Friday, March 11, 2022

8 Must-See Clone Wars Stories

While I’ve been waiting for the premiere of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a couple months, I’ve been watching a lot of Ben Kenobi’s animated stories in Clone Wars. While I said previously that Clone Wars was complicated, this Kenobi binge reminds me why I loved it. The episode order is convoluted, but we get so many beautiful stories and character development. New characters and existing characters. Clone Wars was the first to expand the Star Wars universe past the movies and it’s worth checking out at least a few of their stories. Here’s just a sampling of my favorites…

The Mandalore Plot (Season 2, Episodes 12-14)

We all know Anakin had his secret relationship with Padme, but the movies don’t show Obi-Wan’s secret romance with Duchess Satine of Mandalore. Especially with Mandalorians coming front and center lately, Obi-Wan’s relationship with the leader of Mandalore is exceptionally intriguing. While working with Satine on a plot involving a Mandalorian terrorist group, it’s obvious that sparks are flying between the Republic-loyal Kenobi and the passionately pacifistic Satine. This isn’t the last time we’d see Satine, but it showcases her relationship with Obi-Wan really well. 

Stranded on Mortis (Season 3, Episodes 15-17)

This story took a deep dive into the Force. Trapped on the planet Mortis, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka encountered the Father, the Daughter, and the Son (later to be referenced in Rebels). We got the return of Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn (later to appear in vision to Yoda in Season 6). The encounter on Mortis also gave a glimpse into Anakin’s fate with the dark side, as both Ahsoka and Anakin had visions warning them of his actions (though Anakin’s memories of the episode were erased). 

Darth Maul Returns (Season 4, Episodes 19-22)

If there’s one universal truth in Star Wars, it’s that no one is 100% confirmed dead until you see their body burning like a Jedi funeral. Also, it’s true that if a villain is popular enough with the fans, he’ll be back (like Boba Fett). So even after Darth Maul was cut in half by Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace, he was infamous enough to return. Reuniting with his brother, they sought revenge on Obi-Wan. Late season 4 features Darth Maul’s animated beginnings, but his vendetta against Kenobi would continue through the rest of Clone Wars and into Rebels.

Darth Maul’s Revenge (Season 5, Episodes 14-16)

Following up on the Mandalore trilogy of Season 2 and Darth Maul’s return in Season 4, this story is the culmination of Darth Maul’s revenge against his attempted killer, Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s heart-wrenching as Maul and Savage set their trap for Obi-Wan. It succeeded to an extent, but their success also brought upon them the appearance of a former ally, who was not so happy to see them interfere.

Ahsoka’s Trial (Season 5, Episodes 17-20)

After getting to know Ahsoka for five full seasons, it was heartbreaking to see the Jedi and the Republic turn against her. I won’t get into many spoilers, but this incident sent Ahsoka, possibly the most pure-at-heart Jedi there was, away from the Republic and the war. If you’re a crier, have some tissues handy when you watch this. It constantly pulled at my heart-strings as Ahsoka fought for her freedom (and just for someone to believe her). This story is a turning point for where Ahsoka ended up in Rebels and (probably) where we’ll see her in the Ahsoka series.

Fives’s Conspiracy Theory (Season 6, Episodes 1-4)

As Clone Wars inched towards the endgame of Revenge of the Sith, one of my favorite stories had to do with a clone that almost thwarted Order 66. After the death of a Jedi master at the hand of a fellow clone, Fives began investigating the incident and he almost exposed the truth about the inhibitor chips and Order 66. Naturally, Palpatine already had his bases covered to prevent the clone from unveiling him as the big bad of the Star Wars franchise.

Yoda’s Search for Life After Death (Season 6, Episodes 10-13)

Next we take a deep dive into the doctrine of the Froce. Following the trail of the assumed dead Master Sifo-Dyas, Yoda started hearing the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn. The fallen Jedi master proceeded to basically tell Yoda that he needed to learn how to be a force ghost to preserve the Jedi (no pressure). His experiences with the Force are the precursor to a single exchange Yoda shares with Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith, regarding life after death. My favorite part was a line delivered to Yoda after wrestling with his dark side: “The beast is you and you are the beast. To deny it simply gives it power.” I need to have that one written down for whenever my anxiety decides to spike.

Order 66 and Revenge of the Sith (Season 7, Episodes 9-12)

We always knew Clone Wars would culminate in the end of the Jedi order (though apparently plenty of individual Jedi survived the purge). However, this final season almost didn’t happen. Thank Disney Plus that we have it! So while Revenge of the Sith played out, we got Ahsoka running around trying to capture Darth Maul and prevent Anakin’s fall to the dark side. Obviously she was unsuccessful at saving Anakin, but check out these finale episodes to see if her other mission was a success.

So if you’re not going to watch anything else in The Clone Wars, check these favorites out. At the very least, get to know Ahsoka. Apparently we’ll be seeing more of her and Obi-Wan!

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