest planet, Florrum, six parsecs away. Dooku accepts, concealing his lightsabers from the pirates. Ohnaka orders his men to return to the ship; they are heading home with their new "guest."
Meanwhile, inside the cave, the collapsed pile of crystalline rock parts as Anakin emerges from its crushing weight unscathed. He has used the Force to create a shelter. He hurriedly calls for Obi-Wan, but there is no sign of his friend. More rocks fall from above as the whole cave has been unsettled. Skywalker instinctively reaches for his lightsaber, but it is not there. Kenobi casually emerges from the shadows, dusting himself off, not seeming any worse for wear. He chastises Skywalker for once again losing his lightsaber. But Kenobi loses a bit of his airs when he attempts to ignite his own weapon, which has been damaged in the cave-in. Something stirs in the darkness; an angry gundark suddenly drops from the cave ceiling, lunging toward the Jedi! The beast chases Anakin while Kenobi fiddles with his damaged weapon. Obi-Wan belatedly uses the Force to pelt the gundark with rocks. Anakin joins in, and the beast is repelled.
The Weequay saucer craft arrives at the sulfurous world of Florrum. Dooku emerges from the ship, and realizes his lightsabers have been snatched by the pickpocketing talons of Pilf Mukmuk, a green-furred Kowakian monkey lizard loyal to Ohnaka. Dooku is unarmed, and surrounded by dozens of pirates. Over thirty rifles point at Dooku's back as Ohnaka relishes in his prize: the leader of the clanker army, in his possession! He hopes to ransom the Sith Lord to the Republic.
Inside the Vanqor cave, Anakin and Obi-Wan continue using the Force to build a barricade between them and the gundark. A collapse of rock opens a fissure in the cave, and noxious green gas begins filling the cavern. The Jedi try to dig their way out of the collapsed opening, but the gas is overwhelming them. They collapse just as the cavern entrance explodes from outside. Ahsoka Tano and her clone forces have blasted the cave open. They also take care of the angry gundark by collapsing the entrance once more.
On Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine and his staff review a holographic message from Hondo Ohnaka. The Weequay pirate chief is making his demands: a million credits worth of spice delivered by an unarmed diplomatic ship. Palpatine demands proof of Dooku's capture, and Ohnaka produces his distinctive curved lightsaber handle. Yoda senses the truth behind Ohnaka's unbelievable claims. Palpatine is still skeptical, and Ohnaka suggests that the Separatist Council would likely be willing to meet his price.
Padme Amidala realizes that this may be their only chance to get Dooku. She suggests that the Republic dispatch two Jedi to confirm Dooku's capture. Ohnaka agrees, if the Jedi arrived unarmed. He assures the Senator the Jedi will be safe. The pirates have no interest in getting involved in the Republic's war. Mace Windu suggests sending Kenobi and Skywalker, as the Jedi are nearby.
Aboard the Resolute, Obi-Wan and Anakin are brought up to speed by the holographic avatars of Mace Windu and Yoda. Kenobi has reservations about entering a pirate's den unarmed, and Skywalker can't believe a bunch of small-time crooks have captured a Sith Lord. Still, they cannot turn down this opportunity.
The Twilight lands at the pirate outpost on Florrum. The Jedi are greeted at gunpoint by the wary pirates who run their scanners over them to ensure they are unarmed. Content that the Republic envoys are carrying no weapons, the Weequay escort them to see Hondo. Ohnaka graciously greets the Jedi, and Obi-Wan congratulates him on his capture of Dooku. Ohnaka goes on about the great battle that saw Dooku defeated, inflating the tale of his pirates' performance. Anakin isn't listening -- he's surprised to spot his lightsaber in the claws of a Kowakian monkey-lizard. He uses the Force to call it to him, a move that is answered by blaster rifles pointed to his head. In the interests of diplomacy, Skywalker gives up the weapon to the pilfering Pilf Mukmuk.
Ohnaka arranges a meeting between the Jedi and Dooku, so the Republic can confirm the count's capture. Suspended splayed in a containment field is the count. Kenobi and Skywalker grin at the Sith Lord's turn of misfortune. Dooku remains defiant, confident that he won't remain a captive for long. He also chides the Jedi for their naivety, for he warns them that the devious Weequay may overstep themselves and target the Jedi next.
Anakin and Obi-Wan stroll into a marketplace. Skywalker is tired and ready to move on, but Kenobi remains vigilant. He doesn't trust the pirates. A Weequay invites them to the main hall for a banquet.
Kenobi returns to the Twilight to contact Coruscant. He confirms Dooku's presence to the Chancellor, who agrees to send Senator Kharrus and Represenative Binks as the diplomatic envoy to deliver the ransom.
At the Weequay party, revelry abounds, with drunkeness, food, dancing and merriment. Kenobi and Skywalker are still on their guard, but Hondo insists they have a drink. It is tradition. A Weequay server sprinkles an unknown substance into their drinks, but the Jedi are wary. They use the Force to telekinetically swap their drinks with those of the flanking Weequay, who fall unconscious after imbibing. Skywalker still doesn't understand how these pirates could have pulled off the capture of Dooku, but Obi-Wan tries to get him to not question such an unexpected gift.