Just as episodes 4, 5, and 6, pre-dated episodes 1, 2, and 3, the ending of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was, essentially, already known. In Star Wars: Rebels, a grown-up Ahsoka Tano faces off against none other than Darth Vader. In that sequence, she famously tells him that she is “no Jedi.” Yet, her actions in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series finale showed that while she may not be a Jedi is one of the most light-side Force fighters we’ve ever seen. Despite all of the different versions of the execution of Order 66 we’ve seen, Ahsoka does something no other Jedi ever did. She saves one of the clones. While fighting for her life, she and Rex took great pains to not kill any of the clone troopers. Of course, thanks to Maul and the crash of the starship, they all died anyway.
That is the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise the prequel era of Star Wars. It is destined to end only in death, suffering, and sadness. There is a reason that Old Ben Kenobi called the intervening years between the fall of the Republic and the original trilogy “the Dark times.” Yet, the series finale of The Clone Wars was a deeply personal story about how Rex and Ahsoka survived an entire Star Destroyer’s worth of clones pursuing them.
The final sequences in the series are as visually stunning as the rest of this season has been. Watching Ahsoka Tano survive as she does is thrilling and shows that, Jedi or not, she is easily one of the most skilled Force users in canon. However, like Vader at the end, The Clone Wars series finale doesn’t give us much in the way of closure.
Not Much Actually Happens In The Clone Wars Series Finale
Image via Lucasfilm
The Clone Wars series finale simply features Ahsoka and Rex finding a ship and fleeing. Yet, as with life, it’s not where the characters end up, but how they get there. While their actions lead to the deaths of every clone trooper and officers aboard that vessel, neither Rex nor Ahsoka could bring themselves to kill any of them directly. What makes this episode so essential for Star Wars-viewing is because it spends time sitting in the emotional turmoil of this betrayal.
In Revenge of the Sith, we see Obi-Wan and Yoda mourn the loss of the entire Jedi Order. Yet, we don’t see them dealing with the betrayal by people they fought next to for years. In fairness, Ahsoka and Rex don’t spend much time with these conflicting emotions either. Thus, the subtle detail that they stun the clones attacking them underscores this beautifully. Ahsoka and Rex thought they might be able to save them, too.
Ahsoka removed the control chip that forced the clones to comply with Darth Sidious’ orders in Rex. Perhaps they hoped they could do that for the other clones as well. The troopers trying to kill them wear helmets painted to match Ahsoka’s facial markings is another subtle detail like a lightsaber to our emotions. Also, that Ahsoka and Rex bury the clones who perished in the crash is another indicator that they did not blame their comrades for turning on them. They were as much victims of Sith evil as Ahsoka, Rex, and the rest of the Jedi.
Still, the final half hour of this series is full of action and impossible odds, just like any good Star War. And, the abrupt end of the episode suggests that we might get more adventures with Ahsoka Tano just not under The Clone Wars banner.
The Clone Wars Series Finale Is a Capstone for the Series and Companion to Revenge of the Sith
Fans were excited about the return of the series ever since it was announced at Comic Con. Yet, the initial eight episodes felt a little disappointing, if only because we knew how limited the season was. With only 12 episodes instead of the traditional 22, some fans felt like the four-episode arcs focusing on the clone troopers and Ahsoka were not what they wanted. They wanted more stories featuring Obi-Wan, Anakin, and other film characters. Yet, The Clone Wars was never about them, and so the finale should focus on these characters. Rex and Ahsoka are the two original characters who lived on to appear in other media. (In fact, a fun fan-retcon suggests Rex was in Return of the Jedi.)
Whether you enjoyed the first eight episodes or not, the four episodes that make up the full series finale of The Clone Wars is a masterpiece. We see how foolish the Jedi were for allowing Ahsoka’s faith in the order to falter. If she hadn’t left the Jedi Order, it’s possible that Anakin Skywalker would have never fallen to the Dark Side. We understand why as we see Ahsoka command her final battle of the war and survive Order 66. She may be “no Jedi,” but she’s definitely one of the most light-side characters we’ve ever seen.
We know Ahsoka lives on. There is Rebels, the novel Ahsoka, and the rumor that she will appear in season 2 of The Mandalorian, played by Rosario Dawson. Still, her experiences during the end of the war are incredibly important to the character’s development and Star Wars lore.
How the Final Season of The Clone Wars Fits Into the Larger Star Wars Mosaic
Image via Lucasfilm
When Ahsoka first appeared in the series, (surprise!) the fan boys didn’t like her. She was a Mary Sue, overpowered, too cute by half, annoying, and represented a change to the film canon. (Ahsoka, of course, doesn’t appear in Revenge of the Sith.) If this sounds familiar, it’s pretty much exactly what the angry fan boys say about Rey.
Yet, Ahsoka is easily one of the most popular Star Wars characters of all time. Her growth throughout The Clone Wars brought all but the most misogynistic of fans around. Trained by Anakin, she is a formidable Force user and ultimately a powerful figure in the universe. In fact, comments from Dave Filoni and in the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker, take great pains to imply that she’s still alive during the events of that film.
Rex and Ahsoka are important characters in the Star Wars expanded universe. To the fans who grew up with them, they are as important as Luke, Han Solo, or Padmé Amidala. While there may be more stories to tell in this era, this story was a necessary piece of Ahsoka’s and Rex’s stories.
What do you think of The Clone Wars series finale? Tell us about your favorite part or the stories you want to see next in the comments below.
Featured image via Lucasfilm
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.