Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 9 review: The beginning of the end

Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 709 “Old Friends Not Forgotten” - Image Courtesy Disney+
Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 709 “Old Friends Not Forgotten” - Image Courtesy Disney+ /

The Siege  of Mandalore has finally begun in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and we’re probably not nearly as prepared for it as we should be.

From the moment this week’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode started, we knew we’d reached the endgame at last.

A cinematic introduction for an arc probably deserving of a theatrical release — complete with the original Star Wars theme and all.

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People have been buzzing about the Siege of Mandalore ever since The Clone Wars announced its return, but no one knew how much of it we would actually see. How closely would it tie into Revenge of the Sith? Would we have to endure yet another soul-crushing Order 66 montage in animated form?

One thing’s for sure: more than a thousand tears were shed during this episode, because every single one of us watching cried at least once. Many of us more than once. What is it about Mandos zooming around on jetpacks that brings on so many feels?

We now know that as far as the timeline goes, Anakin and Obi-Wan are either heading back to Coruscant as Ahsoka arrives on Mandalore or they’re already there. So we’ve officially merged into the ROTS timeline. It’s happening. Right now.

And there’s a pretty good chance Ahsoka’s duel with Maul is going to be interrupted by a galaxy-altering event. You know the one. Are you ready for it? Probably not.

This episode somehow managed to cram as much as it possibly could into a less-than-30-minute timeframe than it probably should have, but it was so well-done that it’s unlikely anyone can justify a complaint about it.

Anakin and Obi-Wan’s partnership got just the right amount of attention. Ahsoka’s coldness toward Anakin was both heartbreaking and necessary. Bo-Katan and Obi-Wan’s drastically different reactions to their grief were perfect. And Ahsoka’s reunion with Rex flawlessly set up what’s going to happen between them a few episodes down the line.

And that’s all before they even get to Mandalore.

If you’ve been waiting all season for a battle of epic proportions, I hope you’re satisfied, because this one felt nostalgic in a way many weren’t expecting — and that’s a good thing. Gunships! Jetpacks! Death! Isn’t it great?

And let’s not forget one of the greatest cliffhangers we’ve seen yet this season: Maul stepping out of the shadows and just being disappointed that he doesn’t get to duel with Obi-Wan. Sad times.

The best moments of the episode:

  • Anakin casually dodging a laser bolt like it’s no big deal
  • Bo-Katan verbally stabbing Obi-Wan with that Satine comment
  • Ahsoka definitely not needing a jetpack, thanks anyway
  • Maul. That’s it.

There’s been a lot of talk that Dave Filoni has kept more under wraps about this final arc than we realize. We all THINK we know what’s about to happen and how it’s going to go down — we have the Ahsoka novel, and there’s a Wookieepedia entry about the Siege of Mandalore still floating around if you’re not afraid of possible spoilers.

But we’ve been fooled before. Not to get your expectations up too high, but remember what I wrote a few weeks ago about the two previous arcs all making sense by the end of all this? I still stand by that. The Martez sisters are going to be the ones who rescue Ahsoka after Order 66 and this is a hill I am absolutely willing to die on, thank you very much.

Three episodes left — April 24 and May 1 feel very, very far away.

And just three days later, on May the Fourth, the finale drops. And then it’s over. Maybe.

We’re ready! But also not ready. It’s complicated.

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Are you ready for Order 66? What surprises do you think Filoni has waiting for us?