Entering the top five of my favorite and most essential Clone Wars arcs, we arrive at what is quite possibly the most ambitious story arc of the entire series, – one that questions and gives insight into the true nature of the Force as well as Anakin’s destiny. With that, away to the mysterious realm of Mortis we go, in an arc I call…
#5 // The Prophecy of the Chosen One
Season 3, episode 15 — Overlords
Season 3, episode 16 — Altar of Mortis
Season 3, episode 17 — Ghosts of Mortis
Why it’s essential watching (without giving it all away….):
- Anakin’s destiny and the Prophecy of the Chosen One – some very meaty stuff in the Mortis arc in regards to the Prophecy first spoken of by Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace. In this arc we learn that Anakin is indeed the Chosen One, however we also learn that the outcome of achieving balance may be different than what the Jedi are anticipating… This is made painfully obvious when the Brother reveals Anakin’s future to him in painstaking detail – a future the Father makes him forget to ensure the Prophecy would play out as the Force wills it. Not going to spoil this vision of the future Anakin has, but it’s awesome and powerful to say the least.
- Mystifying the Force again – after the midichlorian debacle from the Prequel trilogy, it was great to see the Force begin to be mystified in Star Wars canon again. This has been continuing from the point of this story arc all the way through to where we currently sit in regards to not only the films, but also all new content coming out of Lucasfilm. Mucho kudos on that, story group. During this story we meet a triumvirate of powerful Force beings – the Father who straddles the middle, the Sister who aligns with the Light, and the Brother who aligns with the Dark. They are also far more complex than the Jedi and Sith, a point which is hammered home to our heroes.
- George Lucas – maybe George isn’t so lame after all, as he’s the one who pitched the idea for the Mortis arc to the team that was overseeing The Clone Wars. What resulted is the most ambitious and risky story produced by Lucasfilm to date in the Star Wars universe, at least in my opinion. As mentioned above, it also calls into question quite a few things we were led to believe about the nature of the Force and how it is supposed to work.
- Visits from old friends and the future – in this story arc we are visited by several key characters in the Star Wars universe – past and present. Obi-Wan and Anakin are visited by Qui-Gon Jinn (voiced by Liam Neeson!!!!), Anakin is visited by his mother, Shmi (voiced by Pernilla August!!!), and Ahsoka is visited by her future self. It was awesome to see, especially in the case of Qui-Gon! And don’t worry, we haven’t heard the last from him yet….
- Ahsoka’s connection to the Sister – during the course of the story here, Ahsoka is killed by the Brother, who also kills his Sister. The Father helps Anakin bring Ahsoka back to life using the last bit of life Force left in the Sister. As we have seen (very subtly, I might add) in future episodes of The Clone Wars and Rebels, Ahsoka shares a very strong connection to the Sister, likely because of this moment. More on this below….
- Foreshadowing the rise of the Sith’s power – the Father informs Obi-Wan that since the Brother has killed the Sister, the rise in the power of the dark also correlates with the rising power of the Sith over the Jedi. A cool bit of foreshadowing that the audience already knew, but Obi-Wan did not.
- Ahsoka can fix things too – Anakin isn’t our only hero that’s good at fixing things. We see that Ahsoka has learned quite a lot from her master, and it’s not always Force related.
- Sam Witwer – all of the voice work in the Mortis arc was on point, but of course none was better than Sam Witwer’s work as the Brother. He is so talented, and trust me, you’ve heard his voice in Star Wars before many times. He is also the voice of Maul and Palpatine (in Rebels), and he provided the voice and likeness for Starkiller in the video game Force Unleashed.
- Rad canon connections – there are a TON here, but I’m only going to touch on the big ones… Ahsoka’s connection to the sister is evident with the appearance of Convor’s, small birds that seem to be around when important Force events are happening. They are popping up more and more frequently in Rebels, and Sabine even has one on the shoulder of her armor, presumably to honor Ahsoka in Star Wars Rebels; Qui-Gon Jinn makes an appearance here, and will reappear multiple times in the canon by voice; the idea of the Force not being exclusive to the Jedi and Sith is being explored more frequently in the new canon, as seen in Ahsoka’s reappearance and white lightsaber blades, Kanan’s training of Ezra, the Bendu’s existence, Maul, the Guardians of the Whills, the Knights of Ren and so on. I for one love this, as the Force shouldn’t be reserved for two religious sects; lastly, this episode ALMOST saw the canon introduction of two of the EU/Legends most revered Sith Lords – Darth Bane and Darth Revan – but they were cut at the last minute by GL. Darth Bane did make it in during the very last arc of TCW, but we are still waiting on Revan, even though there are strong hints and rumors he may be coming our way, finally…
The Mortis arc is a STRONG arc in TCW, and it should be required viewing for any Star Wars fan. The fact that it came in only at number five really says a lot about the quality of the show, and that you should be very excited for the last four if you’re following along at home… I’ll be back tomorrow, but in the meantime enjoy this massive gallery of pics from this three episode arc!