“Old Friends Not Forgotten” kicks off the Siege of Mandalore with one of the show’s all-time great episodes.
This recap of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9, “Old Friends Not Forgotten”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The joke circulating all around the internet at the moment is that “Old Friends Not Forgotten” was the best Star Wars movie in ages, and it’s difficult to disagree with that assessment as the long-awaited Siege of Mandalore, a four-part story arc that will conclude the last ever season of The Clone Wars, kicked off in incredible style.
Following on from the previous episode, you’ll recall that Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) has teamed up with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and her loyalist Mandalorians in order to oust Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) from the planet Mandalore. This is Star Wars Greatest Hits-type material. It’s the kind of setup that justifies putting all of The Clone Wars on Disney+, solidifying its importance to the canon. When Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 opens up with the old Lucasfilm logo in lieu of a fortune cookie, it’s like a promise for those in the know that what you’re about to see is Star Wars on a pure, unrefined level.
And that’s what “Old Friends Not Forgotten” provides. Anakin (Matt Lanter) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) are back to slap around Battle Droids. And Ashoka is back with them, though their business-as-usual reunion lacks some of the emotional sparks that I’m sure we’ll get in later episodes. There’s a bit of a dilemma when it comes to whether Republic forces can be committed to the liberation of Mandalore, but Obi-Wan and Anakin have to go off to rescue Chancellor Palpatine from General Grievous, and so leave behind a detachment of clone troopers led by Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) and decked out in helmets colored like Ahsoka’s markings. There’s something in my eye!
So, Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 sees Ahsoka, reunited with her now-blue lightsabers, go with Bo-Katan and the Mandalorians to confront all their sleazy adversaries, including Prime Minister Almec (Julian Holloway), Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson) and Rook Kast (Vanessa Marshall), knitting together some of Son of Dathomir along the way, and providing easily the fist-pumping moment of the season – and perhaps the entire show – by racing Rex from the troop carrier to the planet’s surface in a whirl of sparks and lightsabers and explosions.
Things are a bit less upbeat as Ahsoka is promptly ambushed and confronted by Maul himself, who is disappointed to find her rather than his nemesis Obi-Wan. But it promises more brilliance to come as The Clone Wars, even so late in its life, thoroughly outdoes itself once again.
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