Goodbye to The Clone Wars

It’s one thing to guess and speculate that The Clone Wars might be ending after the season finale where Ahsoka left the Jedi Order…but it’s another thing to know it won’t be returning.

And so today we received the news that ended, The Clone Wars has.  Or, as I like to say, it was given Order 66.

The Clone Wars helped me leave my little shell of Star Wars purity.  When the series began, I refused to watch it and refused to acknowledge it.  The fact that Anakin had a padawan angered me so much that I would speak scathingly about the series whenever someone brought it up.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I started watching TCW when I was bored with TV and flipping through the guide.  There was a rerun on and I watched Ahsoka and Anakin battle someone in this weird fantasy-like planet.  I can’t even remember the episode now, but I was so starved for anything Star Wars that I reluctantly was drawn into it.  I believe I started watching in either Season 2 or Season 3.

Well, guess what?  I started to DVR the episodes and before you knew it, I was hooked and actually ended up loving Anakin’s padawan: Ahsoka.

The Clone Wars says goodbye

The Clone Wars says goodbye

TCW not only grabbed my attention but it helped catapult Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka) into a business primarily for fan girls.  She helped lend strength to us geek girls with her company Her Universe: a clothing site full of Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Who, and much more geeky wonderfulness.  She recognized the need to create merchandise for female sci-fi fans and it has since skyrocketed.  What started out as one business devoted to Star Wars clothing expanded to other sci-fi franchises, but it’s also paved the way for other websites and stores to create geeky, fitted clothing for women/girls.  I’ve noticed an increase in women’s sci-fi clothing ever since Ashley started her company.  I do hope she continues expanding Her Universe, though I don’t see why she wouldn’t.

Ashley Eckstein

Ashley Eckstein

So what’s happening now?  Lucasfilm said it was “exploring a whole new ‘Star Wars’ series set in a time period previously untouched in ‘Star Wars’ films or television programming.”  They said there would be more details in future months.  They also mentioned that “Star Wars Detours” is also delayed (perhaps never to see the light, in my opinion) because “Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense.”

When we first found out that Disney was acquiring Lucasfilm, I briefly touched upon TCW and Detours and what that would mean for both series.  I thought that maybe it would move to Disney XD.  Now we see that is not the case, but I’m sure this new Star Wars series will be on Disney XD.  Back in October, I checked to see if we had Disney XD.  We do!  Phew, so I guess I can follow the new series from the beginning this time around.

The only point of confusion for me is that it looks like this new series may be animated as well.  I wish they would just move TCW to Disney XD, but if this is not to be the case, what are they going to do?  There are tons of options, but I was kind of hoping for someone to finally say that we are going to see the live action TV show.  We can still hope right?  Though that may be more likely to show up on ABC.

So many changes going on in our Star Wars world!  Just have to hold on and enjoy the ride as best as possible.

Official starwars.com announcement of the Clone Wars departure: http://starwars.com/news/a-new-direction-for-lucasfilm-animation.html

A goodbye post from James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in TCW): http://jamesarnoldtaylor.com/jamesarnoldtaylor.com/Clone_Wars_Thoughts.html

Her Universe: http://www.heruniverse.com/

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Ahsoka’s Departure: Clone Wars Season 5 Finale Part I

Yup, my post was so long that I will have to split it into two parts to get all my thoughts on the latest episode out onto this blog.

Ok, ok, everyone.  Let’s stop crying.  Let’s stop acting like this is the end of the world.  It’s a TV show.  Yes, the finale involved a major moment for Ahsoka and Anakin, but it’s still an animated TV show.

I can tell you, though, that these past 4 episodes have been a fresh of breath air for The Clone Wars.  After spending most of December with a boring side plot line that involved droids and a little frog character, TCW got back on the right footing with the Darth Maul/Death Watch story line.  I mean, they even killed off a semi-main character (Duchess Satine, if you’re wondering)!  But it wasn’t until these past four episodes of TCW that it began to get interesting and intense.  I’ve been holding off writing on it only because I wanted to know what happened in the Season 5 finale episode.

In a nutshell, this is what has happened in the past four episodes:

A portion of the Jedi Temple is blown up.  Jedi’s die and so do civilian workers.  Is a Jedi behind this or a civilian?  Investigation begins, led by Anakin and Ahsoka.

While Ahsoka is interviewing a main suspect, the suspect is Force strangled in the air and it looks like Ahsoka killed her.  Conveniently, the security cameras had their sound disabled so we can’t hear Ahsoka crying for help as the woman is strangled.  We now know that a Jedi is behind the attacks, but it looks like Ahsoka is the culprit.

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

The Jedi want to bring Ahsoka in for questioning, but Ahsoka runs for it and every step she takes makes it look more and more like she is the one behind the attack.  Anakin seems to be the only one who believes she is innocent, but the council bans her from the Jedi Order.  Ahsoka meets up with Asajj Ventress and they try to get to the bottom of it.  Ahsoka finally ends up being captured and is put on a trial in front of Tarkin (yes, Grand Moff Tarkin when he was younger) and is given the death sentence.  Thankfully, Anakin comes in to save the day and you realize it was actually Ahsoka’s friend, Jedi Barriss, who was behind the attacks.  The Council ends up apologizing to Ahsoka and asks her to rejoin the Jedi.  Ahsoka declines and leaves the Council and Anakin.

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Yup.  We see Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order for good – hence the many internet wails of sadness, real or otherwise.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.  I’ve been wondering for a long time how they would get rid of Ahsoka on TCW since we all know she doesn’t end up in Revenge of the Sith.  I held the belief that she would fall in love with Lux and leave the Jedi Order for love, doing what Anakin could not.  But this is more poignant.  It’s a crash of beliefs and ideals that Ahsoka held so high.  Being a Jedi is your life.  There’s no turning away and why would you want to?  It’s a hard life, but also an extremely gratifying one and a life that not many people get the ability to experience.  You are the special elite – almost more so than high officials of the Republic.

The tables were turned in this episode where Ahsoka was once viewed as the deceiver, she now looks at the Jedi as traitors.  They did not believe her innocence and they were her family, her life.  She was betrayed by them, and now they are betrayed by her as she turns her back on them.  The mirroring was so perfectly done.

Ahsoka does what Anakin cannot, or does not, have the will to do. She leaves.  Anakin should have left when he married Padmé.  His life would have probably been better and easier without the pressure of the Jedi.   As things get worse within the Jedi Order and as the Dark Side begins to cloud everything, Ahsoka sees clearly enough to know that it’s time to get out of there and to figure things out on her own.

What’s great about Ahsoka’s departure is that you still root for her.  You know and understand that she cannot be part of the Jedi Order after how they turned on her.  She was basically treated as a prisoner and her only advocate was Anakin.  At the end of the episode, Anakin says to her, “I understand wanting to walk away from the Order.”  All Ahsoka says in return is, “I know.”  You get the feeling then that she knows more than she let on.  Does she know about Anakin’s marriage to Padmé?  Probably.  Does she understand Anakin’s frustrations with the Council, the inner Jedi politics, the outward politics affecting the purity of the Jedi?  I think she definitely does now.

What a great way to end TCW…especially as we don’t know what will happen next season.  Now that it’s in Disney’s hands, we still don’t know if it will continue to air on Cartoon Network or if it will continue to air at all.  If this is the end of TCW, they did it perfectly, which almost makes me hope they don’t keep the series going on.  We have an open page now for Ahsoka, which I’m sure the EU would love to expand upon.  She is technically no longer a Jedi so she may not be killed with Order 66.  Also with this ending, you see why Anakin never mentions his former Padawan in ROTS since it may be too painful for him.  It also sheds more light on how the Jedi react to events in the third prequel movie and to Anakin’s continuing frustration with the Jedi.  It provides a good foundation for Palpatine to start gnawing into Anakin’s doubts and uncertainties regarding the Council, Mace Windu, and Yoda.

Bravo.  Clone Wars – you definitely converted me.  From a fan who was enraged over Ahsoka and the choice of even creating an animated series, I am now a huge fan of hers and glad I came around.  Thanks Clone Wars!  Hope to see you soon, but if not, it’s been fun.

Ahsoka leaves Anakin and Jedi Order