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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S7E9 "Old Friends Not Forgotten"

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"Glad to have you back, Commander."

"Hello, Master. It's been a while."
Ahsoka Tano

"Old Friends Not Forgotten" is the ninth episode of The Clone Wars Season 7. It is directed by Saul Ruiz and written by Dave Filoni, and premiered on April 17, 2020. It is the first episode of the four-episode Series Finale of The Clone Wars.

Anakin and Obi-Wan are leading Republic forces on Yerbana when Yularen requests them to head to the ship for a transmission call. The people on the other end turn out to be Ahsoka and Bo-Katan, who inform the two that they've located Maul on Mandalore after he escaped imprisonment by the Sith.

Meeting in person later, Bo-Katan asks if the Republic can lend their forces to help them retake Mandalore and capture Maul, but Anakin and Obi-Wan are reluctant on providing help. Things get more complicated when news breaks of General Grievous invading Coruscant.

Tropes in this episode:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Almec warns Bo-Katan that invading Mandalore with a Republic fleet will make her an enemy in the eyes of the people. She replies "I'm fine with that." All that matters to her is freeing Mandalore from Maul.
  • All According to Plan: Maul anticipated that the Jedi would follow him into the lower city. He just didn't anticipate Ahsoka being that Jedi.
  • Art Evolution: In his brief cameo shot in the Opening Narration, General Grevious looks closer to his design in Revenge of the Sith than his more cartoonish appearance in the series' original run.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Obi-Wan shows up just in time to save Cody from a mortar shell.
  • Blade Brake: After jumping from the crashing gunship, Ahsoka rolls on landing and then uses her lightsabers to slow herself.
  • Bling of War: Almec's armor is perhaps the most ornate of any Mandalorian, with lots of shiny gold accents befitting his status as a Corrupt Politician and figurehead. However, in this case rank does not scale with asskicking and, while he puts up a far better fight than his previous Non-Action Guy appearances would suggest, it's clear that he's no match for Bo-Katan.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The episode ends with Ahsoka alone in the tunnels beneath Sundari, surrounded by Mandalorians and confronted by Darth Maul himself.
  • Book Ends:
    • The Clone Wars' pilot movie began with a battle on a narrow road and Obi-Wan offering a fake surrender to the Separatists. The final story arc of the series begins with a battle on a narrow bridge and Obi-Wan's apprentice Anakin does the same.
    • The pilot movie and this episode also have a similar frame-by-frame shot of Ahsoka meeting Anakin and Obi-Wan.
    • In the pilot movie, Ahsoka and Anakin race to see who could make it to the top first. In this episode, Ahsoka and Rex race to see who can make it to the surface first. Ahsoka wins this time.
    • The series began with the pilot movie, which was four episodes stitched together into a film. The series ends with a final arc styled as a movie in four parts, complete with a movie-style opening sequence for this opening episode.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When The Republic forces are withdrawn from Mandalore, Ahsoka is quick to point out that this is why people have lost faith in the Jedi; as they are simply playing politics and prioritizing the Republic leadership. Obi-Wan retorts that Coruscant (the capital of the Republic) has a lot of people who need them too, with Ahsoka merely responding their Chancellor needs themnote . It takes Anakin, of all people, to come up with a compromise both sides can agree with.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ahsoka is still upset about her treatment by the order and pushes back when Obi-Wan says they have to go rescue the Chancellor, saying the Jedi playing politics like this are why people have lost faith in the Order.
  • Call-Back:
    • Before she leaves, Obi-Wan warns Ahsoka that he already killed Maul once before and it didn't take, advising her to capture him instead.
    • Rex comments that "some things never change" when Ahsoka races him to the ground without a jetpack. She and Anakin did a similar airdrop in "Duel of the Droids".
    • Rook Kast and Gar Saxon are still serving as Maul's Co-Dragons.
    • "He wanted you to bring the Jedi here, but you brought the wrong one."
    • When Yularen tells Anakin that he's received a transmission over personal subspace frequency Fulcrum, Anakin thinks it's Saw Gerrera, who Ahsoka fought alongside on Onderon (and whose info she would know in order to be able to contact Anakin quickly).
  • Call-Forward:
  • The Cameo:
    • Caleb Dume accompanies his master Depa Billaba in the Jedi holoprojector meeting. Accompanying them are Plo Koon, Ki-Adi Mundi, Aayla Secura, and Commanders Bacara and Bly.
    • On the Separatist side, General Grievous appears in the Opening Narration as the mastermind of the overarching Outer Rim Sieges.
    • Right before the fight begins, Bo-Katan gets a status report from Ursa Wren.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • As usual, Anakin and Obi-Wan are extremely calm about the fact that Obi-Wan is pinned down and Anakin has come to the rescue.
      Obi-Wan: What are you up to? Where's Captain Rex?
      Anakin: We already finished our battle, so we decided to come help you with yours.
      Obi-Wan: You're overdoing it, again.
    • Ahsoka and Rex have this exchange while invading Mandalore with anti-air fire all around them, Mandalorian warriors trying to board allied ships, and Ahsoka not having a jet pack to get to the ground with, treating the life-or-death situation like a game.
      Rex: Sorry. I didn't think to bring you a jet pack.
      Ahsoka: Don't need one! [Rex gives her a bemused but knowing smirk] Race you to the surface!
      [Ahsoka leaps out the gunship as Rex laughs with excitement and joy]
      Ahsoka: [after reaching the ground and clearing a path for Bo-Katan] Beat you.
      Rex: Some things never change.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Bo-Katan's Mandalorians loyalists and the 332nd Division clone troopers wear blue armor (since they're a detachment of Anakin's 501st Legion), while the Loyalist Mandalorians have red armour inspired by Maul, with Saxon in particular having a spiked helmet to mimic Maul's horns.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While trying to reach the surface of Mandalore, Ahsoka deals with most of the Mandalorian warriors not by cutting them down but by simply damaging their jet packs and letting the malfunction drag them away. She even hitchhikes on one poor sucker to reach another ship in time to rescue a clone trapped in his failing gunship.
  • Custom Uniform: Rex's platoon has repainted their helmets orange with white markings like Ahsoka's.
  • Decapitated Army: Literally. Anakin lures out and decapitates the super tactical droid leading the droid army. Now leaderless, they can't mount an effective defense against his clone troopers, waiting in ambush under the bridge, and Obi-Wan's clone troopers advancing from the front.
  • Disposable Pilot: Subverted. While riding a crashing LAAT to assault a landing pad, Ahsoka takes the time to help the pilot eject safely.
    Pilot: Thanks, Commander! (Ejects)
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": The clones still salute Ahsoka and address her as "Commander" even though she's no longer part of the Republic Army or the Jedi Order and doesn't think she should be addressed as such. It shows how much they still respect her.
    Rex: It's good to have you back, Commander.
    Ahsoka: Thank you, but you don't have to call me "Commander" anymore.
    Rex: Sure thing...Commander.
  • Dramatic Irony: While walking with Ahsoka, Anakin muses that loyalty means everything to the clones, and that with any luck, both Maul and Grievous will be neutralized and the Clone Wars will end soon. It won't go the way either of them expect.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Maul expected that news of him on Mandalore would cause Obi-Wan to drop everything and rush to seek out his revenge. Instead, Obi-Wan followed his duty to the Republic and went to Coruscant, while Ahsoka went to Mandalore with half the 501st.
  • Extra-Long Episode: The episode is 30 minutes long, which is a few minutes longer than usual.
  • Failsafe Failure: One of the clone pilots is trapped in his gunship as it's in free fall, the explosive bolts on his canopy failing to activate. Ahsoka cuts open the canopy with her lightsabers, allowing him to eject safely.
  • Foreshadowing: The opening shows the Jedi spreading Council members around the galaxy to battlefronts...the very Jedi who will be shown slaughtered by their clones in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Hope Spot: This episode retroactively makes the opening act of Revenge of the Sith into one for Anakin. Reuniting with Ahsoka visibly elates him, and he is clearly happier than he has been in a very long time. The idea that she could return to the Jedi Order, or at least come back into his life on a permanent basis (if Ahsoka captured Maul for the Republic, she would instantly be elevated to war hero-status, even if she wasn't a part of the Jedi Order, which would put her in good standing in Coruscant) seems to give him the sort of hope for the future that he hasn't had in a while, and that coupled with being the MVP of the Battle of Coruscant and learning that Padmé was pregnant gives a new context to the line "This is the happiest day of my life." Even considering the uncertainty regarding his future with the Jedi Order once it's found out that he's the father of Padmé's children, Anakin's life finally seems to be on track. And then the dreams start...
  • Hypocrite: Bo-Katan Kryze is this via blaming Maul for the death of Mandalore's ruler, despite the fact that Satine Kryze had been deposed in a joint effort by Maul, Pre Vizsla, and Bo-Katan herself.
  • Insistent Terminology: The clones insist on addressing Ahsoka as Commander, even though she no longer has rank in the Grand Army of the Republic. As Anakin explains, it's a sign of how much respect they still have for her.
  • Interquel: This story takes place after the events of the Crime Lord arc, indicating that this story plays into Palpatine's plans, that he left Maul alive for this arc.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Anakin claims he wants to surrender so the battle droids will cease fire and the super tactical droid will come out of hiding to investigate. The super tactical droid immediately admonishes them for falling for Anakin's ploy, not that it makes a difference.
  • It's a Long Story: This is Ahsoka's response to Anakin when he asks why she was on Oba Diah, adding that it isn't relevant at the moment.
  • I Want Them Alive!: Obi-Wan advises Ahsoka to capture Maul alive. However, this is not because Obi-Wan feels Maul's capture is of any military or strategic value, but because Maul has survived supposed death before and Obi-Wan wants to make absolutely sure Maul is neutralized this time.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: While Anakin is busy pulling his I Surrender, Suckers gambit, R2 tells an exasperated Rex that the clones will have to stay in their hiding spot under the bridge. Rex reluctantly tells the other clones that they'll have to hang in there a bit longer in an accidental pun, eliciting groans and a sarcastic "Sir, yes sir." from them.
  • Loophole Abuse: When they're called away to deal with the attack on Coruscant, thereby depriving Bo-Katan of the reinforcements she needs, Anakin suggests breaking off Rex's platoon and promoting him to Clone Commander so he can lead the unit to Mandalore with Ahsoka in an advisory role.
  • Lured into a Trap: Maul deliberately left clues to his whereabouts expecting Bo-Katan to piece it together. Once she did, she would need to turn to the Republic for reinforcements, lacking the numbers for a siege, at which point his assumption was that Obi-Wan would join the battle. He never expected that Ahsoka would be the one to take the bait, however.
  • Mauve Shirt: Captain Vaughn of the newly-created 332nd Company (who was made Captain after Rex was made Commander of that battalion) gets ambushed along with his squad in the lower city before dying in Ahsoka's arms, despite this being his only appearance in the series.
  • Mythology Gag: Obi-Wan mentions that Shaak Ti was guarding Palpatine during the invasion of Coruscant, which was first depicted in Legends' Clone Wars and was canonized again in a guidebook by Pablo Hidalgo. He further mentions that Mace Windu has lost contact with Shaak Ti, referencing how Grievous jammed her group's communications in the Clone Wars micro-series.
  • Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer: Anakin is informed that someone is contacting him using the same frequency as Fulcrum, which Anakin assumes to be Saw Gerrera. Yularen clarifies that it's not Saw, and that Anakin better take the call personally.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Anakin casually dodges a couple blaster bolts while talking to Obi-Wan in the middle of the battle on the bridge.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Bo-Katan chews out Obi-Wan for not wanting to personally help with Mandalore, especially since its former ruler and her sister was dear to him, to which he responds that he can't let his feelings get ahead of him. This is especially bad considering what Anakin is about to do in a few days...
  • Off with His Head!: Anakin cuts the head off the super tactical droid after using the Force to pull it out from behind enemy lines.
  • Present Absence: Palpatine does not physically appear in the episode, but his abduction during the ongoing Battle of Coruscant forces Anakin and Obi-Wan to divert to the Republic capital to rescue him, leaving Ahsoka to face down Maul on her own.
  • Rank Up: Rex is promoted to Clone Commander by Anakin, so he can formally command the 332nd Company with Ahsoka serving as his "advisor".
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: Rather than the bombastic war theme from the rest of the series, the episode opens with the opening theme from Episode IV, showing that this arc is leading into the film series proper.
  • Retcon:
    • In the Ahsoka novel, Ahsoka's lightsabers were described as being the original blade colors of green and yellow. In this episode, they now have blue blades, implied to be because of Anakin tinkering with them.
    • Similarily, Ahsoka makes it seem she came up with the Fulcrum codename about a year or so after the end of the Clone Wars. Ahsoka uses it in this episode, which takes place during the Clone Wars, and it's established to be a frequency associated with the Onderon resistance that Ahsoka is borrowing.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Ahsoka argues with Obi-Wan that the Jedi are “playing politics” when he decides to save Chancellor Palpatine over helping Mandalore, which in her view is more important. Unknown to her, Palpatine was Darth Sidious who had orchestrated his own “kidnapping” as a means to drive Anakin further to the Dark Side.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: When Ahsoka and a Republic army storm Mandalore, Prime Minister Almec hails Bo-Katan and company to declare that the Republic is violating the century-old treaty they signed with Mandalore. Bo-Katan tells him that she's willing to live with the consequences.
    Almec: Siding with the Republic will make you an enemy in the eyes of the people.
    Bo-Katan: I'm fine with that.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: This episode marks the final appearances of the Separatist droids in the series. As a Call-Back to The Clone Wars' pilot movie and first two seasons, the Separatist droids provide a small amount of humor when the battle droid commander truly believes that Anakin has come to surrender, not realizing that Anakin is trying to draw out and destroy the super tactical droid and allow for Rex and the clone troopers to ambush the Separatist forces.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: This episode reveals that the Siege of Mandalore takes place just before the start of Revenge of the Sith. At the midpoint of the episode, Anakin and Obi-Wan receive an alert that Coruscant is under attack, forcing them to split their forces between Coruscant and Mandalore and kick off the film.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Ahsoka has traded her civilian clothes for a more combat practical outfit that has no sleeves.
  • Spanner in the Works: Thanks to General Grievous mounting an attack on Coruscant, Obi-Wan and Anakin are recalled before they can offer aid in capturing Maul. Maul's elaborate plan to lure Obi-Wan into an ambush thus fails because it's Ahsoka, no longer affiliated with the Jedi Order, who steps in to fill the gap.
  • Special Edition Title: The opening presents the episode as a Lucasfilm Limited Production, using one of the very first versions of the logo from the initial run of the original trilogy. The Skywalker Saga films' opening theme plays instead of the series' own variant on it, there's no An Aesop line or A Long Time Ago... line, and the logo is red again instead of yellow, adding that this is only part one of the story arc. Also, there's no ending theme.
  • Stunned Silence: Anakin is left practically speechless when he sees that the person contacting him is Ahsoka.
  • Take a Third Option: When faced with the choice between travelling to Mandalore to capture Maul, or returning to Coruscant to rescue Palpatine, Anakin ultimately proposes to divide the 501st into two squadrons: one will travel with him and Obi-Wan back to Coruscant, while the other will travel to Mandalore, led by a promoted Commander Rex with Ahsoka in an advisory role.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Ahsoka, still smarting from her treatment by the Order, is willing to challenge Obi-Wan as an equal, referring to him by name rather than calling him "Master" as she would have before.
    • Prime Minister Almec, who was always portrayed as a slimy corrupt politician and a Non-Action Guy, dons his own set of Mandalorian armor during the Siege of Mandalore. He even fights Bo-Katan hand to hand when she invades his throne room, though he clearly isn't her equal in combat.
  • Undying Loyalty: The 501st Legion to Ahsoka. The clones are clearly happy to see her again, and even members of the 212th salute her and address her as "Commander" as though she never left. Rex and the 332nd Company even paint their helmets to mimic Ahsoka's facial markings as a "welcome back" gesture.
    Ahsoka: Rex, thank you, but you don't have to call me "commander" any more.
    Rex: Sure thing, commander.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Bo-Katan fires back at Obi-Wan for being reluctant on lending Republic help to retake Mandalore despite Maul turning Mandalore upside down and murdering Satine. Obi-Wan insists that while he cared for Satine, he has to remain objective.
      Bo-Katan: Maul's influence on Mandalore is destroying my people! He murdered their ruler, my sister! I thought she meant something to you!
    • Ahsoka is furious when Obi-Wan and Anakin are called away to rescue Chancellor Palpatine, accusing them of being more concerned with his safety specifically than the lives of the Mandalorians that will be lost because of Maul. Anakin brokers a compromise that both parties can live with.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Captain Vaughn gets about thirty seconds of screen time and maybe five lines before he and his entire squad get killed.
  • You Are Too Late: The squadron that Ahsoka leads into the lower city is ambushed by the Mandalorians, and Ahsoka barely saves them from a rocket attack. By the time Ahsoka manages to get back up, they've pressed ahead and are systematically wiped out seconds before she can catch up to them.

"I was hoping for Kenobi. Why are you here?"