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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 6 Review: Part 1 (Spoilers)
Two weeks ago Netflix revived the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars for a sixth and final season with its release of a 13 episode season dubbed “The Lost Missions.” The first story, or lost mission, focuses on the clone trooper Fives and the conspiracy surrounding his friend’s sudden change in behavior. The second places the focus on Padme, third on Jar-Jar Binks and Mace Windu, and the fourth on Yoda.
With each story arc being completely separate from one another, I found that I couldn’t just do a single review for the entire season. Instead, I thought it would be more fitting, and fair, to review each arc individually. So this review will focus solely on part one of the “Lost Missions” with three more reviews to come for each of the remaining three stories. In my review for Yoda’s story, I will add in my thoughts about the final season as a whole, including a review score for the entire season, and briefly look ahead at the new animated series Star Wars: Rebels that is set to debut later this year.
Below is my review for season six, episodes one through four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. John Williams, music please.
Not Feeling Like Myself
The Clone War continues to rage on as Anakin and the Republic Army find themselves in a fight against the Droid Army in a space station above the planet Ringo Vinda. Accompanied by the Jedi twins Tiplar and Tiplee, Anakin and the clones look to push back against the Droid Army, however the Jedi aren’t the focus of this story. Instead the focus is on clone troopers Fives and Tup. During the battle, Tup begins going into trance-like states and starts muttering the word Jedi. Fives notices Tup’s inattentiveness and tries to get him to stay focused on the battle at hand, but Tup says that he isn’t feeling like himself. Fives, Tups, Anakin, the twins and the clones press on and appear to have the battle almost won. Once again Tups slips into the trance-like state and turns his focus to Jedi Tiplar and mutters the words “Jedi. Good soldiers follow orders.” Tups walks up to Tiplar in the middle of the battle and shoots her at point blank range, killing her. This forces Anakin and the clones to retreat from the battle so they can assess the situation.
During his interrogation, Tups can’t recall what he did to Tiplar, and then he slips into another trance and mutters “Good soldiers follow orders” repeatedly until he sees Jedi Tiplee and says, “Kill the Jedi,” and lunges at her. Tiplee uses the force to keep him at bay and Anakin orders that they gets Tups to medical for further examination. Inconclusive results lead to the decision for Tups to be sent to Kamino to be examined by the doctors there. Since they created the clone army they may be able to figure out what is wrong with Tups. Fives asks Anakin for permission to accompany Tups to Kamino in hopes that he may somehow be able to help his friend, Anakin allows him to go. But things only get stranger from there.
Uncovering a Conspiracy
One of the few things that has bothered me about The Clone Wars was that there still wasn’t much connection to the Episode 3, but this first arc provides viewers with a taste of connectivity to Episode 3. It is made clear to the viewers very quickly that Tups actions and conditions are tied to Order 66. However, we know that the Jedi never learn about Order 66 until it’s too late. That being the case, the writers for this first arc do an excellent job of creating a “conspiracy” about a Separatist plot involving the clone troopers in which the truth is revealed to Fives but believed by no one.
Following Fives as he pieces together the truth behind Tups’ actions and the clone’s true purpose is simultaneously exciting and heartbreaking. Everyone loves to see the good guys win and hates to see them lose, but it’s even more devastating when you know your hero will lose even when you see them at the point of near victory. Watching Fives’ final moments when he reaches the realization that no one will believe his story is possibly the most adult-moment in The Clone Wars, a series that has featured several such moments in the last couple of seasons. The question of whether or not this is still a kid’s show comes to mind when witnessing moments such as Fives’ death, but that discussion is for another time.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how delightfully evil Palpatine is in this story. Though he’s been playing his own double agent since The Phantom Menace, Palpatine only briefly came across as an evil mastermind, let alone someone competent enough to rule an entire Empire in the prequels. These four episodes, to me anyways, finally showcase Palpatine in a light that is most becoming of the soon-to-be Emperor. From the way Palpatine handles his greatest plan almost getting revealed to the manner in which he plays everyone like they’re puppets while he holds the strings, Palpatine is presented as the great villain we’ve always been led to believe he is but that we’ve rarely seen.
I’ve tried to leave out as much spoilers as possible, but if you understand the fact the Jedi never learn of Order 66 until it’s being executed, then you know how this story will end. However, the emotional ride we are put on on the way to that inevitable end is one that shouldn’t be missed by Star Wars fans. The first arc of The Clone Wars season six, “The Lost Missions,” is one of the most powerful stories told in the Star Wars universe. Fives has been one of the best characters to come out of The Clone Wars series and his final story is a most befitting tale.