The finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is one of the best pieces of SW media to date

Ahsoka Tano and Commander Rex are trapped in the med-bay. Clone troopers are breaking down the door to execute Ahsoka per Darth Sideous’ infamous Order 66. Not wanting to kill or hurt any of the troopers, Ahsoka presents her escape plan to Rex, telling him to set his blasters to stun. The two fight their way through the ship in an attempt to reach a shuttle. 

Darth Maul has made his way to the hyperdrive room to disable the ship and force it out of hyperspace, all the while listening to the clones via a slain trooper’s wrist communicator. The ship ends up too close to a moon and begins falling to the surface. 

Aided by the droids, Ashoka and Rex make for the hanger as Rex says he’d be “proud” of the clones “if they weren’t trying to kill us”. Cut off from the hanger by a platoon of clones, Rex thinks they should fight their way through, but Ahsoka declines, not wanting to kill them. Rex says the clones don’t care; they’re willing to die and take them with them. She removes his helmet to reveal tears streaming down his cheeks. She tells him he’s a good soldier and while they may be willing to die, she’s not going to be the one to do it. 

Rex enters the hangar with Ashoka at gunpoint while trooper Jesse tells him to follow Order 66 and kill her. Rex attempts to argue semantics that Ahsoka isn’t technically a Jedi anymore, therefore he doesn’t have to kill her. Rex tosses Ahsoka her lightsabers as the droids drop the hangar elevator, knocking most of the troopers out in the fall. Mau arrives and makes for the shuttle, Force-pushing Ashoka into the pit. As he attempts to take off, Ahsoka holds the ship back with the Force (it’s an awesome visual). Rex takes a shot to the shoulder and Ahsoka lets Maul flee, spinning full-circle with her blades in the deck to cut a hole for them to fall through out of danger. Jesse orders the clones to open fire but the droids raise the elevator again and are executed for their efforts. Super sad. 

They find a Y-Wing ship but it falls out of the bay before she can get onboard. She falls through the capital ship’s wreckage as Rex tries to catch her, eventually getting her into the gunner’s seat as the massive ship crashes to the moon surface below. Some time later, Rex is gathering parts to repair their ship and sees Ahsoka in the distance wearing her cowl in front of a field cemetery of clone helmets on sticks. She raises one of her new lightsabers and lets it drop as she walks away. 

Even later, we see Stormtroopers for the first time in The Clone Wars on the snowy surface of the moon. The ship is now mostly buried in snow as Darth Vader finds the trooper graveyard. Digging through the snow, he finds Ahsoka’s abandoned saber. After a moment, he turns back for his ship and the final image is his reflection in the visor of a fallen trooper from the 501st. 

If you had told me years ago that Ahsoka Tano would be my favorite character from Clone Wars, I don’t think I would have believed you. Nor would I have believed it if you had said two-thirds of the final season would be about her and how much I’d love it. But really the strongest theme of this last season was something a friend of mine who writes for pointed out in his review: this whole story is the tragedy of the clones. Created for literally one purpose, expendable, and so easily forgotten, Rex’s feelings of betrayal are deep and powerfully tragic. When Order 66 is given, everything we’ve come to know about them – names, relationships, idiosyncrasies – all of that is thrown out when we can no longer trust them to do the one thing they were made to do. We also know from scenes in Rebels that clones and stormtroopers are not the same, so what happens to all of them now that the war is over? It’s a brilliant commentary on the pointlessness of war and the lack of support for veterans when they come back from conflict, intentional or not. 

An absolutely perfect start to Star Wars Day on May the Fourth (Be With You) and a standing ovation-worthy finale to The Clone Wars that answers so many questions but still leaves the door open for more great stories. Is seven seasons daunting to the uninitiated? Sure, but as a fan of (almost) everything Star Wars, I highly recommend watching all of it. Bravo to all involved and thank you for your art. Nearly everything Star Wars can be found on Disney+ with much more to come. 

Rating: 10 out of 5 Snack Packs

Lincoln L. Hayes is an actor and writer in lockdown in NYC. He hopes you all had a wonderful Star Wars Day and may the Force be with you all. 

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