IR TV Review: STAR WARS – THE CLONE WARS – FINAL SEASON – EPISODE 11 (“Shattered”) [Lucasfilm/Disney+]

The texture of the end of “The Clone Wars”  is extremely menacing and it should be in the essence of what it shows. This essence and, as an addendum, makes what happens in “Revenge Of The Sith” even more tragic. David Filoni, his directors and even composer Kevin Kiner understands this. These last few episodes are darker and more textured than anything that came before it. The original series was one of strategy and journey. These episodes are about loss and choice. Ahsoka Tano is the focus of it. Without giving too much away in this episode, it starts to bring together the strands that led to later perceptions. The use of one line from “Rogue One” at a certain point means so much in the context of everything. However it makes what is shown undeniable. As much as “The Rise Of Skywalker” wanted to be that moment, there has to be a loss which is felt and stakes where something is primarily so encompassing that it cannot be fixed.

The actions that happen at the end of “Revenge Of The Sith” are just that. But like the previous episode [Ep 10], seeing it from another perspective, specifically the person closer to Anakin than anyone, maybe save for Padme, is undeniable but also heartbreaking. There are crucial points in this episode where small choices are made, specifically by Tano, that are seen as necessary but have repercussions but couldn’t have been done any other way. This comes back in balance to the will of The Force. Tano’s training and Anakin’s teachings have allowed her to be this way, problem solve and think outside of the box. However, and it is not her possibility but ego gets in the way. The revelation is that you see how this affects Maul but it doesn’t take away from his base nature as it doesn’t take away from Tano’s. One progression of the scenes is so filled with dread because of the tone and specifically the music that it takes on a whole different connotation in the Star Wars Universe, a darker one we rarely see. The music is so undeniably changed. The reality is that this doesn’t end well not overly playing the melodrama, Filoni and his team keep it tight and add in Easter Eggs that are both relevant to fans but effective in general as a story. There are odes to “Rebels” but also visions of what is to come without actually showing it which is always tricky in animation. These episodes are getting more and more crucial and the vision is razor sharp. The wrap up episode comes next and sets the next interlocking puzzle piece of what is to come.

A

By Tim Wassberg

IR TV Review: STAR WARS – THE CLONE WARS – FINAL SEASON – EPISODE 7 (“Dangerous Debt”) [Disney+]

The doubt of doing the right thing revolves in the progression of what is being fought for. Like the last episode “Deal No Deal”, Episode 7 of the Final Season of “The Clone Wars” entitled “Dangerous Debt” borrows in the movement of what Ahsoka Tano needs to prove and what her path is. While there are some interesting moments, the story drags a little. Perspective for the most part is needed. This shows at one point in understanding the inclusion of the sisters Martez that Ahsoka now finds herself with. The interesting thing that the writing does here is place a previous event which might have been fleeting to other characters before that in a split second changes the perception elsewhere. The problem is that the moment in the episode could have had much more resonance. There is less soaring cinematics here than one would think. There is definitely room for them but unlike early episodes it seems to be rushing the story back and forth quickly when it doesn’t need to.

The true story we want to watch is Ahsoka’s pull versus and against for using The Force. That is the true existential element here but 3 episodes into her arc in this season, it is not emotionally tugging enough. Ahsoka is very smart. She left the Jedi Order for a reason. But watching people fail even though the instinct is to help is an interesting quandary. We need to see more of that. It is in this case that flashbacks, even briefly would be acceptable, even for an ardent follower of the show. “Dangerous Debt” refers to a shipment of spice that Ahsoka’s new friends dumped impulsively that lands them on a prison planet under criminals. There is an interesting small story point playing with a voice that sounds all too familiar but the time frame is all wrong. There is a plan for Ahsoka but it would be interesting to see a little bit more of those quiet moments balanced with the awe sometimes Star Wars has.

C

By Tim Wassberg

IR TV Review: STAR WARS – CLONE WARS – FINAL SEASON – EPISODE 3 (“On the Wings of Keeradaks”) [Disney+]

The progression of “The Clone Wars” in the addendum that Dave Filoni has created is starting to dovetail a little bit into what is creating a bigger superstructure of where “Revenge Of The Sith” actually ends up. The initial structure of “The Bad Batch” was seemingly working on the reflective ground of earlier material which is interesting considering the recent backlash against “The Rise Of Skywalker” as far as retreading over what some might call common ground. With Episode 3, “On The Wings Of Keeradaks” the essence of what be called the Judas complex within the story line gets different but one might very well understand the nature of what is happening but also how the humanity of the clones, specifically Rex, could have been the undoing of the Republic. It is a long scale game that only someone with the foresight of The Emperor could understand but the fact that The Clone Wars is thinking along those lines makes it feel more like Rebels at times because of impact.

While much of the episode takes place inside the complex and has its share of humor, when it makes its way outside there is more a sense of scale especially in one crossing sequence, which has some odes to Cloud City in a way from “Empire Strikes Back”. It makes the clones even more human in a way and reaffirms a theme of faith per se which might have been missing from earlier seasons of “Clone Wars”. The key aspect that moves towards the end of the episode is how rules of war change but the hardest aspect to see is sometimes the darkness within which is a continual theme of the “Star Wars” universe that will never change.

B+

By Tim Wassberg