“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” comes to an end

Jackson Rickert, Opinions Editor, Columnist

When Disney announced the long awaited release of a seventh season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” fans were ecstatic. After being cancelled in 2013, fans had been clamoring for a resolution to the stories and characters from the acclaimed animation, and although the newly announced season wouldn’t contain everything that had been planned before the show’s cancellation, it promised to put a cap on the core story and character arcs. After months of waiting, episodes started releasing weekly on Disney+ on Feb. 21. With the final episode having aired on May 4, it’s time to reflect on the final season, the resolution it brought and how it reflects upon the show as a whole. An obvious spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen it yet.

This season is “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” at its best. Specifically, the final four episodes are some of, if not, the best “Star Wars” content I’ve seen in years. The first eight episodes are pretty standard. I understand why they were the episodes that are included, but they feel like run-of-the-mill Clone Wars. They’re good, but they don’t scream “Two-thirds of the last season of a 12 year old show!” The last four episodes, however, do. 

Dubbed “The Siege of Mandalore” the four episode long story arc wraps up both the season and the series, and is nothing short of brilliant. Playing off of countless plotlines, bringing back characters new and old and finishing off the story of both the prequel trilogy and the animated series in a satisfying way, it is honestly some of the best Star Wars I’ve seen in years. 

The last four episodes follow Ahsoka, Captain Rex and their loyal soldiers on their mission to capture the renegade Sith Darth Maul. The arc also overlaps with the film “Revenge of the Sith,” which concluded the prequel trilogy back in 2005. This overlap does what the show has always done well, and makes the Star Wars galaxy feel connected and rich. There have been years of expansion to this era, and these episodes make the setting feel cleaner, more developed and more meaningful to a degree that even the earlier seasons didn’t manage.

Taking place when and where they do, these episodes also cover Ahsoka’s journey, through Clone Order 66 (more specifically, the overriding of the free will of the Republic’s clone troopers  and forcing them to betray the Jedi, the penultimate act of sith takeover.) Order 66 was something that every fan knew the show was leading to, even since it began, but I cannot stress how fantastically it worked. After getting to know all of these characters, to see it all play out is heartbreaking. The musical queues, the beautiful lighting and cinematography, and the excellent storytelling made these episodes a must watch. 

The ending of the show itself, the final shots, were nothing short of haunting. It was abrupt and lonely, and I think that was the exact way it had to be. While fans had been longing for a heartfelt, hopeful ending, there was no way that was ever going to happen. “The Clone Wars” was built as a tragedy and that’s how it had to end, but the way the showrunners pulled it off still makes it one of the most fulfilling and rewarding resolutions to a TV show I’ve ever seen.

Overall, season seven went above and beyond. While the first two-thirds were pretty standard, the ending brought a satisfying end to, not only 12 years of television, but also a whole era of the “Star Wars” universe. The entire show is currently up on Disney+, and I cannot recommend it enough.