Once the series finale, now a poignant end to this part of Yoda's journey.
To celebrate the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+, 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 for the weekly #CloneWarsRewatch -- you can watch this week’s episode on Disney+ now -- and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.
121: "Sacrifice" (Season Six, Episode 13)
"Facing all that you fear will free you from yourself."
After several grueling trials, Yoda travels to the ancient Sith home world of Moraband, where he must face an ancient evil determined to rule the galaxy.
For six years this episode marked the conclusion of the series, the final steps in Yoda's spiritual journey to attain the enlightenment that would prove him worthy of immortality. It's a noble end, although we're all glad The Clone Wars returned earlier this year to wrap up the stories of Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex. (More on that later!)
Today, let's focus on the masterful storytelling that explores Yoda's internal struggles with the Jedi's place in the war and his own emotional pull toward the dark side.
It doesn't get any bleaker than Moraband, the cradle of the Sith and the heart of darkness and evil in the galaxy. And in he must go. Without the Priestesses to control his fate or guide his quest, Yoda is left to grapple with the illusions of the Sith and the way they instigate, manipulate, and alter his own actions.
He can't be held responsible for the Sith's end of things, but Yoda is still accountable for his response to them. At the outset of the faux mission alongside Anakin Skywalker, Yoda makes a very un-Jedi like determination. "If it comes to it, execute them we must." He and the other Jedi have veered too close to the dark side given their role in the war. They've compromised their ideals, eroded their core beliefs, and they're so desperate to win that they're willing to kill to attain victory.
But in glimpses of the future masquerading as the present-day mirage, Yoda begins to see the error of this thinking. He's powerless to stop Anakin from beheading Dooku, yet he cries out in anguish. Execution, despite what he said previously, is not the way.
Darth Sidious offers Yoda a false binary -- let Anakin Skywalker fall to his death or stop Sidious in his tracks. It's a common theme in Star Wars storytelling; the bad guys just love to present two options as if there are no other choices. And each time, it's the hero's responsibility to navigate through the lies and the fears and excavate their own emotions to get to the truth of the matter.
Ultimately, Yoda is able to see past the deceptions. The Sith fail to break the wise Jedi.
Only in the end does he begin to understand that there may be no victory in the Clone Wars for practitioners of peace. Yet, there's a note of hope. They may lose the war, but there are other ways to emerge victorious.
And there is another...Skywalker?
- Mark Hamill returns in an unexpected role not as the Jedi Luke Skywalker but the voice of Darth Bane, a legendary Sith.
What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!
Next up: Come back in two weeks when we reconnect with Ahsoka on her post-Jedi path in "Gone with a Trace."