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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S3E17 "Ghosts of Mortis"

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He who seeks to control fate shall never find peace.

The Jedi remain stranded on Mortis, and the Son, aligned with the dark side of the Force, renews his efforts to convert Anakin as the Jedi prepare for a decisive confrontation. Anakin is stunned by images of his dark future as Darth Vader. The Son promises him the power to avert this destiny. The Father recognizes that the Son has broken the rules of time. He wipes Anakin's memory of these future visions and steals the Mortis Dagger to end the conflict. The Father impales himself, thus taking the Son's power. The Son, stunned by this, is run through by Anakin. With all three Force wielders dead, the imbalance in the Force disappears on Mortis. The three Jedi are returned back to the galaxy proper, apparently at the moment that they disappeared.



  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Anakin's premature turn to the Dark Side here contrasts with his future fall; in Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is lured by promises of the power to save his beloved wife, a selfish, if understandable motive, and his fall is followed by mass murder and fatally throttling his beloved wife. Here, his motives are much more selfless, seeking to prevent the pain he would cause as Darth Vader. Unlike his aggressive and hateful meeting with Obi-Wan in the film, here, Anakin is calm and apologetic, albeit resolute.
  • Affably Evil: After joining the Son, Anakin genuinely apologizes to Obi-Wan, and notes with regret that he considers the destruction of the Jedi to be a necessity.
  • Big "NO!": Anakin has this when the Son shows him his future and eventual transformation into Darth Vader.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The Son lures Anakin to the Dark Side the exact same way Darth Sidious does two years later: by promising to help him prevent his visions of disaster, change the future, and bring peace to the galaxy. For extra irony, what's the future vision they're trying to prevent? Sidious turning Anakin to the Dark Side in the first place.
    • The main leitmotif of “Battle of the Heroes” is heard prominently after the Son tells Anakin he has a gift for him.
    • Obi-Wan confronts a Dark Side-corrupted Anakin in a volcanic environment, just as he will in Revenge of the Sith. This time, it's Anakin who escapes and leaves Obi-Wan behind, though of course, Obi-Wan is just fine.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Son overpowers Anakin after easily deflecting two hits. He defeats Obi-Wan and Ahsoka with even less trouble.
  • Desecrating the Dead: The Son breaks into the Daughter's tomb to steal the Dagger of Mortis, though he leaves her body undisturbed and solemnly returns her to rest once he has what he wants.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: The Father cradles the Son as he dies.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In this episode, Anakin turns to the Dark Side a couple of years early in order to prevent the events of the Original Trilogy from happening. The first thing he tells Obi-Wan is that the Jedi will have to be exterminated to keep them from interfering with his vision for peace, which is exactly what will happen in Revenge of the Sith.
    • The Father tells Anakin that the future he saw is not set in stone. The audience is well aware that it will come to pass.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: The Father professes love for his son before the final battle.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Son mournfully laments that his sister was the one person he truly loved. After the Father stabs himself, the Son is horrified and begs him not to die, proving that, despite what he said beforehand, he loved his father as well.
  • Evil Gloating: Having successfully turned Anakin, the Son smiles and brags to Obi-Wan.
    The Son: He's mine now.
  • Evil Laugh: The Son lets out an impressive one as he leaves Obi-Wan stranded in the Well of the Dark Side.
  • Flash Forward: The Son of Mortis shows Anakin a vision of the future in which he sees the major events that will occur in Revenge of the Sith, along with the destruction of Alderaan that will occur in A New Hope.
  • Foregone Conclusion: As Anakin had no knowledge of his future or Palpatine's evil nature in Revenge of the Sith, that information will obviously be forgotten by the end of the episode.
  • Future Me Scares Me: After seeing what would happen in the future, Anakin is on the floor.
    Anakin: I will do such horrible things...
  • Good News, Bad News: After Ahsoka takes a look at the crashed shuttle:
    Ahsoka: Do you want the bad news, or the really bad news?
    Obi-Wan: Let's try the bad news, laced with a little optimism.
  • Grave Robbing: The Son of Mortis opens the Daughter's tomb to get the dagger she was buried with.
  • Heroic Suicide: The Father of Mortis stabs himself with the dagger, taking away Son's power and distracting the Son enough for Anakin to kill him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Anakin does this to both the Son and the Father at once.
  • In the Back: Anakin fatally wounds the Son by stabbing him in the back.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Father of Mortis erases Anakin's memory of seeing the future along with his own actions that resulted from it in order to preserve the timeline.
  • Mind Rape: The Son forces Anakin to see his future, despite Anakin's pleas to stop.
  • More than Mind Control: The Son doesn't take over Anakin with a bite the way he did Ahsoka. Instead, he talks Anakin into succumbing by playing on his fears and torturing him with a vision of the future.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Anakin, seeing the monster he will become, doesn't say it outright, but his face says it all (although in this case, it's "My God, What Will I Do").
    • The Son reacts this way after the Father stabs himself, even though he'd tried to kill him not long before.
  • Narnia Time: It's implied that only seconds, at most, passed in the outside universe while the Jedi were on Mortis.
  • Neck Lift: The Son does this to Anakin at the beginning of the final confrontation after Anakin attacks him.
  • No Body Left Behind: The Father vanishes upon death, Obi-Wan style, though his children do not.
  • Offing the Offspring: Early in the episode, the Father concludes that the only way to stop the Son is to kill him. While he doesn't do so himself, the Father nevertheless enables the death of the Son by distracting him long enough for Anakin to do the deed.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite succumbing to the Dark Side, Anakin doesn't attack or try to kill Obi-Wan, simply leaving him in the Well after genuinely apologizing for his betrayal, a sharp contrast to the next time they meet as enemies in a volcanic environment.
  • Reset Button: The Father's amnesia spell does this for the episode. In some ways, the episode is slightly like an alternate-universe version of Revenge of the Sith, complete with Anakin turning to the Dark Side and fighting Obi-Wan around a lava pit, so it has to be negated for the real Revenge of the Sith to take place.
  • Spirit Advisor: Qui-Gon Jinn appears to talk to Anakin as he did to Obi-Wan earlier in the story arc.
  • Taking You with Me: How the Father of Mortis dispatches the Son.
  • Vader Breath: Darth Vader's iconic breathing is heard at the end of Anakin's vision alongside his helmet, punctuating the horrific foretelling of things to come.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Despite all the evil he's done, the Son is absolutely devastated when the Father dies, almost on the verge of tears as his father tells him he knew there was good in him all along.
  • Villain Has a Point: Horrific as it is, nothing in the vision the Son shows to Anakin is untrue.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Son promises this to Anakin.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Shown the horrors that await in his future, Anakin chooses to side with the Son in order to destroy both Palpatine and the Jedi in order to bring peace and order to the galaxy. Ironically, despite the nature of the Dark Side, Anakin's motives are quite selfless, and here he's acting in the interest of preventing the harm he will otherwise cause as Darth Vader.
    • The Son proclaims that, with Anakin's help, he intends to destroy Darth Sidious and end war, corruption, and suffering throughout the galaxy. While he is manipulating Anakin into joining him, the audience is given no indication that the Son is lying. Of course, given what he represents and his contrary behavior, who knows?
  • The X of Y: "Ghosts of Mortis".
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Anakin understandably says this to Rex after being mysteriously returned to the exact time and place where they started the arc.


Video Example(s):


Anakin sees the future

Star Wars: The Clone Wars; in the final episode of the Mortis arc, the Son (the physical embodiment of the Dark Side) shows Anakin his future, that he will fall to the Dark Side, betray the Jedi and become Darth Vader. Anakin accepts the Son's offer of an alliance to stop the visions from coming true and turns to the Dark Side until the Father wipes the visions from his mind.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlashForward

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