A year ago, Lucasfilm announced that The Clone Wars TV show would be ending. The fifth season would be its last. It was disappointing news to say the least. The Clone Wars had quickly become one of my favorite shows on TV and had become a landmark achievement in television animation.
Star Wars fans were saddened and angered by the news. Many fan-run petitions and events were organized to try and save The Clone Wars. It may be because of those efforts that we were given a gift in the shape of 13 lost episodes, which are now available via Netflix.
I was sad to hear The Clone Wars had been canceled, but I truly felt that the final episode we got with Ahsoka leaving the Jedi and walking into the sunset was a perfect finale to the story. The Clone Wars story began with the movie that introduced us to Ahsoka. It seemed only fitting that the show should end with her leaving, giving us closure to her story.
Now we have a new chapter to The Clone Wars tale.
These 13 episodes feel like an epilogue to not only The Clone Wars, but to the whole Prequel era, filling in gaps and answering many of the questions that we all had while watching the three Prequel films.
The first story arc surrounds a clone who turned on his Jedi general. There is a lot to dissect and analyze here. We learn about the origins of Order 66, but also delve deeper into the clones themselves, including the techniques used by the Kaminoans to keep the clones obedient and less aggressive.
At first I did not like the revelations here, but I had to remember that nowhere in Revenge of the Sith or any of the surrounding stories did we hear about clones refusing or questioning Order 66. During the run of the show and throughout many of the EU stories we have clones questioning and even openly disobeying orders, but not Order 66. Something was different about these orders.
The next 3 episodes are actually leftovers produced during the Season 5 run. They revolve around the Banking Clan and Padme's old friend turned Separatist Rush Clovis. It seems strange that these were not included in the original Season 5 airing, since that season was several episodes shorter than the previous. I'm sure there is some corporate dealings and agreements that prevented it from airing.
These episodes are good, but not everyone will enjoy them. They are slower and more character driven. They do include some great action scenes and show more of Palpatine's machinations for control over the galaxy.
The third story arc is 2 episodes with Mace Windu and Jar Jar Binks off to discover the mystery surrounding several missing spiritual leaders from the planet Bardotta. The Bardottans do not trust the Jedi and will only trust Jar Jar Binks to save them. These episodes have a very Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom feel to them.
I must admit, I'm a Jar Jar fan. I've always enjoyed Jar Jar and the role he plays in the story. These two episodes were fun and made me want to see more of Jar Jar and Mace's wacky adventures, like the old Bob Hope and Bing Crosby road movies.
The final 4 episodes are a story concerning the truth about Sifo-Dyas, and Yoda begins to learn the secrets of maintaining his identity after becoming one with the Force.
These are deep meaty episodes that will have fans analyzing every frame for clues to learn more. They feel similar to the Mortis trilogy where truths about the Force and the Jedi are brought into question and we get glimpses into the future.
I have to wonder if the creators knew that these would be the final episodes we would see. They have a sense of finality to them, especially the Order 66 and Sifo-Dyas stories. It's as if George Lucas and Dave Filoni were passing along these final pieces of information about the saga before we entered into a brand new phase with Episode VII.
Series finales are hard. I felt that the finale with Ahsoka was near perfect and provided terrific closure to the story. Now we have a second finale, and again, it's a perfect note to end the story with.