The Clone Wars, Season 6, Episode 13: Sacrifice
This is the fourth part of a four-part arc. To start at the beginning, go here.
It’s time to bring another Clone Wars arc in for a landing, and today we’re going to do so by seeing our little green friend Yoda through to the end of his Season 6 Excellent Force Adventure.
As you’ll recall, in the last installment of this arc, Yoda met a bunch of Force Nuns on a bizarre Force-filled planet, who told him that in order for him to Prove himself worthy of the skills he needs to learn how to Force-Ghost it when he dies in Return of the Jedi, he’ll need to swing by Ultimate Evil’s old house for a chat. As I pointed out last time, the Jedi’s quests sure do frequently require them to involve themselves directly with Ultimate Evil, like, a lot. I think the Light and Dark sides have a thing for each other and that is why Star Wars will never, ever end.
So that’s where we find ourselves headed as this episode (which is, at least for now, the last completed episode of this delightfully crazy and wonderful series,) opens. Put on your Sith-blocking goggles, learn to let go of all you fear to lose, and steel yourself against the Dark Side of the Force, friends, because today we’re off to Moraband!
Goin’ Down to The Old Sith Place
Moraband, Yoda tells Artoo as they approach, has been long abandoned: uninhabited since the last time the Jedi and the Sith did the Lightsaber Lambada for the Fate of the Universe, which is supposed to have been something like 1,000 years before this era of Star Wars. Now, I don’t know if it’s just from lack of upkeep or what, but man this place does not look habitable: it pretty much has the vibe of the post-global-warming-apocalypse Earth from Wall-E. It’s dusty, windy, and desolate.
Yoda tells Artoo, once again, that he should stay with the ship while Yoda goes it alone. This time, he also tells Artoo that if he’s not back in three days, Artoo should go back to Coruscant without him. Artoo is nervous about all this, but does as he’s told and stays behind as Yoda walks into the wind.
Snakes. Why’d It Have To Be Snakes?
Music plays on dramatically as Yoda makes his way across the planet’s forbidding surface, and eventually he sits down and begins to meditate while dust and wind whips him in the face. Darkness begins to fall and all of a sudden, he’s surrounded by a mob of small black snakelike creatures. Black clothes, snakes, sour faces, dramatic music, talking about how much they love darkness all the time, talking about how scary they are, ignoring you when you try to talk to them: the Sith are basically the galaxy’s insufferable goth teens.
The snake pile pulls together and takes on the form of a much larger snake, who tells Yoda that “we are the Sith” and challenges Yoda’s assertion that he’s not afraid of them. The snakes sprawl out in different directions again, and a series of shadowy figures appear, forming a circle around Yoda.
Recurring Theme: It’s a Total Sithshow
The figures go blathering on about how there is no life after death and that Yoda’s going to die and oooh look at us we’re the Sith and we’re so DARK, man; we like to play with knives and we have tattoos of morose sayings on our arms and our eyeliner color is always “01 – jet black” LIKE OUR SOULS and just WHATEVER, Sith. We get the point. The figures dissolve and the scene ends.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, Count Dooku is meditating. A droid appears to tell him he’s been summoned to Coruscant immediately. OK, fine, he says: tell the hubs I’m on my way.
Yoda is now entering some kind of temple, and I love that the Sith and the Jedi appear to have used the same insane interior decorator, because they ALSO have a bunch of ginormous statues of themselves laying around.
As it turns out, this room is actually a tomb, something we learn a few seconds later when a giant mass of flame and embers pulls together into the form of the late, great Darth Bane, Sith Lord Emeritus. He and Yoda proceed to have the least natural Q&A-style conversation ever, that is just a transparent exposition exchange.
He asks Yoda if he knows who he is (“Darth Bane, the ancient Sith Lord”), why he’s remembered long after he’s dead (he “created the Rule of Two”), and why he did that (the Sith, as should surprise exactly no one who has spent even 15 seconds with Star Wars, were really really bad at NOT killing each other, and eventually he was the only man left standing after what I can only assume was the universe’s worst party. After that, he chose to share his Darksider Cliffs Notes with only one person, and so, blammo: Rule Of Two.)
He tells Yoda that Yoda will have to kill him to take his place, and Yoda is like, “Pfft, dude, I don’t want that gig, AND I hate to break it to you, but you are already dead, so…mission accomplished. You’re not even real.”
Almost immediately, Bane disintegrates in reaction to this. I sure hope it took more than that to kill Darth Bane when he was actually alive, or the Sith are WAY overselling their power. After this, Bane’s tomb opens to reveal a staircase leading down, and Yoda begins to descend as a woman’s voice calls his name in the distance.
Back on Coruscant, Dooku is arriving to meet up with Sidious, who tells him that he senses a good chance to kick the Jedi’s ass, but it’s a limited-time offer so they better act fast. To the Evilmobile!
Recurring Theme: Journey to the Center of the Worst
Yoda walks down into the Sith’s basement rec room or whatever the hell this is, and the Force Nuns are back for more weirdness. They tell Yoda that he’s done well on all his tests so far, but he’s got more coursework before graduation day. And this last one? Might be kiiiinda scary.
He asks where exactly they are, and Mother Superior tells him that this is the place where the Sith used to sacrifice the Jedi, and honestly, I think we probably need more information about New Canon Old Republic because it sounds like it was batshit insane.
So, for this next test, Yoda’s told that the Sith of Yoda’s day are going to appear to him, and to be careful, because what they will try to tell him:
Recurring Theme: My Old Master
Sidious and Dooku are moving forward with their latest evil art project, and Sidious tells Dooku that if he sensed this ripple in the Force or…whatever it is they’re talking about, it must be because it involves someone who is or was significant to Dooku.
Dooku knows who it is:
Recurring Theme: We Forgot To Mention That The Force Can Do That
Sidious confirms that he knows that Yoda has come to Moraband, but he doesn’t know WTF he’s doing here. So! Since Dooku and Yoda used be Master and Apprentice, why, they’ll just use the remnants of their once-present Force Bond to spy on Yoda to find out more and also maybe destroy him or something. Dooku asks how, and Sidious is like, pffft:
OK, so, look here, Star Wars: what the fuck. If people can do this, I have many questions. Among them:
- Why didn’t they ever do this BEFORE to spy on Yoda? Wouldn’t having the inside dirt on the Jedi be like, HUGELY IMPORTANT TO THEIR CAUSE? Or does your target have to be on the Sith’s Abandoned Foreclosure Planet to perform this maneuver?
- If you CAN do this trick from anywhere, why didn’t Sidious make VADER do this at, oh, ANY POINT IN THE TWENTY YEARS after the Duel on Mustafar to FIND OBI-WAN?
- Can it go in the other direction? Could they have used it to track down Ahsoka before Vader just happened to run into her in Rebels?
Recurring Theme: Get a Load of This
ANYWAYS. FINE. So the actual process to perform the Spy on Your Former Master Trick is hilarious: Sidious takes a drop of Dooku’s blood, puts it in a Magical Birdbath of some kind, and then says a bunch of AMAZINGLY goofy things in Parseltongue or whatever and this seems like a reeeeeeaaally good time for me to remind you all that if you are not watching this show with closed captioning on, you are MISSING OUT:
Then the two of them both Force-Lightning the Magical Birdbath and Sidious tells Dooku that they’re going to appear to Yoda as someone he would want to hear from and trust (so, that rules out Anakin, then.)
Oh Yeah, We Forgot About Sifo-Dyas (Reprise)
Remember how this entire bananapants arc began with the Jedi finding Sifo-Dyas’ ship, what seems like 200 years ago now? Well guess what: we’re not done with that guy yet! As it turns out, the figure that’s appearing before Yoda is none other than Sifo-Dyas himself, held in those electro-bonds that this show uses like 400 billion times.
He begs Yoda to free him. Yoda asks him if he knows who did this to him.
And Sifo-Dyas laughs, sort of, and asks the Million-Credit Question:
Yes, what IF he could? I mean, we do know the Jedi will need someone to just come out and tell them outright, because they sure as hell are never going to figure it out on their own.
Yoda’s like “ehhhh, I think maybe not, because you look craaa-zy.” Sifo-Dyas tells him that the Sith Lord is someone who could teach him the knowledge he seeks — the ability to conquer death.
Yoda is unmoved by this offer, ANAKIN:
And with that, suddenly a bunch of blue smoke appears, and Sifo-Dyas briefly turns into Sidious and LOL, the amazing thing here is that Yoda literally looks right at him but has no idea it’s Palpatine because he’s wearing a hood. Like, that’s all it takes: a cloak that covers his eyes is the greatest, most inscrutable disguise of all time.
Then, in a flash, Yoda wakes up surrounded by clones, on a transport, and hears Anakin talking to Rex.
Yoda is totally disoriented: where are they? What’s going on? Anakin is worried because this is Yoda’s mission — they intercepted a communication that suggests that Dooku would be heading to Coruscant to meet up with whom they assume is his Master — The King Sith. So…what are his orders?
Yoda tells them to proceed towards the spot they think the Sith are meeting at. It’s time for them:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Chosen One/Guy Who Blows It
They move in, and Anakin gets distracted by Dooku, who first shocks a bunch of clone troopers to death and then draws him into a battle.
Yoda slowly approaches Sidious, who’s still at the Magical Birdbath:
Sidious tells Yoda he can’t change what is to come, and back in the Anakin/Dooku throwdown, Anakin’s decided that he wants to skip ahead a little bit by beheading Dooku:
The Darkest Dark vs The Lightest Light, Round 1
Yoda and Sidious now start dueling each other, and Anakin comes running into the fray since the guy he was dueling with is now headless and therefore doesn’t pose much of a threat anymore:
And just imagine: what if it could have gone down like this? Master Yoda and The Chosen One going out and kicking Sidious’ evil wrinkled ass? Man. Anakin, you stupid mimbo, you really blew it.
Recurring Theme: Foreshadowing For Dummies
BONUS Recurring Theme: Make Your Choice
Well, anyways, even in this AU things don’t go so well: Anakin gets force-choked and gets his butt kicked by Sidious pretty much right away. Yoda is faced with letting Anakin’s unconscious body fall into an abyss, or give in, let him die, and focus on his own fight with Sidious. Then an enormous freight train loaded with foreshadowing comes a-barrelin’ on through as Yoda refuses to let Anakin become a lost cause.
Yoda is willing to sacrifice everything to see it through and save Anakin. He won’t give in to evil! He is a Jedi, and seriously Skywalker, I know you’re the Chosen One and you’re gonna kill Sidious and everything, but YOU OWE YODA AND KENOBI LIKE A LOT OF HUGS IN THE AFTERLIFE.
So then, Sidious and Yoda fall into an abyss and oh what do you know: it was all a Force fever dream! Sidious and Dooku (his head still attached to his shoulders for now, thankyouverymuch,) are still standing at the Magical Birdbath and Sidious calls it a day:
Recurring Theme: There’s Always Another Skywalker
Yoda wakes up to this face:
…and asks if he’s died. Nope! Congrats, Yoda: he actually passed the test, and this means that now he and Qui-Gon can be supernatural pen pals and talk about the Force and Qui-Gon can teach him how to live forever and then he can teach Obi-Wan and then the Original Trilogy can happen. As he whites-out again, he hears his own voice, saying his own last words in the physical realm.
He returns to his ship, and Artoo takes him home.
We’ve Only Just Begun
Back at the Temple, Mace and Obi-Wan are interested to know WTF Yoda’s been doing for the last week or whatever it’s been, and he tells them pretty much nothing. Nope, nothing happened, and he is no longer sure the war is winnable, and maybe it shouldn’t be, to which Obi-Wan should have been like OH GREAT GOOD THING I ALMOST DIED IN IT LIKE 600 TIMES, THEN.
He does, however, tell them that he doesn’t think the Sith understand what he understands to be true now, which means that while they may not win the war, they can still obtain victory:
…and with that, there’s…NO IRIS WIPE, and this arc, and this series, is over! Now, fortunately for me (and maybe for you, too, but I won’t flatter myself) I still have many episodes available to recap –but most unfortunately for all of us, we were robbed of some really great planned-out storylines that I’m sure would have been hilarious (of course), as well as crushingly ironic (always) and TERRIBLY SAD. If you don’t believe me, look up the Siege of Mandalore arc details and tell me you wouldn’t have shed twelve buckets of tears over that one. Come on Disney: direct-to-video it. I will pay top dollar. I promise to recap it, too.