The Clone Wars Season 7: The Final Season (2020) Review

In 2012, The Clone Wars was at its peak –a popular fan favorite show featuring a cohort of beloved characters and intriguing story arcs– until George Lucas decided to retire and sell his company to Disney for $4B. With the absence of George Lucas, the future of Star Wars was anyone’s guess. At the time, Kathleen Kennedy was appointed successor to George Lucas, and her string of hollow corporate business decisions has since become the stuff of legend in the Star Wars fandom. Aside from demolishing the beloved Expanded Universe (now derisively cast aside and known as “Legends”), and canceling the future of The Clone Wars, she rushed into production a trio of terrible sequel movies, which were followed by delays to Disney’s Star Wars theme park and a huge fan backlash to the particularly nasty, divisive tone of The Last Jedi as well as the clumsy script of The Rise of Skywalker. It became apparent that Star Wars was in a downward tailspin. Amidst all this collapsing scenery, Disney was desperately eager to win back some fans. At the time of cancellation, Dave Filoni and the production team for The Clone Wars had over 50 episodes already in pre-production. Sadly, those all disappeared and fans were saddened not to see the show return.

However by 2020, Dave Filoni made a surprise announcement to a contingent of loyal fans –the show had been quietly greenlit by Disney to release 12 new episodes of The Clone Wars, a compromise had been made to release an abbreviated final season. The decision was mostly announced as a way of driving subscriptions to the new streaming service Disney+, but regardless, the Star Wars fanbase was thrilled. Finally, Star Wars might return to the more capable hands of Dave Filoni. And indeed upon its release, Season 7 did not disappoint in the slightest. In particular, the final four episodes are some of the best of the entire Clone Wars series and, indeed, the best of Star Wars. With a transcendent score and impeccable 3-D animation, the cinematic closure offered in Season 7 of The Clone Wars is unparalleled.

Season 7: Episodes One Hundred-Twenty-Two to One Hundred-Twenty-Five The Bad Batch,” “A Distant Echo,” “On the Wings of Keeradaks” and “Unfinished Business”

“Embrace others for their differences, for that makes you whole.”
“The search for truth begins with belief.”
“Survival is one step on the path to living.”
“Trust placed in another is trust earned.”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In Episodes 122-125 (“The Bad Batch,” “A Distant Echo,” “On the Wings of Keeradaks” “Unfinished Business”) Anakin and Mace Windu defend a Republic shipyard on Anaxes, while Commander Cody and Captain Rex join with experimental clone force 99 (or “The Bad Batch” perhaps dubbed 99 as an homage to the elderly clone earlier in the series named 99) behind enemy lines, meanwhile Rex has a vague suspicion that former trooper Echo is still alive. As it turns out the Separatists have been using Echo for an experiment involving his memory. The troops recover him, a bomb is deactivated, Admiral Trench is involved, and Echo is invited to join the Bad Batch.

Season 7, Episodes One Hundred Twenty-Six to One Hundred Twenty-Nine “Gone with a Trace,” “Deal No Deal,” “Dangerous Debt,” and “Together Again”

“If there is no path before you, create your own.”
“Mistakes are valuable lessons often learned too late.”
“Who you were does not have to define who you are.”
“You can change who you are, but you cannot run from yourself.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In Episodes 126-129 (“Gone with a Trace,” “Deal No Deal,” “Dangerous Debt,” and “Together Again”) Ahsoka Tano has left the Jedi Order after she was wrongly suspected of committing a terrorist attack (as featured in Season 6). Now on her own and roaming through lower Coruscant, Ahsoka’s speeder bike breaks down and she befriends a slightly annoying mechanic named Trace Martez to help fix it up. However, it soon becomes apparent that Trace’s sister Rafa owes a gang money, but after working on some malfunctioning droids, Rafa reveals she has hired a pilot and a starship dubbed the Silver Angel for a job to earn some money. Almost immediately, they violate exclusive military space, but Anakin senses Ahsoka’s presence and simply allows the ship to pass. They jump to hyperspace and wind up at the corrupt planet of Kessel where they are greeted by Kinash Lock, King Yaruba’s majordomo and invited to a banquet where they are hired on a test mission to deliver three containers of unrefined spice, however Ahsoka is skeptical. Running spice from Kessel is a dangerous job as transport ships are regularly robbed –there is a great deal money to be made from the spice mines on Kessel. They are set to deliver the shipment of spice to the Pyke Syndicate on Oba Diah, however while they argue over strategy, Trace spontaneously dumps the spice. They attempt a deceitful negotiation with the Pykes, but the trio is imprisoned before they can escape. While in prison, Ahsoka learns their family was harmed by an accident caused by a Jedi chasing Ziro the Hutt (this episode shows the mixed opinions of ordinary people on the Jedi). Ahsoka attempts an escape but they are quickly recaptured by the Pykes. They devise a plot against the Pykes which ultimately leads to Darth Maul on Mandalore. Ahsoka plants explosives throughout the Pyke Syndicates spice operation and escapes with the Martez sisters back to Coruscant where they are followed by former Death Watch assassin Bo-Katan. She requests that Ahsoka join her in the fight against Darth Maul.

Season 7, Episodes One Hundred-Thirty to One Hundred Thirty-Four “Old Friends Not Forgotten,” “The Phantom Apprentice,” “Shattered,” and “Victory and Death”

(There are no quotes for this story arc)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The next series runs concurrently with the events of Revenge of the Sith.

At last, we arrive at the brilliant final stretch of four episodes in Season 7, Episodes 130-134 (“Old Friends Not Forgotten,” “The Phantom Apprentice,” “Shattered,” and “Victory and Death”). On the distant planet of Yerbana we find Commander Cody of the 212th clone force in desperate need of assistance as the Separatists have launched an offensive along the Outer Rim. The Jedi Council dispatches Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to help the beleaguered clones, however they receive a transmission from rogue Mandalorian Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano regarding the situation with Darth Maul. There is a nice, albeit brief, reuniting of Ahsoka with Anakin, and the clones under Rex deliver a gift to Ahsoka –a painted trooper helmet to look like Ahsoka, and Anakin returns Ahsoka’s duel lightsabers to her. Coruscant is attacked by General Grievous so Ahsoka and Bo-Katan and smaller contingent of clone troopers to battle for Mandalore. During the epic battle, which uses motion capture technology featuring Ray Park who played Maul in The Phantom Menace, Ahsoka is led into a trap by Maul in the network of tunnels in the “Undercity” while Bo-Katan captures Prime Minister Almec. Ahsoka squares off with Maul only to be rescued by a group of clone troopers sending Maul fleeing –but before he leaves he mentions the name of “Darth Sidious” who will soon claim power over the galaxy. Ahsoka brings this back to the Jedi where we learn that Anakin has killed Count Dooku while rescuing the Chancellor and he is currently spying on the Chancellor for the Jedi Council. Maul takes an older ARC trooper named “Jesse” for himself to learn more about the identity of Ahsoka Tano, and then later faces Ahsoka again. He offers to join with Ahsoka and fight Darth Sidious by preventing Anakin from becoming the apprentice of Darth Sidious. However, Ahsoka cannot tolerate this slander so she battles Maul in an impressive lightsaber duel which ends with Maul falling off a building nearly to his death but Ahsoka saves him and the clones capture him. All the while, Maul begins shrieking about their forthcoming doom. Unfortunately, Ahsoka –still distrustful of the Jedi Council– decides not inform them of what Maul said about Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka and Bo-Katan part ways while Ahsoka travels with Rex back to Coruscant with Maul imprisoned in a giant block known as a Mandalorian Vault, a device which was previously outawed by Duchess Satine but the last one is used for Maul by Bo-Katan. During the transportation, Ahsoka receives a dark force vision that something terrible has happened to Anakin at just the moment that Sidious orders all the clone troopers to execute Order 66. They all begin firing upon Ahsoka but she escapes and frees Maul from his prison cell as a diversion. She then awakens a cohort of droids whose memory banks reveal the malfunctioning clone scandal on Kamino as featured in Season 6. Ahsoka then captures Rex and takes him back to the medical bay and locates the inhibitor chip inside his brain. After removing the ship, Ahsoka and Rex while Maul destroys the ships hyperdrive capabilities. The ship becomes caught in a nearby moon’s gravitational pull. Maul escapes in a ship while Ahsoka and Rex battle endless bands of clones without wanting to kill them. They narrowly escape as the ship comes crashing onto the moon and Ahsoka quietly stands before a line of deceased clone trooper helmets. She drops one of her lightsabers into the dirt. Some time later, perhaps around the time of the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader arrives on this now-snowy moon (notified by scout droids) where he spots a clone trooper’s painted helmet alongside Ahsoka’s lightsaber laying in the snow. In this haunting scene, there is no dialogue. Perhaps he remembers the time long ago of The Clone Wars and all the Jedi and troopers who died for the Republic. he pauses and watches a bird creature circling overhead (likely the daughter of Mortis per the lore established earlier in the show, the embodiment of the light who is watching Vader, acknowledging that the balance in the galaxy has shifted). Vader, acknowledging all that he has left behind, then trudges back to his ship, his reflection slowly vanishing from the Ahsoka-colored helmet laying in the snow.

Standouts for me in Season 7:

  • Episodes 130-134 “Old Friends Not Forgotten,” “The Phantom Apprentice,” “Shattered,” and “Victory and Death.”

Return to my survey of the Star Wars series

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