Having received the recently released “Star Wars: Dark Disciple”, featuring Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, which serves as somewhat of a follow-up to “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, I thought I would look at the only time that Quinlan Vos has appeared on-screen. The only time that Quinlan Vos has appeared on-screen was in the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” episode “The Hunt for Ziro”, which took place in the third season (yes, Vos also briefly appears on-screen in the sixth season episode, “Destiny”, in a vision of Yoda’s, too, but we don’t see much about him there) (and, yes, he seems to appear in the background in one of the scenes in “The Phantom Menace”, but he plays no significant role in the movie).
The first time he comes on-screen, the scene is introduced with a brief dialogue between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Commander Cody:
Commander Cody: “Sir, you seem troubled.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Quinlan Vos has that effect.”
Cody: “Ah, yes. That Jedi has quite a reputation.”
Kenobi: “That may be overstating it, Cody. Let’s just say he’s crazy.”
For Obi-Wan Kenobi to call a fellow Jedi “crazy” is particularly fascinating, considering that he closely knows Anakin Skywalker! When Vos hops out from the Republic gunship, he does a high jump and brushes his shoulders off, as if that was a typical jump. He casually greets both Commander Cody (“Hey, Commander, looking good”) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (“Kenobi, you look worse for wear”), giving off an air of nonchalance and almost an affect like that of a California surfer, which is helped by his tan, muscular body, and dreadlocked hair, as well as a peculiar horizontal yellow tattoo across his face.
After these brief greetings, Kenobi and Vos converse:
Quinlan Vos: “How’s temple life?”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Good to see you, too. Yes, well, if you could tell time half as well as you could stick a landing, we wouldn’t be behind schedule, now would we?”
Vos: “Well, that’s your opinion, man.”
Clearly, Kenobi is not too pleased with Vos a and his lack of timeliness, while Vos seesm somewhat flippant, which frustrates Kenobi. They continue:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Let’s get down to business. Ziro the Hutt was broken out during a hostage takeover.”
Quinlan Vos: “Yeah, I read the briefing about that mess.”
Kenobi: “I suspect Jabba the Hutt is behind this. He still has it out for Ziro over the kidnapping of his son.”
Vos: “Well, my information indicates that Ziro has damaging evidence against the Hutt council. My guess is they’ve taken him to the Hutt home planet Nal Hutta.”
Kenobi: “As for this bounty hunter Cad Bane, we must capture and return both he and his quarry Ziro to the courts. I trust you and I can keep eyes Forward in this common goal?”
Vos: “No problem, I owe Bane one anyway. I’ll fly; you’re my copilot.”
Kenobi to Commander Cody: “I was afraid he’d say that.”
In this initial conversation, it is clear that Kenobi does not care for Vos and his flippant ways, while Vos does not seem to like the uptightness of Kenobi (and, perhaps, Jedi Temple culture?).
We next see Quinlan Vos when Obi-Wan Kenobi and he visit Nal Hutta and the Hutt families. Vos boldly states to them, regarding Ziro the Hutt’s being freed from a Republic jail, “I’m beginning to think you’re the ones who broke him out”, which elicits a deflecting answer, as well as a quick reminder from Kenobi, “Quinlan, the Hutts are our allies.” After this, the translator droid relays that “Mighty Gardulla says you are lucky to be with a Jedi as wise as Kenobi, or you might not be allowed to leave here alive”, indicating the lack of diplomacy on Vos’ part. However, Vos sees a drinking cup off to the side and picks it up. In so doing, he senses that Ziro the Hutt had beheld it recently. On their way out, Vos tells Kenobi that “Ziro was here. He was holding one of those cups.” This elicits actual praise from Kenobi: “Nice work.”
After realizing that Ziro had been jailed, then had escaped, they then head after him, beginning to track him through the swamps of Nal Hutta.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “I understand your tracking Talent, but why wouldn’t Ziro Leave the planet? Why not just fly away?”
Quinlan Vos: “My senses tell me that he’s still here.”
Kenobi: “It’s illogical: he knows he’s being looked for here.”
Vos: “Something is keeping him here.”
Kenobi, to himself: “If we’d brought a droid, this would go faster.”
After they go a little more,
Kenobi: “Which way have they gone?”
Vos: “Well, since you’re suddenly so interested in my tracking abilities, they went this way.”
Kenobi: “I never doubted you.”
It’s clear that Kenobi is issuing a sarcastic comment, although Vos does seem to prove himself.
They then track him down to a house, whereupon Kenobi says to Vos: “We must be cautious.” Perhaps that fell on deaf ears as Vos slashes through the door, then kicks them in, eliciting a shocked response from Kenobi: “Vos, somebody lives here!”
When they arrive, Vos disgustedly notes, “Ugh! Smells like somebody died here.”
After Ziro the Hutt’s mother angrily asks, “Break in my house, will you, smart guy?”, fortunately Kenobi responds: “A thousand pardons, madam. He hasn’t mastered the concept of knocking. For that, I apologize.”
Once Ziro the Hutt’s mother gives up the location on Teth, Vos states, “Ziro’s heading for Teth. We need to get to that jungle planet. We need to get there fast.”
On Teth, Vos and Kenobi find a dead Ziro the Hutt, but also encounter Cad Bane, causing them to fight.
Ultimately, the two Jedi are left hanging onto the side of a cliff in the wake of Cad Bane’s ship taking off. Humorously, Kenobi remarks to Vos: “I never did enjoy hanging out with you.”
It’s clear that Vos is not nearly as refined as Kenobi, but also perhaps the least refined of any Jedi we’ve seen in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. One wonders how much of it is due to Vos having been away fighting so much and being at the Jedi Temple so little. One description of him is that, as Eric Goldman wrote, “Vos was cocky yet skilled, and it’s worth noting he was exactly right about why Ziro had been broken free, whereas Obi-Wan was not.” Furthermore, “they showed his special ability to ‘read’ objects, as he was able to confirm Ziro’s presence in the Hutt’s compound after touching a glass he used.” Also, as Samuel Walters described him, “He’s a rogue. He’s irreverent. He annoys Obi-Wan Kenobi to no end (in a good way, of course).”
Inasmuch as his roguishness certainly sets him apart, as well as his initial cockiness and nonchalance mark him unique amongst Jedi, we actually see him transform during this episode. Once he touches the goblet and has his vision (using his psychometric abilities), his demeanor becomes serious and focussed from that moment on and throughout the rest of the episode. So, it would seem he’s not entirely about fun and games….