Today the entirety of Star Wars: The Clone Wars becomes available through Netflix’s Instant Streaming service. Along with the five seasons that aired on Cartoon Network between 2008 and 2013, there are also 13 previously unaired episodes – referred to as “The Lost Missions” – that serve as the conclusion to the celebrated animated series. For now, anyway.
[WARNING – This article contains SPOILERS for Season 5 of The Clone Wars]
It’s no secret that the reason The Clone Wars bit the dust was Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and all the rights to Star Wars that came with it. Once the House of Mouse gained control of Star Wars they began plans for their own animated series set in that galaxy far, far away. Their series, Star Wars Rebels, looks very promising, but it wasn’t enough to fill the holes in hearts of Clones Wars fans everywhere.
At the end of Season 5 of The Clone Wars it was clear things were quickly moving towards the tragic and climactic events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, but not all of its dangling threads were wrapped up. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Clone Wars’ and Rebels’ executive producer, Dave Filoni teases what questions will be answered in these final 13 episodes:
One of the reasons I was okay with us ending when we did and production shifting from Clone Wars to Rebels is I liked the idea of having this Yoda arc available to us because I felt like this was a great place to have an ending if it’s going to end. There’s been so many threads throughout the five seasons, if you were to try and wrap them all up each one would be its own big episode. Here we have two story acts within this the 13 that have a strong connection to the franchise, they’re very important to understanding the overall saga. They’re [creator George Lucas’] last statement about Yoda and The Force and how things fit together. If you’re a die-hard fan, they’re absolutely must-watch story content. As I think fans realized, this wasn’t just fun storytelling in the Star Wars universe. These were very much George Lucas’ stories and he felt they were as important as his other work.
I like to hear Lucas was involved in how these final stories panned out. For as much shit as we fans give him for those prequels – most of which is totally deserved – The Clone Wars has managed to soothe even the angriest of Star Wars fan. It was like a nice balm for that wicked burn left by the prequels.
And it’s sounding as if these last few episodes will focus almost exclusively on Yoda learning more about The Force’s capabilities while the clones – who we’ve really come to know as individuals over the course of The Clones Wars – deal with the implications of carrying out Order 66:
One thing people ask year after year is when you are going to do more with Yoda. We tried several seasons to tell a Yoda arc, but the problem is he’d come in and be able to solve a problem in five minutes. In the end, George finally decided to tell a big story about The Force and the balance of The Force and what it means when some people appear after they die and some don’t. Fans have long wondered about that. This goes a long way to explaining that issue. These are things that were the backbone of his Jedi ideas. How can a Star Wars fan not get excited by that?
We get heavily into Order 66. This is the other big thing George really wanted to lay down — these are the mechanics of how and why this worked. It’s all told from the side of the clones and that’s not something you saw in the movies at all. Because we’ve made the clones so personal it became a compelling question: Are they aware of all this and what would happen if they became aware of it? It will change the way you look at the third film.
So these episodes will have a big impact on how think about Episode III, you say? If that doesn’t get you excited to check out the final episodes of The Clone Wars I don’t know what will! Well, maybe an update on Anakin’s kick-ass padawan, Ahsoka Tano. The young Jedi began as something of an annoying little sister to the future Sith Lord but over the five seasons of The Clone Wars she grew and matured into one of Star Wars‘ best characters–in any medium. (Require proof? Check out io9’s recent article discussing why Ahsoka’s the best thing to happen to Star Wars in the last two decades.)
In the last episode of The Clones Wars that aired on Cartoon Network, Ashoka chose to leave the Jedi after slowly becoming disenchanted with their “holy” order. Them accusing her of murder then not apologizing or anything after her innocence was proven surely didn’t help either. Fans who were curious what an adult Ahsoka would look like caught a glimpse when she, Anakin and Obi-Wan were stranded on the planet, Mortis (see above).
Unfortunately, these final 13 episodes, they won’t be exploring Ahsoka’s future, but that doesn’t rule out some sort of appearance:
I can’t say she’s not in the 13, but she’s not a main character. There is a moment. Obviously there were plans for Ahsoka that haven’t happened yet. I love the character. She was one of those things we were proud of. The fans really came to respect her. That story isn’t finished yet but I’m still here so you never know.
This statement coupled with Filoni hinting maybe we haven’t seen the end of The Clone Wars – “You never count anything out,” he says – makes me wonder if Ahsoka could eventually turn up on Rebels? Assuming she survives Order 66, Ahsoka could easily be another Jedi living in isolation that eventually has a run in with the crew of Ghost. Besides, Rebels will already feature one Jedi-in-hiding, why not another?
Will you be binging on all of Star Wars: The Clones Wars this weekend? If so, make sure you come back and let us know what thought of its final episodes!