Image Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm
(Okay, so this is where it gets really good.)
Hey guys, this is Arca, and today I will be reviewing the first episode of the final arc in the entire series of The Clone Wars, or Season 7 Episode 9, entitled "Old Friends Not Forgotten". Based on that title, you guessed it, Ahsoka and Anakin finale meet back up as we saw in the surprise reveal trailer for Season 7 (which we were told was cancelled) two years ago. For the first time in this entire season (and possibly the series, but I haven't watched every single episode so I can't be sure), the creators of the show decided to treat an arc like a cinematic film. This is proven by the interesting opening (you'll see it for yourself), as well as the grand themes and events that it covers.
No more "small world" stuff. This episode takes place directly during the events of the freaking film Revenge of the Sith! If that's "filler" to you, then I don't know what you consider significant. The basic premise of this episode is sort of like Rogue One in a way, that if a viewer knows what happens next then they will understand more in advance. If you watched the (quite boring, in my opinion) first hour of the otherwise pretty great film Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, then you know exactly what decision that Anakin and Obi-Wan make in the end. It's one that segways directly from the end of the previous episode (and conclusion to a not-as-significant arc): Should they go with Ahsoka to Mandalore to liberate the planet from the forces of Maul? Or, when disaster strikes at the last moment and Separatists have captured the Emperor--- ahem, I mean, Chancellor---- will they leave Ahsoka to go by herself?
If you know about the events of Revenge of the Sith, you'll be familiar that Ahsoka isn't in it, so that probably answers that question. It's not a spoiler, just expository information. The episode features Ahsoka front and center with her own legion of clone troopers as they join forces with Bo Katan to take back the planet of Mandalore. It's full of story and action at every moment. Action scenes actually feel tense and exciting (unlike *cough cough* most of the non-lightsaber-fighting moments of the prequels), and some parts are actually animated as if you were looking over the character's shoulder as they jump from spaceships or run down a battlefield, which I think contributes to this feeling. Honestly, with just how good this arc has already started, it feels like they're trying to re-make Revenge of the Sith without George Lucas and actually get it right this time. Since that film (which I've seen multiple times but haven't reviewed here on my blog... yet), in my opinion, had some great ideas on paper but always felt like George Lucas made certain adjustments to the tone and pacing at the very last minute because "he had to". Sort of like, "Oh, Anakin becomes Vader in this one! Gotta make things actually happen with the plot!" I know that's potentially a controversial opinion, but this strengthens my appreciation of The Clone Wars as a whole for being able to flesh out the world of Star Wars pre-Empire in a much more exciting and less budget or time-restrained way.
If you're a Clone Wars fan, you'll love this. If you're just a Star Wars fan, you'll still love it. Characters are put in difficult situations and actually must make decisions that help them grow and develop, instead of mindless random "lore" details and a constant need for poorly-executed action. It's put together in a way that squeezes a lot into every moment of this thirty-minute-long episode and leaves you instantly wanting more with its ending. This will certainly get me to want to tune into the next episode first thing when I'm out of virtual school next Friday! The music's great, the animation's great, it's exciting, it's meaningful, and a big fat gift to fans that isn't the pointless kind of "fan service". If you're interested, I'd even reccomend just skipping the prior episodes of this season and watching it right away, since it's not really dependent on the prior ones yet (despite referencing the previous arc in literally just one sentence said by Ahsoka and the possibility of seeing the Bad Batch during the events of Order 66). I find it (subjectively) to be objectively the best episode of this entire season thus far. I have spoken.
If I were to give it a score from 0 to 100 (I'd probably bump the previous reviews I did by a point or two or three in the process), I'd give it a 93. There's not much wrong with it, and I want to leave the higher numbers for the scores of the next few episodes (LOL). What did you guys think of this episode and this season? Leave it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to share it with others and also check out the other posts on my blog, and also my travel vlog-focused YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwRZe3oXRb7ybJthjNfoz5w
Until next time, this is Arca, signing off. Enjoy your spring breaks (if you have one currently), and stay safe.