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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S3E16 "Altar of Mortis"

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He who surrenders hope, surrenders life.

Before the Jedi can leave Mortis, the Son takes Ahsoka captive in an attempt to entice Anakin into joining him to use their combined strength to overpower his Father and Sister. To this end, the Son casts Ahsoka under the spell of the Dark Side. Meanwhile, the Father attempts to stave off a disastrous showdown between his children and maintain the Force's increasingly precarious balance on the planet. Fearing that the Son may be unstoppable, the Daughter does the forbidden by taking Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Altar of Mortis, wherein is kept the Dagger of Mortis, a weapon capable of killing a Force-wielder. The Son steals the weapon and attempts to use it against his Father to steal his power and end his rule, but the Daughter sacrifices herself by placing herself in front of the blade.



  • Always Save the Girl: In a non-romantic sense. When the Son kidnaps Ahsoka, Anakin goes to confront him, shrugging off Obi-Wan's warnings about how this conflict could have devastating effects on the universe at large.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The entire plot is about how it crumbles.
  • Berserk Button: Being called "Snips" by Anakin, for Evil Ahsoka.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: After being corrupted by Son, Ahsoka, who's usually cheeky, cheerful, and prone to overconfidence, revealed that what she is scared/angered by the most is that Anakin doesn't believe in her.
  • Big "NO!": Anakin, when Ahsoka is temporarily killed by the Son.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ahsoka is saved thanks to the Daughter's Heroic Sacrifice and the Balance of the Force is broken due to her death.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Ahsoka is bitten by a disguised Son, and corrupted by the Dark Side.
  • Call-Forward: When the Son backstabs the Father with Force lightning, he screams "I hate you!". Anakin will say precisely the same thing to Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith.
    • During the duel between Anakin and Ahsoka, Anakin disarms Ahsoka the same way that he will as Darth Vader do to Luke early on during their duel in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • The Corrupter: The Son of Mortis to Ahsoka.
  • Disney Death: After the Son temporarily kills Ahsoka, she is healed by the dying Daughter and Anakin.
  • Evil Feels Good: When the Son corrupts Ahsoka, she claimed that she feels more like herself than she ever has.
  • Evil Make Over: After the Son corrupts Ahsoka, her eyes turn Sith-yellow and gain creepy shadows around them, her skin gains a grayish undertone, and the blood vessels all over her body become highly visible.
  • Field Power Effect: The episode mostly takes place on the side of Mortis, which is strongest with the Dark Side and empowers the Son.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: How the Son temporarily kills Ahsoka.
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  • Forgiveness: Not only does the Daughter not blame her brother for mortally injuring her in his attempt to kill their father, she asks the Father to not hate him for what he did.
  • Forgot About Her Powers:
    • The Daughter could've just Force-pushed the Father away from the Son, or vice versa, instead of jumping between them. It might be justified as she seems to have been exhausted by her previous battle with the Son since they are fighting on his terms.
    • Why doesn't Anakin just use the Force in order to pull the Dagger of Mortis out of Ahsoka's hand so that he can prevent her from giving it to the Son of Mortis?
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Daughter, twice: First by taking a dagger to the back to save the Father and again by sacrificing what little power she has left to revive Ahsoka. The first sacrifice could also be counted as a Senseless Sacrifice as it ends up breaking the balance of the Force.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Subverted; Anakin tries to snap out Ahsoka from under the Son's control, but to no avail.
  • In the Back: The Son's first attack against the Father.
  • MacGuffin: The Dagger of Mortis is the only thing that can kill the Force-wielders.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • The Father, after the Daughter is mortally wounded by the Son. The Son turns against him upon witnessing his own true potential in Anakin, who was brought to Mortis by the Father.
    • The Son is also horrified when he stabs the Daughter, screaming in despair before he transforms and flees.
  • Phosphor-Essence: The Daughter's glowing immediately begins fading when she is stabbed with the dagger. While Anakin channels her remaining life force into Ahsoka, he is also glowing.
  • Pride: According to the Father, the Son lost his self-control because of his vanity.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: When the Son corrupts her, Ahsoka calls out Anakin on not trusting and believing in her.
  • Shock and Awe: The Son uses red Force lightning.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Son's tower is an homage to the Tower of Orthanc from Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord Of The Rings, and the cave of the Altar is very similar to the Mines of Moria.
    • The scene in which Obi-Wan finds the Dagger of Mortis is a reference to the scene of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung, when Siegfried passes through a ring of fire to find Brünhilde.
    • The scene when Father regains his consciousness is mimicking the last scene of Avatar.
  • Skyward Scream: The Son's wail of "WHY?!?" after he unwittingly stabs his sister echoes across the sky.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: The Son, during the below-quoted exchange in Tempting Fate, when he attacks the Father while yelling he's "TIRED OF WAITING!"
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Ahsoka gets these when the Son bites her and turns her to the Dark Side . . .
  • Tainted Veins: . . . as well as visible veins on her face.
  • Taking the Bullet: The Daughter throws herself between the Son and the Father in order to protect the latter from being stabbed by the former.
  • Tempting Fate: This exchange:
    The Son: You look frail, Father.
    The Father: I am not dead yet.
    The Son: Well ... perhaps, I am TIRED OF WAITING! [attacks Father In the Back with Force lightning]
  • Throat Light: While Anakin channels the Daughter's remaining life force into Ahsoka, his eyes and mouth glow.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: While corrupted by the Son, Ahsoka reveals how much it hurts her that Anakin doesn't trust and believe in her.
  • Yin-Yang Clash: The battle between the Daughter and the Son.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once Ahsoka hands the dagger to the Son, he tells her she's served her purpose and knocks her dead.


Example of: