So thanks to Netflix we’ll soon be able to see a kinda sorta Season Six of The Clone Wars – after its abrupt cancellation last year – in the form of a batch of 13 episodes which were already in production at the time, bundled together here under the title The Lost Missions. In the run up to their release on Netflix on March 7th, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best episodes of the whole series which, incidentally, is also being added to the online streaming service on the same day.
Up until this episode the clones, in the movies in which they appeared, had been personality-free cannon fodder. Rookies is the first episode to actually show who these warriors of the Republic really are, each with their own distinctive personality and look. On an Outer Rim outpost a bunch of relatively new clones (or ‘shinies’) are put through their paces when the base comes under attack by Separatist droids. First appearance of the brutal commando droids, the first non Jedi story in the series, and the first to showcase a few characters who we would continue to follow throughout the series, such as Clone, Fives.
Lair of Grievous S01E10
Despite being spoken of as a formidable enemy, Grievous went out like a punk in Episode III without making much of an impact. Lair of Grievous changes all that. While, yes, he is still a coward in battle who tends to run away when the going gets tough, this episode gives us intriguing snippets of his pre-cyborg life as Jedi Kit Fisto and his former padawan become trapped in Grievous’ base/trophy room and must fight for their lives against the devious General.
Hostage Crisis S01E22
The first season finale introduced us to Cad Bane, perhaps the best original character in the whole of the Clone Wars series. Effortlessly cool, ruthless, cold-blooded and with a band of fellow bounty hunters along for the ride, including fan favourite Aurra Sing, Bane practically walks in to the Jedi Temple, takes hostages and escapes with his charge without even breaking a sweat. And he rocks a cool hat.
Landing at Point Rain S02E05
We head back to Geonosis for the first time since Episode II for an episode that’s basically all-out action for the whole 22 minutes. A space assault that turns into an air raid then a ground assault, with half a dozen Jedi in the mix taking three different paths to reach their goal with various obstacles in their way. Lightsabers twirl, blasters blast and the clones break out the flamethrowers to take on some pesky Geonosians. This episode is the start of a multi-episode arc that involves zombies that never once falls below brilliant. Star Wars at its purest.
Voyage of Temptation S02E13
The standout episode in another multi-episode arc, Obi Wan and Anakin are protecting the Duchess Satine on a transport from Mandalore to Coruscant when their ship comes under attack by Separatists in league with rogue Mandalorian group Death Watch. After a few hints in the previous episode, this one really gets under the skin of Obi-Wan revealing that even the most stoic of Jedi has doubts about the ‘no attachments’ rule and that he would have left the Jedi Order for the duchess and it also shows us the more ruthless side to Anakin murdering the villain of the episode in cold blood when neither Obi Wan nor Satine will for their own personal reasons. Neat use of the Imperial March as well.
Nightsisters/Savage Arc S03E12-14
Again, another multi-episode arc containing themes that will have long lasting ramifications further down the line; the introduction of Savage Oppress, the beginning of the redemption of Asajj Ventress, the first appearance of Mother Talzin, the re-introduction of someone thought dead and each thread expands the Star Wars universe hugely and in ways never thought possible. Not only that, but it contains some of the best action seen yet in the series, none more so than a battle between Dooku and three invisible lightsabre wielding Nightsisters.
Mortis Arc S03E15-17
Another multi-episode arc that delves into the inner workings of the Force as Anakin, Obi Wan and Ahsoka find themselves on a planet that may well be a physical manifestation of the Force and come across a trio: the Father, the Daughter and the Son who represent the various aspects of it as well. Tapping into the fears that both Obi Wan and Ahsoka have about their apprentice and master respectively as well as Anakin’s growing doubts about the Jedi Order this episode is perhaps the most adult to date. It also plays on our foreknowledge of who Anakin will eventually become with a glimpse of his future.
Umbara Arc S04E7-10
All Jedi are good, right? Not so much here, with a Jedi who cares little for the clones under his command and whose quest for power ties in neatly with the fall of Anakin during Revenge of the Sith. Pong Krell is a fascinating look at what happens when a Jedi isn’t as honourable as we’ve come to expect; he’s an absolute hardass and one of The Clone Wars’ finest original creations. The clones’ reluctance to carry out his orders and to actively defy a Jedi is another neat hint towards their Order 66 future.
The Box S04E17
An undercover Obi Wan is pitted against a band of bounty hunters, including Cad Bane, in a life or death contest held by Dooku to see who is worthy enough to take on a mission to kidnap the Chancellor. Without using his Jedi powers and without a lightsaber, this episode is a great showcase for Obi Wan’s ingenuity and code of honour as he and the other bouny hunters navigate a series of death traps that wouldn’t look out of place in a Saw movie.
Everything Darth Maul in Season 05
With the return Darth Maul, The Clones Wars threw every cool thing they had in to a handful of episodes, Maul, Savage Oppress, Death Watch, political manoeuvrings, betrayal, death, a prison break, Sidious finally entering the fray personally and fighting Darth Maul and Savage Oppress and all of it works beautifully to create the most complex, exciting and just plain awesome set of episodes. To give much more away would spoil the episodes’ surprises but it’s among the best arcs The Clone Wars have ever produced.