'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Ending Explained: The Empire's rise is complete but hope remains for the galaxy

The events that take place after the Clone Wars have been told through numerous films, shows, and comics. But that doesn't make it any less heartbreaking


                            'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Ending Explained: The Empire's rise is complete but hope remains for the galaxy
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Disney+/Lucasfilm)

Spoilers for 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Season 7 Episode 12 'Victory and Defeat' — the series finale

The epic story of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' has finally come to a fittingly tragic end. There was only ever one way this story could go. After all, the events that take place after the Clone Wars have been told through numerous films, shows, and comics. But that doesn't make it any less heartbreaking.

By the end of the episode, Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) has escaped into the unknown. We meet him again in the sequel series 'Star Wars: Rebels' but for now, that's where his story ends. 

Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Commander Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) manage to escape with their lives but the ship they were on crashes on a moon, killing their former compatriots who were on board. Horrified by the loss of life and the victory of the Sith, Ahsoka forsakes the path of the Jedi, leaving her lightsaber behind.

In the final moments of the episode, we see Ahsoka's former master Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), newly transformed into Darth Vader, finding Ahsoka's lightsaber. The meaning of the ending is quite clear: the Empire has risen for good and the Jedi are no more (for now).

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Disney+/Lucasfilm)

After this tragic finale, we know where our heroes' paths lie. Ahsoka and Rex reappear in 'Rebels' as part of the Alliance against the Empire. Anakin will one day return to the light, thanks to the influence of his son Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). And though they may have lost the Clone Wars, the Jedi shall return but Ahsoka shall not be part of the Order any longer. 

By the time we see her again in 'Rebels', Ahsoka will have found her own path, one that truly finds the balance between the light side and the dark. The Empire may have won this round, but thanks to Ahsoka, Rex, and a host of other brave souls who are still out there, hope remains for the galaxy. 

It will be a long time before the darkness of the Empire is ended. But one day, the Jedi shall return.

The final episode of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Season 7 dropped on Disney+ on Star Wars Day, May 4.

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