I like The Clone Wars, for the most part. But I struggled with this last season that only aired on Neflix. I’m unsure what it was: maybe the lack of Ahsoka, the deviations from the movies which I didn’t really agree with, or that I believed the producers tried to make it REALLY good, but it just felt forced.
There were four groups/arcs of stories within the final season. The first four episodes dealt with the clones, the next three involved how Anakin and Padmé’s relationship played off of Clovis, the next two (mercifully) involved Jar Jar Binks, with the final four episodes focusing on Yoda.
Triggering Order 66
The first story arc involved a clone trooper Fives who investigated why his fellow trooper Tups turned and killed a fellow Jedi in battle, seemingly randomly. He ends up on Kamino, where the Kaminoan Nala Se is in dealings with Darth Sidious and covering up the fact they had placed a trigger chip inside the clones that would activate when they hear Order 66. Once the Kaminoans get found out by Fives that there is a chip inside the clones, they falsely label it as an “aggression inhibitor”.
I enjoyed this story arc the most out of the final season. My problem lies in the fact that TCW always tries to explain too much. It happens in the final episodes with Yoda (which I’ll get to), and it happens in this arc with the Order 66 chip. I’ve always liked the idea that the clones were created to obey orders without questions, because, well, they say that in AOTC. In TCW, they constantly try to show the clones as individuals. I like it, I do, but at the same time I feel it’s unrealistic to the saga. In my mind, the reason why the clones instantly turned on the Jedi with Order 66, is because the Jedi were only their commander-of-the-time. The clones true loyalty was to the Republic and the Supreme Chancellor. Order 66 was put in place for traitors of the Republic, amongst a million other Orders so that it wasn’t suspicious. Hearing Order 66 would not cause any hesitation because it pinpointed the Jedi as traitors and the clones do not need more persuasion than that..
When you introduce this chip in the clones, it’s excusing their behavior in Order 66, and in a sense, detracts from the fact that they are clone troopers. I mean, yes, it’s great to see their personalities and whatnot, and it’s fun to think about their individuality, but in my eyes…they’re clones. They shot the Jedi because they were following orders, which is what they were programmed to do.
Padmé, Anakin, Clovis, and a Waste of My Time
The second story arc involved a mission that Padmé went on to work with the banks, which also involved working with Clovis. The plot points are hazy because I remember just getting bored. Anakin shows up and there’s a lot of jealousy and … yawn. I remember Anakin ends up fighting Clovis out of petty jealousy and Clovis ends up getting screwed because he thought he could be independent from Count Dooku. Yeah, I have no idea.
The only slightly interesting part I took away from this storyline was that Padmé freaks out in the end about her and Anakin’s relationship, saying it’s based on dishonesty (since they can’t be open about it) and how their relationship can never be a normal relationship. Interestingly, I had gone into that in my recent blog post about Padmé’s pregnancy, so I liked seeing that I wasn’t the only one who knew that it must be such a strain to keep their relationship a secret. She suggested taking a break…which I didn’t like because at this point they were married and I don’t think you should just “take breaks” when you’re married.
Overall, a disappointing, boring arc that would have been better left on the cutting room floor.
Mesa Thinks This Storyline Was Kookoo
Third storyline involved Jar Jar and Mace Windu. Yes. You read that right. Jar Jar and Mace Windu. Oh, and add on top of that Jar Jar making out with Queen Julia, who was of a race that seemed to be a mix of Indian and Aztec duck-like Mr. Tumnus’. Good description, right?
The plot consists of Jar Jar’s lover disappearing, with Mace and Jar Jar going to find her. They end up in this desert/old South type planet where they find a cult trying to take Queen Julia’s Force energy from her…to give to Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters. I kind of lost track on how this would actually work. The Force was being trapped in an energy ball and, gosh, I can’t remember. But Mother Talzin ends up disintegrating away, which sucks because I really liked her character and thought this episode wasted her formidability.
I was bored through much of this too but DID take one thing away. Queen Julia’s race, Dagoyans, hate the Jedi because they “kidnap” their Force-sensitive children to train them as Jedi. What a key point that I wished they had expanded upon! I’ve always looked at that as such an interesting development that the movies don’t really touch upon. EU definitely does a good job bringing this subject matter to light, but the only time we are ever forced to think about it is during TPM, when Anakin is taken away from his mother and possibly may never see her again. I wish they had given this subject more light as it could have been a great topic to explore within TCW. But no, they shied away from it, and just threw Jar Jar and Mace into quibbling stupidness.
Hard to See, The Force Is…not really
Finally, the last four episodes had more highpoints than the last two storylines, but I was still not overly impressed. It was interesting, I’ll say that. To sum it up, Yoda hears Qui-Gon’s voice and follows the instruction of the voice as it leads him on a journey to figure out how to become one with the Force after death. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes, as Obi-Wan and Anakin find Jedi Sifo-Dyas’ lightsaber and unravel that the Sith were behind the creation of the clone army. When Yoda hears the voice from Qui-Gon, the Jedi believe that it could be the dark side corrupting him and discourage him from following it. Anakin helps Yoda escape from the hospital wing where they are testing him and Yoda is off on his quest! Woo!
Kind of. Then it gets wishy-washy. I have always liked that the Force was a vague, mystical concept. I wasn’t even that bummed when it got more biological in TPM with midi-cholorains. But these episodes were designed to link back to Yoda’s line in ROTS about how he spoke to Qui-Gon and learned how to exist after death. And the las two episodes go into SUCH detail. I was really disappointed. They were trying to make sense of something that I didn’t believe needed to be understood.
And it only raised more questions for me. Yoda goes through a training process and figures out how to become a Force ghost, basically. So once he learns this, does it mean that he now has all the knowledge and can just pass it along? I would assume that’s the case as he tells Obi-Wan what he’s going to have him do on Tatooine.
But then…how does Anakin come back as a Force ghost? Who taught him what to do? GRRRR. It seems like such a loophole to me. And now I fear that the next DVD versions to be released will take Anakin as a Force ghost completely out of the end of ROTJ. I don’t think they’d actually do that, but then again, I never dreamed they’d actually replace Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen either.
This was a tough story arc for me to swallow. Some of it just seemed so far fetched and ruined the mysticism that surround the Force for me. Some of it was also plain stupid: Yoda fought with a physical dark side of himself (kind of reminded me of a cat-like Gollum), ended up on the Sith planet of Moraband where he had a vision that was not really a vision and he battled Palpatine. If you’re saying “What? Huh?” right now, then you kind of feel how I did. I hate that the last two episodes of this arc were stupid ones. Now the feeling left in my mouth is of disappointment.
After watching all these episodes, I wish that TCW had ended with Season 5 and they did not resurrect these. Ahsoka’s trial and departure of the Jedi Council was a perfect way to end a great series. Overall, I felt I could have done without these lost episodes, and it was a sad feeling after being excited to see some more.