This Friday, the end of The Clone Wars begins!
We have long heard about how the rightful ending of the show was always intended to be the Siege of Mandalore, and for many years it seemed like we’d never actually be able to see it. But when they announced that the show would return for a final season, everyone knew what that meant: the show would be ending the right way.
And that means that, while the first eight episodes of this season were enjoyable, we all know that they were basically extra. The reason for bringing the show back was to end it the proper way. And that means the Siege of Mandalore, which begins this Friday!
Star Wars released a minute-long trailer that builds the hype for this four-episode arc – check it out!
Let’s break down this mini-trailer!
The trailer begins with Anakin and Ahsoka together, with a door opening into a hangar, revealing Rex standing with clones at attention. The clones bear markings on their helmet in tribute to Commander Tano, and Anakin tells her, “They’ve been waiting to see you. Loyalty means everything to the clones.”
I’ll tell you what, I can’t wait to see Ahsoka reuniting with Anakin and with Rex. I’m sure that will be quite emotional. And here, we see how the clones pay tribute to her with their helmets. We’ve seen this before, but it is clear that it means a lot to Ahsoka. And I think it’s a pretty cool look, too.
In the throne room on Mandalore, Bo-Katan approaches a briefing while Mandalorians and members of the 501st (bearing the orange markings) linger around. At the briefing, Ahsoka, Rex, and a droid are physically present, talking with Obi-Wan Kenobi, presumably about how the battle is going.
Remember, Obi-Wan and Anakin aren’t really going to be able to take part in the Siege of Mandalore because they are recalled to Coruscant in a desperate effort to rescue the Chancellor, but Ahsoka and Rex lead the charge, alongside Bo-Katan and the Mandalorians, against Maul and his forces. But here, it looks like Kenobi is discussing tactics and checking on progress, so it will be interesting to see when this takes place, since you’d assume it’s sometime during the events of Revenge of the Sith.
We see a Venator hangar, with Republic gunships staging. You can make out Obi-Wan, Anakin, and R2 off in the distance watching this.
Obi-Wan and Anakin, together again, as always. Tragically, it won’t be long canonically before that’s no longer the case.
Republic gunships descend through a planet’s atmosphere.
There is a space battle taking place, as we see the Separatists facing off against the Republic.
Ahsoka appears to be sensing something troubling, and she then opens her eyes. We don’t really have any context for this, though there’s a voiceover from Maul – which we’ll get to in just a minute.
Ahsoka and Rex stand on a ledge on Mandalore. It looks like there might be some smoke ahead, and Republic gunships fly by, but there don’t appear to be too many signs of battle just yet. But either way, it’s wonderful to see the two of them side-by-side once again.
A Republic gunship crashes into a building, resulting in an explosion.
We hear a voiceover in the trailer from Maul, which finally leads us to this shot of him watching through a window on Mandalore, where there’s an explosion outside. We hear Maul say, “Surely, you have felt it. The dark side has never been stronger.” It’s unclear who he is talking to here, but it’s probably either his allies or Ahsoka. And I’m particularly interested in seeing how Maul deals with Order 66 happening and his former master finally emerging from the shadows in victory. Maul knew at least part of Palpatine’s plan, and he is now sensing that the dark side is growing in strength. So he probably knows that the end is near.
There’s a fierce battle taking place between the Separatist droid army and the Republic, on a planet – and I think we can deduce which planet it is from a few shots later in the trailer…
Before we get there, though, we see Anakin Skywalker standing on this bridge as clones rush by him, and Obi-Wan Kenobi casually approaches Skywalker’s position. This should tell us something, though, since Skywalker and Kenobi don’t (as far as we know) fight in the Siege of Mandalore itself. That means that this is likely a different battle.
That conclusion is furthered by this shot of clone jetroopers flying in battle right past a spider droid. These clones are part of the 501st, but they don’t bear the orange markings that the squadron left with Ahsoka do. So again, I’m led to believe that this battle takes place on another planet, before the Siege of Mandalore.
If that’s the case, then this shot of Obi-Wan in action is the same, as it looks like he’s on the same bridge seen above. We haven’t really gotten much Kenobi at all in this season, so I’m really excited that we’ll be getting a bit more of him in this final arc.
I’m going to skip ahead a bit and catch some of the shots featured later in the trailer, because they’re related. We see clone pilots flying in combat against droid tri-fighters (and might I just say that, once again, the animation looks INCREDIBLE). But you can see that this is on that same planet with the bridge, and it’s a luscious green world.
It looks to me like Cato Neimoidia.
This planet featured plenty of bridges connecting massive rocky structures of land, and late in the war the Separatists invaded. We see Anakin and Ahsoka flying in an attempt to defend the planet in the episode “Sabotage”, where they are recalled from that battle to investigate the Jedi Temple bombing. Additionally, this is the planet on which Jedi Master Plo Koon was shot down during Order 66. Here’s a look at what Cato Neimoidia looks like in both The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith:
To me, that definitely looks like the same planet this battle is taking part on. And if that’s the case, then I think we’ll finally be learning about that business on Cato Neimoidia. In ROTS, Obi-Wan and Anakin joke about how many times Skywalker had saved his master’s life, and Obi-Wan says, “that business on Cato Neimoidia doesn’t count.” So what happened on Cato Neimoidia that was kinda like Anakin saving Obi-Wan’s life, but that his master would dispute? I have a feeling we might finally see that. I’ll also add that in legends, Obi-Wan and Anakin fought on Cato Neimoidia shortly before ROTS, so while that’s in no way binding here, it’s another possible reason why that would be the case now too.
Back to the trailer, we see Maul and Ahsoka standing facing each other. A voiceover from Maul says, “Every choice you have made has led you to this moment.” And it looks like Ahsoka is deep in thought, sensing something. As the camera pans, she has her eyes closed, so I’m guessing Maul is trying to get her to sense something. Is he trying to get her to realize how strong the dark side is, per his earlier line? I’m not sure.
On Mandalore, Maul’s forces are lined up firing at their approaching enemy, and then launch rockets from their jetpacks. We then see a shot of Maul’s forces on a bridge, rushing to face their enemy.
Ahsoka ignites her twin blue lightsabers…
… and Maul ignites his double-bladed red one!
Republic forces approach a planet, with walkers prepped for landing. It looks like Mandalore, but we’ll see.
On this catwalk, Ahsoka races to confront Maul, leaping and meeting his blade. The move is kinda similar to the one she used against Darth Vader, years later. As their blades meet, the trailer comes to an end, flashing the title card – which is returned to blood red.
The end of the war is near.