Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 6 Review (Part 4): The Force's Coda
Star Wars: The Clone Wars S06E10, S06E11, S06E12, and S06E13:
Star Wars, being a franchise that's spread across various forms of media, has always struggled when it gets into the nitty-gritty of the Force. The prequel trilogy converted the Force from this mysterious lifestream that binds the universe together into teeny tiny cells that can be measured inside of all life in the universe. There's a connection between those two things, to be sure, but the emergence of midichlorians basically transformed the mystical into the mundane of biology.
The Star Wars novels don't fare much better. I can't speak to the Old Republic line, but the novels after Return of the Jedi can be a weird mishmash of Force-altering/refining nonsense. You need look no further than the Yuuzhan Vong, who don't appear to exist in the Force or Jacen Solo's descent to the Dark Side, but in a supposedly benevolent way? Who knows. Because George Lucas made the Force so vague but all-encompassing, it could be employed in all sorts of ways, by all sorts of people, including him.
This last arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an intensely spiritual set of episodes as Yoda, after hearing Qui-Gon Jinn's voice (actually voiced by Liam Neeson, no less!), set about to learn how to survive in the Force after he's passed on from the physical realm. Or, in shorter terms: These four episodes explain how Yoda started talking to Qui-Gon as he mentioned in that single line in Revenge of the Sith.
Yoda's Force walkabout led him to Dagobah, a limbo-ish world in the heart of the galaxy, and Moraband, the homeworld of the Sith, to acheive an understanding about the cosmic and the living Force and... yeah, The Clone Wars, like its predecessors, struggled to make much of its addition to what the Force is. The arc was more a series of checking off the boxes so that it could tie back into that Revenge of the Sith line than anything else.
But as checking off the boxes goes, it was at least pretty entertaining. The first half, in "The Lost Ones" and "Voices," was more my speed, between the unearthing about Sifo-Dyas's death (quickly forgotten) and Yoda playing the other Masters in the Council to go on his galactic tour of Force hotspots. They were a livelier pair of episodes, not bogged down by Force philosophizing and Yoda fighting the Dark Side Gollum version of himself, which was the low point. Sure, meeting Darth Bane (voiced with his typical villainous relish by Mark Hamill) was a neat moment, but it was also largely inconsequential to the story.
When The Clone Wars finished its run on Cartoon Network, I saw the final arc about Ahsoka as being very much in the vein of Star Wars' larger themes about corruption and the failures of civic institutions. It felt very much like the definitive idea of what The Clone Wars had to say about this very specific period in the timeline of the Star Wars universe. It summed up so many elements that had run through the series into a neat little package, and a package unique to the series: Ahsoka (whose departure should've resulted in real fallout in anything that came after it, but that we only got the barest of nods to). The war had claimed an innocent, and the (younger) audience's surrogate into the new series. It was a harsh lesson.
Season 6, ignoring the middle two arcs that were awful and forgettable, felt very much like an unnecessary coda, given their status as the last episodes of the series. Both Fives' arc and Yoda's arc were more like narrative lead-ups to the final installment of the prequel films, rather than a conclusion to The Clone Wars itself. Of course, these "Lost Missions" weren't intended to stand on their own, or to even conclude the series, so it's a touch unfair to judge them as a "fitting end" for the series, but as we move into Star Wars: Rebels, we've reached the end of this Star Wars era, and it wasn't as great an end as the first one.
What did you all think of this fourth and final arc of The Clone Wars Season 6?
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