After a short break during which I chronicled some awesome standalone episodes in The Clone Wars and reviewed the latest installment of Rebels, I’m back counting down my essential arcs of TCW again, and we are getting into the thick of it now! Huge ramifications for this next story arc, one I lovingly call…
#6 // Sixty-Six Shades of Conspiracy
Season 6, episode 1 — The Unknown
Season 6, episode 2 — Conspiracy
Season 6, episode 3 — Fugitive
Season 6, episode 4 — Orders
Why it’s essential watching (without giving it all away….):
- Order 66 – we see a Clone Trooper (Tup) seemingly fall under a trance and execute Jedi Master Tiplar whilst chanting “good soldiers follow orders” over-and-over. When Dooku informs Sidous that this may have to do with their ‘programming’, Sidious reacts with surprise and anger, informing Dooku that this could jeopardize their grand plan. So much so that they initiate a plan to steal Tup from Republic forces as he’s en route to Kamino for evaluation.
- Ringo Vinda – the planet of Ringo Vinda is orbited by a ring-shaped space station that literally circles the entire planet. It’s a cool concept, if nothing else, and it’s visually satisfying. Anyways, just my $.02 on that little design detail.
- More cool Separatist droid designs – even in season six the design team is pushing the envelope and giving us cool new Separatist droid models and incarnations. This time we get Super Battle Droid Rocket Troopers. Yeah, they’re a mouthful, but they look awesome and serve an actual purpose.
- Animation detail – wow, the detail in the animation by the time we get to season six is next-level stuff, seriously. There are tons of examples, but one that’s always stood out to me is the ice crystals on the dead clones’ faces after the hull of the medial ship is ripped open. The reflection in Anakin’s space helmet is another nice touch.
- Jedi Masters Tiplar and Tiplee – not a ton to say here, but they are gorgeous. The animation detail as their hair flows is quite mesmerizing.
- Admiral Trench is back – first seen in the very first episodes of The Clone Wars series, Separatist Admiral Trench is back and is sporting new cybernetics used to reconstruct his body after the last time we saw him. He’s disgusting, but in a good way. I think.
- Anakin – by this point in the series Anakin Skywalker is a fully fleshed out hero, and he is so badass and so decisive. This is the Anakin we always wanted, and he really shines in this arc of episodes when he’s present. I especially liked the emotion that was conveyed by the animation team and voice actor Matt Lanter during the closing moments of the fourth episode of the arc, Orders, as you can really tell how much he loves the soldiers that fight with him and he desperately wanted to help Fives.
- Medical Droid AZ-3 – this little dude is so awesome! Full of personality and more than willing to help Fives in his quest to prove his best friend and fellow soldier Tup isn’t simply sick or crazy. His design is very well thoughtout as well, as he was constantly surprising me with his functionality throughout the middle episodes of the arc. Whether he was performing surgery, espionage, or even allowing himself to be used as a jetski, AZ-3 was awesome!
- Kaminoan’s are shady – if you ever wondered if the cloners on Kamino were shady, this arc pretty much clears that up. They knew about the chips that were implanted in each clone that would eventually be used in the execution of Order 66, and even report directly to Tyranus behind the Jedi Council’s back. While I do not think they realized that Tyranus was a Sith Lord, they double-dealings were shady nonetheless.
- Palpatine – the Supreme Chancellor (and soon to be Emperor) was used sparingly in this arc (as was the case through most of the series) but as usual he shines. When he questions Fives privately and seemingly confesses to being involved in the plot to not only implant the chips in the clones but also in the eventuality they would be used to turn the clones against the Jedi it was Sidious at his maniacal best.
- Clones are real people – if there’s one thing The Clone Wars did it showed that the individual Clone Troopers were just that – individuals. Individuals with unique personalities, hobbies, style, and nicknames. This point is once again hammered home multiple times in this season six arc, as we see how loyal Fives and the rest of the 501st are to Tup, and then later how loyal Rex and the 501st are to Fives. There is also a nice exchange between Fives and medical droid AZ-3 about the clones not being just numbers, during which AZ-5 replies that Fives’ name is in fact a number. It was a pretty funny exchange.
- The beginning of the end – as the sixth and final season (although it wasn’t intended to be the final season) of the series begins we see the ante has been upped. We are working quickly towards the Sith’s endgame, and it is all put into jeopardy when Tup’s chip malfunctions and he executes Jedi Master Tiplar. There is a ton of information during this arc dealing with Order 66, and it was very informative. It’s a shame that Fives wasn’t able to get a real sit down with Anakin and Obi-Wan, as I feel like that would have made all the difference, quite possibly changing the entire fate of a galaxy.
- Rad canon connections – most likely due to this arc of episodes Rex is made aware of Order 66 and is able to remove/have his chip removed before the order is executed, as we see him later in Star Wars Rebels; the Red Royal Guards make a very brief appearance in the medical station as Palpatine is questioning Fives; we see Shaak Ti travel back to Coruscant with Rex from Kamino, and if I’m correct we are to assume that she stays there for the remainder of the war – until she is executed in the Temple by Anakin during Order 66.
A very, very solid group of episodes, and as you can probably gather it’s getting harder to rank them. But of course I will keep going with another arc tomorrow! In the meantime, enjoy these images from this arc below: