STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS – THE FINAL SEASON | TV REVIEW

RELEASED: February 21st 2020 – May 4th 2020
DISTRIBUTED BY: Disney+
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dave Filoni
WRITTEN BY: Matt Michnovetz, Brent Friedman, Charles Murray & Dave Filoni
DIRECTED BY: Kyle Dunlevy, Steward Lee, Bosco Ng, Brian Kalin O’Connell, Saul Ruiz & Nathaniel Villanueva
MUSIC BY: Kevin Kiner
STARRING: Ashley Eckstein, Dee Bradley Baker, Sam Witwer, Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Tom Kane, Matthew Wood, Terrence C. Carson, Catherine Taber, Brigitte Kali Canales, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen Stanton, Katee Sackhoff, Julian Holloway, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Silas Carson & Ian McDiarmid

REVIEW: The war between the Republic and the Separatists comes to a close as The Clone Wars finally catches up with the events of Revenge of the Sith. With time running out for the Republic, Captain Rex goes on a mission to save an old friend with the help of the defective regiment ‘Bad Batch’ and Ahsoka tries to find a life outside of the Jedi Order. Unfortunately, both will unwittingly be subjected the machinations of Darth Sidious when they attempt to liberate the Mandalorians from the rule of Darth Maul and are subsequently caught up in the Jedi Purge.

As has become clear up to this point, the quality of stories in The Clone Wars is prone to fluctuate. Fortunately, the quality of the arcs in this final season does not fluctuate quite as wildly as prior seasons.

The season starts out by opting to remind us of the real heroes of the show; the Clones, as the first arc focuses on Rex and a regiment of Clone troopers called the ‘Bad Batch’. It’s a fun ode to 80s action heroes, and a poignant reminder of the individuality of the various Clone Troopers. It also introduces a slight change in animation, which has a slightly brighter and more fluid sheen that makes everything feel more vibrant and alive.

On the lesser quality side, we have an arc following Ahsoka after leaving the Jedi Order, and a small adventure on Coruscant. But as far as Clone Wars stories go, it’s still a decent watch. It reintroduces Ahsoka to the show in a natural way, and also works as a reminder of her opinions on the Jedi.

However, these enjoyable stories pale in comparison to the high quality of the ‘Siege of Mandalore’ arc, which is probably in the running as one of the best pieces of Star Wars content since the Original Trilogy.

In four episodes, writer Dave Filoni succinctly wraps up The Clone Wars, tying together the most interesting aspects of the series – the Clones, the Mandalorians and the stories of Ahsoka Tano and Darth Maul – for an epic finale. The stakes are high, with epic action set pieces in the form of the Siege of Mandalore and intense lightsaber duels between Ahsoka and Maul, motion-captured by Ray Park and Lauren Mary Kim to create an absolutely beautiful fight.

The music is perhaps the best composer Kevin Kiner has brought to the series, which does what all the best Star Wars music does, heightening the intensity and emotion of every scene.

As the story ties more and more into Revenge of the Sith, the episodes get more and more heartbreaking, as, like the Prequel Trilogy as a whole, you’re constantly reminded that there is no possibility of anything even remotely resembling a happy ending. You can feel the pain, weariness and sorrow emanating from all the characters, highlighting just how lucky we as Star Wars fans have been to have had this amazing cast of vocal talent bring these characters to life along with the highly competent animators.

And so by the time ‘Order 66’ finally does come around, it’s even more affecting than the first time we saw it, as now it’s focused directly on characters we’ve grown to know over seven seasons, rather than just two and a half subpar movies.

In the end, the final scenes of the Clone Wars are silent and solemn, a quiet reminder that the Prequels are and always have been the story of epic heroes doomed to a great tragedy. And the way it’s depicted makes every moment leading up to it – the highs and the lows – worth it.

It’s Clone Wars at its best and has the potential to remind us as viewers why we all fell in love with that galaxy far far away.

All-in-all, I give the Final Season of The Clone Wars:

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