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The Clone Wars SERIES FINALE Review- "Victory and Death" S7 E12 (Spoiler-Free)

Image Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

Hello guys, this is Arca, and this post is quite unique. First of all, it is the first post ever that I wrote and published using Blogger's brand new editor interface for 2020, finally done by Google to make it look more like the rest of its current products and not like something out of 1999 (which it technically is, but at least now the visual aesthetic has evolved past 2013). It will take me a bit of getting used to it in order to know the parts of the editing interface by memory, but I do think that it is a good improvement. I might review this update in a separate post, possibly as soon as tomorrow, since I now decided that since school is becoming much more tame and with only 13 school days to go before summer, I might as well start a daily post schedule again and try my best to keep at it for the entirety of my quarantined summer. 

This post is not only the first post of my daily summer 2020 posts, and also the first one I ever made in Blogger's new interface, but also the last post I will make reviewing an episode of The Clone Wars's final season, season 7. That's since, a month ago, on May the 4th be with You, the series finale released. I watched it. I told myself I'd get around to reviewing it that weekend. That didn't happen, and it didn't happen the next weekend, either. Anyway, here we are, and immediately prior to writing this post, I rewatched the episode, and now I'm ready to make a hopefully brief, definitely spoiler-free review of it. Here we go.

This episode picks up immediately (literally zero seconds after) the previous episode (which I did a review of) in which Order 66 is executed. Ahsoka and Rex (who has had his brainwashing inhibitor chip disabled since the previous episode) now find themselves stuck oboard a ship in hyperspace full of clonetroopers bent on murdering them for "treason against the Republic" (you'd understand that part more if you watched the movie Revenge of the Sith). Now, they must find a way to survive amidst all the chaos, as the paraphrased episode description puts it. 

So, what did I think of this episode? Well, after my second viewing, even though I felt the exact same way the first time I watched it, I can say that it is a phenomenal masterpiece. Dave Filoni's mostly-amazing Star Wars animated show that did what the prequelsn't has came to an end in the best way possible: In a heartwrenching, action-packed but completely moving, thought-provoking, epic end. 

The characters are great, which is important when quite a lot of them are having their last few moments on-screen. Ahsoka and Rex's character arcs are compelling throughout the series, and it really shines as to what they have learned and experiences, and all the emotional bonds that have formed throughout seven seasons of episodes. Rather than numbing the audience with endless dialogue or pew-pew laser fights without letting any important beats truly set in, this episode is full of show-not-tell storytelling. Multiple moments (many of which I suspect have already become iconic, like that closing shot though!) have the characters saying nothing, but rather standing still, in silence, with only the music and their subtle actions and the symbolic objects around them to tell the audience exactly what they need to know, and make them feel exactly the way that they should feel.

The soundtrack is honestly fantastic, and possibly the best in the entire series. It is able to make moments feel sad, exciting, tense, and dark while complementing the already-awesome visuals and setpieces in the best way possible. The acting and animation are of course great and the visuals are spectacular. This episode might be the best in the entire series, and it is definitely one of the best things Disney has made with Star Wars, and also one of the best Star Wars things ever, period. Regardless of how much you know about the entire show, literally every single Star Wars fan should watch this approximately 25-minute episode. I am convinced that it is their sacred duty to do so. 

This entire final arc, and all of the episodes in it, were not only better than Revenge of the Sith in my opinion, but all of the prequel trilogy films combined. Seeing groundbreaking moments in galactic history through a different set of eyes (which happen to be fan favorite characters), and having it be so well-written, well-paced, well-acted, and just well-made overall really makes everything about it reek of quality and dedication from those who created it. These people truly care about Star Wars, not just about placating the fans' constant wishes, but actually doing something that will push the boundaries of its fictional world, and to evolve and handle fantastic characters in surprising and well-executed ways. 

I honestly don't have any complaints about this episode. Even the action scenes contributed to the raw emotion of this episode, and even though I am one of those who know what happens to Rex and Ahsoka by the time of the other animated series, Star Wars Rebels, that didn't take away from the tension and excitement felt as they struggle to hold on to their very lives. The actions scenes actually felt tense and like a lot was at stake, and had an emotional reason for them as well, instead of "these guys are bad guys, let's shoot at them and shout 'wooooo!'" There's a lot of moral gray areas that certain characters fall in (Maul and Ahsoka, for instance), instead of being starkly and just darkness or light, and good or evil. 

To conclude, this episode was a masterpiece. I'd rank it a 100/100, since I seriously can't think of a valid complaint that I could bring up against it whatsoever. This is mandatory viewing material for all Star Wars fans, and definitely automatically on the list of Clone Wars episodes to watch for the uninitiated bunch who want to see the show's best and skip the rest. 

That wraps up this post. Thank you guys for reading! I hope you are all healthy and safe. I will hopefully post tomorrow if my workload doesn't suddenly get too bad. May the Force be with you, and this is Arca, signing out!

Update (6/2/2020): I have decided not to make a new post today in order to show solidarity and let more urgent voices be heard at this moment.