Despite suffering from a truncated production, The Clone Wars Season 6: The Lost Missions nonetheless finds the show in expert form, delivering important and resonant storylines with effortless aplomb. If only there were more of them.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 6: The Lost Missions is part of the current Star Wars canon. You can check out the entire timeline by clicking these words.
Thanks to some no doubt complicated and nonsensical backstage issues, when The Clone Wars Season 6 finally arrived it was on Netflix, with the subtitle The Lost Missions and a mere 13-episode season. This, in my estimation, is something of a travesty. Even though we got to see some unproduced arcs in the form of Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir and Dark Disciple, the overall feeling surrounding the nebulous release of The Lost Missions was that it had been cut short; that there were stories we’d never see, and some that wouldn’t ever get wrapped up.
As it turns out, while this was still an issue, it wasn’t as much of a big deal as it might have been. You can still do a lot with 13 episodes, and The Clone Wars Season 6 managed to do plenty, with four multi-episode storylines that found the show at its most confident, visually and narratively. With more space in which to work it might have been the show’s best season, but either way, The Lost Missions left on a satisfying and memorable note.
The opening arc was perhaps the most impactful, and certainly the one with the most obviously-important ties to the broader canon, as we followed Fives (who has been an on-again-off-again character since “Rookies”, a standout episode in Season 1) in an investigation into the nature of Order 66. Teaming up with the medical droid AZI-3 on Kamino, these episodes were chock full of conspiracy, action, and surprising emotional resonance, as The Clone Wars Season 6 paid off all the strong work it did in humanizing and developing the Clone Troopers throughout the show.
Next up we returned to Padme for a typically-uninteresting storyline involving her former suitor, Rush Clovis, and a scheme by the Separatists to seize control of the banking clans. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been thanks to a focus on the relationship between Padme and Anakin, and in particular Anakin’s loosening grip on his emotions following Ahsoka’s fate last season, but it nonetheless reduced Count Dooku to the rather demeaning role of threatening henchman, and he deserves better.
Better was to be found, somewhat incredibly, in a two-episode storyline featuring Jar Jar Binks, of all people. As horribly grating as the Gungan remains, he was more entertaining than usual in The Lost Missions because he was smartly paired off with a stoic Mace Windu, who seems to despise him almost as much as the fans do. They were also given an unusual mission full of weird adventure and arcane magic, which also included a brief return for a character from previous seasons, so all told it wasn’t that bad, believe it or not, and I’m glad that lessons from previous seasons were learned in The Clone Wars Season 6, giving the unusual deviation plotline only two episodes rather than the four that Season 5’s droid diversion got.
The final storyline of The Clone Wars Season 6: The Lost Missions focused on Yoda, and by extension some big aspects of the Star Wars mythos that deserved some finer explanation and actually received some here. If you ever wondered quite how and why Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas ordered the creation of a clone army, or how Yoda could project himself as a ghost even after his death, then these episodes have you covered – with the added bonus of a major voice cameo to guide the shriveled old Master through various unusual locations and trials. It seemed a fitting way to end the show, putting a lot of sobering focus on the cold realities of war and the Jedi Order’s actions during the conflict, but still finding a hopeful note in how despite losses and hardships, the fate of the galaxy wasn’t going to be determined by the outcome of the Clone Wars.
It’s easy to moan about what The Clone Wars Season 6 wasn’t able to do thanks to its truncated production. We saw nothing from Ahsoka, Darth Maul or Captain Rex, for instance, and even what was there didn’t always fit, like one moment in the Padme arc that suggested the whole thing was out of sequence. But The Lost Missions are still well-worth finding; another great run of ambitious episodes, full of action, intrigue, and emotion, and if they weren’t the most glorious send-off for a show that eventually became integral to Star Wars as we know it, at the very least it went out without having sacrificed what made it great.