Expanded Universe/ Clone Wars Comparison: Mon Cala Arc
By now you have probably watched the first three episodes of Season 4 of The Clone Wars: Water War, Gungan Attack, and Prisoners. You may have wondered if any of the elements like Ackbar, Mon Cala, or the Quarren are covered elsewhere in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. You may be a big fan of the Expanded Universe and wonder how all the new info in The Clone Wars fits in with what has already been established. In this article we will be looking at the different elements in The Clone Wars episodes and how they compare to what we already know from the Expanded Universe.
Note: This article is in no way complaining about inconsistencies. Just comparing and pointing out some fun information.
So what is the planet called anyway?
Back in 1982 an issue of Bantha Tracks, the fan club newsletter, established that the home planet of the Mon Calamari species was called Dac. This was even before the Mon Calamari species made their first appearance in Return of the Jedi. Then in 1987 the Star Wars Roleplaying Game referred to the planet as “Calamari”. From then on the planet was referred to as Calamari, Mon Calamari, or Mon Cal in the Expanded Universe, Mon Calamari being more common in the modern EU.
Image from the Dark Empire comic (1995) referring to the planet as “Calamari”.
To confuse things even more the name Dac was resurrected in a roleplaying book in 2004. The explanation being that Dac was what the natives of the planet called it. This from the Star Wars Essential Atlas (2009)…
“…yet the planet has a history of remarkable turmoil. Even its name is in dispute. Official star logs list it as Mon Calamari, while its natives prefer to call it Dac.”
Even as recent as 2010 there was a comic in the Legacy series titled “The Fate of Dac”. Then came The Clone Wars. In the animated series the planet was called for the first time “Mon Cala”. It was referred to both this way and as Mon Calamari by the natives of the planet and others (so much for the natives calling it Dac). It will be interesting to see if the EU adjusts and starts calling the planet Mon Cala as well and if Dac will fall by the wayside.
Dac by any other name is still Dac.
Mon Calamari vs Quarren
It has been long established in the Star Wars Expanded Universe that the Mon Calamari and Quarren are not too frieldly and The Clone Wars kept with that trend. In the EU the Mon Calamari have always been the peaceful elegant species who live in cities on the surface of Mon Cal.. er Mon Cala and the Quarren are the more violent species who live deeper in the oceans. The Clone Wars seems to have stuck with these characteristics as well except for the part about the Mon Calamari living on the surface. But it’s a big planet. Maybe we just didn’t see the surface cities. In universe, there has been recorded conflict between the two species as early as 4166 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin). There was even a battle earlier in the Clone Wars between the two species before the one depicted in the current animated series. This battle was depicted in the 2003 Genndy Tartakovsky animated series. Although similar (Kit Fisto was involved in that battle too) it is not believed to be the same battle and Dave Filoni has said that no inspiration was taken from the Genndy series for these episodes.
Yes, it works underwater.
Unlike characters like Aura Sing and Asaaj Ventress, Ackbar doesn’t have a lot of EU history during this time period for The Clone Wars to step on. All that is known is a little information given in the New Essential Guide to Characters. It basically says that he was a representative of Coral City and on the Calamarian Counsel. The events in The Clone Wars episodes fit just fine.
How Close is Naboo to Mon Cala?
One thing that does seem to contradict is the proximity of Naboo to Mon Cala.. er Mon Calamari. In the story Mon Cala is in need of some reinforcements and the Republic doesn’t have enough time to outfit more clones. They need help right away.
Saesee Tiin: “An underwater race that has a standing army and is close enough to send help quickly.”
Yoda: “Yes. To the Gungans we must look.”
So is Naboo close to Mon Calamari in the established Expanded Universe? Not by a long shot. Naboo is a Mid Rim planet (grid location O-17 to be exact) and Mon Calamari is an Outer Rim planet (U-6). The entirety of Hutt Space lies between them.
There isn’t even a good hyperspace lane connecting them.
Riff Tamson’s shark-like species, Karkarodon, is new to the Star Wars universe. But there are sharks in the Expanded Universe. Emerald sharks, Firaxan sharks, and Ithorian razor sharks just to name a few.
The Mon Calamari Senator Meena Tills was always thought to be a male before these Clone Wars episodes. The character appeared in the background of Revenge of the Sith and even had an action figure. Here is the description from the action figure packaging…
The Mon Calamari Senator represents a planet torn by civil war. He watches in concern as Chancellor Palpatine gains more power and appoints regional governors. He is an ally of Senators Bail Organa and Padme Amidala. Exciting Episode III action figure comes with accessory and display stand!
The Clone Wars has established that this character was actually female.
Looks like a girl to me.
Should lightsabers work underwater? According to Jedi vs Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force(2007), yes. Kit Fisto constructed his lightsaber with “two crystals that work on a bifurcating cyclical-ignition pulse, which allows for continuous operation in rainfall as well as underwater.” And this modification to lightsabers was apparently pretty common during the Clone Wars. This passage also from The Essential Guide to the Force…
Close examination of various historic lightsabers suggests that Kit Fisto’s innovation was widely adopted by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars, in which Jedi saw combat on the water worlds Kamino and Mon Calamari, and the rain-drenched planet Jabiim.
So Anakin and Ahsoka having underwater ready lightsabers makes complete sense.
What did you think about these episodes? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: Dark Empire, The New Essential Guide to Alien Species, The Essential Atlas, Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, The New Essential Guide to Characters, and of course Wookieepedia