In the pantheon of Star Wars mistakes, few rank as high as midi-chlorians and making Jar Jar such a goofball. But cancelling the Star Wars The Clone Wars cartoon, or at least not letting it finish out its last season, ranks a close third. Thankfully, we at least have some of that last season in the form of Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions, which LucasFilm and Disney Home Video have released on Blu-ray and DVD.
Presenting the thirteen finished episodes from the show’s sixth season, which were originally released via Netflix, Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions has some exciting adventures for Anakin, Obi-Wan, and the rest of those trying to save the Republic from the Separatists. But despite what the tile of this collection may imply, these are not half-finished episodes people found under a stack of papers in George Lucas’ garage. All thirteen are finished, with complete animation and voice work.
As for their stories, most of the episodes on Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions start to tie the show to the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith. In “The Unknown,” “The Conspiracy,” “Fugitive,” and “Orders,” one of the clones feels compelled to attack a Jedi as of he’d already been given Order 66, while the trio of “An Old Friend,” “The Rise Of Clovis,” and “Crisis At The Heart” give us a lesson in war time economics that ends up rather personal for Padme.
Then there’s the episodes “The Lost One,” “Voices,” “Destiny,” and “Sacrifice,” which explores the fate of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, who ordered the creation of the clone army, but ultimate lead Yoda to learn something about The Force that will come into play not just in Revenge Of The Sith, but in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return Of The Jedi as well. More importantly, as the final four episodes, this quartet actually provide the series with a good place to end, even if it doesn’t directly lead the beginning of Sith.
There are also a pair of episodes on Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions that just side stories to the larger saga. In “The Disappeared, Part I” and “Part II,” Mace and Jar Jar try to find out while the leaders of the planet Bardotta are, well, disappearing.
Sadly, one of the narrative threads left incomplete is the fate of ex-Jedi (and former Clone Wars main character) Ahsoka Tano, who set off at the end of Star Wars The Clone Wars The Complete Season Five, and has not had her destiny resolved in any other Star Wars tale so far (though there are rumors she might appear in the new ’toon, Star Wars Rebels).
Instead, Ahsoka’s departure only comes up in conversation during “Story Reel: Utapau Arc,” which are early versions of four episodes that have the real audio but early, anamatic-looking video. Available only on the Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions Blu-ray, these unfinished episodes have Obi-Wan and Anakin investigating the death of a Jedi named Tu-Anh on the planet Utapau.
(As for the other stories that would’ve comprised the remaining episodes this season, four have been adapted into the comic book Star Wars: Son of Dathomir, while another four will be told as the novel Star Wars: Dark Disciple, which is slated to be released next July.)
But what really makes it sad that Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions is the last we’ll ever see of this cartoon is that the episodes on it are all really good. Epic in tone, but with stories that have some impact, this collection makes it seem as if this season was shaping up to be one of the better ones, which is high praise for a show that was consistently strong from the get-go.
Along with the episodes, finished and otherwise, the Blu-ray and DVD of Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions also includes “The Clone Wars Declassified, a sixteen-minute-look look back at the entire series. As informative as it may be, though, it’s hard not to think how much better it might’ve been at twice or three times the length. And if they’d interviewed creator George Lucas for it, instead of just talking about what he did for the show.
The Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions Blu-ray and DVD also, not surprisingly, includes a look at the aforementioned new ’toon, Star Wars Rebels, which is being made by many of the same people at Clone Wars and, so far, is really good in its own right.
As easy as it would be to look at Star Wars The Clone Wars The Lost Missions as a reminder of what could’ve, nay should’ve been, as Master Yoda would admonish us, “Look at the down side, we should not.” Instead, consider this to be final adventures (more if you get the Blu-ray) that, along with the comics, books, and games, helped flesh out one of the more interesting chapters of the Star Wars saga.