A Fantastic Episode Full of Easter Eggs Focuses on Order 66
The Clone Wars has come so far since its original debut in 2008. Set after Attack of the Clones, the show aimed to tell the stories between the films focusing on the war between the Republic and the Separatists. The Clone Wars of course became more than just connective tissue and went on to stand on its own with original characters, darker storylines, and by exploring completely new areas of the Star Wars mythos. In this final arc, the show is finally wrapping up its story as it crosses over with Revenge of The Sith. Everything so far is coming together in a fantastic arc that has proved to be a triumphant return to form for the show. Fan favourites including Maul and Ahsoka have returned; Dave Filoni’s show is pulling out all the stops to please fans. The last episode “Phantom Apprentice” ended in success for our heroes with Mandalore taken back and Maul captured. Maul is now set to be transported away from Mandalore and into the hands of the Republic. The enemy has been vanquished yet a much darker fate awaits these characters. Maul had warned Ahsoka about a threat on the horizon, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. What is coming cannot be stopped. Order 66 arrives in the latest episode of The Clone Wars.
With Maul captured, the Republic forces leave Mandalore in this episode. While this episode does not spend much time on Mandalore, it rightly focuses on the renewed hope of the Mandalorians. Bo-Katan and her allies have restored peace to Mandalore. They now rule themselves instead of being under Maul, and Bo-Katan seems to be following in the footsteps of her sister as a new leader for Mandalore. They are safe for now. Knowing what comes next is crushing. Mandalore is set to be taken over by the Empire after Order 66 in accordance with Palpatine’s plans. Death and destruction await Mandalore. The hard times are not behind them but ahead.
Maul’s capture is followed by him being placed in a Mandalorian prison for force wielders. The design is perfectly menacing with its red lighting and Maul’s eyes peering out from the cell. The inclusion of this contraption actually adds layers to Mandalore’s history. The planet has always been defined by its tumultuous history. The Mandalorians were originally enemies of the Jedi during the Mandalorian-Jedi War. The Jedi won the war which destroyed much of Mandalore leaving a scorched surface. The Mandalorians thus were forced thereon to live in hermetically sealed domed cities. Bo-Katan comments that this cell for force wielders is the only one remaining since Duchess Satine outlawed them. Satine ensured that Mandalore was neutral in the conflict between the Separatists and the Republic. Maul’s cell, therefore, serves the purpose of holding him and also is a neat call-back to Mandalore’s past.
The Jedi Order
Before leaving Mandalore, Ahsoka informs members of the Jedi Council including Yoda, Mace Windu, and Ki-Adi-Mundi of Maul’s capture. They applaud Ahsoka for her service, yet she responds saying that she acted not as a Jedi but as a citizen in a hard-hitting moment. Ahsoka’s departure from the Jedi Order was under awful circumstances as she was falsely accused, and many members of the Order turned against her. The Jedi’s actions have always been questionable yet their treatment of Ahsoka is probably most unforgivable. In yet another reference to Revenge of The Sith, the members of the Jedi Council tell Ahsoka about the chancellor’s abuse of his emergency powers and how Anakin has been assigned to him. Probably remembering what Maul said, Ahsoka is immediately concerned and asks more about Anakin. Mace Windu has always been one of the most arrogant Jedi and his characterisation is spot on as he refuses to say more harshly pointing out her status as a citizen. Ahsoka holds out on what she heard from Maul even to Yoda. Whether she could have made any difference is up for debate but her silence seals the fate of the Jedi. So begins Anakin’s descent into darkness and the fall of the Jedi.
Order 66 Arrives
With the show crossing over with Revenge of The Sith, the ominous Order 66 finally arrives in this episode. However, even before Order 66, Ahsoka and Maul hear what appears to be audio from Revenge of the Sith. The audio seems to be taken from when Anakin chops off Mace Windu’s hand to save Palpatine. If so, this is a really exciting Easter egg for fans marking the moment when Anakin became Palpatine’s apprentice, Darth Vader. Palpatine has emerged triumphant as he issues Order 66 to kill the remaining Jedi. Events from the films can now be seen from a different perspective in The Clone Wars. Questions about what happened to Ahsoka and other characters now are starting to be answered.
The clones immediately turn on Ahsoka, even Rex. The inbuilt chip in each clone has now been activated completely turning the clones against the Jedi. The fan service here is huge with the show even turning its focus back to Fives during Ahsoka’s investigation. Fives or CT-5555 was a clone who discovered the biochips implanted into the brains of the clones. Fives brought the case to Palpatine who revealed the true purpose of the chips to him. Palpatine framed Fives who was later killed. Fives came so close to exposing Palpatine’s plot making his fate even more tragic.
One criticism of the episode is its use of Maul. Faced with Order 66, Ahsoka frees Maul so that he can function as a distraction while she sorts out a solution. Maul feels wasted in this episode since he does not get to do much other than distracting the clones by attacking them. Maul’s presence instead is an annoying distraction from the main storyline involving Ahsoka and Rex.
Ahsoka’s Relationship With Rex
The main strength of this episode is its focus on Ahsoka’s relationship with Rex. While previous episodes did not do enough to humanise the clones, “Shattered” dives deep into their bond and the respect between them. This may have been too late had not previous seasons set up their relationship. Rex’s betrayal of Ahsoka is preceded by a touching moment between them reaffirming their friendship. The show deeply respects its characters and knows how to touch the right emotional beats. That said, it is disappointing that the episode took no measures to humanise the other clones instead portraying them merely as antagonists whom our heroes can kill without remorse.
Shocked by the events unfolding around her, Ahsoka tries to find a way to free Rex from Order 66 during the episode. Ahsoka’s bond with Rex is so strong that she will go to any lengths to help her friend. By investigating Fives and Rex’s reports, Ahsoka discovers the biochip implanted in the brains of the clones. However, even with Rex laid out on the operating table, Ahsoka is unable to find the chip. The show makes us care for these characters as the drama unfolds and the situation looks dire. A fantastic line from Chirrut Îmwe from Rogue One ends up saving the day. “I am one with the force and the force is with me” is repeated by Ahsoka allowing her to locate Rex’s chip. The episode ends with Rex now free from the control of the chip and by Ahsoka’s side.
The last arc of the Clone Wars has been a triumphant return to form for the show as it crosses over with Revenge of The Sith. This latest episode sees Ahsoka and the Republic forces leave Mandalore with Maul captured but an even greater threat awaits them and the whole galaxy. Order 66 has arrived and it sure is magnificent. The show has gone all out on fan service in this episode. Moments from previous seasons of the show are referenced and even from the films. However, the show has never forgotten its emotional core as the episode heavily hinges on Ahsoka’s relationship with Rex. By humanising Rex, The Clone Wars shows that Order 66 is undeniably tragic. These once-loyal soldiers and even friends turning against the Jedi is hard-hitting. Only one episode of this incredible show remains. With Rex now at her side, what will the fate of Ahsoka be? And where will the show leave Maul? These questions and many more are still yet to be answered. Let’s hope that the show goes out with a bang next week in its final episode ever.
+ Departure from Mandalore
+ Maul’s prison
+ Order 66
+ Fives references
+ Film Easter Eggs
- Maul wasted
- Not enough done with the other clones