This article is about the television episode. You may be looking for the book of the same name.

"Great leaders inspire greatness in others."

"Ambush" is the first episode of Season One of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the first episode of the series overall. Before its television premiere, the episode was shown on the Television Critics Association press tour on July 11, 2008[4] and later at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia in September.[5] "Ambush" aired on Cartoon Network on October 3, 2008. Though it is the first episode of the series, "Ambush" is the fifth episode chronologically, being preceded by the later episode "Supply Lines" and succeeded by the next episode, "Rising Malevolence," first part of a three-part storyline.[6]

Official description[]

Jedi Master Yoda is on a secret mission to forge a treaty with the King of the strategic system of Toydaria when his ship is ambushed by Count Dooku. Yoda and three Clone troopers must face off against Count Dooku's dreaded assassin Ventress and her massive droid army to prove the Jedi are strong enough to protect the king and his people from the forces of the war.

Plot summary[]

"Now is the time to face the enemy, Lieutenant. Ambush them, we will."
―Yoda, to a clone trooper[3]
Episode I
A galaxy divided by war! Peaceful
worlds must choose sides or face
the threat of invasion. Republic
and Separatist armies vie for the
allegiance of neutral planets.

Desperate to build
a Republic supply base on the
system of Toydaria, Jedi Master Yoda
travels to secret negotiations on a
remote neutral moon....

Yoda's ship being ambushed by the Separatists.

Jedi Master Yoda is dispatched to the dried coral moon of Rugosa to convince King Katuunko to allow the Galactic Republic to build a base in Toydarian territory. As Katuunko and his retinue await the Jedi envoy, Asajj Ventress arrives and presents Katuunko with a hologram of Count Dooku, who argues the Jedi's inability to protect Toydaria in hopes of swaying the king to the Separatist's cause.

In orbit above the Rugosa moon, two Banking clan frigates ambush Yoda's ship. Yoda and three clones—Lieutenant Thire, Jek, and Rys—escape to the moon's surface in an escape pod. As the Republic frigate leaves the system, Asajj Ventress points to the fleeing ship as a sign of the Republic's weakness.

Yoda contacts Katuunko via hologram and informs the king that he has landed nearby. Ventress suggests a challenge: If Yoda can escape her best troops, then Toydaria will be free to join the Republic. If he should fail and her droids prevail, however, Toydaria will join with the Separatists. Yoda agrees to the challenge, despite the king's uncertainty.


Yoda leading Thire, Jek and Rys.

As Yoda and the clones make their way to the rendezvous point, a Separatist transport lands nearby and deploys a battalion of droids. The dense coral forest proves difficult to penetrate, however, and the droid commander, 224, orders his troops to abandon their tanks and advance on foot. As a result, Yoda and the clones are able to ambush the droids in smaller groups. Stronger forces eventually zero in on the clones' location, however, and Lieutenant Thire is wounded. The clones are forced to retreat with Master Yoda.

Yoda leads the clones to a cave to recover. The clones are demoralized over being outnumbered and low on ammo. To raise their spirits, Yoda shares his insight into their identities as individuals despite their origins as clones, and assures them they have all they need to prevail.

Yoda droideka faceoff

Yoda faces approaching droidekas.

A column of droids and tanks approach, and Master Yoda decides to face them alone, telling his clone troopers to stay out of sight and that they will know when their help is needed. The enemy proves little challenge to the jedi master as he expertly cuts through them, steadily reducing their numbers one-by-one with his lightsaber. Furious, Ventress sends in ten droidekas to deal with the jedi. Suspecting Master Yoda is too distracted to notice the incoming droids, Lieutenant Thire fires their last RPG at an overhanging bluff, sending an avalanche of rocks crashing down, crushing the reinforcements and ending the combat.

Impressed by Yoda's and the clones' performance, Katuunko chooses to join with the Republic due to the fact that Ventress cheated. Count Dooku orders Ventress to kill the king. Ventress knocks the king's guards unconscious and moves to strike down the king, but Master Yoda arrives just in time and siezes Ventress with the Force. Yoda demands Ventress' surrender, but Ventress remotely detonates pre-planted explosives and causes a landslide, allowing her to escape in her solar sailer. King Katuunko presents his sword to Yoda, offering his services to the Republic, as Republic gunships arrive and retrieve both parties.


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"Ambush" marked the series' debut on October 3, 2008. It brought in 3.96 million viewers,[7] and was Cartoon Network's most watched series premiere.[8]

Behind the scenes[]

"So we do things far better in a late episode in Season One than we did in the movie, for the theatrical release of Clone Wars. So I think there were some kind of juxtapositional episodes based on that. You know, we all liked the Yoda episode, 'Ambush in the Outer Rim', and I thought that we all felt that, you know, fans had never really seen something that was that Yoda-specific before, but um, you know, we all felt it would be a really strong way to start the series with a really fun episode about Yoda."
―Director Dave Filoni, during an interview[9]

The episode's original name was "Ambush in the Outer Rim."[9] Its title was first revealed by Henry Gilroy in an interview that featured in Star Wars Insider 103.[10]

The original moral of this episode was supposed to be, "Great leadership comes in all sizes."[1]

"Ambush" was originally not supposed to be aired as the first episode of Season One, but the episodes' order was changed very close to the series' premiere.[11][12]

Almost two years after the original airing of "Ambush," a prequel episode titled "Supply Lines" aired on September 24, 2010 as part of season three. It revealed the Republic's original purpose to use Toydaria as a staging ground to help the Twi'leks and supply them with food and medical supplies, which intertwined with the Ryloth Trilogy of episodes which aired later on in Season One.


Notes and references[]

Explore all of Wookieepedia's media for this article subject:
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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 StarWars The Clone Wars Episode Guide: "Ambush" on StarWars.com (October 3, 2008) (content now obsolete; backup link)
  2. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of "Ambush" to 22 BBY.
  3. 3.0 3.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Ambush"
  4. IGN: Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Our First Look
  5. TheForce.Net - Star Wars News From Dragon*Con
  6. TwitterLogo Leland Chee (@HolocronKeeper) on Twitter (March 10, 2014): "216 116 T 301 303 101-115 117-121 201-203 217-219 204-214 220-222 305-307 302 304 308 122 309-311 215 312-322 S4 502-513 501 514-520 601-613" (backup link)
  7. 'Clone Wars' pulls in record ratings - Variety
  8. Clone Wars a force for Cartoon Network - Hollywood Reporter
  9. 9.0 9.1 Force-Cast on TheForce.net
  10. Star Wars Insider 103
  11. Dhlogo {{{thread}}} on Dark Horse Message Boards (content obsolete and backup link not available)
  12. Databank title Rugosa in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)

External links[]