This final arc of the final season of The Clone Wars has already given us so much in only two episodes. From the fabled Siege of Mandalore, to the final meeting of Ahsoka and a pre-Vader Anakin Skywalker, to the best lightsaber battle in the show’s history. These are some of the best pieces of Star Wars media ever made. In the penultimate series episode, “Shattered,” we got a great deal more to mull over. Not only are there scenes that gave us nervous anxiety, there are also direct (and profound) crossovers with Revenge of the Sith. In truth, much more than we had expected.
Final chance to avoid spoilers!
The episode had a supremely somber tone from the start. It was so subdued that we couldn’t help but feel the tension. The end is indeed nigh, and we know it’s not a happy ending. The Mandalorians have defeated Maul and Gar Saxon, but Bo-Katan and Ahsoka speak in hushed tones about the future of the people. We at least know Mandalore will be safe, for a while. Rex then appears and escorts Ahsoka to a council meeting via hologram. We then cut to the meeting already in progress, allowing us to see an animated version of a very fateful scene from Revenge of the Sith.
We know that the moment the scene ends in the movie, Ahsoka and Rex arrive to deliver news of Maul’s capture. Despite a job well done, Ahsoka isn’t ready to go back to the Jedi ways. Not yet. This leads to a truly chilling moment. Mace Windu says it’s up to the Chancellor whether or not the war could be over soon. Obi-Wan’s capture of General Grievous should mark the end of the war, but as we all know, Palpatine is not likely to vacate the position. When Ahsoka asks about what Master Windu meant, he tells her, rather coldly, that these are Jedi matters. No concern for a citizen.
This moment is enormous. Ahsoka knows what Maul told her: that he believes Darth Sidious will convert Anakin to the Dark Side. She has this information, and she knows Anakin has gone to the Chancellor. She hangs back with something else to tell Master Yoda, but she doesn’t say it. If they don’t trust her anymore, why should she trust them? After all, as we saw last week, Ahsoka’s faith in Anakin is unwavering. He would never fall to the Dark Side.
Later in the episode, Rex and Ahsoka speak on the bridge of the Republic Cruiser. It looks for all the world like the bridge of what we, the audience, know is an Imperial Star Destroyer. It’s right there; it’s so close. Their conversation is one of the episode’s many bright spots. Ahsoka joined the Jedi Order at the very start of the Clone Wars; Rex is a Clone. He wouldn’t exist if not for war. What will he do once the war is over? It’s the last moment to catch our breath in the episode.
And then, after a beautiful moment of respect, friendship, and indeed love, it happens. Ahsoka gets a horrible, garbled vision. It’s an echo of Anakin’s action; he has turned to the Dark Side, and killed Mace Windu. It’s a shocking thing to hear through Ahsoka’s mind. But that isn’t the last shock of the scene. We hear the words to which the entirety of The Clone Wars has led: “Execute Order 66.” Because Rex appears in Rebels, we had always assumed he wasn’t part of Order 66. The story arc in which Fives’ inhibitor chip malfunctions seemed to suggest Rex is at least aware of something deep in their programming.
Rex says, “Yes, Lord Sidious,” and then drops his helmet as Ahsoka comes to him. He’s strong; he fights it off for as long as he can, but to no avail. Fives is indeed the very key to this, but Rex can’t help, at least not yet. It’s one of the series’ most upsetting moments. Rex has always been the most noble, the most heroic, the most reliable ally to Ahsoka. Now he’s her biggest threat aboard a ship piled high with threats.
Though we were pretty sure Ahsoka would get Rex back to himself again, we did not necessarily expect she’d free Maul to do it. After nearly teaming up in the last episode, Maul assumes Ahsoka has come to her senses. But in a gorgeous twist, Ahsoka has released Maul specifically for a diversion. When he asks for a lightsaber, she says “I’m not rooting for you.” It’s a delicious moment of icy resolve for Ahsoka. That doesn’t mean Maul is helpless, though; in a moment right out of the end of Rogue One, Maul mops the floor with some Clones, and uses bulkhead panels as shields and guillotines. Yikes.
“Shattered” is another absolute knockout of an episode of The Clone Wars. I has a sense of doom the series rarely exhibits and really captures the best parts of what the end of Revenge of the Sith offers. The Order 66 moment was a gut-punch, and now we know if Rex hadn’t fought it off the little bit that he did, he would have for sure killed Ahsoka. It makes the whole universe feel connected.
We don’t know what the final episode will bring; Ahsoka, Rex, and Maul are still trapped on a ship overrun with deadly Clones. And the galaxy is about to fall under Imperial rule. The question isn’t who will survive; the question is how much will be left of them when they do?
Featured Image: Lucasfilm
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