This Star Wars: The Clone Wars article contains spoilers.
At last, the Clone Wars have come to an end. “Victory and Death” is an action-packed episode that not only crosses over with Revenge of the Sith but shows us the rise of the Galactic Empire from a new perspective. As Ahsoka and Rex try to escape Order 66 with their lives, we’re treated to a few easter eggs and callbacks to other parts of the Star Wars saga.
Here’s the stuff we found in the episode:
The biggest moment of the episode comes in the final scene when the character we’d all been waiting for finally makes his first and only appearance in The Clone Wars. Darth Vader walks into the scene, as menacing as ever, to inspect the wreckage of the Republic cruiser. He finds Ahsoka’s lightsaber and takes it back with him to his shuttle without saying a word.
While Ahsoka never comes face-to-face with Vader, thanks to Rebels, we know that the two will meet down the line. But for now, the show ends in silence.
At the center of this episode’s chaos is the Republic cruiser’s hyperdrive, which Maul completely dismantles with the Force, pulling the ship out of lightspeed and sending it hurtling towards an unknown moon. Star Wars has a real preoccupation with hyperdrives. Since The Empire Strikes Back, hyperdrives have been deactivated, damaged, and repaired as a common trope of the franchise.
In the first Star Wars sequel, the Millennium Falcon’s faulty hyperdrive is a running gag throughout. A damaged hyperdrive is one of the main plot points of The Phantom Menace and the reason why Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi make a pit stop on Tatooine. In The Force Awakens, Rey makes a quick fix to the Falcon that prevents it from exploding while in lightspeed. And there are plenty of other examples, too.
There is another extraordinary example of the power of the Force in this episode: Ahsoka pulling Maul’s escape ship back with the Force. While the young hero is not quite strong enough to completely stop the ship from zooming away, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this particular use of the Force. Most famously, Yoda uses the Force to pull Luke Skywalker’s X-wing out of a swamp in The Empire Strikes Back.
There’s also a sequence in the video game The Force Unleashed when Starkiller (who also happens to be played by Sam Witwer, the voice of Maul in The Clone Wars) uses the Force to send a Star Destroying crashing to the surface of Raxus Prime.
Rey also uses the Force to stop a First Order ship in The Rise of Skywalker before zapping it out of the sky with Force lightning. She thought she’d accidentally killed Chewie until the lovable Wookiee shows up on a First Order Star Destroyer a few scenes later.
The Y-wing Rex and Ahsoka use to escape the crash in the climactic scene of the episode is a BTL-B Y-wing fighter-bomber. It’s the predecessor of the more famous Y-wing used by the Rebellion in the Original Trilogy. This fighter model was first introduced during the Death Star attack in A New Hope. At this point, the Y-wing has appeared in every major era of the Star Wars saga.
If the Imperial shuttle used by Darth Vader in the final scene of the episode looks familiar, that’s because it’s a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle. This transport ship was first introduced in Return of the Jedi, but it was later retconned into The Empire Strikes Back in the Special Edition cut.
The final scene re-introduces Imperial snowtroopers, which are also referred to as “cold weather assault stormtroopers” (but that’s a bit of a mouthful and a little extra on the description). The Empire’s primary infantry unit used on ice planets like Hoth made its debut in The Empire Strikes Back.
Imperial snowtroopers descend from the Clone Wars era cold assault troopers, which only appeared once in the entire series, the episode “Trespass,” which takes place on the ice planet Orto Plutonia.
In the final scene, we see a bird flying overhead as Darth Vader finds Ahsoka’s lightsaber. This might be a reference to Morai, the convor that watches over Ahsoka in Rebels. The bird originally belonged to the Daughter, a powerful Force being who gave up her life essence to Ahsoka during The Clone Wars‘ Mortis arc in season 3.
Morai later watched Darth Vader as he limped away from the Sith temple on Malachor after his duel in the Rebels season 2 finale. The convor also accompanied Ezra Bridger through the world between worlds in season 4 and guided him through to save Ahsoka during the same duel with Vader from season 2. The timeline’s a little confusing for sure.