(Major Spoilers Below)
Where do I even start. The Clone Wars is over. I binge-watched the entire 13 episodes of Season 6 in a single day, and as the credits rolled on the final episode, I was speechless. Still am. This show has taken me on a journey that basically reignited my passion for Star Wars, and it’s hard to believe that it’s officially over.
But what an ending it was. These final four episodes, The Lost One, Voices, Destiny, and Sacrifice were stunningly brilliant in nearly every conceivable way, and delved into themes and ideas that fans have only dreamt of, while also managing to somehow answer questions that have been around since it all started way back in 1977.
I am going spoil everything about these episodes, so please, if you ever plan on watching The Clone Wars, skip this review and all the ones before it. It’s okay, I won’t mind. Just go watch the show, as there has literally never been a better time as all six seasons are now available on Netflix. But when you’re done, and are left as breathless as I am now, come back here and share in my bewilderment.
The stories for these four episodes begin by attempting to answer a question that’s been around since Attack of the Clones: Who is Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, and why did he order a clone army? While the answers aren’t quite what I expected, in truth this plot acted as a motivator for what would lead into a profound, sometimes dizzying glimpse into the nature of the Force itself.
It all started when Jedi Master Plo Koon discovered a wrecked space shuttle in the middle of a barren desert. Upon further investigation, he comes across a single abandoned lightsaber that was owned by none other than Sifo-Dyas, who supposedly died over ten years ago, even though a body was never recovered.
The Lost One could almost be a standalone episode, but I’ve included it here because I found it to be almost a prelude to the Yoda Trilogy that follows. While its primary purpose is to answer some of the questions surrounding the Sifo-Dyas mystery, it’s left purposefully vague and is open to several interpretations and simultaneously introduces themes and plot threats that are meant to be finished in the following Yoda arc.
Which, as you can imagine, becomes quite the spectacle. Yoda’s quest begins when he starts hearing a voice during his meditations, a voice belonging to the deceased Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Puzzled by this supposedly impossible phenomenon, Yoda undergoes several tests given by the Jedi Council, but when they yield nothing but more questions, he takes the matter into his own hands.
This is where things got truly crazy, and after a really fun escape sequence involving Anakin, Yoda’s journey takes him to places that I struggle to find the proper words to describe even now. His search for answers begins on Dagobah, yes, you read that right, Dagobah, where Qui-Gon has instructed him to go in order to begin his training in learning how to transcend death and become one with the Force.
Seeing Yoda on Dagobah for the first time was every bit amazing as I imagined it could be, and there was some great foreshadowing for not only Revenge of the Sith and the fall of the Jedi, but also for Luke’s eventual training there. It was a fascinating, even creepy experience, but as crazy as it all was, was still only a prologue for what was to come.
These three episodes have been described by Dave Filoni as George Lucas’ final statement on what the Force truly is, and while it’s sure to inspire some controversy and debate amongst fans, the stories told here are spectacular. Seeing Yoda travel from Dagobah to a planet literally made up of the Living Force was a breathtaking sight, and it’s here that Yoda’s training began in earnest.
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical on how well Filoni would be able to pull of such an ambitious story like this. But Filoni’s never been one to disappoint and that stays true here. While it won’t be for everyone, these stories give us such an intimate look at both Yoda and the Force that I was enamored with it from the very beginning. It’s an occasionally dizzying experience, but it’s one very much worth taking.
Seeing Yoda not only battle his inner dark side, but also accept its existence, gave me chills and characterized Yoda in a way we’ve never seen before. It was a powerful, enlightening moment that fans are sure to argue about for a long time, but it really made me look at Yoda in both Revenge of the Sith and The Empire Strikes Back in a whole new way.
There was even a particularly chilling sequence where Yoda, while in a vision meant to test his emotional stability, found all of his friends lying dead in the halls of the Jedi Council. It was a great way to tease at the events of the future, and also allowed Filoni to give Ahsoka a brief, albeit heart-wrenching, cameo that marked the second time The Lost Missions brought me to tears.
Testing Yoda in ways like these were risky, especially considering how important Yoda’s mysterious backstory is, but Filoni and company pulled off in a way only they could. They not only managed to put Yoda on Dagobah and a Force-planet, but also the homeworld of the Sith themselves.
Moraband, or as some of us diehard fans might refer to it as, Korriban, was every bit barren and unsettling as you can imagine the Sith homeworld would be. I really have to commend the animators for taking it to the next level with these episodes as this is easily some of their best work from the show. The lighting and particle effects were just stunning, and I had to pause the show a few times just to take it all in.
Moraband also marked the very first on-screen appearance for a Sith Lord who has only been seen in the Expanded Universe. While it was more of a cameo than anything else, seeing Darth Bane show up was something that literally had me yelling at my TV. It was an awesome bit of fan service that was made even better by having Mark Hamill do the voice of the long-dead Sith.
I also really liked how involved Count Dooku and Darth Sidious were in the final act of the Yoda Trilogy. It was unsettling to see Sidious so easily invade Yoda’s meditative state and attack him with a vision of Sifo-Dyas that quickly evolved into an actual duel with Sidious himself. It was both a riveting confrontation and a brilliant piece of foreshadowing for their eventual duel in Revenge of the Sith.
I wish there had been more of a proper explanation for the events of these episodes, but I think Filoni really wanted to leave it up to interpretation, and fans are sure to be discussing their importance for years to come. For every answer we were given, there was another question to take its place, and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the meaning of it all.
With a spectacular performance from Tom Kane as Yoda, an evocative soundtrack by Kevin Kiner, some purely breathtaking animation, and a keen eye for the dramatic, these four episodes encapsulate many of the things that have made fans fall in love with The Clone Wars over its six-season run.
There’s an obvious chance that they might alienate fans who prefer a more grounded approach to their Star Wars stories, but there’s no denying that these episodes are truly something special. They lead into the events of Revenge of the Sith perfectly, and while I will always wish we could’ve seen more, I can’t think of a better note for The Clone Wars to end on than this.