Well folks, the (sort of) end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is upon us, but don’t worry! I’ve got more in store. Next week, I’ll be tackling the 4 issue “Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir” miniseries from Marvel, which was originally intended as a Clone Wars arc. Then, for each of the subsequent two weeks, I’ll be covering the unfinished episodes that were uploaded to StarWars.com. And, finally, I’ll be talking about Dark Disciple, another aborted episode arc that was turned into a novel by Christie Golden. So, even though this is the end of the released episodes, between those bits of ephemera and the upcoming seventh season, this will certainly not be the end of the discussion! Let’s dig in.
1. Voices carry
These episodes really try to answer one of the largest questions from the Star Wars films: what’s the deal with Force ghosts? In Attack of the Clones, we can hear Qui-Gon shout out to Anakin before he slaughters the Tuscan Raiders, and in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda vaguely mentions to Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon has figured out how to communicate from beyond the grave. Well, this arc tries to connect that with the Force ghosts we see in the original trilogy.
Yoda begins hearing Qui-Gon’s voice, and tries to figure out what is going on, eventually leading him into a faux-sensory deprivation chamber, where he is able to meditate without distraction. This leads to him having visions that tell him where to go to get more answers. This all plays out like a combination mystery/RPG for Yoda, and it is pretty fun. The Clone Wars works really well when it is doing fun, weird stuff like this.
2. The Artoo problem
So, at the end of Sith, we hear that C-3PO’s memory will be wiped, thus removing any memory of the prequels from his circuits. But, R2-D2’s memory is kept intact. If Artoo can remember everything pre-A New Hope that raises a bunch of really weird questions, but these episodes really double down on that. For instance, Artoo would’ve been to Dagobah before, and known Yoda fairly well – why are they fighting over a flashlight? Why doesn’t he give Luke more information about Dagobah?
When Luke feels alone after Obi-Wan’s death, why doesn’t Artoo tell him of their times adventuring together? Why not talk about what a good man his father was once, and help him grow to understand the complexity in the man? I know Artoo is impish and bratty, but this seems to be a bridge too far, no?
3. Tinkerbell Qui-Gon
I get that the show needed a way to illustrate the spirit/Force of Qui-Gon when speaking to Yoda, but having the flashing lights scatter across the screen seemed a bit…too Disney-ish, especially as this was before Disney bought Lucasfilm. Of course, they’d continue to use this effect in Star Wars Rebels, but it doesn’t make it any less goofy to me. Pardon the Disney pun (Goofy – get it? Gorsh).
4. Let the Sith games…begin!
So, Darth Bane explains the ‘Rule of 2’ that I was always perplexed by and…it sort of makes sense! I now understand why something like this was necessary, even if it makes for less interesting Jedi/Sith stories. But Darth Bane is a character I’d like to know/read more about. The older Sith are fascinating for a few reasons, but one that seemingly has such a strong impact on Sith teaching/legacy is especially worth discussion. Can we get some more Darth Bane stuff, Lucasfilm? Kthanksbye.
This episode does a lot to get the concept of Force ghosts on the ground, except for one really obvious problem: how the hell did Anakin become a Force ghost at the end of Return of the Jedi? Now, I know that this is part of the problem of telling a story in a non-linear way, as well as trying to explain everything away. Pre-prequels, I always just presumed that Jedi became Force ghosts. But the prequels/The Clone Wars showed that wasn’t the case, and then had to explain how some Jedi became them and others didn’t.
Now, maybe we can presume that, since Anakin was essentially the most powerful Force user of all time, that he just knew how to do it? We can presume we will see Luke as a Force ghost in Episode IX, but that can easily be explained by his years of study/his relationship with Force ghosts being more prevalent than literally any other Jedi’s ever. But for Anakin, it still seems really odd.Continued below
Oh well. That’s it for the show – we’ll be back next week with the start of the miscellany!