The Clone Wars Rewatch: Step Into “The Unknown”

Good soldiers follow orders...

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.

109: “The Unknown” (Season Six, Episode 1)

“The truth about yourself is always the hardest to accept.”

A scene from "The Unknown"

Synopsis:

Clone trooper Tup succumbs to a mysterious mental illness that results in the shocking death of a Jedi Master.

A scene from "The Unknown"

Analysis:

In the first of what was known as The Lost Missions, we get a glimpse at the brutality to come when Darth Sidious executes Order 66. While the war-ending move is appalling in its own right, there’s something especially repugnant about watching a defect that forces Clone trooper Tup to carry out the murder of Jedi General Tiplar ahead of schedule.

A scene from "The Unknown"

It’s in the anguished cry of her sister Tiplee, who rushes to her side, cradling the fallen Jedi as the battle rages on around them. It’s in the way Rex jumps in to tackle Tup even though he doesn’t understand what he just witnessed, a good solider to the core. It’s in the confusion on the faces of every clone who has served alongside Tup.

There are many possible answers for Tup’s behavior. Sure, it could be a breakdown from combat-related stress. Or a defect in his otherwise carefully cloned genetic programming. It could be an anti-clone virus released by the Separatists or another nefarious plot by the Republic’s enemy.

Sadly, the only thing that is clear is that Tup is out of his mind. No matter the reason for his traitorous actions, Tup was out of control when he fired that blaster at point blank range, his head foggy, eyes rolling into the back of his head as his speech devolved into chilling mutterings. “Good soldiers follow orders. Good soldiers follow orders. Good soldiers follow orders.”

A scene from "The Unknown"

Tup’s treachery is an important discovery for the Separatists, a valuable investigation for the Republic, and it has the potential to ruin Palpatine’s ultimate plans. And yet, while watching this episode now, those sweeping galactic concerns seem to fall away and we are left with the sad story of a single soldier who in a moment loses everything, including control of his mind, his body, and his will.

A scene from "The Unknown"

Captain Rex and Anakin Skywalker are intent on getting to the bottom of it, with Fives on the case despite his personal feelings of grief. But what they’re about to uncover is much more troubling than any Separatist bio weapon.

Trivia from "The Unknown"

Intel:

  • The designs for Tiplee and Tiplar are based on unused concept art for a female Sith Lord created by Iain McCaig for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

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 Fives desperately tries to save Tup’s life in “Conspiracy.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer, host of This Week! In Star Wars, 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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