Spoiler Warning: If you have not watched any of The Clone Wars, there will be several points that reference moments from Season 6 and other seasons. Warned, you have been.
Send in the Clones
In a season that breaks down a sinister plan involving the clones serving the Jedi and the Republic, The Clone Wars Season 6 further illustrates how amazing storytelling can be accomplished even when primary characters are absent. The first four episodes of this thirteen-episode season follow two clones. Trooper Tuc kills a Jedi Master, but the circumstances leading up to this moment lead viewers to believe it’s like a switch turned on, as though he was following a malicious order. Believing that something must be wrong with his brother-in-arms, trooper Fives does whatever he can to find the truth through these four episodes. A scan shows that there’s an unknown implant within Tuc and all other clones.
The Clones Wars Season 6 uses its introductory episodes to connect the dots for fans of the original Star Wars trilogy. Clone troopers are extremely loyal, and they want to do their part to help end the war. So, how did we get from being aligned with the Jedi to following the dark side in Star Wars IV: A New Hope? We can also ask how their skills as fighters precipitously declined during this turning point. Clones went from capable, skilled shooters and tacticians to missing the broad side of a barn. Okay, it’s safe to say that turning clones into reliable and beloved characters within the franchise proves that characters and their backstories are indicative of why #StoriesMatter.
Clones have questioned their duties. They’ve been ambushed, betrayed, and they’ve died for a cause they were created for. In the end, it’s been a choice for many clones to continue fighting, day in and day out. Much like most clones throughout this entire series, Fives in Season 6 represents the ideals with which clones are so thoughtfully crafted. They believe in loyalty and doing what’s right. Fives understands there’s something wrong, and, knowing he’s not being told everything, he sets out on a mission to possibly save all of the clones. This one clone trooper believes there’s an imminent threat, and finding out that there’s a foreign object within all clones leads him to believe there’s more to find out – to explain why his friend killed a Jedi.
Without any concern for his own well-being, Fives does what he can to find answers and to find out if he will meet a similar fate to the “brainwashed” Tuc. Much like the continued darkness that grows as The Clone Wars continues season after season, this journey and the rest of Season 6 follows a similar path. Much like a path for Yoda that concludes the season, finding the truth is difficult, and, sometimes, facing our own demons causes us to see the light (or truth). If anything, the clones in Season 6 represent that thirst to find answers when a clear and present threat is looming.
Walk, The Path You Must
The final three episodes of The Clone Wars Season 6 focus on the Jedi. Yoda, specifically. The one who trained Luke. The one who limped on screen to battle Count Dooku, which also led to a very large applause in theaters just for his slow arrival. This iconic character has incredible wisdom, and his dialect is impersonated often. The creators of Season 6 provide a look into Yoda's character that’s never been seen. There are moments where we see what might’ve been had he turned to the dark side.
Yoda must face his demons to pass a test, in the hopes of learning how to become more powerful after death. This three-episode journey highlights the strength of this character, while also pointing out the flaws or inability to see the evil that’s been in front of them for years. It’s an important message when telling stories to show that even the greatest characters are not perfect. Despite what we hope for, the best of intentions do not always guarantee that there aren’t dark forces at play, and the (Star Wars) world can be a scary place. Being able to share stories with kids, or letting our children share stories with us, it has the ability to form bonds through these imperfections that we see onscreen. We want to cheer for Yoda. We want to see the Jedi succeed.
But, it’s a story that’s already been told, but we still hold onto one thing that every child should grow up holding onto: hope. Yoda believes. One day, perhaps, the tides will change and hope will prevail. Perhaps he was given a speech a long time ago that influenced him, much like the Rudy speech, “You’re 5-foot nothin,’ 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best…”
Determination doesn’t come with a height requirement. “Hate the game, not the player, you must,” I imagined Yoda saying once upon a time. When size doesn’t minimize one’s voice or abilities, then hope will always reign supreme. It’s an incredible thing to witness during the final episodes, as he continues to get back up after being knocked down. Moving forward, never wavering is his purpose, and what better message to show to our kids. This is especially important when humility comes into play when characters recognize that the dark side might be more perilous than they’d thought possible.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 6, like previous seasons, is a perfect model to help explain that #StoriesMatter. The animated series, again and again, finds a way to share important messages within a complex world. Following the paths of a clone trooper and Yoda help to define hope and determination when surrounded by those who only want to further their own duplicitous plots. The Clone Wars initially ended with Season 6, but another season gives fans an opportunity to dive into some of the best storytelling in the Star Wars franchise.
Upcoming Season 7
The Geeky Parent Guide will be covering Season 7 of The Clone Wars. Six years after the final episode in Season 6 aired, Star Wars: The Clone Wars will return, and this geeky parent is excited to see these amazing stories and animation return to the small screen.
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Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.