The Clone Wars is back! The show that was cancelled after 5 and a half seasons returns on Disney + to get the ending it deserved. I was a huge fan of the show, so safe to say I’m thrilled that we finally get to see these episodes.
After really enjoying writing my episode reviews for The Mandalorian and Resistance, I couldn’t wait to do the same again for this final season of The Clone Wars. The reviews will take on the same format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole.
And now on May 4ᵗʰ, we reach the end of the road. Today, I will be looking at the season and series finale, Episode 12: “Victory and Death”
Ahsoka, Rex and the droids are trapped in the medical bay with clones cutting through the door. Ahsoka comes up with a plan, telling Rex to set his blasters to stun. The moment the clones finish cutting through, Ahsoka uses the Force to push the door away and into the clones, deflecting their shots while Rex stuns them. With the escape pods destroyed, the group begin to make their way to the main hangar, where they hope to find a shuttle.
“Did you hear Maul also escaped?”
“He didn’t escape. I let him out.”
“Diversion. Come on!”
“That’s one word for it.”
Maul make his way to the hyperdrive room, where he takes out any clones present and destroys the hyperdrive generators. The Star Destroyer falls out of lightspeed near a moon.
Ahsoka and Rex fight their way into the main hangar’s control room. Having felt the ship fall out of hyperspace, Ahsoka has G-G plug into the ship’s system to find out what is happening to the hyperdrive while R7 unlocks the hangar bay doors and Cheep preps the shuttle. G-G reports that the hyperdrive was destroyed and that the Star Destroyer is caught in the gravitational pull of the moon.
“If they weren’t trying to kill us, I’d be proud.”
R7 opens the doors to reveal the shuttle, but Jesse and his troops are blocking the way. Rex suggests fighting through them to the shuttle but Ahsoka does not want to hurt the clones and has a different plan.
Jesse receives a message that Maul is heading their way, but Rex arrives first, holding Ahsoka at gunpoint. Rex tries to convince Jesse to stand the troops down while the droids use the distraction to sneak into the hangar and towards the shuttle. Jesse refuses to stand down and accuses Rex of treason, announcing that he will be demoted and executed for assisting Ahsoka. As Jesse orders his troops to open fire, the droids manage to drop the hangar elevators that most of the troopers are on, while Ahsoka and Rex begin to fight off the rest.
“If we don’t get this right, we will be the ones committing treason, not her.”
Maul arrives during the battle and makes a run for the shuttle, chased by Ahsoka. Maul uses the Force to push Ahsoka into one of the pits created by dropping the elevators but G-G catches her with a grappling cable and pulls her up under fire from Jesse and the clones.
Maul takes off in the shuttle and Ahsoka uses the Force to hold it in the hangar. As clone reinforcements arrive in the hangar, Rex attempts to hold them off, but R7 is shot and Rex is hit in the shoulder. Knowing that Rex is going to be overwhelmed, Ahsoka lets Maul go and moves to protect Rex, deflecting shots before using her lightsabers to cut a hole in the floor to drop them down a level.
Now on the level Jesse and many of the clones were dropped to, Ahsoka and Rex come under fire again, but G-G and Cheep clearout many of the troops by raising the elevators back into the main hangar. A group of clones execute the 2 droids. Ahsoka and Rex find one working Y-wing on the level they are on, and fight their way to it. Rex gets into the cockpit, but the Star Destroyer entering the moon’s atmosphere causes the bomber to fallout of the bay as Ahsoka is trying to jump onto it.
Rex gets the Y-wing flying and after a couple of attempts, manages to catch Ahsoka in mid-air. The pair fly away from the Star Destroyer as it crashes through the clouds.
Some time later, Rex has landed the Y-wing near the wreckage of the Star Destroyer and is collecting parts to repair the Y-wing and R7, whose remains are placed next to the bomber. Closer to the wreckage, Ahsoka looks over the graves of Jesse and many of the other clones, marked by their helmets. Before leaving, Ahsoka leaves her lightsaber with the graves.
Years later, Imperial forces are investigating the wreckage, which is half covered under snow. Darth Vader arrives in a shuttle and approaches the wreckage, where he finds Ahsoka’s lightsaber. After watching a convor circling overhead for a moment, Vader walks away, reflected in the visor of a clone trooper’s helmet.
Whenever a much-loved series comes to an end, you always hope that the finale sticks the landing. Well after an incredible first 3 parts to the arc, this was a very satisfying conclusion.
First of all, I really appreciated how Ahsoka and Rex are both reacting to the events of Order 66, with Rex being practical and knowing that he will likely have to kill many of his brothers so that he and Ahsoka can make it out alive, as much as it is clearly hurting him – seeing the tears rolling down his cheeks when Ahsoka takes his helmet off really hits home. Meanwhile, Ahsoka would rather find a way to escape without killing them because she has been so close to many of them and knows that they are not choosing to attack her, but instead have no choice. Maul is suitably manacing and it has been great to see just how dangerous he is even without having a lightsaber in this episode and the last. The droids provided some light entertainment but they were used well to feel like characters enough that seeing R7 get shot helping Ahsoka and then seeing the other 2 executed really hurt in the moment and added to the stakes, which was great considering we knew Ahsoka, Maul and Rex had to survive due to appearances in other canon content.
“They may be willing to die, but I am not the one who is going to kill them.”
While we talk about stakes, I liked the threat through this episode of crashing into the moon. As well as leading to some wonderful visuals, it was a great way of killing off the only clones who know Rex and Ahsoka are alive without making them do it directly, while it also puts their escape from the Star Destroyer on a timer, leading to heightened confrontations rather than being able to find ways to sneak around the clones.
One thing that I have mentioned a couple of times during this arc is my disappointment at the lack of Jesse. It was definitely nice to get him leading the forces and having the argument with Rex in this episode, but I must admit that I remained surprised he was not make to look better than his fellow clones considering this is someone who has made it through almost the entirety of the war and the show and worked his way up to ARC trooper. While I still think it would have been beautiful and heartbreaking to see Rex have to kill Jesse and have him die in his arms, I did appreciate the way that during the graves scene, the camera panned over to his helmet before lingering on it, as this is confirmation of the death that should hit us in this moment.
“We need to get out of here.”
As for the story itself, I think that this all follows on very well from the last episode, with Maul using the comlink of the clone whose arm he cut off in the doorway to keep abreast of the situation. What I did find a little odd though was how Rex never thought that troops would be waiting for them in the main hangar after his orders last week to make sure nobody escaped via the escape pods or hangar. My other story issues relate to how it ties into the novel Ahsoka, as in this episode we only see her leave one lightsaber behind on the moon, whereas the novel suggested that she left both and that this all happened on Mandalore. also the novel suggested that Rex’s death was faked by burying a trooper in Rex’s armour.
Finally before my quick points, I just want to discuss the finale, where we see a skip forward ahead in time to Vader and the Empire finding the wreckage. I absolutely loved that ending, getting to see the stormtrooper and Vader armour in The Clone Wars-style animation, while it was a lovely way to link everything back to Anakin. The convor was a lovely touch – it was seen on occasion during The Clone Wars but is most commonly attributed to Ahsoka in her final couple of episodes in Rebels. and the to have the final shot be a clone trooper helmet designed as a homage to Ahsoka, with the reflection of Vader walking away, was a great way to bring an end to it all as Anakin walks away from the reminder of his former apprentice and the Clone Wars and into the age of the Empire.
“We’re not trying to kill anyone.”
“Yeah, well, tell that to them.”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- The music at the start of the episode was beautiful. It felt somewhat reminiscent of the music at Qui-Gon’s funeral, which I thought fitting as Order 66 was the death of the Jedi
- It was a brave decision to have no dialogue in the last approximately 6 minutes of the episode, from the moment Ahsoka is about to jump onto the Y-wing as it falls out of the bay, but it works very well in this episode as it highlights the action of catching Ahsoka in the air, then focuses on the emotion during the final 2 scenes
- Not that we need every moment spelled out, but I would love to get a comic/novel that shows how Rex, Wolfe and Gregor get together after this, putting them in the position we find themselves in when we get to Rebels
Moments in Canon
- Rex notes that Ahsoka is not a member of the Jedi Order in an attempt to save her during Order 66
- Order 66 allowed for the execution of anyone who assisted the traitorous Jedi, hence the executions of Cheep and G-G
- Rex was demoted from Commander back to Captain due to his failure to enact Order 66
What did you think of the episode and the series as a whole?
Thanks for reading. May the Fourth be with you…