‘Clone Wars’ saved best for last

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Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Fan favorite character Ashoka Tano returns for the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” on Disney+.

Edan Castiel   , Entertainment Editor

The year 2020 has been notorious for canceling important events and having us all live what seems to be the same dull life day in and day out. While it was nice to look back on some old favorite movies and shows, the year had little to offer as far as new film or television content.

There are some notable exceptions: iconic TV show seasons such as “Tiger King” and Season 3 of “Money Heist” helped fill the void for home viewers. No show got more attention and excitement, however, than the very long overdue return for Season 7 of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” 

The amazing conclusion to the series was 12 years in the making. 

The series’ cancelation in 2014 from Cartoon Network created a six-year hiatus between Seasons 6 and 7, as Disney+ announced they would release the much-anticipated series conclusion. “Clone Wars” held such a special place for Star Wars fans as it offered new perspectives on the mythology of the universe. Not only did people love what the show had to offer, but fans also fell in love with main character Ashoka Tano.

There is no denying Star Wars fans are among the most opinionated and ruthless fans in cinema — the community will find something to hate about each movie and show released in its universe — that simply was not the case with the satisfying conclusion to the epic “Clone Wars.”

The final season consisted of 12 episodes and was split into three different story arcs, meaning that every four episodes follow a different story that slightly connects. I will dive into each arc individually: 

Arc 1 (Season 7 Ep. 1-4)

The first four episodes consist of Anikan Skywalker and a unique group of clones called “The Bad Batch,” as they follow a mission that will help the Republic get one step closer to winning the war. It is full of pulpy action, and honestly, is everything a fan would expect from a regular story arc from “The Clone Wars.” Although the first arc was nothing astonishing, it certainly was enjoyable to finally see Anikan and our favorite Clones back in action. In my personal opinion, it was not a spectacular comeback but I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy it.

Arc 2 (Season 7 Ep. 5-11)

The second arc is easily the weakest. Fan-favorite Ashoka Tano finally came back, which was the only positive of this story arc that felt very inconsequential. It feels like a story that could have been easily told in one episode was told over four. These four episodes could have been deleted, and it would have made no impact on the overall story. 

Although I enjoyed Ashoka’s return, I felt very bored watching these four episodes. I honestly recommend viewers skip these four episodes and save yourself the time because I promise you won’t miss anything. 

Arc 3 (Season 7 Ep. 9-12)

The series saved the best for last. 

This arc is so brilliantly done that I am struggling to put my strong admiration into words. Ashoka gets sent on a mission to capture the iconic Darth Maul, and just as she thinks she completed her task she is blindsided by Order 66. This is the ultimate conclusion everyone had been waiting for. 

For starters, the animation is remarkable (and this goes for the entire season). Looking back at Season 1, animations back in 2008 are laughable compared to what was presented in Season 7. The action is nothing short of spectacular, which is what Star Wars is known to be. The only lightsaber duel of the season was remarkably well-done thanks to the show producers hiring professionals to choreograph the fight in front of a green screen. The screenwriting was brilliant as the lines of the show intertwined with the movie “Revenge of the Sith.”

Where this arc ultimately succeeds is with the wild variety of emotions it gives viewers. Whether it’s Ashoka and Rex’s unbreakable bond or the final shot of the show where Vader is walking away with Ashoka’s lightsaber, you will likely be forced to shed a tear. The entire arc’s emotional weight was so challenging to watch because you know the clones’ inevitable death and the dark path that awaits Ashoka. Seeing Vader walking away in the reflection of a broken clone helmet leaves the audience with chills running down their spines and with tears filling their eyes.

The end of Ashoka’s arc was nothing short of perfection, and she is easily one of the best-developed Star Wars characters and has reserved a spot as one of the best characters Lucas Films has to offer. Everything a Star Wars fan ever wished for is found in these four episodes. This may be a controversial statement, but these four episodes might be the single greatest portion in all of Star Wars canon.  

While the first two-thirds of the season were somewhat mediocre, the excellent final third of the season more than makes up for any flaws. I would certainly recommend this show to anyone who has the slightest interest in Star Wars because this is more than just a good Star Wars story – this is a cinematic masterpiece.