Star Wars: The Clone Wars - 7.12 Victory and Death
At long last, after all the hype and anticipation, Star Wars: The Clone Wars has finally come to an end with Victory and Death, the final installment of the Siege of Mandalore and the overall series finale. It's ultimately taken 12 years to reach this moment, and for months I was wondering how it would feel to see Star Wars: The Clone Wars finally come to an end. The answer surprised me, and undoubtedly surprised many viewers as well.
Compared to the three previous installments, Victory and Death is relatively subdued. To be sure, there is plenty of action as Ahsoka and Rex (and Maul on his own), fight to get off the Star Destroyer alive. The level of tension, however, is far lower than it was in Shattered. This could be because Order 66, the long-awaited climax of the season, has now happened and all that remains is to tie up a few loose ends. Regardless of the reason, there's no denying everything feels more muted in this episode, particularly at the end, and it's there that fans might have a small problem.
If you were hoping the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars would provide some hints as to where Ahsoka and Rex go after they make their escape, you are going to be disappointed. While we do get a touching moment where Ahsoka silently memorializes the fallen clone troopers, it seems we're not meant to see what happens next, as Dave Filoni chose to end the series with a shocking flash forward to the Imperial era. Seeing Vader out of the blue was a bit of a shock, but it is a handy way to wrap up the series. It also confirms that Vader hasn't forgotten about his former apprentice, something that carries over into Star Wars: Rebels.
That aside, there is plenty of action to be found in this final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Even though anyone familiar with Star Wars: Rebels will know that Ahsoka and Rex are going to make it, the episode does a good job of keeping you on the edge of your seat, making it unclear just how this escape is going to happen until almost the very end. During the long chase off the ship, there's a cool homage to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when Ahsoka uses the Force to hold the shuttle Maul is stealing in place, much like Rey did with a First Order transport. And speaking of Maul, it was great to see him get one last moment of Force-using glory before departing, presumably to regroup with Crimson Dawn (since that's where we next see him in Solo: A Star Wars Story).
Apart from the action, the final emotional twist Star Wars: The Clone Wars has to offer is Ahsoka's treatment of the clones after they turn on her. In true Jedi fashion, Ahsoka can't bear the thought of killing the men who have served under her. This might seem like a naive view to take, but remember that Ahsoka knows that the clone's are not acting with free will. I call this an emotional twist because you can see hints of how much all of this is hurting Ahsoka. Even though she managed to save Rex from himself, what happened on that ship will stay with Ahsoka for a very long time.
Perhaps, in the end, it is fitting that Star Wars: The Clone Wars ended on a quiet note, with Vader contemplating everything that was in front of him. It's perfectly symbolic of how the Clone Wars has left scars that are still visible, in more ways than one, across the galaxy. And then there was that one last surprise: circling above Vader is Morai, the convor that has followed Ahsoka since the Mortis arc in season three. While the exact meaning of Morai's presence is left to the imagination, it does remind the audience that while the Clone Wars is over, Ahsoka's story is not.