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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 709 – Old Friends Not Forgotten Review

Star Wars: The Clone Wars has returned for its seventh and final season on the Disney+ streaming service. In this review, we’re taking a look at the ninth episode of the season, titled “Old Friends Not Forgotten.”

Ahsoka Tano reaches out to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi seeking assistance to secure the capture of longtime adversary and former Sith Lord Maul, but the news of Grievous’ attack on Coruscant and Palpatine’s capture forces a difficult decision for the Jedi.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is rated TV-PG.

What Worked

Well, now, this is more like it!

From the opening frame, you can tell this episode is something different. It opens with “A Lucasfilm Limited Production” and then transitions to a red “Clone Wars” logo along with the theatrical opening fanfare rather than the usual TV show theme. That immediately tells fans that they’re in for something unusual.

We are quickly thrown into a space battle worthy of the live-action movies, then transition to a ground battle that feels like it’s straight out of the Star Wars Battlefront video games. As if that wasn’t enough to get fans cheering, Obi-Wan makes an epic entrance in front of the Clone Troopers in their Revenge of the Sith armor.

But wait! There’s more! The episode uses themes and music straight from John Williams’ theatrical score. All of this is in the first couple of minutes and quickly sets the tone for the rest of the episode.

Fans have wanted to see more of Anakin and Ahsoka together again, and this episode grants their wishes… albeit briefly. The two have an emotional reunion (that makes their eventual showdown in Star Wars Rebels even more poignant) before heading off in separate directions again.

Surprisingly, their parting of ways actually leads straight into the opening moments of Revenge of the Sith, thus firmly planting these episodes within the theatrical timeline. (And since these last episodes are so close to the appearance of Darth Vader, is there a chance he’ll show up in the series finale? And will we see Ahsoka deal with Order 66?)

But as if that wasn’t enough, the second half of the episode transitions into a spectacular siege on Mandalore. We see one of the most impressive fight scenes in the whole series, topped off with a record number of jetpacks in aerial action you have to see to believe.

The various factions of Mandalorians go to battle, and we see some new variations of armor and weaponry. Most noteworthy is a Darth Maul / Boba Fett hybrid (the “Mauldolorian”?) that will make a fun action figure.

Overall, this episode has a spectacular mix of action, drama, humor, and fan service to make it the top episode of the series…. so far. The ominous cliffhanger ends with unsettling end credits that are silent and lack the usual closing theme.

What Didn’t Work

The previous several episodes with Ahsoka and the Matrez sisters really felt like they were setting up a new path for the former Jedi. However, this episode takes her on a completely new path that makes the last several episodes feel like a minor detour and utterly forgettable.

Maybe the Matrez sisters will be back in some capacity, but at the moment, it feels like they were a little side quest that will be forgotten.

The Bottom Line

“Old Friends Not Forgotten” is the highlight of Season 7 and more of what I believe fans were expecting to see from the series finale. Hopefully, it builds up to an epic conclusion worthy of 12 years of storytelling.

Old Friends Not Forgotten Review Score: 9/10

Directed by Saul Ruiz, the episode features the voices of Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan, Dee Bradley Baker as Clone Troopers / Commander Rex, Sam Witwer as Maul, Tom Kane as Narrator / Admiral Yularen, Brigitte Kali as Trace Matrez, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Rafa Martez, Sharmila Devar as Ursa Wren, Donald Faison as Tactical Droid, Vanessa Marshall as Rook Kast, Ray Stevenson as Gar Saxon, Matthew Wood as Battle Droids, Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker, and Julian Holloway as Almec.