Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - 6.11 Voices
Eleven years ago, George Lucas and Dave Filoni introduced the world to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series that filled in the gap between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The story takes place during the Clone Wars, with the Jedi-led clone army facing off against the droid armies of the Separatist Alliance. With the announcement of a surprise seventh season by Disney, The Digital Fix will be revisiting the animated series, looking back at the most important episodes and story arcs of the show’s five seasons, highlighting the elements that made this show so beloved by Star Wars fans.
We return with a look at Voices, which originally aired in the US back in 2014...
I find it very interesting that the last few episodes of season six of The Clone Wars are the ones that begin to look at some of the really deep questions that have been bouncing around Star Wars for a number of years. Voices is a notable example because it finally begins to answer the question of how Qui-Gon spoke through the Force to Yoda in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and how he was able to appear on Mortis back in season three. We learn that Qui-Gon had partially trained to be able to appear as himself after death, but his training was incomplete; that's why you can only hear him unless he's in a place exceptionally strong with the force (in real life, an accident prevented Liam Neeson from filming an appearance as a Force ghost in Attack of the Clones).
Voices actually contains several parallels to The Empire Strikes Back: Yoda, like Luke, is led by the voice of a deceased Jedi (in this case Qui-Gon) to visit Dagobah and learn more about what the future holds. Yoda even enters a cave similar to the one that Luke goes into (where he has the vision of Vader). Only instead of seeing Vader, Yoda sees a frightening vision of Order 66 being carried out. Interestingly, on the way to the cave, Yoda remarks how connected the planet is to the Force, which might explain why Yoda chose the planet for his place of exile after Order 66.
It's surprising to see that Yoda knew that something like Order 66 was coming before Revenge of the Sith, and yet still believed that the Jedi would somehow survive more or less intact. Is Yoda just being stubborn and resisting the truth of what he just saw? I wonder, because it seems to me that given everything Yoda has learned in the last two episodes about Sifo-Dyas and the Sith Lord killing many Jedi that he would have been much more cautious when the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith began. This is one of the frustrating things about The Clone Wars; sometimes the main characters learn things about the future that should make a difference in how the films play out, but they don't, or at least they don't appear too.
Having said that, Yoda is given a rather strong hint that things may not turn out the way the old Jedi master expects. When he asks Qui-Gon if there is any hope that the Jedi will prevail, Qui-Gon responds that there is always hope, but it often "comes in forms unlooked for." In other words, knowing what we know, yes the Jedi will ultimately prevail, but it won't look anything like it did before. We know what that means, but I'm still not sure Yoda does.
Voices takes the story in a direction completely away from the constant battles of the Clone Wars. For once there are no space battles to be fought, no legions of droids to take down, just a single Jedi off on a mystical quest. It's a refreshing break from the mayhem, it's just a shame it comes so close to the end of the series.