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The End of the Clone Wars is Near

Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 "Old Friends Not Forgotten"- Ashoka and Rex Face their final battle of the war

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 Review

To quote from Tony Stark, “part of the journey is the end.” Star Wars fans knew going into The Clone Wars what to expect, how this story would end. Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader; the Jedi forced into hiding, and the victory of the Sith. Now, after all these years of waiting, we’re in the final arc of The Clone Wars, the Siege of Mandalore. And by the Force, is it beautiful.

Bittersweet Reunions and Farewells

Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 "Old Friends Not Forgotten"- Anakin and Ashoka Reunite

In the last episode, Bo-Katan recruited Ashoka to help her liberate Mandalore from ex-Sith Lord Maul. If you’ve seen Rebels or read the Ashoka novel, then you know what happens next. Ashoka and Rex lead part of the 501st to capture Maul, but then Sidious launches Order 66. The end result is Ashoka and Rex going into hiding while Maul escapes. Had the show finished its run on Cartoon Network, then we’d have the fortune of not knowing what happens next. And the fortune of surprise. Knowing what happens doesn’t make what this episode any less emotional.

Seeing Ashoka reunite with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Artoo, and Rex is a bittersweet moment. It’s the last time we’ll ever see the five of them together in one place. Mid-episode, Anakin and Obi-Wan have to return to Coruscant to rescue Palpatine, kicking off Revenge of the Sith. Knowing that this is the last time Ashoka will see her master as a friend, and likely the last time she sees Obi-Wan at all, brought tears to my eyes. So many things unsaid, unresolved.

The real gut punch comes from the best characters in the show: the Clones themselves. Even after Ashoka left, they salute her and call her “Commander” out of respect for their comrade. Rex and his company even paint their helmets to mimic her facial markings. The message is clear: they’re loyal to Ashoka. Which only makes what’s to come even harder.

How Far Ashoka’s Come

When the Siege of Mandalore finally begins, it’s a masterpiece. Mandalorians and Clone Troopers donning jet packs, dueling in the skies of Mandalore and in the streets of the capital. It’s enough to make fans of the franchise giddy with excitement!

At the heart of everything, though, is Ashoka, and she kicks ass! As the final act of the show, the Siege of Mandalore showcases how much Ashoka’s grown. As the battle begins, she confidently jumps into the sky and effortlessly makes her way to the ground, taking out enemies as she goes. I always thought she had the potential to be one of the best of the Jedi, and this basically affirms it. Our little Padawan’s all grown up. Is it any wonder we can’t wait to see her in season two of The Mandalorian?

Maul Appears, Final Battle Begins

The one flaw to this episode is the lack of one key player: Maul himself. We know he’s hiding on Mandalore, but we don’t see him until the final moments of the episode. It’s a letdown, but I think it helps to build up the tension.

With only three episodes left in the series, there’s still plenty of time for action and drama. After stumbling through the “Ashoka Alone” arc, this episode gives me hope that The Clone Wars can end on a high note. I can’t wait for next Friday as the Siege of Mandalore continues!

I Give “Old Friends Not Forgotten” a 5/5

Stray Observation

I would like to point out that this episode doesn’t dispute the events of the Battle of Coruscant that were depicted in Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars mini-series. Ergo, it’s still canon to me.

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