REVIEW: Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Happy May The 4th! Disney+ helped us celebrate by releasing the final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and wow what a way to celebrate! This season of the show was nothing short of a masterpiece! Just to warn in advance, there are some spoilers in here. So, if you haven't seen this whole season yet, come back when you have.
The season was broken into three different story arcs. The first was "Bad Batch" which revolved around a mission to rescue Echo from the Techno Union on Anaxes. Captain Rex and Anakin Skywalker take a squadron of Clone Troopers known as Clone Force 99 or the Bad Batch. Each member of this team has some sort of genetic mutation that makes them unique. Some have criticized this arc as being slow, but I found it incredibly important. We know that Order 66 is inevitable. This arc not only showed us the humanity of the Clone Troopers, but how loyal they are to each other and to the Jedi. It only makes what happens with Order 66 even more tragic. I thought each member of the Bad Batch was great with my favorite being Wrecker, the strongman. I liked the fact that, despite his bravado, he was afraid of heights.
It cannot be stated enough that Dee Bradley Baker is an extraordinary voice talent. If you don't know, Baker provides the voice of the Clone Troopers. I mean all of them. And, it was amazing to see him bring life to so many troopers and give them such personality. You would almost never believe that it was one person doing all the voices.
Perhaps my only criticism of this arc is that they never show Echo and the Bad Batch again. It would have been nice to have seen them in the last story arc to come full circle.
The next arc was "Ahsoka's Journey" in which we see the return of Ahsoka Tano. When last we left her, she had left the Jedi order. When season 6 ended and presumably the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars at the time, we were left wondering what happened to our hero. In this arc, Ahsoka ends up on Level 1313 on Coruscant. She meets two sisters named Trace and Rafa. Rafa is involved in some shady deals and Ahsoka makes a point to keep the sisters out of trouble. Unfortunately, they do get into some trouble with a spice run, placing them in danger.
I will admit, of the arcs of this season, this was probably my least favorite. It sort of moved at a slow pace and seemed superfluous. But, it did set up the next story arc nicely by giving Ahsoka a reason to go back to the Jedi for help. Ahsoka has more confidence at the end of the episode, so this arc ultimately does have meaning after all. Also, honorable mentions to getting to see a Kessel run again and the beginnings of Crimson Dawn.
The final arc is "The Siege of Mandalore" in which Ahsoka Tano agrees to help Bo Katan capture Darth Maul who has taken control of Mandalore. This is where they kick it up a notch and dial it up to 11!
We begin the arc with Anakin Skywalker facing down a battalion of droids. There is a wonderful callback to the moment when Luke Skywalker faced down First Order forces on Crait in The Last Jedi. The scene shows what a brilliant tactician Anakin is and it also injected some humor before what will come down. We also see a new Anakin from what we've seen before in the series. He is more like the Anakin we see in Revenge of the Sith. So, we know what's coming.
Though, this arc is not about Anakin, but about Ahsoka. And wow, she showed us everything she was set up to be. That moment when she falls out of the transport above Mandalore and she fights her way down to the surface is nothing more than amazing. Then, she is able to hold her own against Darth Maul. The lightsaber battles in this season are absolutely incredibly. I don't think I've ever seen the movement done so fluidly and lifelike before. It's absolutely beautiful. While Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka, and Dee Bradley Baker, the voice of Rex, are amazing, we can't forget Sam Witwer's brilliant performance as Maul. He made him both threatening and terrifying while crazy at the same time.
While I was expecting Order 66, I was not prepared emotionally for when it did. I literally stood up and screamed when it happened. I needed this moment. If you think about it, this season has really been about Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex, allowing them to grow and develop. They are favorites of this series and it is fitting that we end the series with these two. So, everything leading up to Rex's turning against Ahsoka under Order 66 is super impactful. Also, seeing all the Troopers with Ahsoka inspired helmets made it all the more bittersweet. I was just so glad Ahsoka was able to remove the inhibitor chip on Rex. We know that Rex was free in Star Wars: Rebels, but it was nice to see how that happened.
And, as we began this arc with Anakin Skywalker, we end with him, but as Darth Vader. This is on Hoth during The Empire Strikes Back. He discovers Ahsoka's lightsaber and one has to wonder if he thinks she died. But, it is a quiet emotional moment for the dark lord of the Sith. And a beautiful way to end.
Honestly, this arc was Star Wars at its best. I will be as bold as to say that this has been the best Star Wars storytelling since the original trilogy. Yes, even better than the prequel and sequel trilogies.
I am so grateful to Disney+ for bringing us one final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was a beautiful way of leading into Order 66 and made it all the more meaningful.
We will be doing a special podcast soon where we will be going into greater depth about this season, so be sure to check back.
May the Fourth Be With You!