Episode 11 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Lost Missions, “Voices,” from supervising director Dave Filoni, director by Danny Keller, and writer Christian Taylor, really digs into Yoda as someone who can have weaknesses. In the Star Wars movies he has an impressive range of emotion, but always plays the wise old mentor. In “Voices,” he isn’t trusted by the members of the council he leads, and goes on a journey almost like a Padawan’s Jedi trials.
This episode outright addresses a lot of questions Star Wars fans have had over the last few years, including confirming the dual nature of the Force, clarifying that Anakin Skywalker does in fact remember what happened on the planet Mortis and that he at some point talked to Obi-Wan about it, and what the Jedi believe about an afterlife. Qui-Gon’s message to Yoda is new and shocking to the Jedi, while the fans have known about people speaking from beyond the grave since A New Hope – something which gave me a new perspective on the prequel universe. I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t address these things in the show before – the Lost Missions seem to be a wrapping up, an improvement, as well as a reaction to fan concerns.
The aspect which has been called the Unifying Force in Star Wars books before is referred to here as the Cosmic Force, in the first of two instances of this arc renaming an Expanded Universe element while keeping its basic traits the same. That doesn’t bother me per se, but I do find it puzzling as to why they didn’t use the existing name for simplicity’s sake.
Fans invested in how the on-screen Star Wars material interacts with the Expanded Universe will at least see The Clone Wars come down on one side or another of many of their questions in this episode. We also find out how the serpentine council member Oppo Rancisis sits in his chair. I, for one, was wondering.
The tone of the episode is serious, but moments of humor and joy in it stem directly from the characters themselves – Yoda has a gleam in his eye when he tells Anakin “disobeying the council your expertise is” to get the younger Jedi to help him break out of the Temple. Yoda hopping on board a flying R2-D2 was also a delightfully whimsical image.
Yoda’s attempt to discover Qui-Gon makes for some quiet, ominous scenes, especially the changing light over the Jedi Temple as the council meditates for days together. “Voices” tells a lot about the Jedi Temple, and uses an Old Republic-style courtyard setting to good effect when Yoda talks to Anakin. Other things about the temple were less clear – is the doctor who helps Yoda a civilian or a Jedi healer, and why can Obi-Wan override her and Yoda’s plans so quickly? This is a transition episode, but it leaves the viewer with a lot to think about.