3 Years Ago, Star Wars Finally Fixed a Huge Prequels Mistake
Execute Order 66 from a fresh perspective.
The final season of The Clone Wars was leading up to one event: Order 66. From the moment we met Ahsoka Tano, it was uncertain if she’d make it through the Jedi genocide that destroyed the Republic. It took until 2020 for the series to finally reach the big day, but the TV moment more than a decade in the making didn’t disappoint. In fact, it presented a view of the cataclysmic decree we’d never seen before. Three years later, we’ve seen the events another three times, but no depiction has rivaled the way The Clone Wars handled it.
Episode 11 of Season 7, “Shattered,” was the penultimate episode of the entire series, but it’s more memorable than the finale. Ahsoka, having left the Jedi Order, meets up with Bo-Katan Kryze in the aftermath of the Siege of Mandalore and delivers a captured Maul. And when the Jedi council meets to discuss Mace Windu’s suspicions of something dark looming around Chancellor Palpatine, Yoda offers to send a message for Ahsoka to Anakin, but she declines, saying she’ll tell him herself.
While there’s lots of foreshadowing here, the episode focuses on Ahsoka’s relationship with the clones, especially Captain Rex. Rex and Ahsoka share a moment where they reflect on their involvement in the war. It wasn’t exactly a fun time, but without the war, there would be no clones. And, just as the clones are brothers to each other, they’re brothers to Ahsoka too.
That makes the inevitable ending all the worse. We see Palpatine say his fateful words, and the inhibitor chip installed in each clone wreaks havoc on their personalities, forcing them to betray their allies and execute the Jedi. Rex tries to resist, but all he can do is tell Ahsoka to “find Fives” before he opens fire.
Ahsoka scrambles to recruit everyone she can, from droids to Maul himself, teasing his eventual redemption arc in Rebels. Her first mission is to investigate what Rex told her about Fives, the faulty clone whose inhibitor chip activated too early, making Rex suspect there was a conspiracy afoot. By learning about this and focusing on the Force, Ahsoka is able to locate the chip and deactivate it, giving her one clone ally against all the others in the explosive finale.
“Shattered” did what the prequels never could, positioning the clones not as weapons turned against the Jedi but as individuals who felt as betrayed as the Jedi themselves. After his chip is deactivated, Rex is put in an impossible situation. With his brothers coming to kill Ahsoka, he has to shoot them down to protect her. It’s a heartbreaking moment that’s only alluded to in the prequels, and it’s so affecting because The Clone Wars spent years building to this. We’ve seen Ahsoka fight alongside these clones. We’ve seen them bond. We’ve seen them paint their helmets in homage to her.
Order 66 has been shown from several perspectives. In the prequels, we saw it from the Jedi perspective and from Anakin’s. In Obi-Wan Kenobi, we saw Reva’s viewpoint, and The Mandalorian gave us Grogu’s story. But “Shattered” gave us the otherwise ignored clone perspective. The Jedi may have died that day, but the clones were victims too.
“Shattered” is streaming on Disney+.