- "The battle for Coruscant has begun! An immense fleet of Separatist ships invades the Republic capital, and the streets of Coruscant overflow with battle droid forces. Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Yoda and Saesee Tiin lead the charge to defend the city planet. Meanwhile, on Nelvaan, Anakin Skywalker starts to undergo an ancient ritual as challenging as any Jedi trial..."
- ―StarWars.com summary
"Chapter 23" is the twenty-third episode of the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated television series, and the third episode in Season Three and Volume Two. The episode originally aired on Cartoon Network on March 23, 2005.
Master Yoda quietly meditates in his room in the Jedi Temple. Suddenly, he looks up in shocked surprise, using the Force to raise the window blinds. Outside, a massive Confederate battle fleet consisting of Vulture droids, tri-fighters and C-9979 landing craft roars past the window. Mace Windu bursts in, announcing that Coruscant is under attack.
The C-9979s spill their deadly cargo of battle droids and Armored Assault Tanks onto the streets of the city. Saesee Tiin reports that Confederate ships continue to appear out of hyperspace, and Windu orders him to take command of Coruscant's space defense. The two Jedi board their starfighters and take off into the meleé.
On Nelvaan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and the Nelvaanian tribe ride banthas towards the village. Skywalker notices that the village is only populated by women and children. Taken to the very elderly village shaman, Kenobi translates the Nelvaanian's language for Skywalker. Skywalker's killing of the horax had interrupted the young boy's rite-of-passage trial. A great evil plagues their land, and none of the champions sent out from the village have ever returned.
Back on Coruscant, missiles from some Hailfire droids strike the 500 Republica. Padmé Amidala, realizing the danger of the situation, orders Captain Gregar Typho to evacuate her, a panicking C-3PO, and the other occupants of the building.
Mace Windu flies through the city, destroying dozens of droid fighters as he goes. Flying into a massive swarm of Vulture droids, his starfighter is torn apart. Ejecting from the canopy, Windu lands on one of the droid fighters, which he cuts open with his lightsaber and hot-wires to ride it through the sky. Three clone pilots in an ARC-170 watch in amazement as Windu destroys the trio of droid fighters on their tail.
Saesee Tiin leads his squadron of fighters into the outer atmosphere of Coruscant, where hundreds of Trade Federation cruisers battle with similar numbers of Republic Star Destroyers. Landing in the docking bay of a heavily damaged Republic ship, Tiin leads the stricken vessel's clone troopers on a spacewalk to take over the nearest Trade Federation cruiser. Taking control, Tiin has the ship fire its cannons on the nearest Providence ship.
In a ritual ceremony, the Nelvaanian shaman, Orvos, tells Kenobi of the prophecy of "Ghost Hand"—a stranger who will save their village. Kenobi shows them Skywalker's prosthetic arm. Skywalker asks what he was doing and Kenobi replies that it is what he is doing.
Yoda stands in front the approaching Confederate army. Using the Force, he lifts hundreds of approaching droidekas into the air, where they collide with the droid starfighters. He then lifts several C-9979s back into the sky, where they also collide with each other. Hearing that their forces are losing ground in Sector 4, Yoda leaps aboard his kybuck and races to help.
As part of the ritual, Orvos covers Skywalker in bruise-leech crawlers, which leave painful geometric tracks over the young Jedi's body. Told to follow the "frozen tears of the Great Mother," Skywalker begins his long journey, an undertaking Kenobi tells him will be his final trial.
Yoda and Windu bolster the faltering clone troops as the droid army closes in on the Senate building. Using a combination of their combined Force powers and combat skills, the two Jedi Masters begin to regain the upper hand.
From his suite in the 500 Republica, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine watches the distant battle. Three Jedi—Shaak Ti, Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama—arrive and urge the Chancellor to make his way to his secure bunker. As Palpatine declines, saying there is no immediate danger, General Grievous smashes through the window.
The capital ships of the Confederate fleet are only Providence-class carrier/destroyers rather than Lucrehulk-class battleships, Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ships, Recusant-class light destroyers, or Munificent-class star frigates.
In the scene where the Orvos discusses the "Ghost Hand," one of the red buttons tied to his hanging hair has the Japanese symbol that Samurai Jack (another series created by Clone Wars creator Genndy Tartakovsky) displays from time to time.
This episode marks the first appearance of a clone trooper pilot in Phase II clone trooper armor in the series. However, it is using an enclosed helmet similar to the V-wing pilots. Their other appearance is "Chapter 25."
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