In “Sacrifice”, the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Yoda must now travel to Moraband, the ancient home world of the Sith. Here, Yoda must face his final trial. Spoilers abound. For a look at previous Clone Wars reviews, look here.
I sense we have an opportunity to strike a deadly blow to the Jedi Order…”
The Sith immediately know that Yoda is on Moraband. Darth Sidious summons Count Dooku to Coruscant so that they may use the opportunity to possibly take down Yoda. This was one of the few times that we actually see the two Sith Lords working together. For the most part, Sidious has been content to be the chess master while occasionally coming in and doing the dirty work himself. Very rarely do Dooku and Sidious get together.
Meanwhile, Yoda is having his own difficulties on Moraband (or “Korriban” to all of the KOTOR and TOR players out there). He is first ambushed by beasts of the darkside. Then he faces Darth Bane (voice by none other than Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself), the creator of the Sith Rule of Two. After subduing Bane, Yoda enters the Sith temple to face his last trial.
From here, “Sacrifice” starts to look less original. At their hideout on Coruscant, Sidious and Dooku share an illusion with Yoda. In it, Yoda and Anakin lead an attack on the Sith Lords’ hideout. Anakin takes down Dooku just as he will in Revenge of the Sith. Then Yoda and Sidious have an almost slash for slash ripoff of their duel in that movie. It was unfortunate that the showrunners decided to go this route. The Yoda arc was very strong thus far with just a few tips of the hat to Revenge of the Sith. However, this went too far for me. It just seemed lazy that “Sacrifice” seemed like a ripoff of the final prequel movie.
It is no surprise that Yoda survives his “encounter” with the Sith and thus completes his training. For an arc that was running so strong, the middle of the episode fell short. The idea of this episode was that Yoda chose to save Anakin instead of destroy Sidious. That was his sacrifice. However, the means of getting there felt like a waste of screen time. Thankfully, this episode redeems itself with one final scene in the Jedi Temple courtyard. As Yoda’s theme is playing in the background, he acknowledges that they might not win the Clone Wars but perhaps they will win a greater war. With that, the camera pans up to the tree and focuses on a single leaf. Then the scene fades. This was a good ending to not just this episode but also to the series. Sure, the war did not end but Yoda showed us that victory in the war is not what matters. He has seen the future and knows that no good will come of the war. However, now he has a way to combat that dark future. With a note of hope, it makes for an excellent finale.
Not victory in the clone wars but victory for all time.