After spanning the galaxy, the conflict comes home in â€œInnocents of Ryloth,â€ an all-new episode of the hit animated series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, premiering at 9 p.m. ET/PT Friday, March 6, on Cartoon Network.
The second in a three-part saga chronicling the liberation of a Separatist-held planet, â€œInnocents of Rylothâ€ looks at the civilians caught in the crossfire of the sweeping galactic conflict. When Obi-Wan Kenobi and his clones are sent to the surface to sabotage a powerful Separatist weapon, they encounter heavy resistance from the droid army â€“ but they also come face to face with the humanity of those that they are sent to protect. Seeing the â€œhumanâ€ side of the occupation helps to give the clones a new perspective on the war.
â€œWe really wanted to tell a story about troops going into a foreign land, maybe being a little insensitive to the people, but growing fond of them and coming to love them and wanting to rescue them from their plight,â€ says Henry Gilroy, co-writer of the episode. â€œWe saw it as an opportunity to reflect those great World War II stories of the American GIs moving through Europe and encountering the people of those areas, particularly orphans.â€
For Gilroy and director Dave Filoni, inspiration for this particular story came from The Guns of Navarone, a classic war film in which a commando team must infiltrate impregnable enemy territory to destroy a gun emplacement. The narrative device proved to be an effective method for getting the Republic behind enemy lines â€“ and into the occupied homeland of a downtrodden native race.
â€œThe idea is that this cannon is preventing our heroes from arriving to help, to liberate the planet, and basically itâ€™s going to come down to one Jedi â€“ Obi-Wan â€“ to save the day,â€ Gilroy explains. â€œPlus, weâ€™re able to really emphasize just how evil the villains are as they use the inhabitants of the town as human shields.â€