The Star Wars Mortis arc explained: Who are the Father, Son, and Daughter?

Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 702 “A Distant Echo” .. Image Courtesy Disney+
Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 702 “A Distant Echo” .. Image Courtesy Disney+ /

Either you like the Mortis arc from The Clone Wars or you don’t — so rarely is there an in-between among fans of the series. Most complaints often come from confusion about what the Mortis Arc actually is, what its events mean, and how it all fits into the larger story.

When Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan end up on the mysterious planet Mortis, they’re greeted by beings called the Father, Son, and Daughter. By the end of the series of episodes, the Son, Daughter, and Father cease to exist — but Ahsoka, Anakin, and Obi-Wan survive.

It’s no coincidence that these three characters are the main focus of this particular story. For many fans, it’s proof that Anakin is the Chosen One meant to restore balance to the Force. But there are underlying hints that Mortis means something more than this — such as Ahsoka being followed by Morai from that point forward and none of them remembering Mortis after they leave.

One of the simplest interpretations of the Mortis story — if we are to treat it as an allegory for the larger Skywalker Saga narrative — is that the Son represents the Dark Side of the Force, the Daughter represents the Light, and the Father represents the balance between the two. When the Son kills the Daughter, we see how much the Dark threatens the Light. When the Father dies, we can take that as a representation of the lack of balance between the Dark and the Light once the Dark overtakes it.

And when the Son is killed, this shows the attempt to restore balance between the two sides, if such a thing is truly possible.

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This analogy goes even deeper when you assign roles to the Son, Daughter, and Father. In the Mortis arc, Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan are present. If Ahsoka represents the Daughter and Obi-Wan represents the Father (attempting to bring balance to the Force), then it’s potential foreshadowing of Anakin trying to balance out the Force by confronting the Dark Side (as he does in Return of the Jedi). 

If Anakin really is the Chosen One, then only he can defeat darkness to let the light prevail.

There are more complex possibilities, however. Perhaps Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka are meant to show that the paths to light and darkness are more complicated than the Son, Father and Daughter make them appear. Obi-Wan often seeks to retain the Force’s balance, but mostly gravitates toward the Light. Anakin made plenty of “good” choices before falling to the Dark Side, and eventually found his way back to the Light again.

Maybe the point of the Mortis arc is actually to disprove the idea that Star Wars is all about the good fighting against the bad, or the light always prevailing over the dark. Instead, perhaps the point of all these stories is that no matter which “side” you find yourself on, if you make choices that better the future of the galaxy as a whole — if you save those in need, if you fight off the darkness to benefit more than just yourself — your legacy of good will live on even long after you’re gone.

All episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are available to stream on Disney+ now.

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