The final season of the fan-favorite cartoon Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuts Friday, February 21, on Disney+. Star Wars fans who have not watched the series may be wondering about the possibility of diving right in. I’m hear to tell you, “You can do it!”
The animated show was originally conceived by George Lucas as an anthology-style serial set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, filling in some of the backstory surrounding Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side. While the show hit its stride when it began telling stories in chronological order, every episode is introduced like a serial or comic: with a quick situation report, giving the viewer an idea of the players and the stakes of this particular episode, similar to the scrolls from the Star Wars saga movies.
Who are the players you need to know? Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, served as the point of view for the younger audience. Many children who started watching the show as children are now passionate adult Star Wars fans. In addition to Ahsoka, portrayed by Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein, the show includes numerous clone characters, all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, who have all been shaped by the war.
The first four episodes of the upcoming final season, known as the “Bad Batch” arc, focus on a squad of misfit clones who are enlisted on an important mission. They’re led by Commander Cody, who you may remember as the clone leader serving under Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, and Captain Rex, a new character from The Clone Wars who was often paired with Anakin or Ahsoka. The opening two episodes of the “Bad Batch” arc play out as sort of an A-Team meets Rambo, with healthy servings of humor mixed with amazing action sequences. In addition to Anakin and Obi-Wan, Mace Windu and Padmé Amidala also appear.
In Season 5, Ahsoka Tano walked away from the Jedi Order, and for that reason she won’t appear until the fifth episode of the final season. While existing fans of the show are pretty familiar with the contents of this season because they were discussed in several Celebration panels over the years, some of the original ideas have been changed around, potentially for the better. The middle four episodes are known to fans as the “Ahsoka’s Walkabout” arc, where she figures out what to do with her life after her resignation as a Jedi. A potential male love interest was replaced with two sisters who cross paths with Tano in the Coruscant underworld.
It appears the final four-episode arc will focus on the Siege of Mandalore, an event mentioned in the hit show The Mandalorian and that intersects with the events of Revenge of the Sith. Maul, formerly Darth and certainly not dead despite being halved in The Phantom Menace, still has dark ambitions. At The Clone Wars panel at Celebration Chicago, showrunner Dave Filoni revealed that Ray Park, Maul’s actor from Episode I performed motion-capture for his fight sequence with Ahsoka in the series finale.
If you give The Clone Wars final season a try and like what you see, we recommend the Citadel arc (Season 3, Episode 18 -20), which gives more backstory on Captain Rex and features A New Hope and Rogue One baddie Tarkin.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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