The Clone Wars, Season 7, Episode 12: Victory and Death
Whooooooooo’s ready to cry?? Hmmm??? Don’t act like you don’t like it!
Yes, today we conclude the final arc of The Clone Wars, and not to drop any Huge Revelations right here in the first few sentences or anything, but THINGS AREN’T GONNA GO SO WELL.
When last we left The Incredibly Depressing and Yet Somehow Simultaeneously Hilarious Adventures of the Kenobi-Skywalker-Tano Space Family, Ahsoka had experienced the double whammy of sensing Bad Shit Going Down around her former master Anakin Skywalker, and then immediately having to run for her life when the portion of the 501st traveling with her suddenly decided she was Enemy Number One, thanks to a courtesy call from Evil Uncle Sidious. With his last coherent breath before attempting to murder her, Rex had implored Ahsoka to find something related to the late great ARC trooper Fives, who, again, is one of the only people in Star Wars History to one time figure something out. Truly, the man was a legend. This had led Ahsoka to the Shocking Revelation that something was up with the clones’ inhibitor chips! But what? And who could POSSIBLY be behind such a thing??
Fortunately/unfortunately for Ahsoka, Maul was on hand to be like AH-HA GOD WHAT A BRILLIANT HORRIBLE PLAN MAN I SURE DO HATE HIM BUT MY OLD MASTER SURE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE INSANE EVIL PLANS, and he’d rambled on a bit about how genius it was to turn the Jedi’s own army against them. Alarmed, Ahsoka had set Maul loose in an attempt to create a diversion — and give her time to capture Rex and try to save him from his brain-scrambling. Luckily and IMPROBABLY, the ship they are on happened to be equipped with a robot that can do brain surgery in approximately 12 seconds, so Rex’s control chip was removed and he was literally sitting up and talking AND FIRING TWO BLASTERS within MOMENTS of this medical procedure. The fact that this is a thing that happened makes the fact that Anakin thought Padme, an otherwise healthy Senator living in posh circumstances on a planet with what were surely innumerable high-tech medical resources was going to die in childbirth absolutely hilarious to me. ANAKIN THEY CAN DO BRAIN SURGERY IN SPACE NOW AND IT TAKES LESS TIME THAN IT DOES TO MICROWAVE A BURRITO FOR GOD’S SAKE. She’d almost certainly have been FINE if SOMEONE hadn’t done something STUPID.
The last installment had concluded with Rex’s disturbing revelation that this wasn’t just a one-off: all the clones, everywhere, have been ordered to hunt down and execute the Jedi. That’s bad news for the Jedi, and democracy, and like, the Force itself and manufacturers of outrageously gigantic robes and people who, you know, just generally aren’t big fans of genocide, but admittedly GREAT news for dictators and bounty hunters and people committing crimes related to the space mining industry, I presume.
How will our girl ‘soka, and our buddy Rex, make it out of this pickle? And will they be able to save anyone else before it’s too late? And will Anakin find a way to make this episode ultimately focus on his own Pain and Suffering and Dramatically-Flowing Cape before it’s over? (I think we all know the answer to that one.)
All right, then. The very last episode of this very weird and very wonderful show. Here it is.
Recurring Theme: Ahsoka Tano, Learned a Thing Or Two About Planning Under Pressure
With the rest of the 501st set to Killbot mode and encroaching on them, Rex asks Ahsoka how they’re gonna get out of this. She tells him she has a plan:
Just as the door gets unsealed, Ahsoka Force-throws it outward, shoving some troopers down the hallway as Rex stun-guns the rest of them. The two of them take off, with Rex firing while Ahsoka blocks and AWW THESE TWO but also OH WHY STAR WARS WHY.
With all the troopers in the vicinity subdued, Ahsoka sets out the next steps to get them out of here:
As they start to walk away, one of the stunned troopers near Rex’s feet groans, and Rex observes:
SO AM I, REXY. WE ALL DESERVED BETTER.
Rex asks Ahsoka if she’d heard that Maul also got out — and HOLY LORD did this mission ever go sideways — and Ahsoka is like “oh that, yeah I let him go to create a diversion” and despite the fact that his face is covered you can basically watch Rex visibly age after she says this. I have said it before and I will say it yet again: Rex and Cody deserved to be paid 1 MILLION CREDITS A YEAR and be entitled to like 15 weeks of vacation. There should have been a special Kenobi-Skywalker Hazard Pay or something.
He sighs as Ahsoka heads off:
Darth Maul, Double-Fisting
Speak of the horny devil, Maul is slinking his way down a different hallway and eavesdropping on the clones’ comm discussions. Jesse, painfully referring to Rex by his number, asks if he’s been found yet, and is told that Rex is still missing in action. They also remain unsure if he aided Ahsoka’s escape at this time. Two troopers come around the corner and Maul takes care of that little problem by Force-choking them both at once:
He then heads for what is apparently the hyperdrive room which — wait for it — is a large open space that is both poorly-lit AND has long narrow walkways with ZERO RAILINGS which are, of course, suspended high off the ground. I know Lucasfilm is like 99% doing this now BECAUSE it’s a long-running joke, but also WHO IN THE FUCK WOULD KEEP BUILDING THIS SHIT. Aren’t they in space right now? So like, if the ship suddenly lurches in any direction for any reason, whoever’s on these platforms is just gonna go flying off the edge and be either gravely injured or die? Even if you look at this with the coldest, worst possible attitude of the Senate just being like “well we’ll just buy more clones” HOW would it possibly be cheaper to purchase and manufacture NEW MEN TO STAFF YOUR MILITARY SHIPS than it would be to just put in some cheap-ass PVC railing here FOR GOD’S SAKE WHERE IS SPACE OSHA IN ALL OF THIS. How many times has Anakin done a swan-dive to save some poor trooper from his untimely death in a room like this? Also, given his history with these sorts of rooms, if I were Maul I’d be REAL careful here. We don’t need another trash-pit robot-spider situation happening.
He marches in and throws some troopers around:
He makes his way to a control panel of sorts and just…basically starts brute-Forcing the place to wreck apart:
…kinda feels like if he was able to do shit like this, all that flipping and jumping and zig-zagging around Naboo with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon wasn’t entirely necessary since he could have just dropped a building on them and been done with it, but OK.
Recurring Theme: Hyperdrive Failure
Now class, as you should all recall from several thousand years’ worth of Star Wars content, two things are true about hyperdrives:
- Ships need them to fly
- They will absolutely, positively, always fail at some point, often at a Critical Dramatic Moment
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a relatively soft landing into some sand and a precocious young Space Messiah will win a hot rod race to help you buy a new one from a junk shop owner. If you’re less lucky, well, you’ll end up in the situation this crew’s in:
The clones are panicking as the ship falls out of hyperspace and starts going down. Rex and Ahsoka look concerned as they rush into the hangar, stun-gunning and Force-pushing more men out of their way as they do.
Unfortunately, the hangar’s not going to deliver an easy out:
Ahsoka sets their droid pals off on tasks to help hopefully get one of the bay doors open. Meanwhile, lurking around in the chaos he’s created, Maul continues to listen in on the clones:
G-G reports back to Rex and Ahsoka about the state of the ship, and Rex hilariously asks the question:
Rex, I’m gonna cut you some slack here since you just had brain surgery like 15 minutes ago. But seriously, honey: PAY ATTENTION. Of COURSE the hyperdrive is offline.
G-G clarifies: it’s not just offline, man, it’s GONE! Rex is aghast, and leans over to inspect the bad news:
…yeeeep. She’s goin’ down!
Ahsoka tells R7 to open the main hangar doors, and they get an up-close view of just how close they are to the surface:
Recurring Theme: The Atrocities of Anakin Skywalker
Ahsoka astutely observes that they need to get out of there. They spot the shuttle they can use to flee, but it’s a ways away from where they’re standing: and what’s more, it’s surrounded by tons of troopers. And they’ve been spotted.
WHY JESSE WHY. Rex asks Ahsoka if they should try to fight their way to the shuttle, but Ahsoka says they’re just too many of them. And…
*sobs* WHAT A GOOD CLONE SISTER SHE IS. I am so sad for everyone GODDAMNIT ANAKIN.
Rex sighs and drops an uncomfortable truth on her:
Rex looks defeated, and a look of sudden realization crosses Ahsoka’s face and I am VERY MUCH NOT OK WITH THIS PART OF THIS EPISODE.
She straightens up and looks at Rex sadly. Then she steps forward and gently and lovingly takes off his helmet, revealing a tear rolling down his face:
ANAKIN FOR FUCK’S SAKE YOU MADE REX CRY. YOU. MADE. REX. CRY. The week this poor guy gets promoted to Commander and Ahsoka captures Maul FINALLY and Obi-Wan’s hair looked amazing and Padme’s having a baby and everything was really coming together maybe and it’s all FOR NOTHING AND YOU MADE REX CRY. AND YOU MADE YODA CRY. AND YOU MADE PADME CRY. AND YOU MADE OBI-WAN CRY. AND ALSO YOU MADE ME CRY. You stupid, stupid booger. You…dumbass of darkness. WHY.
Recurring Theme: Ahsoka Tano, Attempting To Mend My Shattered Heart
Ahsoka looks at Rex and sweetly says to him:
Rex, still looking devastated, asks if this means they’re just going to surrender:
Ahsoka says that’s not on the table, either. Rex wryly notes that those are kind of the only two choices they have. Ahsoka, looking contemplative, tells him she has an idea.
How many times has a Jedi said THAT to Rex and had it end with him getting yeeted off a platform or something? LOL. Aww. These two.
Recurring Theme: The Fake Prisoner Bit
The troopers are standing around waiting, when Rex approaches with Ahsoka and oh what a very huge surprise that we’re going with THIS tactic:
Jesse is like “…OK, fine, but also you’re supposed to be executing her, so do it now or I will!” Rex counters that the order was to execute the Jedi for treason and like, ha ha, funny story but Ahsoka isn’t a Jedi anymore? Remember? When she left? After that sham trial that had a Jumbotron screen and at which for some reason Sheev was the judge and Tarkin was a prosecutor and Padme was like, Ahsoka’s lawyer, despite the fact that I am unaware of literally any of those people having gone to law school or taken the Coruscant bar exam?
Jesse pauses for a moment and replies that Rex himself said that they were under orders from Darth Sidious to execute Ahsoka, and it is of course horrible but also I love that these poor guys just randomly got orders from a totally new person who calls himself Darth Sidious of all things, and because of Sheev’s evil plan were basically like “yeah OK sounds legit”.
While all of this goes on, the droids are hastily trying to enact their end of Ahsoka’s plan. She watches them out of the corner of here eye, and remarks under her breath to Rex:
Rex stammers to Jesse that if they eliminate her and it turns out that wasn’t what they were supposed to do, they’ll be the traitors. Jesse appears to hesitate somewhat, but is ultimately unswayed:
He tells Rex he’s committed treason against the Republic, and that he’ll be demoted back to captain and executed with Ahsoka. Ahsoka is quietly winding up behind Rex, and asks him if he’s ready.
I need you all to know that I am STILL laughing about how back in the first episode of this arc when Anakin decides on a whim to promote Rex to commander, literally NO ONE TELLS REX THIS. Anakin just floats the idea out there, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are like “yeah I guess that could work”, and then Anakin’s like “OK Snips, well, goodbye forever, May The Force Be With You, Skywalker out” and he and Obi-Wan leave and THAT’S IT. I guess Ahsoka told him? But somehow that’s even funnier because Ahsoka DOESN’T EVEN TECHNICALLY WORK THERE ANYMORE and yet she’s just out there all “oh yeah btw the boss says you’re a commander now”.
Recurring Theme: Brother vs. Brother
Ahsoka yells for the droids to press a button or whatever and the floor where Jesse and a bunch of the other troopers were standing gives out, dropping them below. Rex tosses Ahsoka her sabers and now it’s time for some pew-pew-pew:
I am trying so hard not to think about what’s going on with Team Handsome right now. We’re like what, maybe 30/40-ish minutes past this trash fire being like Oh Shit I Fucked Up, Guess I’ll Just Double-Down On That For the Next 30 Years?
Honestly. YOU STUPID STUPID MAN. YOU ALSO MADE YOURSELF CRY, ANAKIN. Way to really complete that bingo card.
So if that just happened a small while ago, would that mean like, this bullshit is happening RIGHT DAMN NOW????
Ugh. What did I ever do to deserve watching all of this 300 times on purpose?
Recurring Theme: The Cockroach of Dathomir
So while Rex and Ahsoka fight for their lives, and Obi-Wan escapes Utapau, and Anakin kills a bunch of his own goddamn family members in cold blood, someone makes his zillionth improbable escape: Maul, of course, who’s tearing off towards the only shuttle out of town.
They run after him, and he starts hurling shit at them as he approaches the ship, taunting Ahsoka:
Maul Force-flings her backwards, and she ends up dangling over a ledge, where below, Jesse et al are coming around and beginning to fire on her:
The ensuing chaos and distraction gives Maul time to flee off to the Underworld and that hovel on Dathomir full of Obitine memorabilia on whose walls he writes Obi-Wan’s name in his own blood because Maul is a paragon of mental health and wellness who is really good at letting things just roll right off his back.
Ahsoka tries to Force-grab him back, to no avail:
He takes off and jumps into hyperspace. I can’t believe it’s possible but somehow Obi-Wan’s week just got worse.
Recurring Theme: She Learned From The Best
Ahsoka goes back to fending off attacks with Rex, and she throws in this nifty little lightsaber manuever that her dads did together in a deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith and I’m not even slightly embarrassed that I immediately recognized it because I am OK with my nerdiness.
See?? LOL. Now I’m just wondering exactly HOW many times she saw them do this.
They fall through the floor to a lower level of the ship, and find themselves once again surrounded. Rex heaves a sigh and looks defeated. Just then, the droids move the floors again, and even though this episode is not funny and I am sad for all the clones, this screenshot DOES almost BEG for a cartoon BOOOOING! sound:
No sooner has this slightly comical thing occurred when the droids are discovered by other troopers, who make short work of them:
Not cool, Star Wars. Not cool.
Recurring Theme: Captain Rex, Zero Days Without Being Thrown By a Jedi
Down below, Rex and Ahsoka look frantically around for any viable ships. Rex says most are under maintenance, but they spot one that’s viable. Ahsoka covers him as he gets closer, and then flings him across a gap:
I repeat: he deserved ONE MILLION CREDITS PER YEAR.
He gets into the ship and Ahsoka looks like she’s getting REALLY tired out. Naturally this is the ship’s cue to start breaking apart in flames as it gets closer to the moon’s surface. Rex takes off in the ship, and Ahsoka jumps to meet him, but is sucked backwards into the space rubble. Rex fights his way back to save her:
In the grand tradition of the late prequel era’s motto of “This Would All Be Hilarious If It Wasn’t Bone-Crushingly Sad”, Rex is sadly searching for her when she appears behind him:
He spots her, and maneuvers so that she can hitch a ride:
She ends up losing her grip, taking a tumble, and then TEARING down some flaming wreckage to meet Rex at the end:
I have recapped so, so many Jedi Swan Dives at this point. So many.
She JUST manages to get in the ship and close the hatch as the ship makes its final descent onto the surface, bursting into a cloud of flame and smoke and ash, and taking all the brothers on board with it. Rex has had better days:
Ahsoka, meanwhile, looks pensively out the window, most likely understandably wondering what the absolute fuck has just happened:
But I Know We’ll Meet Again, Some Sunny Day
We now pan to the moon’s surface, and see the ship and I am just not even going to LOOK at that Open Circle Armada emblem I don’t even SEE it or even KNOW WHAT IT IS OR SIGNIFIES just KILL ME ALREADY:
Next to the wreckage we see the small ship Rex and Ahsoka took off in, and we see Rex looking as though he’s packing up to hit the road as he turns back to look sadly behind him:
We get a closer look:
I AM GOING TO CRY AGAIN. Yes, Ahsoka and Rex went to the crash site and made a memorial/burial ground of sorts for the fallen brothers and absolutely none of this is OK DAVID FILONI WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS.
Ahsoka, who got a sweet robe at some point possibly from the wreckage, stares out at the scene solemnly:
We pan across the helmets of the troopers, as smoke and embers fly around, and see Jesse’s:
MY KIDS WERE SO SAD AT THIS PART, as was I. How dare you, Star Wars.
Ahsoka looks down at the lightsaber in her hand. You know, the one she got from Anakin like 48 hours ago or something and he was all bouncing on the balls of his feet all LOOK LOOK AREN’T THEY WIZARD NOW YOU MATCH ME AND OBI-WAN ANYWAYS WHEN ARE YOU MOVING BACK IN????
Honestly, it makes for a pretty good version of that one meme about how everything is horrible. Observe:
Me at the beginning of 2020:
She gives it one last look, and then lets it fall to the ground. Looking like she’s on the verge of tears, WHICH MEANS ANAKIN NOW BASICALLY HAS ALSO MADE AHSOKA CRY, WAY TO GO CHAMP, the camera fades out on her face…
…and now, in the snow, to an Imperial shuttle. Oh who oh WHO could this be????
If you guessed “a diva who could never let this series end WITHOUT it featuring him”, you are correct. Behold, a dumbass:
Yes, Anakin “I For-Real Expect People To Call Me Lord Vader” Skywalker is here, evidently at least a season or so later, and he’s arrived at the site of the crash.
Ha! Yes, his breathing does, indeed, continue, I’m sure much to his own dismay.
He spots something on the ground, and kneels down:
He picks it up:
Feeeeeelings! Uh oh! We can’t have THAT, my Lord! Why, those might make you have to think about how BADLY YOU FUCKED EVERYTHING UP. He flips the switch:
‘soka’s little bird pal makes her required appearance:
Vader watches it for a moment, then deactivates the saber and, taking it with him, stalks off in silence. The camera zooms in a bit as he walks away, and we are left with the final shot of the series:
I’m so sad for everyone in this godforsaken show. (Except Sheev, I guess, who despite my hatred of him is almost certainly out there living his best life at this moment, that bastard.)
So: that is it! That’s the Siege of Mandalore arc, and the end of The Clone Wars! I promised I would recap it if they ever made it, and so I have. What animated wackiness awaits us next? Will we see Rex join up with the Bad Batch, on a mission to save more of his brothers? Will Ahsoka ever find Ezra Bridger, or are he and Thrawn doomed to a life in an alternate dimension, annoying each other? Who can say — but I do know I’m excited to see it all. THANK YOU SO MUCH NERDS AT LUCASFILM FOR GETTING THIS THING DONE YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH MY COMPLETIONIST DWEEB HEART IS WARMED BY FINALLY GETTING TO SEE THIS ENDING EVEN THOUGH IT WAS EXTREMELY UPSETTING AT TIMES.
As for you, readers, I’ll see you next time. Thanks for coming along on this journey of tragedy and pain with me! (I hope I took the sting out a little.)