Now that the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is over, I can now say that these are my definitive top 10 arcs. To clarify, arcs are storylines that continue throughout multiple episodes and most of the show is comprised of a bunch of different arcs that contribute to the overall story. Spoilers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars ahead.
10. The Second Battle of Geonosis
The Second Battle of Geonosis is a combination of many of the things that makes The Clone Wars great. “Landing at Point Rain” features some of the best action in the entire show, while also having some great banter between our main characters and some much needed characterization for Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi, who was just a background character before this arc. “Weapons Factory” includes a great dynamic between Ahsoka and fellow padawan Barriss Offee. However, where this arc truly shines is in “Legacy of Terror.” Not only does this episode contain loads of new lore about the Geonosians, but it also includes some hilarious banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan. This is a fun arc all around, and lays the foundation for the arcs that follow it.
9. Death Watch
Before this arc, the only Mandalorians in canon were Boba and Jango Fett, who are not even real Mandalorians. Not only did this arc introduce Mandalore into canon, but it also added two incredible characters as well: Duchess Satine and Pre Viszla. Satine serves as a reminder of what the Republic should be, as well as a stark reminder of Obi-Wan’s past. Viszla, on the other hand, is what I always imagined Mandalorian warriors to be like when I read about them as a kid. The Darksaber might be one of my favorite Star Wars weapons.
8. Domino Squad
The heart of The Clone Wars is the clone troopers, and the first arc that represents this is the Domino Squad. This arc truly showed that every clone was not made equal. Each member of Domino Squad, Hevy, Echo, Fives, Cutup and Droid Bait, all had unique traits. “Domino Squad” shows them succeed, even though the odds were stacked against them. “Rookies” features some incredible moments and Hevy’s death will forever linger in my mind. However that moment pales in comparison to the death of clone trooper 99 in “ARC Troopers.” It was great seeing how far Echo and Fives progressed over the course of these three episodes. I came for the action, but I stayed for the characters.
Yoda’s four-episode arc introduced so many great additions to canon, while also informing us how Yoda knew Qui-Gon Jinn had “returned from the nether world of the force” in Revenge of the Sith. The episode “Voices” provides some insight into the light side of the Force, requiring Yoda to pass trials in order to discover the secret behind becoming a force ghost. I also find it interesting that the spirits represent all of the emotions, symbolizing that for someone to have mastery of the Force, they first must master their emotions. However, “Sacrifice” is the standout episode for me as it adds some much needed backstory for the Sith, shows Yoda struggling with his dark side and introduced Darth Bane into canon. Yoda’s arc is required viewing for anyone who want to learn more about the Force.
6. Darth Maul Returns
When I first learned that Darth Maul survived in season three, I could not believe it. At the end of season 4, Darth Maul made his glorious return and it was better than anything I could have ever hoped for. Maul was exactly what The Clone Wars was missing. Both he and Savage Opress bring this chaotic energy everywhere they go. Before these episodes, I only ever thought of Maul as a one-note character with a cool lightsaber. Now, I think of him as revenge-crazed madman standing in front of a burning building staring at Kenobi while saying the line “I have been waiting for you.”
We have always known that the Force had two aspects, the light and the dark. Mortis takes that concept and expands it in ways I could have never dreamed of. The Daughter, the Son, and the Father each perfectly symbolize the Light, the Dark, and the balance between the two. Lose just one, and the Force is thrown out of balance. Mortis also establishes definitively that Anakin is the Chosen One, although it takes the prophecy of him “bringing balance to the Force” a bit literally with him controlling both The Daughter and The Son. The standout scene from this arc, however, has nothing to with the planet itself. Anakin seeing the evil he will become, seeing the fall of the Jedi and acting the exact same way we see in Revenge of the Sith is extremely tragic. Mortis is definitely the strangest arc in The Clone Wars, but I cannot imagine Star Wars without it.
4. The Battle of Umbara
The Battle of Umbara is fantastic for a myriad of reasons. Seeing the clones battle an army that does not consist of battle droids is an refreshing change. The various new weapons created for the Umbarans feel unique. The action is vibrant, likely due to the contrast between the bright lasers and the darkness of Umbara. With that said, this is not the reason it is so high on my list. Seeing the many members of the 501st Legion each grapple with the change in leadership differently is what really makes the arc stand out. General Krell’s lack of empathy for his subordinates is more terrifying than anything the Separatists could throw at the clones. Rex’s mutiny against Krell and the reveal that he was just using them as fodder to earn himself a place among those controlling the war were executed near-perfectly. Every clone, whether it be Rex, Fives, Jesse, Hardcase, or Dogma gets their moment to shine.
3. The Shadow Collective
After multiple episodes of build up, the Death Watch and Darth Maul-centric episodes culminated in this incredible arc from The Clone Wars‘s fifth season. Watching the Maul and Death Watch slowly build their Shadow Collective in “Eminence,” just so that Maul could uproot the galaxy and cause further discord added further anticipation. This escalated into “Shades of Reason” and “The Lawless.” Maul’s duel with Pre Viszla is fantastic. Kenobi’s nearly crossing the line into the Dark Side after Satine’s death brings out a side of his character that had rarely been shown before. All of this culminates in the jaw-dropping duel between Savage, Maul and Darth Sidious. Outside of The Siege of Mandalore, this is definitely the arc with the most death and you can feel it throughout.
2. Rogue Jedi
Ahsoka Tano might have felt a bit annoying when she was forced introduced into canon back in 2008, but she has come a long way since then. I always wondered what reason the writers would come up with to explain her absence from Revenge of the Sith. I never once thought she would leave the Jedi order. Seeing Ahsoka on the run, being unable to trust anyone, being betrayed by one of her closest friends and losing faith in the Jedi Order is rough to put it lightly. This is the arc that made Ahsoka one of my favorite Star Wars characters. The scene of her walking away from Anakin and the Jedi Order still breaks my heart.
1. The Siege of Mandalore
I have already talked at length about this arc in my review of Season 7 of the Clone Wars, and I can definitively say it is not only my favorite arc in The Clone Wars, but also one the best pieces of Star Wars media I have ever seen. What I did not get to talk about in my review was the last two episodes. Order 66 was sad in Revenge of the Sith, it was depressing in the video game Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and devastating in The Siege of Mandalore. Rex crying when he realizes what he may have to do to his own brothers destroyed me. Ahsoka burying every single clone she could find after the crash is bittersweet. The ending with Vader finding Ahsoka’s lightsaber, which he had made for her so long ago, left me completely speechless. The Siege of Mandalore is amazing and it is beautiful.
What are your favorite arcs/moments of The Clone Wars? Comment below!