“Shattered” is another amazing episode in The Clone War’s swan song

With Darth Maul in custody and the war coming to an end, Ahsoka Tano journey’s back to Coruscant with her loyal clone army when Order 66 is declared and the clones turn against her. Now, Ahsoka is trapped, on the run, and low on allies… so Ahsoka is forced to make her some.

While not as visually strong or impactful as last week’s episode, “Shattered” is still an emotionally heavy and action packed episode, showing Ahsoka at her peak and a situation spiralling quickly out of control.

What I liked about this episode was the slow and quiet buildup. Since last week’s episode, the tension and dread has been building like a tightening spring and, rather than allow that tension to release with “Shattered,” it continues to build and build as events of Revenge of the Sith transpire in the background. By the time Order 66 is officially declared, it is almost a relief and I mean that quite unironically. The last two episodes have been a master class in building tension.

I will say this: “Shattered” actually showed more emotion in some cases than Episode III did when it came to Order 66. I’m not really knocking Episode III when I say that because it’s not only the strongest of the prequels but also of the Star Wars movies (and that’s a hill I will gladly die on), but seeing Rex… loyal and wonderful Rex… resist the programming, his hands shaking and his helmet dropping to the ground… was heartbreaking. We’ve grown to love this character over the years and have watched him grow from what was essentially a thoughtless robot to the man who questioned orders and protocols, a person who thinks with his heart and his head. When Order 66 was issued, we were basically watching that man be shoved back into the box he came from and the animation and voice acting sold every excruciating second of it.

The second standout scene was the release of Maul. I loved how Ahsoka was blunt and honest with him about what his role was and how, for once, Maul did not have the upper hand. Ahsoka from the first few seasons would have gladly gone along with the idea of teaming up with Maul, but this is an Ahsoka that has been hardened by battle and made cynical with experience. She was, without regret or pity, sending Maul to his death and she was one hundred percent honest about her intentions. I found that gratifying in that it showed her growth and intelligence, and chilling in that the young idealistic girl who first annoyed us all those years ago was truly gone.

Ahsoka Tano has had one of the most amazing character arcs in the history of animation. She’s up there with Aang, Zuko, and Dean Venture… and a few more I’m sure I don’t remember.

The action sequences were outstanding, Ahsoka seeking help from the droids was logical and smart, and her taking the risk of rescuing Rex was done intelligently.

If I had to dock points from this episode, it’s that it committed the almost unavoidable act of keeping a secret from the characters that we as an audience already knew, so watching the characters solve that puzzle and end up right where we knew they would wasn’t very gratifying, but it’s a minor and, as I said, unavoidable quibble. “Shattered” was another worthy entry into the Clone Wars finale as it heads to its final bow.

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