After a long wait, the first arc of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars final season has come and gone. And while some of us are still eager to check back in with the likes of Ahsoka Tano, and sad that we won’t get an onscreen swan song for Asajj Ventress, (though we highly recommend the Dark Disciple novel for those who do want to know how her story ends,) it was fitting for Dave Filoni and company to kick it off with the titular clones. Now that we’re on the other side of it, here were some of our faves, biggest moments. Plus, one whose absence surprised us.
The following contains major spoilers from The Clone Wars, as well as references to plot points from Star Wars: Rebels and Revenge of the Sith
The Introduction of the “Bad Batch”
It might seem late in the game to introduce a whole new roster of characters, but we really loved Clone Force 99, AKA “The Bad Batch.” Named after Clone 99, the heroic character featured in some earlier arcs of the series, The Bad Batch gives us a version of war movie tropes that Clone Wars hasn’t fully explored before. While Rex and the rest of the 501st are hardly by-the-book under the command of Anakin Skywalker, the Bad Batch is a distinctly special ops team of commandos with highly specific skills, the kind you might see in a film like Dirty Dozen or The Guns of Navarone (or Rogue One, for that matter). Also, introducing a squad of clones who specifically thrive because of their individualism feels especially tragic this close to the big Order 66 betrayal.
“I hope you at least told Padmé I said hello.”
For an arc that seemed to de-emphasize the Jedi drama in favor of Clone dynamics, this moment in the second episode, “A Distant Echo,” overshadowed almost everything else. This isn’t the first time Obi-Wan has shown some awareness of Anakin’s feelings towards Padmé. The second Rush Clovis arc, in season 6, brought stern warnings about jealousy and duty. However, Obi-Wan calling out the obviousness that there’s more going on between them serves as a nice plot bridge to his confirmation that Anakin is the father of Padmé’s children in Revenge of the Sith. We certainly had to stop and rewind the scene after our jaws dropped.
Anakin flat out murdering Admiral Trench
One of the common praises of The Clone Wars series is that it “fixed” Anakin as a character. Regardless of how one feels about his portrayal in the prequel films, it is definitely true that the animated series has managed to depict Anakin as a powerful Jedi Knight whose victories helped win the Clone Wars. It even helps us understand why he feels so betrayed at not being promoted to Master in Sith. But the series is not without those moments of pure anger and lashing out; these are essential flaws in Anakin’s character. We’ve seen the aforementioned jealousy towards Clovis turn to violence.
This moment with Trench was equally important. We really can believe that the dashingly heroic Anakin of The Clone Wars is also the man who, in Sith, would murder Dooku at the mere gasp of suggestion from Sheev Palpatine.
No Order 66 Reveal
As important as the above inclusions were, we were equally surprised to not see something. We discovered that the Clone Trooper Echo had been captured and used torturously by the Separatists as a living algorithm to undermine the strategies of the Republic Clone Forces. Given that we know from the Rebels series that Captain Rex, along with Clone Troopers Wolffe and Gregor, are able to remove the biochip implants that cause them to mindlessly follow Order 66 to carry out the Jedi Purge. (Moment of silence for Fives, who tried to warn everyone.)
Echo having been tapped into the command strategies of the Separatists feels like it might have been an opportunity for him to deliver this secret info to his old friend. But it seems that info is off-limits for anyone outside of Dooku, Palpatine, and the Kaminoans who misunderstand its purpose. Sounds like Rex’s discovery is still yet to come.
There was certainly a lot to be excited by and celebrate in this initial arc, but now we’re really hoping to see some more Ahsoka!
Featured Image: Disney Lucasfilm