Warning: spoilers ahead for Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian Season 1 on Disney+.
Star Wars has rarely had so much going on so many different fronts than the end of 2019 and early 2020. First, The Mandalorian debuted in November as the very first live-action Star Wars series, followed by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December as the final chapter in the big-screen Skywalker saga, which will then be followed by the long-awaited animated return of The Clone Wars for its revival in February. Now that both The Mandalorian and Rise of Skywalker featured Force healing as a huge Force twist, it’s time to examine what this could mean for Clone Wars in 2020.
So, let’s dive into what happened to introduce Force healing, where Clone Wars picks up, and what this Force twist could mean for the revival and onward!
What Is Force Healing After The Mandalorian And Rise Of Skywalker?
Force healing was actually an established part of Force use back in the Legends continuity, before Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012 and removed pretty much everything except for the original film trilogy, prequel film trilogy, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars from ongoing canon. For Legends expanded universe fans, the reintroduction of Force healing into Star Wars canon might not have been a big deal. For the rest of the Star Wars fandom, or those who had been prepared for a new continuity without this branch of Force use, however, it’s a game-changer.
The Mandalorian was actually the first Disney Star Wars project to introduce Force healing, although that confirmation came only days before the wide release of Rise of Skywalker. In the episode of the series that was bumped up to release ahead of Rise of Skywalker, Baby Yoda proved what viewers had come to suspect in an earlier episode when the little tyke seemed to be trying to reach for his Mando buddy’s wound: he can use his powers to heal. When it seemed Greef Karga was doomed to die from wounds, Baby Yoda saved his life and healed him.
At the time, it seemed entirely possible that Baby Yoda was a one-of-a-kid Force-user with this healing ability, and Force healing would be limited to The Mandalorian. It was canon, but it wasn’t necessarily wide-reaching canon just yet. We don’t even know Baby Yoda’s species yet, after all; maybe all Force-sensitives of that species can Force heal, and Yoda just never did it on screen, right?
Not so much, according to Rise of Skywalker. Rey pretty casually showed off healing as one of her many new Force abilities, when she transferred some of her own Force energy into the body of a serpent-like creature on Pasaana to heal its wounds. The power came back into play in a more serious way later on, when the latest lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren culminated with Rey skewering Ren. Not willing to give up on the Ben Solo side of Kylo Ren, Rey healed him.
And she wasn’t the only Force-user in Rise of Skywalker to use Force healing! When Rey died after the battle to take down Emperor Palpatine (again), Kylo-turned-Ben gave up his own Force energy to bring her back to life. He died in the process, but Rey was back. Force healing is clearly powerful, and not limited to Jedi or Sith. Baby Yoda is neither and Kylo Ren/Ben’s alignment was all over the place throughout the sequel trilogy.
So, for people with the ability to use the Force and proper motivation, Force healing and even resurrection are apparently possible. Quite aside from what this precedent means for the entire run of Star Wars to date (and all the injuries and deaths that went down despite having Jedi and Force-users in the mix over the years), Force healing could be a very big deal for the future of Star Wars TV, and that future once The Mandalorian Season 1 wraps is the Clone Wars revival.
Where Does The Clone Wars Pick Up For The Season 7 Revival?
When The Clone Wars returns in February 2020 for its Season 7 revival, it will be the last batch of episodes in the beloved series and finish bridging the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. So, considering the show is closer to Order 66 and Darth Vader than the golden days of Jedi hero Anakin Skywalker, Season 7 probably won’t be too lighthearted.
Based on news courtesy of the Clone Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April 2019, the 12 episodes of the revival season will be split up into arcs. One will explore the “Bad Batch” storyline about clone troop experiments that was intended as the beginning of Season 7 back before the series was originally cancelled. Another arc will see Ahsoka exploring life in the Coruscant underworld after leaving the Jedi Order, and yet another will reveal the Siege of Mandalore, which took place not too long before Order 66 and pitted Ahsoka against Maul for an epic lightsaber battle.
It’s not clear just yet how far into the Revenge of the Sith timeline The Clone Wars will explore, so it’s possible that viewers will see the build and perhaps even execution of Order 66 in animation. As Star Wars fans will undoubtedly recall, Revenge of the Sith obviously didn’t show the murder of every single Jedi still alive at that point, and Star Wars Rebels proved that there were Jedi survivors, even if Kanan wasn’t exactly living the Jedi lifestyle after Order 66.
Basically, Clone Wars will pick up toward the end of the Clone Wars, in a deadly period of galactic conflict leading up to the purge of the Jedi Order. And now, Force healing is a factor to consider.
What Force Healing Could Mean For The Clone Wars Revival In 2020
Thanks to the reveals from The Mandalorian and Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars fans can safely say that practitioners of Force healing can heal minor injuries, heal deadly injuries, and even resurrect so long as the person doing the healing is willing to trade their life for another. Considering The Clone Wars is fast-approaching a whole lot of that series’ heroes in very real danger of losing their lives, Force healing could be a game-changer.
If Rey and Kylo Ren could pick it up on the fly, Baby Yoda can do it as a baby, and it’s as simple as transferring Force energy, doesn’t it stand to reason that some of the thousands of living Jedi pre-Order 66 figured it out? Especially if they were paired up when Order 66 happened, and motivated to save their battle partner? Star Wars Rebels was proof that there were Jedi and Padawans paired along with clones in the field, and surely there were also Jedi fighting together rather than just one per band of clones. It hasn’t even been ruled out that Jedi could Force heal themselves.
Maybe Mace Windu really did just brush himself off and survive the prequel trilogy thanks to some self-Force healing after all! Samuel L. Jackson is down to reprise the role. And why not some of the other Jedi pairings who would have been together during the Clone Wars and weren’t killed on-screen in Revenge of the Sith’s Order 66?
And honestly, Finn in the sequel trilogy is proof even beyond Baby Yoda that Force users don’t need to be trained or aligned with one order or the other to use Force abilities, so there could have been random people out and about circa Order 66 who did some Force healing. At this point, perhaps the only Jedi we should confirm as dead from or following Order 66 are Plo Koon, Stass Allie, Aayla Secura, Ki-Adi-Mundi (all from Revenge of the Sith) and Depa Billaba and Luminara Unduli (confirmed by Star Wars Rebels).
The potential implications for The Clone Wars (with Order 66 approaching) and Star Wars as a whole are actually why I think Force healing was a dangerous precedent to set, as death and serious injury no longer feel as permanent when there’s always the hope that a handy Jedi or Force-sensitive will show up to save the day.
Still, it also opens the door for more survivors of Order 66 than fans had reason to realistically suspect, and the Star Wars universe isn’t going anywhere even if the Skywalker saga is complete. There’s even less set in stone for the Clone Wars revival than before courtesy of Force healing, so fans counting down the days until the February 2020 premiere have even more to wonder, speculate, and hope about from the seventh and final season of the series.
Disney+ hasn’t announced an exact premiere date for The Clone Wars’ revival just yet, but it will arrive in February. For now, you can catch The Mandalorian along with most of the rest of the Star Wars library (including Clone Wars) on the Disney streaming service. Star Wars Rebels provides some hints about what happened in the final days of the Republic, and Dave Filoni already shared how Rebels will impact the Clone Wars revival.