Review- The Clone Wars, Old Friends Not Forgotten
We're here, the beginning of the end. After a traditional mix of ups and downs, but an overall satisfying series, this is the arc fans have been most excited for. And if this episode is anything to go by, its understandable why...
The episode gets off to a strange start with an alternate title sequence. The traditional Star Wars theme is certainly welcome, but the dodgy font for the episode title is not.
Thankfully this is one of the very few missteps in what is an action-filled, emotional and engaging story. Our opening montage places the pieces necessary for the events of Revenge of the Sith, while also showing off some impressive new imagery and redesigns (looking good Grievous).
We start the episode with a traditional explosive battle, continuing to show off what the show is great at, which is large scale action. Reminiscent of previous episodes like Landing at Point Rain, and Darkness on Umbara, our opening battle joyously sets the mood, with potentially our final fun interaction between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
It's also evident the production team are having a lot of fun having access to the full library of Star Wars music, an asset I assume that come with the Disney/ Lucasfilm merge.
After a funny deactivation of a tactical droid, Anakin and Obi-Wan are called to the command ship where the episode accelerates into our main story.
Ahsoka and Bo Katan inform our heroes as to the whereabouts of Darth Maul and request their help in capturing him in order to save Mandalore. It makes for strong drama that not only pulls from the history of the show but also the ever-interesting battle between logistics and duty.
Katie Sackhoff (Bo Katan), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Matt Lanter (Anakin), and James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan) are all at their best, giving voice over performances that have emotion but also the right amount of restraint where needed.
The episode also does a great job of showcasing the emotional attachment a finale like this is able to bring. Small moments such as R2's reunion with Ahsoka, along with the clones saluting her, are all potential tear-jerkers. But the most emotion comes from the reveal of the 501st painting their helmets in respect to Ahsoka Tano.
After the first exciting tie in with Revenge of the Sith, we see a happy, and thriving Anakin, make the best of a difficult situation, as Ahsoka, Rex, and Bo Katan are sent on their way to Mandalore.
Here it is evident how the script is able to build a great amount of tension, and conflict. We see ideals at war with Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan, while Anakin is caught awkwardly in the middle, tragically happy before the darkness we know is yet to come.
The episode soon throws us straight back into the action as we get an amazing sky battle above the Mandalorian city. The fight is pure Clone Wars, sure to get a kick out of any fan, with Ahsoka giving us her always impressive acrobatic skills (she certainly has a penchant for disposing of Mandalorians) and even getting her own background explosion. Just like all action stars deserve.
Along with some very cool designs and nods to the comics/ other Star Wars media, viewers are sure to be impressed not only by the scale of this episode, but also its variety of talent.
Old Friends Not Forgotten reminds us how daring and vivid Star Wars can be, especially when giving content made by fans, for fans.
The amazing animation is levelled up by the engaging music, and detailed costumes that complement the rapid nature of the action.
As we witness an explosive fight scene between Bo Katan and Almec, we are given a creepy and fittingly sinister final sequence that leads perfectly to Maul.
The perfect tease for next week's episode.
Old Friends Not Forgotten is an amazing and action-packed beginning to a hopefully amazing finale. With laughs, thrills, and emotion, it shows off the very best of this unique animated show.