It’s been a week since what is the last episode of the Clone Wars to air on TV. Sure, we could still get more episodes on a direct to DVD/Blu ray release, but “The Wrong Jedi”, the show’s season five finale, was, at least for now, the last episode to air on TV. And it was an excellent note to end on.
Season five began with two arcs that were sort of on and off. The Onderon arc was pretty good, but it started off slow, and didn’t gain much momentum until the arc’s finale. Regardless, the fact that the theme of terrorism as a form of resistance was present made the arc commendable. True, Steela’s death at the end was predictable, but it did it’s job as a powerful end to the arc. The final showdown between the Separatists and the Rebels was awesome in that episode as well.
However, it was the first two episodes of the arc – “A War on Two Fronts” and “Front Runners -, which were slow and irksome, that made the arc simply decent. They were necessary to tell a cohesive story, but, and this applies especially to the first episode, neither merited an entire episode to themselves. The political sides of the arc also felt unnecessary. this, however, is simply because they weren’t well handled. Neither king was well developed, and therefore, these portions felt shallow.
The biggest positive of this first arc was the fact that it saw Ahsoka develop a lot. Last season had very little Ahsoka, but she seemed to be the biggest focus of season 5. Not only was she present in the Onderon arc, but she was a major character in the younglings arc as well.
This second arc was a vast improvement over the first. Well the first episode – “The Gathering” – was a little slow and could have been done better, it’s exploration of what it means to be a Jedi and the beautiful animation made it a pretty good episode, for the most part.
“A Test of Strength” and “Bound for Rescue” felt like the same episode, but in different settings. Both featured Hondo Ohnaka, and that’s always nice, since he’s such a dynamic character. David Tennant’s guest appearance as the droid Huyang in “A Test of Strength” added a lot to the episode, not only because of the voice acting, but because of how great the character was.
The younglings were great characters, and each saw their share of development throughout the arc. But, again, this arc had a lot of Ahsoka. In fact, she was in charge of the little group, and the most powerful Jedi in the group. She fought General Grievous in the final episode, actually, “A Necessary Bond”, which was a great episode.
The absence of major characters, however, made the initial two arcs slightly less enjoyable. Also, the absence of clone troopers – which were a main focus last season – was disconcerting. Yes, they were trying to show the other side of the Clone Wars, but some of the show’s strongest episodes have been centered around clone troopers – think back to season 1’s “Rookies” and season 4’s Krell arc.
Actually, the only good episode in season 5’s WAC/Gascon arc was good because of the presence of Gregor, a clone commando with memory issues. His voyage was the only good thing about the arc, aside from the incredible animation. I’m not even going to bother with discussing the arc’s other three episodes, because all three were slow and horrible episodes. Those are episodes that I will only ever watch once.
Despite that horrible arc, and the so-so first two arcs, season 5 finally found it’s footing with the last two arcs. First, there was the Darth Maul/Death Watch arc.
“Revival”, the first episode, was awesome, and included not only Maul and Savage, but Hondo Ohnaka, who teamed up with Obi-Wan Kenobit to battle the two Zabrak Sith lords. It was a fast paced episode, and filled with action. Some of Hondo’s dialogue is pretty clever, and the visuals are awesome.
The next episode, “Eminence”, was a lot of set up. It was awesome, but it was also the arc’s weakest episode, since the plot was pretty much just going through a bunch of planet’s and getting control of crime lords. but it had Black Sun, Mustafar, Death Watch, Darth Maul, a bunch of bounty hunters, and the Hutts. The plot was shallow, but the episode was awesome nonetheless.
“Shades of Reason” and “The Lawless” were two of the best episodes of the Clone Wars yet. they wrapped up both the Death Watch and Darth Maul arcs – both of which begun in season 3. Characters that we were emotionally invested in met their deaths – Pre Viszla, Dutchess Satine, and Savage Oppress were among them. The shock factor was great, and it worked extremely well, aside from feeling meaningless. Because that’s what the Clone wars does. It builds characters that we, the viewers, actually care about. The action was great, and Obi-Wan got quite a bit of development in these two episodes, which is nice.
It’s great to see characters like Obi-Wan come to the forefront. Last season, there was a lot of him, but in season 5, we pretty much just got the Maul arc. Not that that made the season bad, because it didn’t.
Which brings me to the season’s fifth and final arc. The final arc ended the season on a high note, and the finale is probably one of the show’s best episodes ever. The final episode permanently changed the status quo, as it saw Ahsoka Tano choosing to leave the Jedi order. On top of that, the arc had a variety of tones, from the detective noire of “Sabotage” to the unrelenting action of “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”, this arc had everything, and, as the final TV episode of the Clone Wars, it was great.
The first two arcs, despite being kind of on and off, were good overall. The last two arcs were two of the best the Clone Wars has ever given us. Sadly, The Clone War’s fifth season was tarnished by the third arc, which was filled with bad humor and slow episodes. And that arc is really the deciding factor. Because this season could have easily been a 9, but that arc brought it down to the final rating of 8.5. And now, I go back into the cycle of waiting for more Clone Wars.