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A Clone Wars Squadron Borrowed From Mary Poppins

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Star Wars’ Bad Batch might be considered the strangest Clone Commandos, but another Clone Commando Squad borrowed a move from Mary Poppins.

During the infamous Clone Wars era, hundreds of elite Clone Commando units were used by the Galactic Republic, each with their own unique talents and abilities. One of the strangest of these commando squads appeared within the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures comic book series. The High Orbital Precision Entry Squad, aka H.O.P.E. Squad, was a unit of four clone commandos that used combat umbrellas to quickly glide into enemy territory. The clone trooper unit appeared as part of a series of Dark Horse Comics tie-ins meant to help advertise the 2005 Star Wars: Republic Commando video game that introduced the concept of Clone Commandos to the Star Wars franchise.

Due to this unusual military tactic, H.O.P.E. Squad has had only made sparse appearances within the Clone Wars. The clone squad’s only appearance was within the short story titled ‘The Drop’ (by Mike Kennedy, Stewart McKenny, Michael David Thomas and Ronda Pattison). And their niche characteristics made them not suitable for appearing within the comparably more serious Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series.

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H.O.P.E. Squad Mimics Mary Poppins’ Iconic Arrival

Due to H.O.P.E. Squad’s tendency to glide into enemy bases with combat umbrellas, they heavily resembled Mary Poppins in her now legendary cinematic appearances. As was evident in their first and only appearance by Dark Horse Comics, the team went to the Separatist-controlled planet of Yorn Skot after the Jedi Council lost contact with the Ugnaught Jedi Master Treetower. The Jedi had learned of a Separatist ploy to traffic an unknown shipment of illegal goods through Yorn Skot that was deemed a high-priority target by the Jedi Council.

Thus, H.O.P.E. Squad was dropped from high orbit into the stratosphere of the Separatist planet to intercept the shipment, wherein they displayed their iconic combat umbrellas to lightly descend onto a floating platform. Despite their arguably ridiculous military equipment, the four-man team displayed efficient combat protocol as the engaged the droid forces on the platform and quickly took control of the platform. From there the orange-striped sergeant of the Clone Commandos made the shocking discovery that Master Treetower was still alive and was left dangling off the bottom antenna of the floating platform.

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The Mary Poppins Clones Stopped An Alien Trafficking Scheme

After rescuing the Ugnaught Jedi Master from falling to his death, the clone commandos engaged a group of Super Battle Droids equipped with jetpacks. Unfortunately, three members of H.O.P.E. Squad were gunned down by the droids, leaving only the Sergeant and the Jedi Master alive. Luckily, through a ploy of quickly timed aerial acrobatics, the surviving commando was able to steal one of the Super Battle Droids’ jetpacks and destroy the robotic attackers.

Once the Separatist forces were eliminated, the Sergeant asked Master Treetower what the illegal shipment was, to which the Jedi revealed to be a stock of kidnaped Ugnaught civilians that had been taken by the Separatist to work as manual labor in the Geonosis Droid Factories. While the Clone Sergeant mourned for the loss of his three comrades, he took solace that they died for a noble goal. While H.O.P.E. Squadron was an odd addition to the collection of Clone Commando squads within the Clone Army, they ultimately proved themselves vital in saving not only the life of a Jedi Master, but also stopping innocent farmers from becoming slaves to the Separatist Alliance.

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