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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Old Friends Not Forgotten (The Clone Wars - S07E09) - Animated Series

Series: The Clone Wars

Title: Old Friends Not Forgotten

Season: Seven

Episode: 9

Original Air Date: April 17, 2020

Runtime: 27 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

The Clone Wars goes full retro

The Clone Wars ramps up things considerably this week and you can tell the final four episodes are something special when the show opening is very different from the usual style.

The traditional Star Wars theme is playing

Not only are we treated to the vintage "Lucasfilm Limited" card, we also get the traditional Star Wars title music, not the usual Clone Wars adaptation, as the logo recedes into the distance. However, there is no title crawl, and instead we get the usual narration that serves as the Clone Wars version of the typical movie title crawl. And we learn that the Republic is under pressure in the Outer Rim. The narrative makes it clear that we are only hours away from the events in Revenge of the Sith, as we learn that several Jedi are dispatched to worlds in the Outer Rim, Jedi we know will meet their end very soon.

If only she knew...

The first act of the episode is all about a battle on Yerbana, where a massive droid army is battling the clones under command of Cody and Obi-Wan. They can't take out the tactical droid, because he's hiding and things don't look to good, Cody and his men have to fall back. This is when Anakin enters the scene, he's very nonchalant, oblivious almost to the presence of the droid army. He doesn't even take cover. Instead he comes up with a plan. He walks up to the lead battle droid and pretends to give himself up. The battle droid simpleton contacts the tactical droid who finally appears. The tactical droid quicly sees through the ruse, but it's already too late. Anakin takes the droid out by pulling him with the Force and then decapitating him with his lightsaber.

They are definitely flying now

But that was only part of the plan, the 501st with Captain Rex is waiting under the bridge, ready to strike, and once the tactical droid has been disposed of they join a frantic battle. Cody and his men rush into the fray and eventually the Republic forces are victorious. But then Obi-Wan and Anakin receive a message from orbit, Yu-Laren informs them that they have an important message from someone using the codename "Fulcrum". And that it's not Saw Guerrera.

Fulcrum...

To everyone's surprise Fulcrum turns out to be Ahsoka, and she has info about the whereabouts of renegade Sith lord Darth Maul and that they can capture him if they act fast. And then the two different mindsets of Anakin and Obi-Wan show, Anakin believes in destiny and muses that if Ahsoka had not left the Jedi order she wouldn't have been in the right place now to find out about Maul's whereabouts. Obi-Wan is not so enthusiastic, but Anakin insists it's the only way to look at it. Anakin tries to see the good here. Obi-Wan is much more wary of the situation, it seems. Eventually Ahsoka and Bo-Katan arrive on the Star Destroyer. And here Bo-Katan asks for the help of the Republic to capture Maul. Obi-Wan is once more skeptical and tells Bo-Katan that he has to inform the Jedi Order and that they will have to decide. Helping the Mandalorian rebels would break old treaties. Bo-Katan reminds Obi-Wan that Maul's influence is destroying her people and that the puppet regime must be removed, also, what is one more war to the Republic anyway. Bo-Katan even reminds Obi-Wan of Satine, but he merely replies that he won't let emotions cloud his judgment. In scenes like these Obi-Wan is shown to be rather dogmatic, in heavy contrast to the much less orthodox Anakin.

The 501st is now wearing Ahsoka's colors

Anakin and Ahsoka eventually find the time for a brief chat. And Anakin has something important to show to her. Meanwhile clones on the Star Destroyer keep saluting Ahsoka, referring to her as "Commander", which makes it obvious they still respect her, even though she insists that she's no longer a Jedi and Commander of anything. But that respect is even more evident once Anakin and Ahsoka meet Rex. The 501st have painted their helmets in Ahsoka's colors. Anakin has yet another surprise for Ahsoka, a wooden box, but before he can open it, Obi-Wan interrupts and informs them that the Separatists are attacking Coruscant and that Mace Windu has lost all contact with Shaak Ti who was sent to protect the chancellor. It's obvious that Obi-Wan and Anakin cannot join Ahsoka now, since they are needed elsewhere. Ahsoka is angry and disappointed and reminds Obi-Wan that he is playing politics again, one of the major reasons people have lost faith in the Jedi. I believe Ahsoka is completely wrong and off the mark here. As it's obvious that an attack on the capital would always take precedence over a campaign to remove Maul from Mandalore.

Ahsoka gets her lightsabers back

But not all is lost. There is still a plan. Anakin comes up with an idea. Ahsoka is not a Jedi and no longer a commander, so she can't command any troops. However, the 501st is divided and Rex receives a promotion to Commander. Commanding the new division, he will go with his troops to Mandalore with Ahsoka, so they have the means to capture Maul and put an end to the puppet regime. The plan receives Obi-Wan's blessing. And then Anakin finally gives Ahsoka her gift, her two lightsabers. Rex and Ahsoka are then on their way to Mandalore whereas Anakin and Obi-Wan rush to Coruscant.

The Siege of Mandalore is beginning

Next we are treated to some action filled scenes of the landing of the troops on Mandalore, including some intense lightsaber action by Ashoka. Once on the ground the troops move forward despite strong opposition. Eventually Bo-Katan finds her way to Prime Minister Almec, who is Maul's puppet. But here we learn that everything was Maul's plan to begin with. Bo-Katan only ever learned about his location because Maul wanted her to find out. It turns out Maul still holds a grudge. And that Bo-Katan was supposed to bring the Jedi. But that she brought the wrong Jedi! Everything was supposed to be an an elaborate trap for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Maul makes his entrance

Ahsoka and some of the troopers are in the sewers, but they are ambushed by Mandalorians and Ahsoka has to concede defeat, when a dark figure emerges from the shadows. Maul is less than pleased that the wrong Jedi came. He wanted Kenobi. Instead he got Ahsoka. And with that we have to wait for the next episode.

That was the first episode of the final Clone Wars arc. You can tell that Filoni is approaching the arc a bit differently this time, probably more like a movie, as is indicated by the traditional Lucasfilm title card and the proper movie theme playing, instead of the usual adaptation. What we get is a lot of action, as usual there is much eye candy, you can almost literally see how much money was spent here. It is episodes like this one that clearly show how much more budget The Clone Wars had (and has) compared to Rebels or Resistance. But the episode is not all action, we do get a touching Anakin and Ahsoka moment, the two were the heart and soul of the series, after all. In contrast to that it's somewhat strange that Obi-Wan is portrayed as an almost dogmatic character. But maybe he's just weary and tired of the entire war, not able anymore to muster much enthusiasm for yet another battle, whereas Anakin still seems to be able to enjoy the conflict in his own way. But where Obi-Wan is cautious, Anakin is reckless to the point of being disrespectful. You can tell he doesn't take the droids entirely serious anymore.

The episode was certainly a highlight of the season and of the entire series. It's somewhat disappointing that the arc was not produced when we didn't know Ashoka's fate. We all know that Maul will not kill her. Things would have been much more dramatic and suspenseful if the arc had been aired before Rebels. But as things are the tension is only mild. We know that all major players survive: Maul, Ahsoka, Captain Rex and even guest star Bo-Katan. And the fate of Obi-Wan and Anakin was never in doubt anyway. So the only thing we really don't know anything about is how Rex and Ahsoka will get through Order 66. As things are, Order 66 will happen in episode 3 of the final arc. It will be interesting to see how things will unfold in the final two episodes.

One more thing. The episode did refer to the previous arc here and there. It's evident that the encounter with the Martez sisters further shaped Ahsoka's opinion of the Jedi Order. And while she's not entirely wrong, the Jedi were too detached for their own good perhaps and too involved in politics, she is very unfair to Obi-Wan who asks her that she must clearly understand the importance of defending the capital, when he informs her they have to go to Coruscant. But the episode also has a somewhat more hilarious callback to the previous arc. When Anakin wants to know what Ahsoka was doing on Oba Diah, when she learned the intel about Maul, she merely says: "That's a long story and not really relevant right now." This probably sums up what quite a few fans feel about the previous arc with the Martez sisters. It's obvious Ahsoka needed to learn about Maul and had to be on Mandalore with Bo-Katan. But was there no other way to achieve that?

However, this episode is certainly Clone Wars at its best. Back in 2013 or so the arc would have had many people on the edge of their seats. In 2020 the arc suffers from the knowledge we've gained in the meantime. The only real question is how Rex and Ahsoka will survive and deal with Order 66. Anyway, the arc is off to a great beginning. It's full of action, but also with subtle and sweet character moments. The way the clones show their respect and affection for Ahsoka is touching. It's also nice to see Anakin again. He is funny, full of heart and very happy to meet Ahsoka, he still seems to be enthusiastic and good natured. Which makes his downfall only a short time later even more tragic. I would also guess that this was the last time we will see Anakin in The Clone Wars, since the events of the movie will unfold while Ahsoka is on Mandalore with Rex. I rate the episode 4 stars.

Added: April 18, 2020
Category: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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