- "The wise man leads, the strong man follows."
"Plan of Dissent" is the ninth episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series' fourth season. This is the third episode in a four-part storyline that focuses on a general the clones express concern about, which began with the last two episodes: "Darkness on Umbara" and "The General." It aired on November 11, 2011.
"After the Republic conquers an Umbaran airbase, General Krell orders Rex and his men on towards the heavily fortified capital. Realizing there's a better plan, several clone troopers disobey orders to carry out a rogue, covert operation."
While the clone troopers prepare to secure the airbase, Obi-Wan Kenobi calls in with further bad news, as his own forces are pushed back by long-range missile fire and the Umbaran forces, deprived of their airbase, are now being resupplied by a support ship guarded by a strong fleet contingent. Before he can give more information, the Umbarans jam the transmission, whereupon Krell decides to march directly to the capital city to end the war on this planet, dismissing any attempt to re-contact Obi-Wan and coordinate a joint attack, as Rex tries to suggest.
When Rex briefs his men about the impending new mission, the troopers begin to argue amongst themselves. Some, including Rex (if reluctantly) and Dogma, maintain their loyalty to Krell as a Jedi General, but others—especially Fives and Jesse—openly question his military competence, which is obviously clouded by his own stubbornness and lack of regard for his men. While discussing the dilemma with Rex, Fives informs the Captain that the clones have access to the Umbaran fighters and access codes, giving them the capability to sneak past enemy defenses undetected. Rex is persuaded, and forwards the plan to Krell, but the Besalisk Jedi refuses to "waste" any men on what he calls "frivolous adventures." A disappointed Rex relays the news to the squad, however, Fives insists that they go on with the sneak attack nevertheless. This begins to create friction among the squad, with most of the clones agreeing with Fives, with the notable exception of Dogma, who grows suspicious of his dissenting brothers.
After leaving the barracks, Fives confronts Rex, challenging him for standing for Krell's plan. Though visibly conflicted, Rex attempts to convince Fives that they are honor-bound to follow their orders, and consider themselves as part of the greater picture, without questioning. Growing frustrated with Rex, Fives insists that he cannot follow orders that he knows are wrong, and allow others to suffer as a result, expressing the sentiment that he cares more for the lives of his friends than doing what. Fives breaks off the conversation, stating that he intends to find accomplices for his plan, leaving Rex increasingly disturbed and torn.
In the hangar, Fives and Hardcase attempt a sneak crash course with one of the Umbaran fighters. However, the practice run literally becomes a crash when the fighter proves too hard to control for Hardcase, causing damage and disruption to the facility. Finally, one of their fellow troopers and a missile accidentally fired by Hardcase give the game away. Fives and Hardcase just barely manage to explain the mayhem away with a booby trap left in the fighter's programming, but this only serves to reinforce Krell's argument that the fighter infiltration mission will lead to disaster, and he officially discards the plan, prompting Rex to eye the dissenters with exasperation.
Despite the setback, Fives, Hardcase, and Jesse decide to go through with their scheme nevertheless. Fives lays out a plan to attack the supply ship's main reactor from the inside, recalling that as a boy, Anakin Skywalker had performed the same tactic before. Before they leave, Fives alerts Rex, telling him that he has every intention of going through with his plan because he believes it's right. Rex, realizing nothing he can say will talk them out of this, warns that he will not be able to cover for them when they are caught.
The rogue troopers commandeer three of the Umbaran fighters and take off towards the supply fleet. In the meantime, Dogma notices that Fives and his cohorts are not in the barracks and convinces Tup to join him in alerting General Krell, warning him that to not do so would make them complicit in the crime. Meanwhile, Krell (who is as yet unaware of the true situation) proceeds to reprimand Rex about the unauthorized start of the fighters. Despite his earlier warning to Fives, Rex cunningly explains that the fighters were launched for a reconnaissance mission for the upcoming assault on the capital, allaying Krell's suspicions for the moment, but then he spots Dogma and Tup attempting to make their way to Krell and manages to turn them away at the last moment.
Fives, Hardcase and Jesse arrive at their target, but only to find the supply fleet under heavy attack from Republic space forces. They manage to sneak their way into the supply ship's main hangar, but a battle droid eventually discovers the pilots' true nature and raises the alarm. The reactor is put on ray shields immediately, foiling the clones' attempt to blast them and leaving them to face an approaching droid interception force. Hardcase spontaneously detaches a missile pod from his fighter and, exiting his vessel, guides it by hand into the reactor system, sacrificing himself to ensure the mission's success. Fives and Jesse make a daring escape from the exploding ship, while Rex and Tup watch the explosion from the ground, prompting a proud smile from Rex.
Fives and Jesse make it back to the airbase, where they, Rex and Tup share a brief moment of remembrance for Hardcase's passing. The squad is confronted by Appo and a few other troopers, who inform Rex that the rogue clones are to be taken to Krell. In order to protect Fives and Jesse, Rex attempts to take the blame upon himself, whereupon Fives attempts to do the same in favor of Rex. But Krell proves unforgiving in any case and promises harshly to have both Fives and Jesse court-martialed and executed for their "act of insubordination."
In a scene outside the Umbaran airbase, when Fives, Jesse and Hardcase approached Rex to inform him of their plan, Jesse was standing on Fives' right while Hardcase was on his left in one shot. In the next shot their positions were swapped.
Also, in the flight scene with Fives, Jesse, and Hardcase, Jesse expresses his discomfort, but when Fives replies, he says "Easy, Hardcase" instead of "Easy, Jesse."
In the last scene, the markings on Jesse's helmet were missing in one shot.
A reference to A New Hope is present in this episode when Krell demands to know which clone he's speaking to with the words "Who is this? What's your CT number?" This mirrors the exchange Han Solo has with an Imperial officer after the firefight in the Death Star's detention block.
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