We’re in the endgame now, with the final arc of the last season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Old Friends Not Forgotten, the season’s nine episode, hit Disney Plus on Friday, kicking off the long-awaited Siege of Mandalore.
We pick up with ex-Padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) after her , when she opted to join one-time enemy Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and her Mandalorian buddies in kicking former Sith apprentice Maul (Sam Witwer) off the planet for good.
This is an absolutely spectacular episode, like Star Wars rock ‘n’ roll from beginning to end. At the risk of sounding gatekeepery, it exemplifies why this show is essential viewing for every fan. If you’re reading this and haven’t done so, it’s all on Disney Plus.
Anyhoo, on with dem SPOILERS.
There isn’t one. But if there was, it’d read “Oh, it’s ON now!” Which would be less a pearl of wisdom than it would be pure hype for this glorious beast of an episode.
Instead, we get the old Lucasfilm logo and a hint of Ahsoka’s theme before a blast of John Williams’ Main Title over a blood-red version of the show’s logo, which fades into the starscape like one of the movies. This is essentially executive producer Dave Filoni promising us something truly epic and a reminder that we’ve hit the final stretch of the last Star Wars project that creator George Lucas had a direct hand in.
One last look at my friends
We meet Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) as he rescues former master Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) from a huge droid army like an absolute hero, When Anakin steps out and all the droids take aim, it visually echoes a moment that’ll happen decades later, when his son Luke’s Force projection steps out to meet the First Order on Crait in The Last Jedi.
After Anakin fakes his surrender, composer Kevin Kiner’s score mirrors the moment on Jabba’s Sail Barge in Return of the Jedi — suggesting a sneaky-sneaky plan. Anakin just wanted to draw out the tactical droid, which he takes out with one shift stroke, and leave the army vulnerable to the clones (or an Attack of the Clones, if you will).
With the battle won, they reunite with Ahsoka. Anakin is significantly less slick in her presence — he was clearly hoping for an emotional reunion with his Padawan and she’s all business. Obi-Wan is unsure about committing Republic forces to liberate Mandalore (because politics!), but it goes off the table when they get word that General Grievous has attacked Coruscant.
With that, the show has reached the events of Revenge of the Sith, so Anakin and Obi-Wan have to rescue Chancellor Palpatine. He is a lovely fella, after all, and definitely won’t twist Anakin into a monster.
Even though they can’t help, Anakin has some surprises for Ahsoka. He presents her with a platoon of clone troopers, led by the newly promoted Commander Rex () with helmets painted to match her markings. It’s a pretty powerful moment, especially since it’s the last time Ahsoka will see pre-Vader Anakin, and presumably Obi-Wan.
“I killed Maul once,” the Jedi Master says. “Best to capture him, he doesn’t seem to stay dead.”
Don’t even worry about it Obi-Wan, you’llin CGI animated followup show Rebels!
Anakin also gives Ahsoka the lightsabers she left behind at the end of Season 5. He replaced her green crystals with blue ones, so her blades match her cool new outfit. How convenient.
“Anakin, good luck,” she says, in her final words of friendship to her former master.
Mandos for the dark side
As Ahsoka, Bo-Katan and the Mandalorians reach their homeworld, they hear from sleazy Prime Minister Almec (Julian Holloway)
“Your time has come Almec,” says Bo-Katan. “We know you’re Maul’s puppet, and we’re coming for him.”
On the planet, we see that Almec is working with Gar Saxon and Rook Kast (Ray Stevenson and Vanessa Marshall), the pair who rescued Maul in the incredible 2014 . Saxon will also go to serve as Emperor’s Hand and become the Imperial Viceroy of Mandalore in Rebels.