Why Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Series Finale Needs To End On A Flash-Forward

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(Image credit: Disney+)

The end of Star Wars: The Clone Warsunlikely journey on the small screen is almost over, which means the close of the Star Wars prequel era. Surprisingly, The Clone Wars seems likely to move beyond the events of Revenge of the Sith before the final credits roll, although probably not by much… unless, of course, The Clone Wars ends on a flash-forward, which would be an ideal epilogue that doubles as a prologue.

Every Star Wars fan worth their salt knows that the prequel era doesn’t exactly end well for the heroes of the galaxy far, far away. Sure, the Skywalker twins survive, but the Jedi are all dead or exiled and the Empire has risen. Ahsoka’s survival at the end of Clone Wars doesn’t really mean the show will end on a particularly triumphant note.

The galaxy is headed for 20 years or so of darkness. Why not flash forward to a time or at least sequence of events that are more uplifting? Voice actress Ashley Eckstein did promise a “proper end” to Ahsoka’s journey, after all!

While a flash forward to pretty much any time in or beyond the original trilogy (before the build to the sequel trilogy, anyway) could fit the bill, I mostly refer here to the events of Star Wars Rebels, a.k.a. the animated series that launched after Clone Wars ended for the first time.

Rebels kicks off about five years ahead of Rogue One and A New Hope. I won’t get into spoilers about the plot of Rebels here, since I highly recommend Rebels to any Clone Wars fans following the series finale, but obviously the beginning of the original trilogy is a more hopeful time than the end of the prequel trilogy.

Clone Wars has already touched on Star Wars Rebels more than once in its final season, with characters like Jedi padawan Caleb Dume and Mandalorian warrior Ursa Wren who originated on Rebels turning up in the final arc of the series as only two examples. Why not spare a couple of minutes at the end of the series finale to provide a glimpse at the chronologically next animated Star Wars series?

Rebels itself had an epilogue that tied off some loose ends without restricting future stories for the characters, so a Clone Wars epilogue flashing forward wouldn’t even necessarily cut off future stories for Ahsoka and others that could be told in the years between the end of the Clone Wars and rise of the Rebellion. It could both show that the future is (eventually) bright in the galaxy far, far away and give Clone Wars fans a taster of what they could experience in Rebels, even if the animation styles and storytelling formats are different.

Honestly, a Clone Wars flash-forward wouldn’t necessarily even have to flash forward all that much. The reveal of a post-Order 66 Caleb Dume could be enough. Alternately, the birth or glimpse of a baby Ezra Bridger could do the trick, since he was born on the same day Palpatine declared himself Emperor. Sabine has already been born by this point in the Clone Wars timeline, and her mom has had a part to play in Clone Wars. Hera has a connection to Clone Wars as well by way of her father.

Personally, other than a post-Order 66 Caleb Dume, my favorite potential flash-forward of Rebels characters would be the meeting of Kanan and Hera, which was really the start of everything for what Rebels would become.

I do think that a surviving Caleb Dume is one of the two most likely scenarios for a flash-forward (or perhaps flash-sideways, depending on how far into or beyond Revenge of the Sith that Clone Wars goes). The other most likely is, to me, baby Ezra Bridger. While Caleb’s survival would mirror Ahsoka’s, Ezra’s birth and infancy would mirror Luke’s at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

Of course, this is all speculation, and it’s entirely possible Clone Wars will simply end with Ahsoka and Rex surviving, with viewers being left to their own devices to find Rebels. Both series are streaming on Disney+, so it’s not like it would be a difficult leap from one to the other.

For now, you can look forward to the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Monday, May 4th, also known as May the Fourth. All seven seasons of The Clone Wars so far are streaming as well, as are all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels to pick up after Clone Wars.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).