I’ve recently fallen a bit in love with Revenge of the Sith. After years of simply lumping it in the group that most cannot help but disdainfully refer to as “the prequels”, making a face as though they’ve just eaten an entire lemon, I realized I like it. More than that, I think it’s a good movie and an enjoyable one at that.
The scene that always gets me in Revenge of the Sith, as I’m sure it does most people, is the Order 66 sequence. We’re shown a montage of clones turning on Jedi in the fray of battle. The Jedi are confused. Some of them fight, and some of them are too bewildered to even have a chance to draw their lightsabers. The entire scene is scored by John Williams’ huge and heartbreaking music that blares through the speakers, giving voice to the audience wailing for their lost Jedi.
Clone Wars has made this sequence even more impactful over the years. Viewers have grown closer to the clones and have watched them bond with the Jedi. We’ve seen them make choices and learn new things. We’ve seen them become brave or scared. We’ve seen them make friends and enemies. Clone Wars has given us an intimate and special look at the clones that the prequels never did. It makes Order 66 that much harder to watch. Suddenly, we don’t only weep for the Jedi, we weep for the clones. A switch is flipped, and suddenly the growth that we’ve watched them undergo for seven seasons is wiped away. It’s almost a fate worse than death.
As the final season of Clone Wars dipped further and further into the timeline of Revenge of the Sith, it was apparent that we were going to see Ahsoka have to face Order 66 on her own. And boy did she.
The Forgotten Apprentices
After learning that Darth Maul is all hauled up on Mandalore, Ahsoka and her battalion of clones attempt to capture the elusive former-sith and bring him to justice. The hunt doesn’t take too long, and before you know it, Ahsoka and Maul are standing in an empty throne room, while Maul offers her his hand as a partner. A fight breaks out, and Maul is taken into the custody of Ahsoka and company.
Once aboard the ship, Rex leaves Ahsoka so that he can answer a call. We see the emperor and we know what comes next before it happens. Order 66 has been executed, and the clones that had shown their loyalty to Ahsoka by painting their helmets to resemble her turn on the former-Jedi in an instant. Ahsoka frees Maul to give herself a fighting chance, and she discovers the inhibitor chip that was planted in Rex’s brain. The episode ends as a mysterious someone attempts to breakdown the door that hides Ahsoka and Rex from certain death.
The Weight Is Still There
As we’ve discussed, the knowledge of what is to come has always been with those who watch Clone Wars. We know, from her appearance in Rebels and her upcoming appearance in season 2 of The Mandolorian, Ahsoka will survive this ordeal. But that doesn’t mean the stakes aren’t there. This episode still is able to capture the sadness and fear that I’ve always associated with Order 66, all while Ahsoka barely has time to process what is going on. Unless I’m very much mistaken, she goes out of her way to not kill any of the clones that attack her, as though she thinks she can still save them. This hope that she silently holds is heartbreaking to watch, even if it’s not apparent at first.
And yet, Ahsoka is able to bring Rex back from his brainwashed state. This opens up huge possibilities for the final episode of Clone Wars. Will Ahsoka somehow figure out a way to save multiple clones, or are they all doomed to join the ranks of Darth Sideous? How can we, in good conscience, watch Storm Troopers be killed, when we know that they were once the friends of Ahsoka that we hold so very dear? Ahsoka provides us with hope for the future of clones, even if we don’t see that future on screen.
Maul meets his demise in Rebels, so even he isn’t immune to the fact that we know what happens. And yet, we learn some startling revelations from him. Such as the fact that he knows Anakin is going to be Palpatine’s apprentice. And furthermore, he tells Ahsoka. Whether she chooses to believe him or not, we’re still not quite sure, but it truly sets up an “anything can happen” precedent for the final episode.
Though we know when Maul dies, we know, from his cameo in Solo, that he is part of a crime syndicate in the time period between Clone Wars and his death. Clone Wars, with Ahsoka meeting the Mandalorians, is clearly prepping us for her arrival in season 2 of The Mandalorian, but what about Maul? There were rumors of a Darth Maul series for Disney+, could the House of Mouse be prepping us for that? Only time will tell…
The final episodes of Clone Wars have left us with just as many questions as they have answers, and I’m all for it. Star Wars, like it or not, will always be around. It’s fun to speculate what they’ll do next, and it’s clear they always want to give us tiny morsels to feed our curious minds.
What did you think of these last two episodes? Excited for the series finale? Let me know in the comments below!
Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars
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