The most recent episode of The Clone Wars, “Old Friends Not Forgotten,” was not only the best chapter of the series, but it also contained many parallels to other Star Wars media.
I don’t pretend to include them all here, but I’ve compiled eleven easter eggs, tie-ins, and parallels that offer nice connections with other Star Wars media that you might enjoy.
1. Order 66 is coming soon…
As part of the prologue for this episode, we are told that the Jedi have dispatched several Generals to assist the clones in the Outer Rim. Two such Jedi are Plo Koon, sent to Cato Neimoidia, and Aayla Secura, sent to Felucia. In this prologue, we briefly see Koon in his Jedi starfighter and Secura with her clones… meaning both of them are in the exact same position when we see them killed during Order 66. It’s a bit of foreshadowing, but it’s also telling us as viewers just how close we are to that tragic fate.
2. Caleb Dume
Also in that opening prologue, we saw several Jedi gathered around a table discussing the war, and we see Depa Billaba and her padawan joining via hologram. Billaba would be killed in Order 66 as well, protecting her padawan: Calab Dume. Star Wars fans are probably more familiar with him by the name he takes up later, though, as Kanan Jarrus becomes one of the main characters of Star Wars Rebels and a truly great Jedi.
3. Like father, like son
I couldn’t help but think of this parallel, and others noticed it too. In this episode, Anakin Skywalker walks out alone, with his friends pinned back and outnumbered, to face a formidable army with guns trained on him. Years later, at the Battle of Crait, Luke Skywalker would walk out alone, with his friends pinned back and outnumbered, to face a formidable army with guns trained on him. The way it then played out was, obviously, quite different, but nonetheless the image of the two Jedi seems quite reminiscient.
4. Like master, like apprentice
The way this episode begins is reminiscent to the very beginning of the series, in the movie, which begins with the Battle of Christophsis. In that battle, Obi-Wan Kenobi pretends to surrender in order to buy time. He sits down with the opposing general to negotiate terms, which allows Anakin time to turn the tides of the battle. In this episode, it’s Anakin who buys time by pretending to surrender. Even though the way they go about things are quite often totally different, I do like seeing how Anakin has learned from Obi-Wan and uses his strategy here, just a bit differently.
5. Musical cues and the heroic R2
As Anakin pretends to surrender, we discover his plan: R2-D2 is waiting nearby, watching the proceedings, and ready to spring into action when Anakin gives the cue. Years later, R2 did similar with Luke Skywalker, and that’s actually paralleled in a different episode of TCW too. So taken by itself, this might not be all that significant, but the musical cues in this scene are pretty much identical to the ones in Return of the Jedi, both in the leadup and the payoff.
When contacted by Admiral Yularen, Anakin and Obi-Wan are informed of someone using the codename “Fulcrum.” Anakin assumed that this was Saw Gerrera, who was a freedom fighter from Onderon. He’s become a more prominent figure in Star Wars since, after his initial appearance in The Clone Wars, he also has appeared in Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One. So that was a cool name drop, but so too was Fulcrum. That becomes a big deal in Rebels, as Ahsoka Tano and Agent Kallus both use the code name for Rebel intelligence, and we also know that Cassian Andor operated under the moniker (which figures to play a role in the upcoming show focusing on him). So it’s a really cool touch to see Ahsoka use that term here as a code name to contact Anakin by.
7. Ahsoka’s arrival
In a very clear parallel, Ahsoka’s arrival to meet Anakin, Obi-Wan, and R2 on the Republic cruiser in this episode is very similar to her arrival to meet the three of them the first time, on Christophsis. The Jedi await as a ship lands, the ramp lowers, and Ahsoka walks out.
This is just another of the many parallels (some we’ve already noted) between the very beginning of The Clone Wars and now, here, the very ending. Dave Filoni learned well from George Lucas, because it’s like poetry; it rhymes.
8. Remembering Satine
Satine Kryze was the leader of Mandalore during the Clone Wars until Maul wrested power from her. We also learned that she was Obi-Wan Kenobi’s love, and the sister of Bo-Katan Kryze. But Maul killed her, leaving her to die in Kenobi’s arms. So here, Bo-Katan and Kenobi are reunited, and Bo-Katan grows frustrated that Kenobi would contact the Council rather than act immediately, saying she thought that Satine meant something to him. Kenobi grows somber and says that she did, and does, but that he won’t allow his feelings to cloud his judgment. It’s a nice nod to Satine, and a touching moment between two people very close to her relationally.
9. Shaak Ti to the rescue?
As Obi-Wan alerts Anakin about General Grievous’s attack on Coruscant, Anakin asks about the Chancellor. Obi-Wan says that Shaak Ti was sent to protect him, but that Mace Windu had lost contact with her. That’s all that is said here, and I actually like that (in a crisis situation like that, it’s normal that they wouldn’t have all of the information right away) – but that’s a really nice nod to the previous Clone Wars series (2003). That’s no longer canon, but it showed Shaak Ti and others attempting to protect Palpatine and fight off Grievous.
10. Until they meet again…
It’s not just Ahsoka’s arrival that is paralleled – it’s also her departure. As Anakin prepares to head off to rescue the Chancellor, and as Ahsoka prepares to leave for Mandalore, the two share a brief yet touching goodbye. It is, as the viewer knows, the final time they will see each other as friends. However, they would meet again as enemies, and in a subtle move by Filoni, both this departure and that ‘reunion’ in Star Wars Rebels are staged the same.
11. More Rebels connections
While Caleb Dume was the most noteworthy Rebels character to appear, there were two others as well. We see Gar Saxon leading Maul’s forces in battle in the city, and in Rebels he was leading the Empire’s efforts in the city as well. Additionally, we had prevously seen Ursa Wren working with Bo-Katan a few episodes ago, and here she is contacted about Maul’s location. She is the mother of Sabine Wren, but also makes an appearance in Rebels as well.
And, as one more cool tidbit, Mandalorian Rook Kast (whose look is reminiscent of Sabine) was voiced by Vanessa Marshall, who voiced Hera Syndulla in Rebels!