It’s safe to say that most Star Wars fans were left wanting after the conclusion of the prequel trilogy. Sure, we got to see the rise of the Empire, the fall of the Jedi, Yoda going medieval on Sith Lords, and the whiny-ass patriarch of the Skywalker family turn into a whiny-ass deep fat fried cyborg. But as “wizard” as some of the better parts of the prequel trilogy were, we paid for those epic moments with Jar-Jar Binks, CGI menageries, and dissertations on the viscosity of sand by a cardboard cutout of Anakin Skywalker…oh wait, that was Hayden Christensen doing his Kristen Stewart impression. The glimpses we were shown of the Clone Wars (shouldn’t it technically be a Clone War, not plural?) in the live-action films were exciting, but barely scratched the surface of the conflict. With as much money as the series had earned, it wasn’t much of a surprise to learn that fans would be getting a closer look at the Clone Wars. The surprise lay in the format…
The first Clone Wars animated series, fronted by Genndy Tartakovsky, was critically acclaimed despite the abnormal format (The first two seasons were comprised of shorts of two to three minutes in length with season three featuring fifteen minute long episodes). When the series was reimagined, beginning with a feature length film, it was like millions of nerd released a collective meh. They were quickly silenced with the jump of the series from big screen to small, with the new series receiving acclaim and an enormous fan base similar to its predecessor. As the series comes to a close, it’s time to take a look at some of the best moment and biggest revelations of the Netflix-only sixth season, as well as a few of the unanswered questions still lingering at the conclusion.
1. The Entire Yoda Story Arc
It’s clear that there is more to Master Yoda then we see on film. After all, he is 900 years old when we meet him in Empire Strikes Back. While his adventures in The Clone Wars have fleshed out his character, it’s the final four episodes of the series that give us the deepest insight into Yoda, and the very nature of the Force.
It’s difficult to go into detail without spoiling the entire story, but these four episodes provide more answers then the entirety of the series. If learning more about the Force isn’t enough, there are cameos by Qui-Gon Jinn, Sifo-Dyas and even Darth Bane, not to mention an epic dual between the vertically challenged Jedi and Darth Sidious that rivals their fight in Revenge of the Sith. Even if you have never seen The Clone Wars before or have no interest in the series, the last four episodes are well worth your time.
2. Everyone (Well, at Least Jar-Jar) Gets Laid!!!!
Let’s face it, there’s really no way to correct the abomination that is Jar-Jar Binks not involving time travel. While I did believe that a horrible death by Anakin’s lightsaber would have been a great way to correct the problem and show his dedication to the Dark Side, it seems the universe’s clumsiest Gungan survived the Revenge of the Sith and the birth of the Empire.
When I saw that a pair of season six episodes would feature the oddest couple in the Star Wars universe, Jar-Jar Binks and Jedi Master Mace Windu, my left hand was instinctively drawn towards my face in disgust. Every midichlorian in my body told me this couldn’t be good. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined, though like Han Solo, I can imagine a lot.
For some reason, Mace Windu volunteers to escort Representative Binks on a mission to a world where his help has been requested. Years of living on Coruscant haven’t done much for Binks’ Basic skills, as his use of the term “Meesa” is more prevalent than ever. Of course, there is nowhere near as bad as the pronunciation of his companion’s name, which sounds more like “Massa N Mace”.
When they arrive before the queen of the planet Binks has been requested to aid, we learn of missing spiritual people that must be found to prevent some sort of cataclysm. Once everyone else leaves the room though, we learn of the Queen’s secondary motivations: An Intergalactic Booty Call, or as Binks would say, “Shesa wanta hesa, to give moi moi super bombad sexy time okieday!” While sex is implied, the two do spend a fair amount of time locking snouts, and from what we saw of Jar-Jar’s tongue in Episode I, it likely didn’t matter how many parsecs he could last.
Author’s Note: I think I just opened the door to Jar-Jar cunilingus fan fiction.
3. The Not-So Wedded Bliss of the Skywalkers
When an old flame named Clovis steps back into Padme’s life, it quickly becomes apparent the honeymoon period is over for the Skywalkers. A potentially tender moment between the former lovers incites a rage in Anakin that ends with him handing Clovis his ass, and proves that Jedi don’t follow Queensbury Rules.
As happy as the couple seemed at the start of Revenge, it’s obvious that hiding their relationship has taken a massive toll on Padme. She insists her near infidelity is to keep their clandestine romance a secret, but is also quick to put the marriage in Carbonite when she witnesses Anakin’s violent side first-hand. It’s interesting what Padme allows her husband with temper issues to get away with. She sticks by him when he confides his slaughter of Sand People, but is ready to kick him to the curb when he beats up an old flame. The events of the last season of Clone Wars makes the star-crossed lovers look less Romeo and Juliet and more like Al and Peg Bundy.
4. Ain’t No Party Like a Clone Trooper Party…
The forces of the Confederation of Independent Systems have a distinct advantage over their meatbag opponents: they don’t need rest. Sure, they may need to have power cells replaced or joints lubed, but social and emotional should be at a minimum. We’ve never heard a droid exclaim “Roger Roger” to a call for Miller Time.
In the design of the Republic’s clone army, it’s obvious they are bred for combat. After all, with Boba Fett’s dad being the no nonsense template for the Dittos of Destruction, how much down time do they really need? Apparently more than we expected.
As we follow clone trooper 5555, affectionately referred to as Fives, we get a behind the scene glimpse of clone life. First, clones apparently get downtime similar to any non-conscripted human. We get to visit “Seventy-Nines,” a bar specifically for clones. We also see clones wandering around Coruscant in their off time, still donning armor, though missing their signature dome piece. In fact, it seems clones go to great lengths to stand out from one another. Hair styles, tattoos, scar and facial hair are characteristics we see clones changing to create a level of individuality. We also see clones who have apparently been bred for other jobs besides “Bullet Sponge.” Clones are also now actively working the bridges of Star Destroyers, having traded their white armor for grey “Republic” Navy dress blues.
All of this raises some questions, though. The great thing about growing your army is the lack of need for compensation. These warrior/slaves are essentially conscripted from birth to death, with little need for anything aside from sustenance. But if that were the case, how are they able to spend money at places like the bar on Coruscant? It doesn’t make sense, especially for the future Empire, to compensate its grown troopers.
In fact, why grant them any free time at all? They are apparently inexpensive, easily replaceable, just a cog in the machine of the Republic that can be repaired or replaced when damaged. With their special inhibitor chips, it seems it would be easy to write out any need to recreation or rest. It seems rather uncharacteristically humane that the Republic would allow individuality and humanity in their equivalent of the battle droids they are trying to defeat.
5. Yoda-Sized EVERYTHING!!!
Maybe this isn’t important or even interesting, but am I the only one who thinks it’s incredibly cute that Yoda has everything made to his size? Sure, we knew that green whirling dervish had a custom sized lightsaber to keep him from sheering off an ear while jumping around like a raver on speed, but what about his bad-ass mini starfighter? First, it was nice to see him helm a ship for once, but how cool is it that the Jedi made a half size ship for him? It even has modified accommodations for an Astromech, so in theory it’s as capable as any other Jedi starfighter. Plus, if Yoda can dogfight half as well as he lightsaber duels, he’d give Anakin a run for his money,
1. Where in the Hell Is Ahsoka Tano?
When first introduced, Anakin Skywalker’s unwanted Padawan Ahsoka Tano looked to be the new series’ Jar-Jar. Eager for action, obnoxious and disrespectful, Snips, as she was referred to by her Master “Sky-Guy,” looked like the weakest link in the new series. Thankfully, as the series matured, so did the Togruta Padawan.
At the conclusion of season five, Ahsoka is framed for murder, and while she beats the charges (not using the Johnny Cochran Chewbacca defense), she comes to the conclusion that the Jedi Order is not for her. She announces her intentions to leave just as the credits roll, and with plans for a sixth season iffy, it seemed we might never learn her fate. As season six opens, she is very noticeably missing. In fact, aside from essentially a 60-second cameo, she is absent from the entire sixth season, never even mention by her former master.
According to her voice actor Ashley Eckstein, Tano survived Order 66, and is rumored to appear in the forthcoming Star Wars: Rebels series. Is she a Jedi, a bounty hunter, one of Jabba’s scantily clad alien dancing girls (two words: metal bikini)? I guess we’ll have to see when the series premieres in the Fall. (PLEASE METAL BIKINI!!!)
2. For that Matter, Where in the Hell Is Darth Maul?!?!
If there ever was an underutilized character in the prequel trilogy, it would be either Darth Maul or his shishkabobing victim Qui-Gon Jinn. Like Boba Fett before him (or after him,depending on your point of view), Maul went out like a punk. He’s essentially kicked the collective asses of two Jedi at the same time, only to be sliced in half by a parlor trick. As he plummeted down that chute, half the man he used to be, it was certain that we had seen the last of him. Until season four of The Clone Wars brought him back in a big way, reuniting him with his estranged brother Savage, and having the pair of them begin their own Sith crime syndicate.
When we last saw Maul, he was getting deep fat fried by Darth Sidious on Mandalore, his pleas for mercy falling on deaf ears. As Sidious was making him dance the Electric Boogaloo, he declares that he’s not killing Maul, and that he has plans for him. But like Padawan Tano, it’s the last we see of the tattooed terror. While hints have been laid out that Tano may make an appearance in the forthcoming Rebels series, the rumor mill has been silent in regards to Maul. Perhaps we’ll see him hunting surviving Jedi in the new series, or perhaps he’s just going to fade away like an unwanted Force ghost. On a side note…how the hell did he go to the bathroom after getting vivisected?
3. While We’re at it…Where in the Hell Is Asajj Ventress?
All of the good evildoers seem to come from Dathomir. Between Maul and Ventress, they’ve got quite the collection of confirmed Jedi kill stickers on the sides of their ships. While Maul made the occasional appearance in the series, it was Ventress who was the true foil to Kenobi and Skywalker.
When we last saw her, Asajj was doing her best to escape the galactic conflict. Thought to be dead, she convinced the pilots of her medical ship to become her personal taxi service, and like that, she vanished, out of the series entirely. Not unlike Ahsoka Tano. In fact, when Tano found herself on the wrong side of Republic justice, it was Ventress, working as a bounty hunter who picked the exiled Padawan up. When it turned out they had more in common than expected, they became uneasy allies.
All that being said, a bounty hunting/mercenary team consisting of a former Jedi and Dark Jedi could be officially bad-ass. They could be the Jules and Vincent Vega of a galaxy far far away. Ventress could have a lightsaber that says “Bombad Mother Frakker” on it.
In fact, just about every question left over involves missing characters. Clone commander of the 501st, Rex, has vanished at the start of season six and is never mentioned, as well as several other characters. It’s unlikely that all of their stories will be answered in the forthcoming Rebels series. Sadly, with the attention of so many focused on the future and the new trilogy, it’s doubtful that many of these missing stories will be told.
4. Why Doesn’t R2-D2 Remember a Goddamn Thing?!?!
At the end of Revenge of the Sith, the robotic odd couple of R2-D2 and C-3P0 are handed over to the care of Captain Antilles of the Tantive V, which just so happens to be exactly where they are first seen at the beginning of A New Hope. To prevent a massive venting of critical information from the protocol droid with permanent oral diarrhea, Antilles is ordered to have 3P0’s memory erased, hence why he has no clue who Luke Skywalker is.
Here’s the thing: Artoo never had his memory erased, at least not on screen. Sure, he could have been ordered not to tell Luke the whole tragic story of his father, but why the hell had he forgotten how to navigate landing on Dagobah when he had just visited there with Yoda less than two decades ago? Granted that’s a long time for us, but I imagine 20 years is but a moment in the memory of an Astromech droid.
Wait…why didn’t Artoo recognize Yoda? Even more: why didn’t Yoda recognize Artoo when he was beating his shiny metal ass with a wooden cane? Sure, Yoda was old, but I’m pretty sure both of them hadn’t contracted a rare form of Space Alzheimer’s.
Previously by Jason Helton: