Here we are, Season 6: The Lost Missions. The last remaining episodes of the Clone Wars initial run after Cartoon Network dropped the series. Or maybe it was Disney hungrily grasped all the loose Star Wars projects and clung them to their chest, y’know what business is like.
I’m not entirely sure what to expect from these episodes. With Ahsoka leaving the series during the finale of Season 5, it kind of feels like her departure really would put an end to the series. And yet there was another entire series planned without her. It makes me wonder if this was going to be the last one before it tied back into the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.
Season 6, Episode 01: The Unknown
I’m starting to see the structure of how the series works now since they started focusing on a lot of longer, 4 part story arcs. The opening of this episode throws us into a situation before having the real plot kick-off and veer off to follow that. The framing for this episode seems particularly strange to me as we get to meet Tiplar and Tiplee, the twin Mukkian Jedi Masters.
These two characters are based on a piece of unused concept art from Attack of the Clones, and despite the fact that their characters and even their race were created for this very episode, they hardly factor into it after the initial events, nor do they ever show up again.
I don’t know, for such distinctly designed characters, it feels like they’re super underutilised compared to the amount of work that probably went into them. But maybe there were plans for the sister that remained in the planned episodes that never got to see the light of day.
Also, the Spider commander of the separatists; Trench is back. Which feels like an especially nice little piece of nostalgia for me, as the last time I saw this character was the very first part of this series in the episode Cat and Mouse, the earliest episode in the series’ continuity. And like so many orcs in Mordor, there nothing that a bit of grafting metal can’t fix, and Trench is a cyborg now.
Despite all of this, these are Clone focused episodes. Mostly centring around Fives and Tup, the later of who was introduced during the Umbara story arc. It’s a plotline I never would have expected to see, but it centres around the idea of the clone’s programming and how the Jedi might discover the existence of the Order 66 programming before it can be activated.
Season 6, Episode 02: Conspiracy
When Dooku discovered the potential for the Order 66 being discovered by Tup’s programming being activated early, the fight to cover it up finds itself right at Fives feet, as he battles to save his friends life. Back on Kamino, Fives does everything he can to save his friend while Jedi Master Shaak Ti and Kaminoian doctor Nala Se debate over the cause of Tup’s actions.
Much of this episode features Fives arguing the individuality and humanity of the clones in the face of a literal droid and the Kaminoians who perceive them as little more than product. It doesn’t help the alien’s sinister airs in that they’re unknowingly following orders from Count Dooku who is trying to cover the whole thing up.
Or maybe they do know this “Lord Tyranus” is Count Dooku and simply don’t care. I mean, this series has done nothing to make us like the Kaminoians. If anything, they’re incredibly similar to the many other money-driven races that make up the Seperaits leadership under the sway of Darth Sidious.
In the end, despite managing to remove the “tumour” from his brain, Tup still dies.
Season 6, Episode 03: Fugitive
It occurs to me that I’m, watching two story arcs back to back in which a character is being hunted by his friends after being framed for something. As further evidence of the Kaminioians utter disregard for the Clone’s humanity, Fives inadvertently discovers that he’s due to have his memory erased and is going to be relegated to janitor duty for the rest of his life.
Unlike dutiful clones surrounding him that seem totally okay with the situation, Fives takes exception and fights his way out, realising the Kaminoians are covering up the tumour discovered in Tup’s head. Going into full-on conspiracy mode, Tup plays cat and mouse with the forces on Kamino while investigating what the cloners know.
He discovers that the “tumours” are organic implant chips, and that they’re present within all of the clones. Fives would be doomed to be executed, if not for the presence of Shaak Ti, who the Kaminoians need to fool to distract away from the true purpose of the chips: Sidious’s secret contingency programming. Including Order 66.
Season 6, Episode 04: Orders
Fives’ quest to discover the truth was always destined to end in tragedy. Especially when Palpatine himself started taking a personal interesting in resolving this issue. Things all start to fall apart when Fives is injected with some kind of drug by Nala Se whilst en route to Coruscant. From there, everything he says begins to become increasingly manic and he seems less coherent as the episode goes on.
Which all falls into the hands of Palpatine, who makes it seems like Fives has gone mad and attacked him. At which point Fives is doomed and anything he has to say is attributed to him removing his “inhibitor chip”, which is what the Kaminoians are now calling the “tumour” that burned out in Tup and caused him to kill a Jedi before he was activated.
In the end, we all knew that Fives was never going to make it out of this one alive. We know Order 66 still takes place and despite him desperately trying to tell Anakin and Rex that the entire Republic Army could be compromised, his frantic ramblings just make him seem like he’s lost his mind. Playing perfectly into the hands of Sidious and Dooku as they laugh and laugh.
It’s a series of episodes that leave me with some mixed feelings, not on the quality of the episode itself. But who I feel for more come the conclusion because I feel more for the clones than I do the Jedi at this point. While I’m not saying the Jedi deserve to die by any means, their downfall is really their own fault in many ways. Their arrogance that nobody could bring them down in such a way and their blindness to not see what was happening right under their noses. As well as the loss of their own values to become political puppets.
The clones one the other hand, they’re the biggest victims here. They were created to die in a war that they never had a say in. And despite that, they fight on dutifully, with honour and respect. And in the end, their own choices continue to be taken away from them, with some piece of programming in a chip in their brain causes them to murder the Jedi Generals who treated them like humans, give them names and treated them with a respect nobody else did.
Unlike the Jedi, the odds were all stacked against the clones and their lot in life. Which makes me feel like they’re victims of Order 66 just as much as the Jedi were.
it makes me wonder, with this newly established implant within the clone’s brains, how people like Rex manage to avoid following these orders. I guess it’ll just be something more for me to look forward to.