I know it seems weird that I’m posting this on the day Rebels debuts, but well… my week’s been busy OK? But more than that, I think it’s cool to take a moment to love on the the Clone Wars era once more before we cross into this new time and place. I think I’ve got some really good stuff to talk about in this post, so yay for that! So grab your tissues and gather ’round as we take some time to talk about the grand finale to end all grande finales — Sacrifice.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode VI, and TCW episodes The Lost One, Voices, Destiny, and Sacrifice.
(Original screencap credit: Netflix)
OK, so there is no human way I can adequately explain everything that just happened these past three episodes in a nutshell, so yeah… I’m not even going to try. If you want an update yourself, just go back and read the last three posts. But yeah big things have been happening, no doubt. Yoda’s headed off to Moraband for his next lesson in post-death Force-yness. And btw did I mention that Moraband was the ancient homeworld of the Sith? Yikes. Now, considering this was the bad guys’ old stomping grounds, this place doesn’t inherently come off evil… it’s dusty, and mountainous, and kind of in shambles from some crazy amount of ancient war, but it doesn’t look, on the surface, to be a bad place. And I guess it really isn’t a bad place… just a place where bad guys hung out and did their Sith-y junk. And where Yoda’s about to get knee-deep in the Force game. Once again, Artoo can’t come along with Yoda on this. Aww poor guy never gets to do anything exciting! jk. But Yoda’s aware that if he doesn’t come back after a few days, the little astromech will need to deliver the news to the Jedi back home. Wow just the fact that Yoda might not come back… heavy stuff man. But as Yoda walks off into the dusty, rocky world, we know that this is hardly the heaviest thing we’ll be seeing today. And cue amazingly amazing dramatic music that makes me want a TCW soundtrack even more than I already did.
So after a bit of walking, Yoda sits down and starts meditating, and shortly thereafter, darkness falls upon Moraband. And suddenly there are a billion snakes that all form into a giant snake-incectoid thing and I get a severe case of the willies. This Sith-snake guy comes off pretty scary, but Yoda’s all “Dude I’m not afraid of you” and the guy’s all “Oh yeah?” and strikes, but falls apart back into a scattering of snakes as Yoda holds a hand up. Like a boss, Master Yoda. Like. a. boss. Of course that’s not the only thing this creepy planet as up its sleeves… then the snakes sort of bring out a bunch of ghastly dudes, who kinda resemble the Force priestesses but clearly not good guys whatsoever. And they start going on about all this crud of there not being life after death and stuff. I gather they’re sort of the embodiment of fear? Would make sense. Yeah, real nice let’s go and freak Yoda out a bit before his finals, why don’t we? Obviously these clowns have nothing better to do. All humorous/sarcastic commentary aside, these guys are actually pretty bone-chilling scary… and maybe a bit more so than most things in SW that are deemable as “scary”. Well, if you’re gonna represent fear, you’ve got to look the part. And guess who picked up on Yoda’s fear in that moment? Dooku. Who’s hanging out a long long way from Moraband. And it takes like two seconds for one of his droids to walk in and tell him that Sidious needs him to come to Coruscant ASAP. Oooooooh what could this dastardly duo be up to?? And how will it involve Yoda??
Meanwhile, Yoda shook off the fear and moved on into this dark, foreboding ancient tomb-thing, with only his lightsaber to light the way. And in this tomb lies the resting place of some ancient Sith dude. Which is appropriately accented with a giant foreboding statue above it. Yeah not creepy at all. And what does Yoda do? Exactly what none of us would probably have done — walk up to it! And by the time he gets there, there’s lots of black fog and fire and suddenly there stands this really really REALLY creepy form of that Sith guy I just mentioned. Ladies and gentlemen, Darth Bane everybody! I’ve heard of him before, though I’m unsure if he was ever mentioned in the movies, soooo that would make him one of those expanded universe characters who became canon! Wow! And what’s really crazy is that… well… he’s voiced by Mark Hamill. *Brain short-circuits from the craziness of it all* I mean, it’s partially doesn’t feel like a huge deal, because yeah Mark Hamill has done his share of voicing animated villains in the years since being Luke, but then you remember “oh yeah he was Luke” and our heads explode. Or at least mine did when I saw that name on the end credits! OK so I’m getting ahead of myself. Yoda knows who this joker is (pun very much intended); he’s probably the head honcho Sith of them all, the guy who came up with the concept of keeping the number to a minimum of two and making them the terrifying gang they are today. Bane’s all “So you came here to join the Sith! Cool.” and Yoda’s all “Noooo I didn’t. And btdubs you’re not real… you’re dead and stuff so…” and that was the end of that conversation. And then beneath the tombs opens a staircase! This place is just full of surprises, isn’t it? So heading down the stairs and following the familiar voice of the Serenity priestess, Yoda furtherly enters the unknown.
On the other side of the galaxy, Dooku landed on Coruscant where his master awaited him. Sidious casually tells him “Hey so I think we should go and have some fun with them Jedi today…”. And yeah Sidious has been pretty creepy every episode in this season, but man his creepiness hits a major high in this one. How does Tim Curry get his voice to be so perfectly terrifying?? So yes… just how these two will have “fun” with the Jedi remains to be seen…
So Yoda was walking on through those tunnels and right on cue, his teachers, the priestesses, show up. Yoda’s aced all his tests up to now, but his last test will be pretty much the most challenging thing ever. Because he’s going to be fighting the big boss Sith and the second-banana Sith in a place of total darkness where the Force girls’ light doesn’t shine. Yeah that does sound about the most challenging thing ever. And yeah this dark place was where ancient Sith sacrificed Jedi so… yeeeEeeEeeEsh *shudders*. Not exactly a walk in the park AND OH MY GOSH THAT FACIAL ANIMATION ON YODAAAAAA…! HE’S SO BRAVE!! Sorry not sorry.
Now back to the bad guy’s side of the story. It must’ve felt awkward for Dooku to tell Sidious that he’s getting vibes from his old pre-Sith master, but the Darth decides to take advantage of that connection and use it to majorly mess with Yoda. With a little bit of hocus-pocus, Dooku’s blood (*shudders again*), and Force lightning, our baddies are ready to go and… well… yeah, mess with Yoda. And to do so, they decide to show up to him in disguise…
Sooo yes… as Yoda walks into this dark place, he finds — shocker of shockers — SIFO-DYAS. Barely alive, tattered, old, and tied up in what looks like ropes made of Force lightning. And admittedly my first reaction is “AHH WHAT?!” though it starts occurring to me shortly after that this is the disguise Sidious and Dooku put on. Call it a hunch, but he starts trying to convince Yoda he can tell him all he wants to know if he frees him, which sounds awfully Sith-y. Oh, and Sifo-Dyas’s eyes are yellow-red. That too. Of course Yoda’s all “Don’t care bro” and then it takes about a few seconds for that disguise to wear off and reveal it to be Darth Sidious. I still can’t believe they managed to have these two duel without Yoda knowing Sidious’s identity! Benefit of wearing hooded cloaks, I guess… But suddenly, poof! Yoda’s not on Moraband anymore. He’s in a Republic gunship with the clones and Anakin by his side. WURT…? Yeah my head seriously started hurting at this part. And I’m sure the same for Yoda. As it turns out, he’s evidently leading a mission on Coruscant to go take down Dooku and who our heroes believe is the Sith Lord. Ever had a nightmare where you’re doing a test you haven’t studied for? That’s probably how Yoda feels right now. Those Force priestesses could’ve just stuck to a written test for the finals, but noooooo! After Anakin gets Yoda up to speed, Yoda gets his game face on, ready to find out the truth about this Sidious character, and end the clone wars once and for all! Ohhh wouldn’t that’ve been great if that had happened…! I have to say, I really like that we’re getting a little clone battle in this last episode… seeing Rex and his guys again and Anakin, too. I mean, this battle didn’t actually happen for reals, but it’s so cool all the same, having these awesome heroes of awesome working together to fight the bad guy of bad guys! Of course then stuff happens that isn’t very cool for our heroes… Sidious hits all the clones with Force lighting, and when I first saw this I wasn’t totally sure whether this was real or not so I squeaked out in pure shock “YOU KILLED REX?!?!”. Thankfullyz that wasn’t the case, but they sure scared me to bits. Anakin and Dooku start dueling as Yoda starts to chase down Sidious… up until Anakin knocks Dooku to his knees and gives the Count two lightsabers to the neck. Which also shocked me, even though it convinced me it wasn’t real — or at least, only partially real. Yoda was pretty shocked as well. Wonder if he ever found out that Anakin would eventually do that. But Yoda still had to make a dash after the Darth, and it lead him out of the Sith’s hangout and onto an industrial bridge and thus the lightsabers came out! It really is a fantastic duel; super-cool, but careful not to undermine their already super-cool battle to come in Episode III. And then suddenly, Anakin catches up and joins in on the fight! Anakin having lent his lightsaber to this matter was useful, up until he came on a little too fast and proceeded to be Force-choked and Force-lightninged and tossed aside unconscious. Yoda was able to take on what Force lightning Sidious could dish out and threw it back at him, knocking the Darth over the platform. Buuuut naturally Sidious isn’t dead and he starts playing dirty, running beneath the platform and lightsabering its supports and proceeding to make the bridge start falling apart. Yoda makes a dash to one side of the bridge to fight Sidious, but then Anakin’s unconscious form is about to fall off the collapsing other half! And now Yoda’s stuck between trying to get Master Skywalker to safety and fending off the Darth. Sidious tries to convince him to forget about Anakin, telling him “You ditch the guy and you could actually stop me from pulling off my evil plans!”. Now, just think about this for a second: Sidious knows what he’s going to do, and it will partially involve turning Anakin into Vader. We know this. Yoda doesn’t know this yet, so he assumes it’s only just because he could defeat Sidious. But then Yoda stands up and says “I won’t let you tempt me. I’m ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.”. So this is the crazy thing that I can’t help but love; just as Yoda stands between Sidious and Anakin now, refusing to bend to the dark lord’s wishes, in Episode VI, Luke was standing between the Emperor and Vader, refusing to kill his father, and saying “I am a Jedi, like my father before me”. I don’t know if this mirroring was intentional or not, but it is seriously awesome. Maybe the Jedi haven’t figured out the attachment vs. love thing yet, but there’s no love stronger than being willing to give up your life for someone, and that’s what Yoda does now as he stands between Sidious and Anakin. WOW. WOW. WOW. And indeed, Yoda turns off the lightsaber, and even while Sidious hits him with all the Force lightning he’s got, Yoda manages to use the Force to put Anakin on solid ground, just as the rest of the bridge falls apart and sends Yoda and Sidious falling to their imminent doom. In the midst of the fall, Sidious just keeps evil laughing his head off as Yoda tries to unmask this villain. But by the time Yoda finally gets ahold of that hood… Sidious has disappeared. LE GASP! And Master Yoda takes the fall…
As for our Sith friends, we now see Sidious and Dooku stand in front of their little cauldron with frowny faces, knowing they didn’t quite succeed as much as they would’ve wanted to. Ah well… tomorrow’s another day!
And then Yoda woke up to the face of the Serene priestess. He’s passed his test… and evidently, all of this craziness was just the entry test to the life-after-death university. Aw man I don’t know about Yoda but I might’ve been a bit bummed. Anyway, it looks like Yoda will continue to take little classes with Qui-Gon from here on out so cool. And also she might’ve mentioned something at the last second about there being another Skywalker. I’m sure Yoda was dead confused what that was all about… but we as an audience just had our heads explode a little more. And with that, Yoda and Artoo are heading home. And I’m not sure Artoo could’ve looked any happier at that moment.
Back home on Coruscant, Mace and Obi-Wan and the rest of the Jedi really want to know what went down on Yoda’s journey. But Yoda shrugs and is all “Eh. There’s not a lot to talk about…”. Yoda, of course, can’t exactly tell them all that went down per se, but he does leave his fellow Jedi with some pretty deep thoughts. That while the ultimate result of the clone wars is uncertain, Yoda does know something that not even the Sith know… something that will win the ultimate battle, something that will be a true victory… or should we say someone? And with that, onward walk these three great Jedi into the Temple, while the camera takes a focus on a single bright bloom on the tree that seems to point to all the hope that will remain, even through dark times and destruction… to that beautiful ending that comes in Episode VI and oh gosh I’m sorry I’m going to cry now… Oh Lucasfilm you could not have given us a more beautiful ending to this amazingly amazing series…! ^w^
Just… wow…, man… this series…! Its legacy will live on in our hearts forever for absolute certain. And while the sun sets on this era, there will always be more to explore in the SW Universe. Plus, I still plan on writing #CloneBackThursdays posts on all the episodes from the last five seasons 🙂 Oh yeah and there are all those unfinished Utapauan episodes on starwars.com to watch too! So now, as we walk into the era of the Rebellion’s rise, we go with excitement and with hopeful hearts as we’re about to find out just how this little sliver of hope will continue to be threaded through this truly incredible story called Star Wars.
Keep The Peace,