“Every choice made, has led to this.”
After the final feature-length installment in the Skywalker saga The Rise of Skywalker, Disney+ returns the audience to the very heart of the prequel trilogy – The Clone Wars is back, and it’s a joyous return to form for the Star Wars franchise.
Season Seven picks up right where Season Six left off over half a decade ago, with the majority of original voice actors including Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker, Laura Eckstein as Ashoka Tano, James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Dee Bradley Baker as the seemingly endless numbers of clones. Despite its initial cancellation, the subsequent attempt to offer some form of closure in Star Wars Rebels, moving from Seasons Six to Seven is as easy as breathing.
This season follows the Star Wars universe up to and alongside the events which panned out in 2003’s Revenge of the Sith, beginning with an initial story arc surrounding the renegade ‘Bad Batch’- a squad of unique clones bred with desirable mutations. Fan-favourite Ashoka, Anakin’s former padawan, returns for her own arc, showcasing the impact the Clone Wars had outside of the simple black and white system of morality we’re used to in the Star Wars universe. Season Seven concludes with the much-anticipated Siege of Mandalore – events that the audience had only ever heard about fleetingly in The Mandalorian. The comparably short season length compared to the previous ones is somewhat of a loss for the audience, but does have the added benefit of trimming any narrative fluff from the crucial events the season explores, and the narrative is tightly woven throughout its twelve episodes.
This does feel like somewhat of a missed opportunity, as later seasons of The Clone Wars were enjoyable in part due to the sheer variety of stories they were able to explore. The very concept of The Clone Wars allowed for unique episodes to shine and find their place in the wider Star Wars universe. With the comparably shorter, more straightforward direction of Season Seven, episodes such as these have been foregone for a more typical Star Wars style of pacing. This isn’t to say this approach or these episodes are bad, it’s just a shame to have lost the relative narrative freedom The Clone Wars was allotted in its brief tenure.
Despite the immense depth of the season, The Clone Wars requires little foreknowledge to properly enjoy. As Darth Maul utters later in the season “it really does feel like every choice made has led to this” Season Seven is the worthy completion of a story over a decade in the making. It’s a statement that has perhaps lost some meaning over the years, but this season does feel like it’s been made for the fans. A thank you to those who made The Clone Wars what it was, and a parting gift as we leave this era of Star Wars behind for good.
After the recent divisions over Disney’s intentions with the Star Wars brand, it’s refreshing to be reminded just why the audience fell in love with these stories and characters in the first place. How an alien galaxy set a long time ago far far away, can host stories so decidedly human in nature. The Clone Wars Season Seven might not be perfect, but it’s arguably some of the best Star Wars content seen for a long time.
Image Credit: TheMovieDB