The Clone Wars (S7E12): The End

When The Clone Wars was in its strange stasis, where we knew a season 7 existed in a partially finished state, I survived mostly on the hope that I’d see it someday. That hope was a lot better than the show ever ending because in this way, I never had to say goodbye. The fandom never says goodbye.

But as I sit here, on May the Fourth no less, I realize that it is finally time to say goodbye. The Clone Wars has finally ended. And if you thought this was going to end with the cast singing Green Day’s “The Time Of Your Life”, you couldn’t be further from correct. The Clone Wars ends by reminding us that Star Wars is, at its core, a story about war. And the casualties that follow.

No Way Out

Ahsoka and Rex are on their own as an entire battalion of clones attempts to catch and exterminate them on sight. They fight their way out and are attempting to make use of one of the shuttles on the cruiser that Maul has caused to crash land on a nearby moon. Maul finds himself a shuttle and flees without consideration of Rex or Ahsoka, taking off while the former Jedi and commander attempt to fight off the clones. In a not-so-subtle nod to Rise of Skywalker, Ahsoka attempts to pull back Maul’s shuttle with the force, but he ultimately escapes.

Finally, Ahsoka and Rex find themselves a shuttle and make their way down to the moon, but not before we get to see some great “Ahsokabatics”, as she falls from the malfunctioning cruiser into Rex’s shuttle, looking like Tom Cruise in any given Mission: Impossible. Ahsoka and Rex mourn the lost clones, and the episode ends with the one and only Darth Vader finding Ahsoka’s forgotten lightsabers in the snow.

Darkness Approaches

There aren’t big reveals in this episode. It doesn’t show Ahsoka finding Baby Yoda or Maul having a vision of Rey. It doesn’t use its twenty-minute runtime to retcon previously established canon or set up the future of the franchise. It simply finishes off the story that it always wanted to tell. It feels like a powerful statement by the show: “we don’t owe you anything other than closure with the clones”. It’s an intensely present ending that doesn’t look toward the future. It looks toward itself.

The Clone Wars (S7E12): The End
source: Disney+

The final moments of the episode show us Darth Vader finding Ahsoka’s lightsaber. He doesn’t speak, he only breathes in that iconic, haunting rhythm that we all know so well. Anakin doesn’t remember his padawan, as far as we can see. We only watch as the unmoving mask stares at the lightsaber, with no emotions crossing his face. Anakin is gone. The darkness has taken him.

Ahsoka stands with her hood pulled, staring at the helmets of dead clones that she herself no doubt set up. Even though they turned on her, she knows it wasn’t their fault. She’s silent, but you can see the strange mixture of sadness and nostalgia on her face. As though she’s having flashbacks that we can’t see, but somehow, we can guess what she’s seeing. The clones laughing together on a planet with bizarre-looking creatures, maybe. Or Anakin calling her “Snips”. Clone Wars starts off in the light and ends in the dark. The show ends in an exhale, without a post-credits inhale to give us hope.

Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano is one of the best characters to emerge from the Star Wars canon. Perhaps she’s the best. She’s a fierce warrior with the wisdom of a leader. She acts with her heart, sometimes impulsively, but always with the best interests of those who are struggling in mind. She’s critical of the things that she holds dear, and that gives her knowledge that few in this universe have. Her arc is oddly synonymous with Anakin’s. Both Jedi feel betrayed by an institution that meant so much to them. Anakin is pushed into the darkness by this betrayal, but Ahsoka is pushed toward something greater. Something like enlightenment.

The Clone Wars (S7E12): The End
source: Disney+

Ahsoka is wrongly accused of a crime and decides to leave the Jedi order. But she still helps. She realizes that the Jedi do not own a monopoly on doing the right thing, even if they think they do. Her decisions run congruent with the decisions that Luke makes in The Last Jedi. She knows that the order is flawed. She knows that the force isn’t something that one group can own. But rather than hide on an island, shutting herself away from the world, Ahsoka continues to fight the bad guys.

Ahsoka Tano is the best of the Jedi. She represents the elusive balance in the force that is always at the center of the mysticism of Star Wars. She does what is right. She understands her flaws. But she always helps those in need. She’s a character that I deeply treasure, and have found myself looking toward for inspiration in everyday tasks. Ahsoka mourns her dead and keeps them with her. She’s brave because of those that she trusts, even though her trust has been shaken. Ahsoka learns every day, and she teaches viewers as she goes, wherever she goes.

What did you think of that finale? What are your favorite moments of Clone Wars? Are you looking forward to seeing Ahsoka again? Let me know in the comments below!

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