Star Wars: The Clone Wars S7 Review

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S7 Review

Stephon Spiegel (11th), Contributing Reporter

I never really was a fan of the prequel era of Star Wars, finding most of the ideas interesting, but poorly executed; however, I respected it as it all came from the visionary mind of George Lucas. The Clone Wars succeeded where the prequels failed. Taking place between the events of Attack of The Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Clone Wars pumps passion, life, and charisma into an era of Star Wars – remembered for its lifeless characters and convoluted plot lines. The series turns Darth Maul…yes freaking Darth Maul into a compelling, layered character with far more importance than his 6 minute appearance in Phantom Menace gave him.


Season 7 takes place near the events of Revenge of the Sith (later on taking place concurrently, but I’ll get to that) with Anakin Skywalker rocking his mullet, and Obi-Wan sporting a few grey hairs. The season is split into 4 episode arcs that hold a self contained story.


The Bad Batch Arc wonderfully further humanizes the Clone Troopers by having Captain Rex be fueled by the love for his Clone Brothers to go on a dangerous mission to save his then thought dead brother-in-arms Echo. Anakin’s relationship with Rex and Obi-Wan is further expanded upon after Rex loyally (and hilariously awkward) blocks Obi-Wan from interrupting Anakin’s intimate call with Padme. This arc contains an amazing original concept (from George Lucas himself) of having Anakin and Rex work with the genetically mutated Clone Force 99 or better known as, “The Bad Batch”. Throughout the arc we get a fleshed out formation of “reg” clone Rex and the often judged Bad Batch members forming a bond that connects them as brothers through battling together.


The most emotional scene came when Rex finally discovers that the then thought dead Echo is actually alive and has been used by the Sepratist, as he cradles him in his arms explaining that “of course” he would come back for him. These episodes also contain some of the most creative action with the Bad Batch each having highlights, such as the brute Wrecker crushing droids, the sniper Crosshair having an expert single shot collateral killstreak, and the Rambo looking Hunter stabbing droids with a blade. The true highlight of this arc is the darkside moment Anakin has when confronting Admiral Trench. He disarms him (literally) and then denounces the Jedi when threatening to kill him.  Trench then attempts an attack and then without hesitation, Anakin impales Trench.


The next arc left me…let’s just say…very, very underwhelmed. The Martez Arc left me without much to say. The synopsis is essentially Ahsoka, after leaving the Jedi Order, makes a friendship with a pair of sisters in the lower levels of Coruscant and helps them stay alive after getting involved with a crime syndicate. I’ll make my criticism very clear here, the best parts of this arc did NOT involve the Martez sisters. Trace and Rafa Martez only exist to serve as frustratingly incompetent buffoons who get themselves in far too deep of trouble just purely to move the plot forward.


The whole plot point of Ahsoka hiding her past as a Jedi makes no payoff as the reaction from the sisters is…I kid you not “oh ok”. The reason why this should’ve had more umph is because the Martez sisters’ parents were killed as collateral damage on a chase the Jedi had in Coruscant. The only highlights of this arc were the little moments Ahsoka had where she subtly expressed her missing Anakin, the appearance of Bo-Katan, and the small appearance of Maul. I would likely never watch this arc again, as its boring presence, poor pacing, and inept characters would be just cause to never view it again.


And now it is time to get to some of the best Star Wars material ever created, the masterful 4 episode mini-movie…The Siege of Mandalore. This arc plays with the previous knowledge the viewer has based off their viewings of other Star Wars material such as Revenge of The Sith and Star Wars: Rebels and successfully creates dread for what the audience knows will happen in the arc (Order 66). First off, the presentation of these episodes are utterly amazing, with the best animation the series has to hold and the use of music from the live action movies in order to create a more cinematic feel.


This arc shines on how it treats its characters, with Ahsoka having a short, but sweet hello and goodbye with both Anakin and Obi-Wan just minutes before they storm off to save Chancellor Palpatine at the start of Episode III. Anakin’s characterization as a loveable, caring, and bold mentor and friend makes the prior knowledge of his future sting even more. The absolute best moments in the episodes just so happen to be the most heartbreaking and foreboding portions. Maul bracing for the rise of the Empire and Anakin’s allegiance to the Emperor while trying to warn Ahsoka and pull her to his side was truly a spectacle, the dramatic tension of Maul’s frustration that Ahsoka can not accept that Anakin would turn on everyone was a cool side of the story to see. Ahsoka knowing what is to come and the fact she could have prevented the fall of the Jedi and Anakin, but choosing to be in denial makes her interaction with Vader in Rebels hurt much more than it already did. 


The duel between Maul and Ahsoka was spectacular, with original Maul actor Ray Park reprising his role as he provided the motion capture reference for the duel. Maul’s capture presented one of the most haunting moments in all of Star Wars, with him tied up by Republic Gunships,he screeches in anguished defeat telling everyone “They will all burn”, as he is stunned by the Clones.

The last two episodes also present the most heartbreaking moments in the series. Rex shines multiple times, with him initially attempting to resist betraying his dear friend Ahsoka when given the order to execute her, while shaking with tears in his eyes pleading for her to find information about his fallen brother Fives (who initially warned Rex about the inhibitor chips, but was killed by order of the Chancellor). 

Another moment Rex has that is highly emotionally resonant is when Rex realizes he must let his brothers die at the hands of the crashing Venator, the body language of him turning his head away from Ahsoka with his helmet on and then him turning his crying face back to Ahsoka upon allowing her to take off his helmet was beautiful and intensely emotionally resonant. Maul shines yet again, having a brutal hallway scene akin to Vaders in Rogue One, with him brutally killing Clones without a Lightsaber.


The ending with Ahsoka and Rex burying all the dead clones, including Arc Trooper Jesse who had been around since Season 2, further made the events of Order 66 more tragic, displaying that Ahsoka and Rex still cared about the other Clones. It came off as them viewing them as slaves to their orders, still being good soldiers, but for a cause they did not get to choose to believe in. The epilogue takes place during the time of the Empire, and was haunting. Vader holding the very saber he gave Ahsoka was utterly heartbreaking, as the last connection Anakin had to his past was truly gone. The detail of being able to see Anakin’s eyes through Vader’s piercing red lenses makes Anakin’s transformation more heartbreaking, as the audience can truly view Anakin and Vader as one in the same. 


Overall, the final season of Clone Wars had its ups and downs, but it absolutely stuck the landing in its finale, filled with intense action with purpose, new perspectives on old events, and highly emotionally resonant moments that are deserved…unlike the live action films lackluster, hollow ending.