It’s all been leading to this. “Shattered” (available to stream now on Disney+) finds Ahsoka, Rex, and the Mandalorians triumphant; they’ve won Mandalore and Maul is, astonishingly, in custody. But en route to Coruscant, Palpatine commands a new directive – the extermination of the Jedi Knights – and Ahsoka must somehow survive as the clones, and Rex, hunt her down. “Shattered” answers questions that we’ve had for years surrounding Ahsoka, Rex, and Order 66, and it’s one of the most rewarding entries of the entire series. Here are five highlights from “Shattered.”
1. The Jedi conference call — from a certain point of view.
Here, we see the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith literally lineup with The Clone Wars, as “Shattered” features the Jedi Council holocall from Episode III — in which Mace Windu says that “the dark side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor” — early on. Only now we discover that the discussion went on longer, with Ahsoka joining in, reporting that she’s secured Maul, and learning that Obi-Wan is on the way to confront General Grievous. It’s a nice surprise that allows the series to dance between the raindrops of what occurs in Revenge of the Sith, while putting Ahsoka on a parallel path.
2. The salute.
Despite their victory, Ahsoka seems uneasy. Finally, Tano speaks to Rex about how as a Jedi, she was trained to be a keeper of the peace, yet all she ever knew as a Padawan was war. Rex, in turn, opens up about clones’ own conflicted feelings. In the end, they express their mutual, hard-earned respect for each other and acknowledge just how deep their friendship runs. But it’s their silent salute that speaks volumes. This will go down as one of the great scenes in the series, and one that encapsulates the emotional core of The Clone Wars.
3. “Execute Order 66.”
Finally, and in edge-of-your-seat, heartbreaking fashion, it happens. Rex attends the latest briefing from Coruscant, which ends with the Chancellor – now cloaked – issuing a new command: “Execute Order 66.” Meanwhile, Ahsoka has felt a disturbance in the Force regarding Anakin, and comes to Rex for help just as the transmission ends. But the clone captain does not respond to her; Rex grips his helmet tightly before dropping it, turns, and pulls his weapons on Ahsoka. Other troopers close in, but Rex calls them off. “I’ll do it,” he says, muttering something about clone trooper Fives before firing. And with that, the galaxy is changed, and so are these friends.
To see Order 66 in this way — with two friends who we’ve cheered on for years, now turned enemies — brilliantly makes the tragedy of the Clone Wars shockingly and strikingly personal. But, true to the hero we know, Ahsoka isn’t about to kill or give up on Rex…
4. Maul versus clones.
Ahsoka wanted a diversion in setting Maul free, and she definitely got one. The former Sith Lord is near unstoppable as he kills clone after clone in the cruiser’s corridors, an echo of Vader’s terrifying display in Rogue One. It’s an enthralling sequence, and an unsettling one.
5. The return of Rex.
Thanks to Rex’s seemingly incoherent mention of Fives at the onset of Order 66, Ahsoka does some detective work into what it could have meant. By looking into the files on Fives, she ultimately uncovers a recording in which Rex states that the clones’ inhibitor chips could have a hidden purpose. Risking all, Ahsoka captures Rex and has a droid remove his device, all while clones get ready to storm the operating room to kill her. As they break through, she parries their blasts with expert skill but is soon overwhelmed, sure to meet the same fate as other Jedi around the galaxy. Suddenly, Ahsoka’s attackers fall, killed by fire coming from behind her. How?
Finally, we see Rex, just woken from his surgery and free of the inhibitor chip, with blasters in hand. He destroyed his brothers to save his friend.
It’s a stirring moment, and one the entire series has been building toward. Everything here says so much about the Clone Wars: the tragedy of the conflict, the victims on all sides, and the strength of Ahsoka and Rex’s bond within it, which proves stronger than Palpatine’s plan. Ahsoka and Rex show true compassion and selflessness in the risks they take for each other, and that’s beautiful Star Wars.
Discover more in StarWars.com’s official Episode Guide for “Shattered.”
Watch the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+.
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Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.
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