On Feb. 21, Disney Plus released the first episode of the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” It’s been years since “The Clone Wars” finished its run on TV, with season five finishing in early 2013, before being canceled due to the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney before it’s sixth, seventh and eight seasons could air. The sixth season was eventually released on Netflix, wrapping up some stories, but after that the show was considered dead in the water for a while.
For years, the show’s base was left hanging by season five’s cliffhanger ending, with only scattered appearances or details given by characters in “Star Wars: Rebels” tiding them over. Of course, there was the occasional discussion or storyboard that would tell fans what had happened, but it wasn’t the same as seeing the resolution.
“The Clone Wars” was always ominous, with the whole plot built around the lead up to order 66, where the Jedi would be betrayed by their clone soldiers. The whole era of Star Wars was designed around the fall of the Jedi, and slowly getting attached to the previously expendable clone troopers made it hard to watch, knowing what would happen. Everyone thought we would see this coup play out from a new point of view at the end of the show, but the show was cancelled before the final episodes could air; so when Disney announced the release of a seventh and final season of the beloved animation, fans were over the moon.
With 12 episodes planned, episodes of the seventh season will be released weekly, and will hopefully wrap up the key storylines that went unresolved. With less episodes than a typical season, some arks were likely cut, leaving just the key stories needed to wrap up the show. The biggest and most important ark, involving the Mandalorian Civil War and the return of Ahsoka Tano has made appearances in trailers already, so it definitely made the cut. The only other confirmed ark is the Bad Batch, following a group of defective elite clones, previously seen in storyboards. The other episodes are a mystery. Assuming each of these arks makes up three or four episodes each, there are still four to six episodes to which the story is unconfirmed. It’s possible that they will fill these episodes with the storyboards they released before Disney picked the show back up, but with two season’s worth of scrapped episodes, these episodes could really go anywhere.
Regardless of how the writers decide to narrow down the episodes, the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is going to be incredibly significant for “Star Wars” fans. With the Skywalker Saga finished, it is likely that this season is not only going to wrap up the show, but also be the last time major characters, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Darth Maul and Ahsoka Tano, will be seen for a long time. There is no doubt in my mind that these characters will be done justice, and that their appearances will be spectacular, but it is also a bit somber. When the show was cancelled, there was always the idea that there was more out there to see. There were more episodes, more stories, more adventures with these characters that some of us had known since we were toddlers. These next few episodes will wrap up stories from previous seasons, but also from 40-plus years of connected storytelling. Wrapping up “Clone Wars” is, in a way, wrapping up the pre-Disney era of Star Wars, and for a franchise as big as this, it’s a big shift.
Regardless, my expectations for this final season are high. The team behind “Clone Wars” had been consistently excellent at delivering good stories and interesting content, and I am sure that whatever ends up happening with the rest of “Star Wars,” the final season of “Clone Wars” will not disappoint.