Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your presence.
Moff Jerjerrod’s nervous, stammering greeting to Darth Vader aboard the second Death Star pretty much captures how I felt last night. You were probably as shocked as I. Not only did Anakin, in the single greatest sequence The Clone Wars has given us, receive a vision of his helmeted future self, but he actually turned to the Dark Side! Okay, so it was only temporary. But, however brief, he became Darth Vader, glowing yellow eyes and all.
Honestly, I need to slow down or I’ll end up hyperventilating Vader-style myself.
Let’s back up to the beginning. “Ghosts of Mortis” wrapped up this richest, most mythologically-resonant of Clone Wars story arcs, which supervising director Dave Filoni told me is meant to be seen as a “mythic retelling of all six Star Wars films in three thirty-minute episodes.” Filoni sees the Mortis arc as an internal journey for Anakin, as if, like Luke, he were facing himself and his demons in that mossy, Dark Side-riddled cave on Dagobah. Other than that, he’s pretty tight-lipped regarding specific plot points, because, to his credit, he wants to maintain an air of mystery to these episodes.
The idea that this arc is Anakin’s journey of self-discovery was hammered home from the beginning of “Ghosts of Mortis” with Tom Kane announcing in his typical bombast, “A great weight has been placed on Anakin’s shoulders, for it is now that he must face who he really is.” We re-joined our heroes at the crash site of their shuttle craft. Ahsoka was initiating repairs. Actually, when did Little Miss Togruta become such a techie? Seriously, with her welder’s goggles, gymnastic maneuvering in Jeffries-Tube-tight spaces, and grasp of brain-frying technobabble, she could be that Galaxy Far, Far Away’s Geordi La Forge. Hey, at least if that Jedi gig doesn’t work out, she’ll have a guaranteed job in a swoop bike garage.
NEXT: Why Revenge of the Sith is a film of Shakespearean complexity. Also, Sam Witwer calls out the Jedi on their hypocrisy.