Serenno and Kamino are reminders that nobody won the Clone Wars – except for Palpatine

There is an episode of Star Wars Rebels in which, nearly two decades after the Clone Wars ended, Separatist tactical droid General Kalani still cannot figure out how his side lost the war. So, when two Jedi (Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger) and a clone (Rex) fall into his trap, he springs battle droids on them, re-creating one final battle in the war.

But after the fighting, it is Bridger who asks both sides a very important question. “I never really thought about it. I never asked,” he begins. “I know the Jedi were wiped out, the clones were decommissioned, and the droid army was just shut down. The Clone War ended, but why? If none of you won, who did?”

That is the question, and as he asks it, the Empire arrives, forcing the two sides to join together to fight back. It’s a reminder that neither side really won the war, because only Palpatine won. The clones and the battle droids were both phased out, the Republic and the Separatists both fell, and in place of all of it stood the newly-appointed Emperor.

We got another reminder of that in The Bad Batch. At the end of season one, we saw the Empire launch an orbital bombardment of Kamino, destroying Tipoca City. One of the most significant worlds to the Republic war effort, the world on which their clones were bred and which they fought to defend so fiercely, was now ravaged by the new Empire.

Then, at the beginning of season two, we see the aftermath of a similar event that happened on Serenno. As the squad looks over a devastated city, Echo says that it was an orbital bombardment, the same as what happened on Kamino. Serenno, One of the most significant worlds to the Separatist war effort, the world which Count Dooku himself called home, was now ravaged by the new Empire.

The Republic didn’t win the war; it was a pawn in Palpatine’s plan to bring about his victory. And the Confederacy didn’t win the war; it was a pawn in Palpatine’s plan to bring about his victory. Neither side really won the Clone War. Only Palpatine, the new Emperor, won. It’s a sobering reminder of how both sides were deceived by the ultimate evil that lurked in hiding, both in plain sight and in the shadows, to achieve his sinister purposes.

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