By: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate
After 12 years, the final story arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TCW) has aired to critical acclaim, allowing fans, myself included, to get closure on how their favourite characters survive the deadliest conflicts in Star Wars mythos. With fast-paced, action-packed sequences and heart-wrenching scenes, TCW ends the way it always played out, both with a whisper and a bang.
Although fans already know the main events (the fall of the Galactic Republic, and the destruction of the legendary Jedi Order) that take place in the galaxy far, far away, showrunner Dave Filoni does not sideline the story we already know to tell his own. Instead, he integrates the two brilliantly by telling the fans another side of the story we thought we knew so well.
In TCW, the story revolves around the Clone Commander, Rex, and Ahsoka Tano. Rex is the Clone liaison officer, and Ahsoka is the former Jedi apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, the main character of the Star Wars movies. This final arc of TCW is not a story about the big players and events in galactic history like Anakin or the Emperor, but how the events the main characters unleash affect those on the ground — the individual Clone soldiers and Jedi.
Even after eight seasons, the character development remains intriguing. The easygoing comradery and banter that Rex and Ahsoka have with each other is gratifying to watch due to the six seasons of having their relationship develop on screen. Having spent six seasons establishing Rex’s loyalty to both his men and Ahsoka, the viewer is able to empathize with exactly how distraught Rex is when he’s caught between his friendship and orders he receives from his chain of command. One of the following scenes shows Ahsoka comforting Rex and, to me, is one of the best scenes in Star Wars for how it portrayed the strengths of Rex and Ahsoka — the value they each place in their friendships, Ahsoka’s ability to stick to her ideals, and Rex’s faith and openness towards Ahsoka.
The use of masterful animation and voice acting in TCW really brings the characters to life. I’ve been watching the show since it first came out in 2008, and it has been amazing to see how far the animation has come. The animation is so good that the lines are truly blurred when seeing Anakin in animation and Anakin in the live-action film.
The soundtrack, which is so important to any show, is also world-class. Kevin Kiner, the composer, brings in his own pieces in perfect harmony with those created 15 years ago by John Williams when Revenge of the Sith first came out. At times hopeful and heroic, at times somber and in anguish, and at times, almost bleached out, to let the dread the audience is meant to feel, take over. The music helps the audience remember what is occurring in the concurrent timeline of Revenge of the Sith, as well as tying emotions produced by the two shows together.
The wide praise for the ending of TCW shows that dedicated storytelling and cinematography still pay off with fans. The second-to-last scene slows down the pacing after an entire episode of action-packed life or death scenes, and perfectly encapsulates the uncertainty of Ahsoka as she ponders her fragile future. Likewise, fans treated to such a spectacular ending will be left hoping that Star Wars can continue producing shows of this caliber.
I would encourage anyone not opposed to becoming emotionally invested to watch TCW. It is available to stream on Disney+.