Spoiler warning! We are going to be giving you all the spoilers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 9, “Old Friends Not Forgotten,” so if you’re not caught up with the show, stop reading, get on Disney+ and enjoy.
The Story So Far…
Throughout this season we have been introduced to some unique characters and storylines. The first story arc focused on the super clones, Clone Force 99, and the rescue of Echo. Then we embarked on an Ahsoka adventure with the Martez sisters. Now, we’re in the endgame of The Clone Wars: the infamous Siege of Mandalore.
After the events on Oba Diah, Ahsoka was recruited by the Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze. We last see Ahsoka boarding Bo-Katan’s ship on her way to Mandalore. There she will face the Mandalorian army of Maul and challenge his control over the planet.
It’s a Trap!
On the planet Yerbana, Commander Cody (Dee Bradley Baker) and his clone troopers face seemingly unwinnable odds against the droid army. But the tide is soon to shift. Right before Cody is hit by a missile, Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor) shows up and destroys the missile, saving Cody’s life. While the clones get to safety, Anakin (Matt Lanter) joins them, as overconfident as ever. Obi-wan fears for his safety, but Anakin is not afraid to face 1000 droids. He has a plan.
Walking up to the massive droid army, Anakin “surrenders” to the superior might of the droid forces. This is all a ploy to get the Tactical Droid to show, and it works. The droid army is confused by this sudden surrender, but what they don’t know is that Captain Rex and his forces are hiding directly under the bridge they’re standing on. As soon as the Tactical Droid shows its face, Anakin uses the Force to pull it to him, and he cuts it down easily. Captain Rex and the clones emerge from underneath the bridge and lay waste to the droids. Commander Cody’s forces soon join the fray.
Before Anakin and Obi-Wan can join in, Anakin is contacted by Admiral Yularen (Tom Kane). The message is from “Fulcrum,” but Yularen won’t elaborate. Instead, Obi-Wan and Anakin join Yularen on his ship.
Entering the control room, Anakin stops dead in his tracks. In the holoprojector is his old Padawan, Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein), and Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff). You can see the surprise and relief on Anakin’s face when he sees her, but unfortunately what would have been a lovely reunion is cut short, as Ahsoka and Bo-Katan have more important matters to address. They have located Maul (Sam Witwer), and they need to capture him.
Later, Ahsoka and Bo-Katan land on Admiral Yularen’s ship and Anakin cannot contain his excitement to see Ahsoka. But Ahsoka makes it clear that she has no time for pleasantries and stresses the urgency of their situation. It makes for an awkward meeting, and certainly not the reunion we were expecting.
In the commander center, Ahsoka explains the situation and recalls her time on Oba Diah. She doesn’t get into details, but she confirms the location of Maul. He’s in the city of Sundari, and Bo-Katan means to meet him there. Obi-Wan is weary of all of this and wonders why Bo-Katan can’t handle Maul with her own forces. It’s here that Bo-Katan reveals her intentions: she needs the Republic’s help.
Loyalty Means Everything
Bo-Katan suggests a joint operation between the Mandalorians and the Republic. Should they succeed, she gets Mandalore and the Jedi get Maul. It’s a tempting offer, but Obi-Wan sticks to procedure. He needs to notify the Jedi Council and have them determine what to do. This enrages Bo-Katan because every minute wasted means that Maul could easily get away. As a last-ditch effort, Bo-Katan reminds Obi-Wan that Maul killed Satine, her sister, and Obi-Wans former flame. Obi-Wan, ever the consummate Jedi, admits that Satine still matters to him, but he refuses to let his feelings cloud his judgement.
As Obi-Wan walks away from the conversation, Bo-Katan comments that going to the Jedi was a waste of time and leaves. Alone in the command center, Anakin tells Ahsoka that he has a surprise for her.
As they walk down the corridors of the ship, several clone troopers stop and salute Ahsoka. This makes her uncomfortable, as she believes that they should no longer salute her because she is no longer a part of the Jedi Order. But, as Anakin explains, the Clones know what she went through to fight along side them, and the salute is a sign of respect. “Loyalty means everything to the clones,” he says as large door opens and we see Rex and his men standing at attention on the other side.
This is a very sweet moment as Ahsoka is finally reunited with Captain Rex. But what is touching is that all the clones have painted their helmets to bear the same face markings and color as Ahsoka. It’s a clear display of their loyalty to her. While she is moved by the gesture, she is quick to remind Rex that she isn’t a Commander anymore.
A Final Goodbye?
Anakin presents Ahsoka with one more surprise, but before she can accept it, the alarm sirens ring and the Clones quickly scramble. Obi-Wan arrives with a dire message from Coruscant. General Grievous and his droids have begun their attack on the capital. As Anakin and Obi-Wan start planning their strategy, Ahsoka speaks up, annoyed that the Jedis are choosing to abandon Bo-Katan and her people. She comes at Obi-Wan with some hard-hitting truths: the people no longer have faith in the Jedi, and the Jedi have prioritized politics over protecting the people who really need them. Obi-Wan finds her observations unfair, but Ahsoka doesn’t back down.
Anakin, in an attempt to ease the tension, suggests that they divide the 501st and send them with Ahsoka. If they make Captain Rex the Commander, she will be able to aid them as an Adviser. Both Obi-Wan and Ahsoka agree to it. Before Ahsoka departs, Anakin presents her lightsabers and they say their goodbyes (for the last time).
Coming to Mandalore’s Aid
As they approach Mandalore, Prime Minister Almec (Julian Holloway) contacts Rex and Bo-Katan, demanding to know what they’re doing. He reminds them that their presence violates all the treaties, but Bo-Katan is there only to capture Maul and liberate her people.
On Mandalore, Almec, along with Rook and Saxon, prepares their forces for the assault. The Clone army makes their approach, and they are met with heavy resistance. Bo-Katan contacts Ursa Wren (Sharmila Devar), and Wren confirms that Maul is still in the city. As the ground canons begin to strike the Clone ships, the Mandalorians get to work, dropping out of the ships to meet the opposing Mandalorian forces.
Captain Rex apologizes to Ahsoka for not provider her a jetpack, but Ahsoka has no need for such things. In an incredible action sequence, Ahsoka drops from the ships and begins her assault on the Mandalorians… in the air… with no safety jetpack. Deftly jumping from ship to ship, she makes quick work of the Mandalorians as she descends to the planet’s surface. Landing on a burning ship, she finds a Clone pilot stuck in his cockpit. She opens the cockpit, the Clone escapes, and she uses the downed ship as her ride to a nearby landing platform. Before it crashes, she jumps off and falls to the surface, using her lightsabers to stop her slide. It’s a perfect sequence and only shows us how much of a warrior Ahsoka Tano is.
Ahsoka holds off the barrage long enough to give the Clones and Bo-Katan’s forces time to reach the platform. There they make their way into the capital.
It’s a Trap! Part 2
While Saxon, Rook and their forces fight off the Clones, Almec commands them to make their way to the undercity. Bo-Katan heads off to face Almec, while Ahsoka tells Rex to help Ursa Wren at the docks. In no way can they allow Maul to escape. Ahsoka meets with Captain Vaughn, who tells her that they followed Saxon to a system of tunnels. Ahsoka decides to follow Saxon and see where the tunnels lead.
Bo-Katan and her people storm the main hall where Almec and his guards are. It’s a quick fight with Bo-Katan beating Almec to the ground. She demands to know Maul’s whereabouts, and Almec tells her that Maul’s plan was to have Bo-Katan bring the Jedi, but not Ahsoka… Obi-Wan. Bo-Katan realizes that it’s all a trap and tries to contact Ahsoka, but to no avail.
Deep in the tunnels, Ahsoka and her men try to follow the route that Saxon took. Little does she know that they are being watched by Rook and her forces. They launch a surprise attack, taking out a few of Ahsoka’s men. The Clones chase Rook down the tunnels, with Ahsoka far behind. All around her she can hear the Clones fighting and falling, until she finally reaches Vaughn. As he lays on the ground, his injuries too severe, he apologizes to her. When she looks up she sees that she is completely surrounded. Then from the shadows, she hears the mechanical footsteps of Maul. “I was hoping for Kenobi,” he says as he approaches her, “Why are you here?”
This is easily one of the best episodes of The Clone Wars. Everyone was expecting this to be a great arc, and it started off with a bang. But even during all the awesome Jedi action with Ahsoka, we have to accept some really painful truths. The goodbye scene with Ahsoka and Anakin will be the last time she sees him as Anakin. Obi-Wan saving Commander Cody and remembering what happens in Revenge of the Sith only makes that scene heartbreaking as well. Bo-Katan reminding Obi-Wan about Satine just hits harder knowing what Obi-Wan will soon be going through with Anakin. It’ll be one more person he loses along the way. We all know how these stories are going to end, and I, for one, am not ready to see it all unfold again.
Even with all the sorrowful goodbyes and knowing what’s going to happen, the pending duel between Ahsoka and Maul is going to be incredible. Bo-Katan fighting to take back Mandalore is going to be action-packed. I’m curious how much overlap there might be between The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith. There were already a few scenes in the beginning of this episode with Plo Koon and Aayla Secura that were a straight shot-for-shot callback to RotS. Also, we finally get to see Padawan Kanan Jarrus (Caleb Dume) and his master Depa Billaba in this episode, creating another tie-in to Star Wars Rebels.
I know many viewers were probably scratching their heads, wondering how Maul is back, and you are not alone. The last time we saw Maul, he was captured by Palpatine. Of course, Palpatine wasn’t going to kill Maul, because he had other plans. If you look rather closely at Maul in this episode, he looks a little battered– as though he went through something terrible in the hands of Palpatine.
Next week, in Episode 10, “The Phantom Apprentice,” we can expect to see the Maul and Ahsoka showdown, and some Coruscant action. Maybe we’ll get some information about where Maul was in-between his capture and now.
A new episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is released every Friday at 12am PST on Disney+.