Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Search for R2-D2 Story Arc (S1E6 & S1E7)

Anakin races to find R2-D2 before General Grievous can hack into the droid’s memory bank.

Summary (TL;DR)

Anakin Skywalker loses his beloved droid navigator R2-D2 in a failed pursuit of General Grievous. What makes it worse is that Anakin never wiped R2’s memory, which contains every Republic battle strategy and base locations. In the meantime, Anakin is given a new navigator, R3-S6, but the replacement droid proves to be incompetent, which nearly costs Anakin his life. Meanwhile, R2 is held captive by droid smuggler Gha Nachkt, who’s en route to sell R2 to General Grievous. R2 does manage to break free from his restraints long enough to contact Anakin and transmit the location of Grievous’ secret enemy listening post. Anakin heads a rescue mission where succeeds in finding R2. During the mission, it’s revealed that R3 is a Separatists spy working for Grievous. R3 is destroyed and R2 is finally reunited with Anakin.

Battle for the Outer Rim 

The Republic’s hold on the Outer Rim is in jeopardy as General Grievous launches surprise assaults on their fleets. Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi suggests that Anakin Skywalker’s fleet should withdraw from the Bothawui system and regroup, but Skywalker refuses to yield control to Grievous.

As Grievous’ fleet approaches Anakin’s, the Jedi leads his Gold Squadron in a frontal assault, biding time for Grievous’ fleet to move through the asteroid belt. Grievous insists on diverting all power to the forward shields, believing the asteroids will provide protection. However, he’s caught off guard when Rex and his brigade of AT-TEs, concealed among the asteroids, ambush the Separatist frigates from the rear.

Outgunned, General Grievous flees in his starfighter, with Anakin and R2 chasing him. Unfortunately, Anakin ignores a piece of shrapnel embedded in his fighter until it veers off course. Upon regaining consciousness, he learns that while Rex saved him, R2 is missing.

The Search for R2-D2

During a holoprojector call with Obi-Wan, Anakin expresses his desire to search for R2, but Obi-Wan shoots the idea down. It’s only a droid, and forming attachments to people/things is not the Jedi way. He changes his tune once Anakin reveals he never wiped R2-D2’s memory.

“He’s still programmed with our tactics and base locations?” Obi-Wan asks in horror. Now allowed to search for R2 before the Separatists get their hands on the astromech, Anakin plans a salvage operation. In the meantime, he’s assigned a new droid, R3-S6 — who’s supposed to be more powerful than the R2 series of droids. Anakin refuses to connect with R3, as he considers R2 irreplaceable. However, his Padawan Ahsoka Tano takes a liking to R3, and nicknames him “Goldie.”

While searching the debris field, the trio encounter a Trandoshan scavenger and board the vessel. Anakin and Ahsoka pose as a couple searching for an R2 droid, but the ship’s captain, Gha Nachkt, denies having one onboard but allows them to search anyway. Anakin hears a beep he believes is from R2 and begins slicing through a sealed door with his lightsaber. When Goldie tries to open the door, he accidentally activates two IG-86 droids instead. The two Jedi defeat the droids, but instead of finding R2, they’re confronted by an angry Gha. Ahsoka believes R2 isn’t on board and convinces Anakin to leave. 

Later, it’s revealed that R2 was onboard all along, hidden in a crate with a restraining bolt. Gha contacts Grievous to inform him that he’s on his way to the rendezvous point. “It must be valuable,” Gha says in regard to R2. “A Jedi came looking for it. Maybe it is worth more than we negotiated.”

Where’s a Good Droid When You Need One?

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan instructs Anakin to destroy Grievous’ secret listening post, where the Separatists intercept the Jedi’s transmissions. Ahsoka sends R3 to scout with Anakin, hoping her Master will bond with the new droid. However, R3 repeatedly jeopardizes Anakin by making a series of mistakes — from activating a tracking beacon that exposes their location to Grievous to disabling Anakin’s blaster cannons. Thankfully, Rex and Ahsoka arrive in the Twilight to rescue Anakin and R3. A furious Anakin chastises R3 for nearly getting him killed, while hoping that R2 is out there somewhere.

A High-Stakes Mission 

Aboard Gha Nachkt’s ship, R2 manages to escape the droid smuggler long enough to transmit the location of Grievous’s secret listening post on a Ruusan moon to the Twilight. Ignoring Obi-Wan’s suggestion to wait for reinforcements, Anakin and his squad infiltrate the secret base to rescue R2 and plant explosives to destroy the post’s reactors. Once inside, Anakin chooses to separate from his team to search for R2, leaving Ahsoka and the clones to fulfill the mission.

Gha and R2 meet with Grievous, who orders for R2 to be taken apart. Gha access R2’s memory bank, and is shocked to find it contains every Republic strategy and formation they ever had. He demands more money since this increases R2’s value, and Grievous responds by stabbing Gha in the back with his lightsaber. Before Grievous can transfer R2’s data to himself, R3 — who’s actually a Separatist spy — contacts him to alert him of the Jedi’s presence. 

R3’s Treachery

Ahsoka and the clones battle security battle droids as they make their way through the reactor control room, only to be confronted by General Grievous. All the clones are killed, except for Rex and Denal. Ahsoka orders Rex to continue the mission without her, as she engages Grievous by herself to distract him. Ahsoka retreats into a room filled with spare droid parts, but R3 gives her away — leaving her trapped with Grievous. Rex and Denal succeed in planting the explosives, while Anakin rescues R2 as Grievous’s MagnaGuards carry the droid to the cyborg’s ship.

Anakin orders everyone to rendezvous at the south landing bay, but only R3, Rex, and Denal show up. Before Rex can take Anakin to where Ahsoka is, R3 exposes himself as a spy by trapping them in the hanger and activating several droids. Simultaneously, Grievous disarms Ahsoka by grabbing her throat with one of his large, metal hands. He threatens to kill her with her own lightsaber, then vows to kill Anakin next. At that moment, Anakin orders R2 to open the hanger door from the outside and for Rex to detonate the explosives — despite still being on the station. As the station shakes from the impact of the explosives, Grievous is distracted long enough for Ahsoka to sever the hand wrapped around her throat with her lightsaber. Ahsoka escapes through an air vent and reunites with the team.

R2’s Duel with R3

R2 successfully opens the hangar door, but is intercepted by R3. The two droids face off in combat while Grievous escapes in his ship, and Anakin’s squad board the Twilight. As the outer platform falls apart, R2 pushes his Separatist counterpart over the edge. The gold astromech grabs R2 with a suction cup, but he manages to cut the cable. R3 falls through the air until he’s destroyed by flying debris, and Anakin retrieves R2 in his fighter.

As they leave the system, Anakin reports to Obi-Wan, who’s not pleased that Anakin nearly jeopardized the mission to save a droid. While Ahsoka is happy to have R2 back, she does agree with Obi-Wan. Anakin explains to her that R2 is more than just a droid — he’s a friend.

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