To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.
“Balance is found in the one who faces his guilt.”
A mysterious force draws Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka to a strange and distant world where they are plagued by visions. Meanwhile, a family of exceptionally powerful Force-wielders try to determine whether Anakin is truly the Chosen One.
“Are you the one?” The question is both curious and pleading, an enticing inquiry from the enigmatic being known only as Daughter.
It seems clear, at least to the Father and Qui-Gon Jinn before him, that Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One, the one who will bring balance to the Force. And yet, it’s a mantle Anakin has no desire to take on.
Fulfilling his duty as the Chosen One here would mean staying in the uncharted and ethereal Mortis, abandoning his life, his wife, and the Jedi Order. For a man who has already served the opposing roles of peacekeeping Jedi and war-time general, and given his preternatural Force abilities and high midi-chlorian count, it makes sense. If the Father can no longer preside over his dueling children, Son and Daughter, Anakin is the only one in the universe, it seems, strong enough to keep them in check in his absence, at least in this strange world that seems to operate purely on a metaphysical level.
Even with his unimaginable god-like powers, the Father cannot make Anakin choose this life. He must come to it willingly, or choose to continue the life he knows and risk the entire fate of the galaxy. But there’s more to Anakin’s choice than a love for Padmé and the life he’s carved out for himself since escaping enslavement on Tatooine.
Faced with the ghostly visage of his mother, Shmi, come to tell him a secret, Anakin drops his guard and confesses the guilt he still carries for failing to rescue her in time. He begins to acknowledge the seeds of the dark side that took hold when he destroyed the entire village that had held her captive. In bringing the Son and the Daughter both to their knees, he once again shows this potential for pure and unchecked rage, a seething hatred that illuminates the destructive power of the dark side as a disease working from the inside out. Yes, he’s doing it to save both Ahsoka and Obi-Wan, rather than play the Father’s game of saving one only to see the other destroyed. But there’s something unsettling about the way he commands Daughter and Son. Like the ghosts inhabiting Mortis, appearing as visions of Qui-Gon Jinn from the past and Ahsoka from the future, Anakin’s display of raw power is a specter of things to come.
The Mortis arc expands the mythology of the Force and the prophecy of the Chosen One in a way not previously imagined, putting a face to the light, the dark, and the one in the middle who aims to keep these two opposing forces in balance.
And although the episode ends with our heroes headed back to their ship, the spirits of Mortis don’t give up so easily.
- Liam Neeson and Pernilla August reprised their roles from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in this episode. Neeson returned to lend his voice to the vision of Qui-Gon Jinn, while August was once again the calming voice of Shmi Skywalker.
What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!
Next up: Come back next Thursday when the Son takes Ahsoka captive in “Altar of Mortis.”
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.
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