Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Orders review

The Order 66 arc of the Clone Wars Lost Missions wraps up with a thoroughly satisfying, planet-hopping adventure!

Clone trooper Fives digs himself further into trouble in the satisfying concluding episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ Order 66 arc. Darth Sidious influences every single character in the main plot in order to get what he wants, and his plan is neatly efficient. “Orders” is directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Katie Lucas. Lucas does a great job showing the web Sidious weaves, which is often mentioned in the Expanded Universe or shown in books like Darth Plagueis, but is never quite as evident as when one realizes that even the people who most want to help Fives would be devilishly easy for Palpatine to manipulate. Fives’ voice acting continues to impress – “I’m not crazy,” isn’t a unique line, but the way Dee Bradley Baker’s voice sounds harsh and adds syllables makes it feel utterly natural to the circumstances.

The Jedi are completely blind to Sidious’ machinations in this episode, partially because they want to keep Fives alive. Shaak Ti especially seems to have her hands tied. She has a very cool scene in pursuit of Fives, where medics gasp in awe as she leaps across a room, but it is brief. The trick Sidious uses to frame Fives is the same one he uses on the Jedi in the Revenge of the Sith novelization. A flashback in which the viewer saw what exactly transpired between Fives and the chancellor would have been nice toward the end of the episode, but doesn’t detract too much.

On the one hand, the lack of conclusion did leave the episode on a weak note – the viewer never sees Anakin’s private reaction to what he saw, or Rex and Kix sharing a drink for Fives. An appearance from Tiplar especially would have made the arc feel nicely rounded. However, that feeling of uncertainty and loss without closure also fits the point that the episode was trying to get across: that Sidious is winning, that of course he will win. The Jedi are impotent at this point in galactic history, and more so than at any other point in Star Wars storytelling they come off as disappointing heroes.

Fives’ trip to Coruscant also serves to expand the Clone Wars time period by showing a clone bar, crowded streets, and a New York-style cab driver who says he’s heard crazier stories than Fives’ on his average drive. The blue and purple lighting looks both slick and seedy, and the streets are nicely crowded with a variety of aliens. Viewers familiar with the Republic army will recognize a lot of the graffiti on the walls of the latrine. One scrawl, pointing to a drawing of a bantha, reads “5’s sister.” The setting is very different from the sterile Kamino, and echoes Ahsoka Tano’s flight through Coruscant in the season five finale. The Coruscant of “Fugitive” is a lived-in looking setting in which the tale of a singular, tragic clone becomes part of Sidious’ grand plan.

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5 out of 5