Begun the Clone Wars have
First of all, I want to thank Dave Filoni, without whom sadder the world of Star Wars would be. His ability to give us such a comprehensively great series is an achievement in and of itself. Was every episode perfect, no. But if you can make Jar Jar Binks even slightly tollerable you are a winner in my book. Star Wars fans have waited for over half a decade for the final season after Cartoon Network done messed up A-A-Ron and cancelled the show. I will be dividing the review/Season 7 into 3 different parts. The good, the bad, and the ermahgerd that was so amazing. And the wonderful part is that the episodes completely fall in line with that.
THE BAD BATCH (AKA the Good)
Special Clone Force 99 was arguable one of the best things to come out of the final season. Termed the Bad Batch by other clones, the group took the name 99 from the janitor clone from that episode that we all cried like babies. 99 was a deformed clone that, if you can remember that far back, served as both a janitor on Kamino and as a source of wisdom to his younger brothers still going through training. During the Domino squad arc, he was the one that gave them confidence to be the best they could. Unfortunately for tear ducts everywhere, 99 died heroically during the battle of Kamino arc. So the call back to him just in the name of the group, is a profound one. Especially when you add to it that each of these clones is also deformed from the Jango template in some way. Like 99 their mutations too were able to give each unique strengths that normal clones did not possess. The first four episodes of the season follow Rex and Cody attempting to work with this team to liberate one of their comrades thought dead. And you spend the entire arc in total awe of these guys. For years in my younger days, I have watched Rex and Cody overcome literally everything in there way. The epitome of what it is to be BA in the Grand Army of the Republic. And these guys make them look like noobs. I loved everything about this arc. From Skywalker literally just waltzing down the battlefield without a care in the world in the opening scenes, to the emotional goodbye of a beloved character, off to start a new life. The four episodes perfectly encapsulate the personal nature of war along with the grand overall plans of the very same conflict. The balance is incredible. I recommend if you haven’t finished the season already, or started, to watch these in a block together.
THE BAD (Actual bad this time)
Of you have read any other reviews of the season so far or been anywhere near Reddit, you already know that these two sisters are about as hated as Jar Jar or, crud, what was the name of the one forgettable character from the sequels? You know the one. Hmm, can’t remember. Oh well. But yeah, these two are hated. And to be honest, I was not really a fan of them either. I kept watching hoping that eventually things would pick up in this arc, but they didn’t. The second of the three story arcs of the final season follows Ahsoka as she gets to meet the Martez sisters. One is the street wise, tech, pilot. The other is, well not really sure. She’s supposed to be the street wise one that is also the smooth talker, but she really isn’t either. I think the arc was originally envisioned to help form Ahsoka’s opinion that not all Jedi are good. And the order itself is not the guardians of justice they pretend to be. Personally I agree with all of these statements. But the episodes don’t do the greatest job of showing that. Instead of just giving this information to Ahsoka in an easy to understand powerpoint on why the Jedi are bad, they could have asked, I would have lent them mine, they proceed to say it really quick and then lean on Ahsoka to save them from everything. You know confirming the fact that Jedi are good and holy. They aren’t, see also Mace Windu staging military coup against a democratically elected leader. So instead of taking the momentum from the first 4 episodes and running with it, they kill it. Probably with a lightsaber. If you want to skip these 4 episodes, you have everyone’s permission to do so. If you want to go clone commando levels of hard core though, be my guest and watch them.
THE ERMAHGERD THAT WAS SO AMAZING
The final arc follows the Siege of Mandalore, and to say that it is an emotional roller coaster is an understatement. The arc begins with Ahsoka agreeing to go to Mandalore to help root out Darth Maul. Yeah he is back on Mandalore. Don’t worry, it gets explained. The reunion between Anakin and Ahsoka is enough to make you emotional as it is, but when the 501st presents themselves wearing helmets painted in her honor you start to notice the sea in front of your eyes. The reunion, however, is cut short as Anakin and Obi-Wan are called back to take place in the events of Revenge of the Sith. Once you know this, you spend the entire arc sitting in this sort of tense anticipation of when you will here the words, “Execute order 66.” It just looms over the rest of the series like a shadow. The battle sequences are guttural and dirty as the clones and separatist from Death Watch attempt to cast their net to catch Maul. However, Maul, himself, has spun his own web in an attempt to capture Jedi. I will admit, hand on my heart, that I am a Maul fan. Ever since…
But that was back when he was a just a cool rage filled guy who had one line. Filoni has done soo much for Maul as a character. Still consumed with rage, yes, but in the course of the entire Clone Wars series we see him show another side. At times he is cunning, manipulative, honorable, cruel, and charismatic. He not only takes control of the largest coalition of crime syndicates and Mandalore, twice. You don’t get to the top like that by being some one dimensional rage beast. Maul shows both his complex character and his forward thinking by both rejecting the Sith and trying to enlist the help of Jedi as well as his own troops to bring down Sidious. He is so convincing that even Ahsoka considers joining him. That is some great character development. When he is finally captured though, he portents the end game. And the end game my friends is heart wrenching. Yes, from Ahsoka’s point of view, which is what the narrative mostly follows, but more from Rex’s point of view. Rex ends up having his inhibitor chip, the thing that forces clones to obey order 66 removed during the last arc, allowing him to help Ahsoka survive. But in doing so Rex has to abandon everything. Remember he is bred to follow orders, bred to do the republic’s bidding. Every clone he views as a brother, and in the end he has to abandon them to death. The very brothers he has fought beside since the beginning of the war. With Maul crippling the ship and sending it on a collision course with a planet before his escape. Ahsoka and Rex literally have to shoot their way out of the hangar, knowing that by leaving the clones, they are abandoning their friends and family to death. That is some seriously profound moral dilemma from, what is in effect, a kids show. This last arc of the series is more profound than anything that has come before. It was the ultimate icing on the cake. And it ends with Vader, searching for his apprentice. Probably the only person in the galaxy that he still cares about. And probably the only person that could have prevented his fall.
If you have read all this and missed the spoiler tag. GO WATCH IT NOW. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. For those of you who have seen it. Let me know what you liked or didn’t in the comments. And on the announcements front stay tuned tomorrow. There will be important announcements coming your way.