Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 6 Episodes 1-4 Review – Order 66 Arc

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First, I have to say how happy I am to finally get to review these final episodes of Clone Wars. Watching the show develop from an everyday Saturday morning cartoon to telling some of the most important Star Wars stories ever told has consistently been the one of my favorite television surprises.

The first four episodes of Season 6, or The Lost Missions or whatever the hell we’re watching, are among the most important and meaningful episodes this series ever produced. Titled, The UnknownConspiracyFugitive, and Orders, this four-part arc delves into the purpose of the clones, something we’ve seen the show brush upon before.

But this time the writers are attacking it head-on, showing us the secrets behind Order 66, the tragic events in Revenge of the Sith that lead to the end of the Jedi Order. These four episodes play like a singular movie (as I’m sure most Clone Wars arc do when they aren’t separated by a week).

We return to this world in the heat of battle. Anakin leads the 501st and two Jedi, who happen to be sisters, against Separatist forces. Rex, Fives, and Tup are among the clones fighting in this particular squadron. Something seems to be up with Tup. Then, he coldly walks up to one of the sisters, in the middle of battle, and shoots her right in the head. It’s a shocking and dark moment, full of tragedy and foreshadowing.

Fives accompanies his troubled  brother to Kamino, where Jedi Master Shaak Ti and a Kaminoan doctor examine Tup and Fives to figure out what happened.

Knowing what we know, it was fascinating to see that the cloners on Kamino were actually in on Order 66 the entire time, as was Count Dooku, who obviously dies before it happens. The use of inhibitor chips to essentially control the clones’ minds was well used. It also excuses Rex to some degree, who’s future after Clone Wars has not been addressed (unless it’s in the remaining nine episodes, which is doubtful).

As Tup is examined, Fives has interactions with a droid, AZI-3, that delve deeper than ever into how the clones are perceived around the galaxy. AZ calls Fives by his number, to which he takes offense. Eventually, these two form a very amusing partnership as they examine Tup. AZ provides tons of much needed comic relief for this dark story.

Through their actions, it seems Fives kills Tup by removing a tumor found in the scanning process. The Kaminoans plan to wipe his memory and reassign him, but Fives escapes and brings AZ along to further uncover this mystery. We finally get a confrontation between Shaak Ti and the doctor on Kamino, showing just how fragile this relationship is. Shaak Ti finally convinces the doctor to bring Fives back to Coruscant to show the evidence he has that Tup’s inhibitor chip malfunctioned.

In a very clever bit of storytelling, Fives is blamed for the attempted assassination of Chancellor Palpatine. The brilliance of it was having it take place off-screen. This show has always treated things as if its audience may not have seen Revenge of the Sith. The question of what happened in that room is fascinating. Did Palpatine tell him the truth? Why not? At the current time, no one would believe that Palpatine is actually Darth Sidious.

Now Fives seems crazier than ever. He manages to set up a private meeting with Anakin and Rex, but it’s not too long before more clones arrive and kill Fives, the only real end this story could have.

This arc was truly tragic, but also the best link between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith we’ve gotten yet. Fives was a perfect vehicle to show the clones’ purpose in the grand scheme of things. The Order 66 arc was something all fans knew had to happen, and after six seasons it lived up to its potential.

Combining the ever-expanding Star Wars mythos with the very real story of a soldier finding his terrible purpose, these four episodes make the cancellation of Clone Wars all the more tragic. The themes were rich, and the story hit all the right emotional beats, with a few surprises here and there.

When Season 5 ended, Clone Wars was at a creative high. That clearly carried over to this wonderful arc that answered questions about the Star Wars universe while never putting the story and its characters second. Now, let’s see what the rest of Season 6 has in store. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

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