Star Wars Rebels has its own effective goodbye to the Clone Wars era, years before The Clone Wars season 7 released on Disney+ in 2020.
While Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 concluded Lucasfilm’s story in the Clone Wars era, Star Wars Rebels gave the war a different ending in season 3. Before the Disney+ revival and final season of The Clone Wars was announced in 2018, Star Wars Rebels included a separate send-off to the Clone Wars that summed up the themes of the era as a whole, and provided some closure for Rex.
The Clone Wars takes place in the three years between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. When the Disney cancelled the series in 2013 after five seasons (a sixth season called The Lost Missions was released on Netflix in 2014), fans were devastated, as the final episodes left on such an unresolved note, with so many stories left to tell. The Clone Wars finally got its proper conclusion in 2020 when season 7 released and provided fans with a four-part finale that followed Ahsoka Tano through the events of Revenge of the Sith.
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However, Star Wars Rebels fans will know that, technically, the war didn’t end at the execution of Order 66 and the subsequent droid shutdown order; it ended when Ezra Bridger convinced a super tactical droid named Kalani to draw an armistice. Star Wars Rebels‘ episode “The Last Battle” begins with Zeb, Rex, Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper landing on the planet Agamar to check for leftover Separatist ammunition stockpiles. But what they find is a battalion of battle droids who never realized the war ended. Kalani states that though there was a droid deactivation order along with Order 66, he assumed it was a Republic trick and prevented the shutdown from taking place on Agamar. Kalani is determined to win the war and prove that the Separatists had a superior strategy; and the Ghost crew (minus Hera and Sabine) is forced to to fight off Kalani’s troops in order to escape.
The Star Wars Rebels episode addresses lingering issues caused by the war, such as PTSD. Kanan tells Ezra, “Rex has been through a lot. Battles leave scars. Some you can’t see.” When the Empire shows up, Ezra convinces Kalani and Rex they need to put aside their differences. He says, “I think we face a common enemy now. Clones? Battle droids? You destroyed each other, and when you were both weak enough, the Empire took over.” The Ghost crew and Kalani’s troops are able to work together to escape the Empire. Rex then tells Ezra, “We all just won the Clone War, and you ended it, Ezra. A galaxy of senators couldn’t do that. An army of Jedi, clones, and droids couldn’t find the middle ground, but you did.”
As Star Wars fans love both Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars, it’s fitting that the former series also says goodbye to the Clone Wars era. “The Last Battle” sums up the entire war with the conclusion that neither side won – only the Emperor, who planted the seeds of conflict years before Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The episode ties in with the Yoda’s statement in The Clone Wars season 6 episode, “Sacrifice”: “No longer certain that one ever does win a war, I am.” The Clone Wars season 7 is an epic ending for the series, finally giving fans the conclusion they deserved, but “The Last Battle” is a touching thematic homage to the conflict that pervades the prequel trilogy.
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