The Clone Wars Ends with the Perfect Empire Strikes Back Throwback

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 episode “Victory and Death,” streaming now on Disney+.

After years of anticipation, Star Wars: The Clone Wars finally reached its conclusion by showing the events of Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. The series’ final episode, “Victory and Death,” is the last chapter in a four-part story that saw Ahsoka Tano travel to Mandalore, take on Darth Maul and fight off a legion of Clone Troopers after Palpatine enacted the order to kill all Jedi. The finale offers a conclusion to Ahsoka and Rex’s attempts to survive an attack by their former friends and brothers aboard a starship.

Thanks to Darth Maul’s intervention, their starship crashes on a random planet, and the commotion gives Rex and Ahsoka the chance to escape with their lives. But the series doesn’t end there. After the duo bury the bodies of the fallen Clones, the series jumps forward in time, and it ends with a perfect throwback to The Empire Strikes Back.

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When Rex and Ahsoka pay their respects to the fallen Clone Troopers, the planet they are on is but rocks and dirt. However, after this, it appears a considerable time jump takes place as we return to the planet, which is now entirely covered in snow. It’s unclear how much times has passed, but it soon becomes apparent that we are now well into the era of the Empire. After all, a classic Imperial shuttle lands on the planet and Stormtroopers, in their iconic Original Trilogy era armors, have been dispatched on the ground. What’s more, none other than Darth Vader himself walks out of the shuttle.

It’s likely taken him some time to locate the fallen starship his former apprentice Ahsoka Tano was last seen in when the Jedi fell, which means he’s probably been trying to find her for a while. As Vader walks in the snow, he is surrounded by classic Stormtroopers, as well as Snowtroopers and Imperial Probe Droids, both of which made their debut in 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

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With the cold terrain, the Snowtroopers and the Probe Droids, fans are treated to a scene that looks awfully familiar: in fact, these are all elements that appear in the Hoth invasion scene from Episode V. This throwback to the fan-favorite Star Wars film comes at just the right time, considering this year marks the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back.

The Clone Wars was saved from cancellation after abruptly ending in 2014, and it was brought back for a seventh and final season in 2020. Therefore, it’s almost fitting the series would return for a final farewell during the year of a big milestone for the franchise.

Streaming on Disney+, the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars stars Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker, Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex and the clone troopers, James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan and Sam Witwer as Maul. The series finale is available now.

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The final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars delivers the perfect throwback to The Empire Strikes Back for the film's 40th anniversary.

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