A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
This is the very last episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. When the show first began in 2008 with the film that probably should have stuck as four episodes, fan reaction was on the fence. On one hand, there was more Star Wars. On the other hand, it looked far too juvenile to be worthwhile. But the episode Rookies came and changed the show. When Season 5 ended with the news of Star Wars being sold to Disney and the end of the show, there was a collective tremor felt through the Force. Clone Wars had become an integral part of the Star Wars saga and to know it had been axed because of the merger and not the end of stories made it all the worse. But there was a 13-episode Season 6 on Netflix and there was a little bit of solace, just a little bit. And here we are. Sacrifice is the final leg of the Clone Wars’ magnificent Yoda arc and the final episode of some of the saga’s finest storytelling moments. Here we go.
Yoda arrives on the ancient Sith home world of Moraband, which continues the Star Wars tradition of fictional names that are way too close to their literal counterparts. The planet feels like a cross between Dathomir and Geonosis, enshrouded in an aura of red granite. Once again he leaves R2 behind to guard the ship to embark on a journey that must be his and his alone. Their bond is portrayed with an incredible sense of sweetness and mutual respect, unburdened by the differences in their beings.
The specters of the Sith arise as Yoda treks across the perilous, eerie landscape. You will die and be nothing,” the specters warn before they disappear. The specter of Darth Bane arises from the shadows of Moraband as Yoda approaches the infamous Sith Lord’s tomb. Voiced impeccably by Mark Hamill, the specter reminds Yoda of his creation of the Rule of Two to preserve the Sith. Yoda does not fear Darth Bane and the shocked shadow is sucked back into his own tomb. The Priestesses reappear, warning Yoda of incredible darkness as he descends into a tomb where the Sith at one point in time used to sacrifice the Jedi. There, the Priestesses tell him, he will find the Sith of his time.
Darth Tyranus makes his way to the Coruscant bunker seen at the end of Attack of the Clones, recreated to perfection here. Darth Sidious is already waiting for him, warning his apprentice of Yoda’s presence on Moraband. Sidious plans on manipulating the bond between Dooku and Yoda, validating the fear Ki-Adi Mundi had at the beginning of the arc. With a bit of blood magic, they begin a secret dark arts ritual. Yoda finds a bound Sifo-Dyas, an addled Sifo-Dyas who has become obsessed with the power to save the future. Suddenly a power circle blazes around him and Yoda finds himself on a ship with Anakin and clone troopers going to the very industrial tower where Tyranus and Sidious are meeting. They must be captured or executed according to Yoda, a dark but pragmatic conclusion for the Jedi Master.
The battle that follows is incredible. Yoda witnessing the moment where Anakin would eventually strike Dooku’s head off right after Sidious warns him that he can’t change what will inevitably happens was powerful. Yoda and Anakin vs. Darth Sidious is amongst the most incredible lightsaber choreography ever put to screen, fitting for a fight between three of the most powerful Force users in the galazy. Yoda holding off Sidious’s lightning with his lightsaber while struggling to save Anakin is a sight to behold. “Why not let him go? Let him die and you can stop all that I will do,” Sidious hisses vehemently. “The future is not yours yet. Tempted I will not be. Sacrifice all I am ready to die,” Yoda thunders, bearing the full brunt of Sidious’s lightning while still keeping his grip on Anakin. He fights back and as the two of them are falling down, he struggles to see Sidious’s face but as he raises the hood, there is nothing left. The Priestesses find him and commend him for finishing his tasks and inform him that Qui-Gon will now be his guiding master. “There is another Skywalker,” they say hopefully before their light flashes and Yoda comes back to R2. “Time to go home it is,” Yoda says quietly to his astromech friend. At the Jedi Temple, Yoda is found by Mace and Obi-Wan. “Did your journey give you insight into how the war can be won?” Mace asks. “No longer certain I am that a war can ever be won,” the venerated Jedi Master says somberly. But another path exists, a path to victory for all time tha the Sith are unaware of. With that semblance of hope, the Clone Wars for now at least comes to a beautiful end. Over 121 episodes and six seasons, the show has been one of the most significant additions to the Star Wars mythology and it’s been an absolute treat to be privy to it. Thank you.
Writer: Christian Taylor
Director: Steward Lee
Chronologically Episode #121
Image Courtesy: Star Wars OS