- "Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?"
"Nomad Droids" is the sixth episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series' fourth season. This is the conclusion to the two-part storyline about R2-D2's and C-3PO's adventures, which began with the previous episode, "Mercy Mission." It aired on October 14, 2011.
C-3PO and R2-D2's bizarre caper continues. Forced to escape a Separatist attack in a Y-wing fighter, the droids visit the world of the Patitites, the odd planet Balnab, and the inside of a pirate warship where they are forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena.
In a cabin on Adi Gallia's cruiser, C-3PO and R2-D2 report to Senator Amidala about their recent—and most peculiar—adventure on Aleen. Just in the midst of communication, three Separatist warships under the command of General Grievous launch a surprise attack on their ship, crippling it critically and forcing an evacuation of the vessel. In lack of an escape pod, R2 commandeers a Y-Wing, and the two droids barely make it out of the battle and their disintegrating cruiser to the nearby planet of Patitite Pattuna before a pursuing vulture droid shoots them out of the sky. After crash-landing on a grassy plain, they are attacked by the diminutive natives and, underestimating their capabilities, are shocked into unconsciousness.
When the two droids come to, they find themselves tied to the ground and facing a bunch of rather unfriendly Patitites who declare that, under the orders of their leader Hay-Zu, all off-worlders are to be considered enemies. Soon Hay-Zu comes to see them, revealing himself to be a bloated, despotic specimen of his people. C-3PO successfully manages to arrange their release, but when R2 talks back to Hay-Zu for his unfriendliness, C-3PO admonishes him with a slap, which makes R2 topple over and accidentally land on Hay-Zu, squashing him. To their surprise, the other Patitites celebrate the loss of their tyrannical leader and subsequently aid the two droids in repairing the Y-Wing. When the Patitites offer the leadership over them to C-3PO, he declines in favor of three popular candidates from among the natives. But things head off to a bad start as the three newly elected leaders begin to slug each other about leadership issues and who has the most votes, prompting the droids to depart swiftly and let the Patitites sort this particular problem out for themselves.
However, once in space the two droids are quick to discover that their Y-Wing's power system is damaged and running down, so they prepare to land on the next available planet. Balnab is still a young planet with a biosphere yet in development, but not devoid of intelligent beings walking its surface; a band of Balnabs quickly stumbles upon them and capture them in a stun net. The two droids are brought before the Balnabs' "great leader," Albee Dewaw, who electrocutes the Balnab that brought the two to him. C-3PO attempts to negotiate, but R2-D2 notices a disguised wall and sneaks off to reveal several rogue pit droids and reveals to the Balnabs that their leader is actually a hologram. The enraged Balnabs storm the crashed cruiser to get revenge on the pit droids, resulting in a large explosion which presumably kills all but one of the pit droids.
But a new and more urgent problem forces them to give up on their search, since their own power reserves are beginning to run out. Eventually, they both shut down and are discovered by a band of Weequay pirates who take them into their ship and recharge them, only to be used for a gladiatorial fight. The reining champion, K0-5D, destroys one of the droids. When C-3PO expresses horror, the pirates shove him and R2-D2 into the pit. However, Grievous' ship soon arrives and he decides to use the pirate ship as "target practice" for the droids. The cannon fire rips a hole in the ship's hull, sucking several Weequays and most of the droids out the ship before it explodes.
C-3PO and R2-D2 manage to get onto the Separatist ship, where they are greeted by a contingent of B1-series battle droids. At R2-D2's urging, C-3PO tells them they are pirate droids, and the battle droids send them off to the incinerator to be repurposed into spare parts. Several other droids captured from the pirate ship are also send to the incinerator; one attempts to flee, but is shot and destroyed by the battle droids. Another droid falls into the incinerator, terrifying C-3PO.
But right before they can be plunged into the incinerator, a fleet of Republic cruisers under the command of Master Plo Koon jumps out of hyperspace and launches an attack to free Master Gallia, who is held captive aboard Grievous' ship, forcing the droid general to flee once again. The Republic capture Grievous' ship and after a short skirmish, C-3PO and R2-D2 reveal themselves to the Republic. Much to Commander Wolffe's frustration, the golden droid begins to launch into an account of their recent adventures.
During the incinerator scene, two RA-7 protocol droids are present. However, when the one in front attempts to run away and is shot, the second one is missing, showing only the power droid. In the next scene, the second RA-7 droid is present again.
The moral of this episode is a direct quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope after Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2, and C-3PO evade capture from stormtroopers by hiding in the Millennium Falcon's smuggling compartments.
The Patitites were intended to be similar to the Brownies from Willow. C-3PO and R2-D2 being tied up by the Patitites is a reference to the book Gulliver's Travels. However, in the book Gulliver travels to four places, while the droids only travel to two: the planet Aleen and the planet Patitite Pattuna. The reaction of the Patitites to the death of Hay-Zu is a reference to The Wizard of Oz, in which the flying monkeys are happy when Dorothy accidentally kills the witch. The droids' adventure on Balnab is another Oz reference, this time to the "Great Wizard" of Oz, up to and including the exposure of the pit droids. One final reference is to Gulliver's Travels; just as Gulliver is attacked by pirates as he leaves for his third adventure, the same happens to the droids upon leaving after their third adventure.
A droid gladiatorial contest first occurred in the 1979 novel Han Solo at Stars' End.
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