Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - 6.12 Destiny
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 Destiny, which originally aired in the US back in 2014...
Yoda's quest to learn about how to live after death (as a Force ghost) continues as the Jedi master arrives at a mysterious planet, allegedly the source of life and the source of the Force. The planet reminds me somewhat of Mortis from season three, not least because plants spring up when the mysterious inhabitants touch the ground. It is here that Yoda must undergo a series of tests to prove if he is worthy to be trained at all.
This, for me, is part of what makes Destiny an interesting episode. It puts the ancient Yoda, long accustomed to being a master and a teacher, in the position of a student, and an unwilling one at that. We really don't know that much about Yoda, so his reaction to finding out he has training to complete is enlightening. Yoda seems to be of the opinion that there isn't much he needs to learn, which shows that deep down he is somewhat inflexible when it comes to learning or accepting new things. As the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, what we see in Yoda can presumably be ascribed to the rest of the Council, which may also explain how the Jedi were able to fall in the end.
As fascinating as it is to watch Yoda struggle with being a student again, the best part of the episode was his first test; confronting his inner darkness in a dark and twisted version of himself. It's frightening to watch because you get the feeling that this is what Yoda would have become had he fallen to the Dark Side instead of becoming one of the greatest Jedi of all time. Whereas the Yoda we know is friendly and wise, the dark Yoda is mocking, possibly insane, and very fast. As hard as it is to accept the idea that this dark figure (or at least the potential for him) lurked inside Yoda, the idea here was to point out that everyone has the capacity for evil inside them, no matter who they are.
This episode also makes a fairly obvious reference to the original trilogy. When the priestesses are arguing about whether or not Yoda should be trained, it is pointed out that he must be trained because of what he must do in the future. This is a clear reference to his training of Luke, but it could work for the sequel trilogy too. Yoda trained Luke while he was still alive, and Yoda's training is meant to ensure he comes back after death. Were they already preparing the idea that Yoda would come back in the sequel trilogy to train someone? It certainly seems like a possibility, since we know George Lucas had been working on the idea before Disney took over.
Destiny continues a string of well-done episodes that tell a mystical story not really seen since the Mortis arc in season three. We learn more about the origins of the Force, and more importantly, a little more about Yoda and how he thinks.