It seems the future of Star Wars is set to take place right on living room screens instead of the usual big screens at the cinema. If the rumors are any indication, Lucasfilm is taking full advantage of Disney's streaming service by creating a live-action connected universe of television shows. That's on top of the multiple reports surrounding (supposed) in-development animated projects, such as the Star Wars: The Clone Wars spinoff and Star Wars Rebels' "successor" series.
Of course, there are confirmed shows like the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Cassian Andor series, and Leslye Headland's project. With all this in mind, and The Mandalorian Season 2 still a ways away from its October release date, The Direct has taken some inspiration from its previous Rebels and The Clone Wars rankings to create a list of the best Star Wars television moments so far. There were plenty to choose from, but only 20 came out victorious in the end...
The Destruction of Hosnian Prime - Resistance Season 1, Episode 20 and 21: Starkiller Base's extreme power, demonstrated in The Force Awakens when it wiped out five planets, was a bit stale and and overused after the first two Death Stars from the original trilogy. Another complaint from crowds was that there was no emotional attachment to those planets. Resistance, however, provides an interesting perspective on one of them: Hosnian Prime.
One of the show's lead characters, Kazuda Xiono, grew up on Hosnian Prime and had family there when it was destroyed. Establishing a link between those deaths and main characters provides a new important layer to one of The Force Awaken's central weaknesses.
Kylo Ren's Intimidation Tactic - Resistance Season 2, Episode 6: Kylo Ren didn't have too many opportunities in the sequels to show off his destructive capacity. On the other hand, Resistance once again gives the Supreme Leader the chance to showcase such skills, but on his own soldiers. It's renascent of Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, and it surely strikes a sense of fear into his subordinates that furthers his descent into the dark side.
20. Satine’s Death – The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 16 "The Lawless"
Audiences of Star Wars: The Clone Wars got to witness the impeccable expansion of Obi-Wan Kenobi's character arc, the backbone of which lies with Maul and Duchess Satine, as her death flawlessly encapsulated the essence of his spirit.
In an effort to unleash the same type of pain within Kenobi that Maul suffered with for so many years, the former Sith kills the Jedi’s first love. The shock of Maul exacting his vengeance plays beautifully with Kevin Kiner’s score, and Satine’s final words are beautifully heartbreaking. Moreover, Obi-Wan’s resistance to the dark side and compassion towards his enemy captures the inward strength of a Jedi and wonderfully progresses his journey to the experienced mentor we see in the subsequent films.
19. A Visit to Dagobah – The Clone Wars Season 6, Episode 11 "Voices"
It’s safe to say that if there’s ever going to be some crucial education about the Force, it should be on Dagobah. After hearing whispers from fallen Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda sets off on an eye-opening journey that begins with a trip to his future home.
The ideas explored here are essential in understanding George Lucas’ intentions with the midichlorians, Living Force, and Cosmic Force. Lucas had a limited time in the prequels to delve into those bigger Force concepts, but producer Dave Filoni understood the importance of illustrating Yoda’s transition to the wise creature of the original trilogy.
There’s also plenty of nostalgia, as the scenes utilize John William’s “Yoda’s Theme” and The Empire Strikes Back’s Cave of Evil. What resulted is a masterful moment of genuine enlightenment.
18. Anakin Sees His Future – The Clone Wars Season 3, Episode 17 "Ghosts of Mortis"
The Mortis arc in The Clone Wars not only changed the landscape for the show, but for the entire franchise. There are numerous scenes that are vital to the Force mythology, but the most astonishing comes with Anakin’s glimpse of the future.
In an effort to get Anakin by his side, The Son forces the Jedi to “know what he will become.” He sees brief images of his bleak future as Darth Vader and the terror he would unleash on the galaxy, leaving viewers stunned.
Anakin’s desire to prevent these visions from occurring further epitomizes the devastation of his turn in Episode III, and although it is ultimately erased from his memory, the moment will forever be a significant event in his path as the Chosen One.
17. Sabine Wren's Tortured Past – Rebels Season 3, Episode 15 "Trials of the Darksaber"
In one of the most character-driven episodes of the series, Star Wars Rebels laid the groundwork for a Mandalorian warrior haunted by her broken family and past choices. Sabine Wren, with Kanan in her corner, must train with the Darksaber in order to unite the Mandalorians in the fight against the Empire. But to properly wield the sword and face her family, Sabine has to unlock the suppressed pain that’s holding her back.
As Kanan spars with Sabine and urges her to reveal the truth, she finally unveils her regret of aiding the Empire and releases the anguish that’s shadowed over her life. It’s an authentic scene, heightened by the music, that induces themes of found family and embracing one’s self to fulfill their destiny.
16. Kanan’s Sacrifice – Rebels Season 4, Episode 10 "Jedi Night"
With his padawan and family looking on, Kanan Jarrus exemplified what it truly means to be selfless … what it truly means to be a Jedi. In his final moments, as he slowly becomes one with the Force, Kanan’s eyes receive the clarity to connect with his soulmate one last time. You can’t write it better than that.
As sad of a sequence as it was, his departure was a necessary component for the show’s concluding episodes, where we see his will and teachings immersed in Ezra’s story. With his arc coming full circle, Kanan Jarrus proved to us that in the heart of a Jedi lies their strength.
15. Baby Yoda Stops the Mudhorn – The Mandalorian Season 1, Chapter 2 "The Child"
After the amazement of Chapter 1’s staggering ending wore off and Chapter 2 began, the question became whether or not The Child could use the Force. Many suspected the now-nicknamed Baby Yoda would possess that intrinsic ability, but they didn’t think Favreau would show it so soon.
That being said, the scene itself was brilliantly designed, both in the script and in Rick Famuyiwa’s direction. The timing of the incident, waiting until the last minute for The Child to step in when all hope seemed lost, instilled suspenseful anticipation within the audience. And with an added boost from Ludwig Göransson’s score, it served as Din Djarin’s first step into a larger world.
14. The Tribe Saves Mando and The Child – The Mandalorian Season 1, Chapter 3 "The Sin"
The Mandalorian proved Din Djarin to be a badass from the very first time we saw him in the Maldo Kreis bar, but Chapter 3 took it to another level as he fends off multiple stormtroopers and bounty hunters in his rescue of The Child. Yet again, Mando digs himself a hole as there seems to be no escape. So, call in The Tribe.
Having one live-action Mandalorian was satisfying enough, but having a whole bunch of them triumphantly save the day undoubtedly had The Clone Wars and Rebels fans jumping out of their seat. Even though much of The Tribe is massacred by Moff Gideon’s Imperial remnant afterward, this was a massive payoff for the fandom and a decisive turning point for the series.
13. The Death of Fives – The Clone Wars Season 6, Episode 4 "Orders"
The death of any clone in the series is always a tragic one, especially when put into the larger perspective of their predestined outcome in the Clone War. But Fives’ departure stands out among them all because of the web of deception he was trying to uncover about Order 66.
It’s not sadness or pain that you feel in his conversation Rex before passing, but freedom and love for his brothers. Rex’s breakdown compels viewers to feel the gravity and loss of this senseless war that the clones were basically pawns in amid a larger chess game. “Good soldiers follow orders,” and this soldier fought with valor until his last breathe.
12. Maul and Savage vs. Sidious – The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 16 "The Lawless"
It was always exhilarating when Chancellor Palpatine would break out into the chilling Darth Sidious throughout The Clone Wars. The master manipulator was hell-bent on executing his grand plan under the guise of the Republic and would swiftly wipe out any competition. Maul was no exception.
Maul’s Shadow Collective rivaled the dark lord’s control, and Sidious was having none of it. Equipped with two lightsabers, Sidious gleefully battled Maul and his brother Savage, neither of whom were a match for the malicious darth.
The choreography from some of the best duelists in Star Wars is top notch, but it’s the pure evil and wickedness exuding off Sidious that makes this moment so striking, and Maul’s absolute dread of his immense power perfectly sells that to the audience.
11. Vader Finds Ahsoka's Lightsaber – The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 12 "Victory and Death"
Looking over the burial site of the 332nd company, Ahsoka makes a decision to leave behind her lightsaber, and with it, the life she once knew. As if we needed another emotional gut-punch, none other than Darth Vader appears in his classic suit to find that very lightsaber, which symbolized the last memory with his former padawan, one full of celebration and love.
This scene provides yet another chance for Vader to realize all that he lost in his turn to the dark side. But the last shot of the sequence particularly resonates, as we see Vader leave the graveyard in the visor of a clone trooper’s helmet. The Clone Wars left countless lives lost in name of the Republic, just for a malevolent Empire to takes its place.
10. The Darksaber – The Mandalorian Season 1, Chapter 8 "Redemption"
Moff Gideon solidified himself as a menacing villain for our protagonists with his ceremonious entrance in Chapter 7 and the havoc he inflicted in the following episode, where spectators witnessed stormtroopers, Incinerator troopers, death troopers, Gideon’s Outland TIE fighter, and the death of Kuiil. But it was the last shot of the Season 1 finale, showcasing the Moff’s possession of the Darksaber, that firmly captured everyone’s attention.
The last we saw of the saber was in the hands of Bo-Katan Kryze in Star Wars Rebels Season 4. Since Chapter 8’s “Redemption,” the community, including us here at The Direct, has speculated how Gideon apprehended the ancient sword. Answers will likely be hidden until Season 2, but this reveal certainly changed the outlook for The Mandalorian and many beloved Star Wars characters.
9. The Finale’s Flash-Forward – Rebels Season 4, Episode 15 "Family Reunion - and Farewell"
Star Wars Rebels started with a boy who was lost, looking upon his Empire-ridden home world and feeling empty. When it ended, the boy was now a Jedi with purpose, but he still found himself lost among the stars. Luckily, his friends began a mission to scour the galaxy and bring him home, with a portrait of the boy’s newfound family watching on.
The Rebels epilogue was magnificent in the greatest sense of the word. Fans found comfort in knowing their heroes lived on, from Zeb and Kallus rebuilding the prosperous Lasat society to Hera fighting with the Rebellion and raising Spectre-7. However, the promise of another adventure on the horizon gave them hope in the characters’ future potential.
8. Ahsoka and the 501st – The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 "Old Friends Not Forgotten"
Much of what makes this reunion so special is how moving Ahsoka’s goodbye from the Jedi Order was two seasons prior. She left behind everything she ever knew, but when the time came to get the gang back together, The Clone Wars hit all the right buttons.
While Ahsoka was initially standoffish to Republic forces and Anakin’s excitement, that love immediately came rushing back when the clones each showed their respect and loyalty to their past commander. That love then carried over into Ahsoka’s last exchange with Anakin until their eventual duel in Rebels.
The dialogue marvelously touches on the history they each share with one another, in addition to setting up the stage for the series’ final arc.
7. Ahsoka Leaves – The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 20 "The Wrong Jedi"
Speaking of that goodbye in Season 5, this tearjerker ranks just above its successor from the previous section. Fans always questioned the whereabouts of Ahsoka throughout Revenge of the Sith, and the answer finally came to fruition with this gorgeous, gripping moment.
The animation and cinematography are incredible, and Kevin Kiner has never been better in delivering critical music to the series. Above all, this clip marks a major shift in Ahsoka’s continuing evolution. She must come to terms with the Republic and Jedi’s betrayal against her, and find her own place in the story and with the Force.
This segment, however, would be nothing without the characters. Years of build-up between Ahsoka and Anakin led to this dynamic relationship, making their split much more poignant.
6. Ahsoka Lives – Rebels Season 4, Episode 13 "A World Between Worlds"
From Ahsoka leaves to Ahsoka lives! It was hard to tell if Ahsoka made it out of her duel with Vader at the Sith Temple on Malachor, but after a swirl of teases, the moment came to bring the iconic character back. Yes, the word awesome is fitting in describing this episode, yet trippy works just as well.
“A World Between Worlds” opened a doorway to a completely new realm in Star Wars where the Cosmic Force permeated throughout. It was the perfect setting to introduce time-travel elements in Star Wars and for Ezra to save the Togruta from certain doom.
Ahsoka’s wisdom is off the charts in her brief discussion with Ezra, passing on lessons she’s learned in her own life plus carrying on Kanan’s will to the young Jedi.
5. Maul vs Kenobi – Rebels Season 3, Episode 20 "Twin Suns"
Before this fight, Maul had only faced Obi-Wan Kenobi either as a youthful Jedi or battle-experienced warrior. Now he comes face-to-face with the same adversary, but a shrewder version that is a true master of the Force.
This quick skirmish flawlessly embodies the crux of this rivalry, and although it has a certain eccentricity to it, the timing and external movements of their contest matches the mentality of these characters. Kenobi’s empathy and pity towards the dying Maul complements that same attitude we see in The Clone Wars’ “The Lawless.”
With an exhilarating clash and heartfelt conclusion, thus ends the duel of the fates.
4. Order 66 – The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 11 "Shattered"
“Execute Order 66.” The climax of The Clone Wars runs fittingly aligned with the climax of the prequel trilogy: when Anakin became Darth Vader and Palpatine uttered those dreaded words.
Whether it was Anakin’s turn from Revenge of the Sith playing off screen, Kevin Kiner’s use of “Anakin’s Dark Deeds,” or Captain Rex’s tearful struggle with Sidious’ command, they all packed an extra layer of intensified passion, infinitely enhancing the action on screen. After twelve years of character development between the clone troopers and the fan’s increasing attachment to them and Ahsoka, watching these heroes face what is considered the most pivotal moment in Star Wars left us all feeling overwhelmingly shattered.
3. Baby Yoda Reveal – The Mandalorian Season 1, Chapter 1 "The Mandalorian"
Unlike the plethora of rumors surrounding Season 2, not much was made public about The Mandalorian’s first season. It was well-known that the show would have a Western-vibe, following a Mandalorian bounty hunter throughout a lawless galaxy after the Galactic Empire’s fall. Nevertheless, no one was prepared for the reveal of The Child, more popularly known to audiences as Baby Yoda.
Chapter 1 did a outstanding job in presenting this new, gritty era of Star Wars that always existed but was never quite shown on screen. Even so, the green alien’s presence totally altered viewer’s perspective on the story, and gives way for more characters to enter the frame.
In whatever manner they chronicle his tale, Baby Yoda will forever reign supreme in Star Wars.
2. Ahsoka Confronts Vader – Rebels Season 2, Episode 22 "Twilight of the Apprentice: Part 2"
Another lightsaber duel fills the penultimate spot on this list, but this is unquestionably the most emotional. The long awaited meeting between Ahsoka and Darth Vader came on the frightening world of Malachor, where she refuses to accept who’s behind his villainous mask.
Unfortunately for Ahsoka, all is revealed when she slashes through the helmet and he calls out her name. In contrast to when she left him at the Jedi Temple, Ahsoka refuses to leave him and wants to save her master. But that’s not her destiny, for its only the love for his children that can save Anakin from himself.
Like she says, Ahsoka won’t leave him, even if its only a shimmer of the man she once knew. Tragic. Poetic. Pure Star Wars.
1. Ahsoka vs. Maul – The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 10 "The Phantom Apprentice"
A scene that will be remembered as one of the greatest lightsaber battles in the franchise, Ahsoka Tano taking on another dark-side wielder during the Siege of Mandalore was as epic as we hoped. Although he touts much power and control in his time through The Clone Wars, Maul is anxious because he knows that Sidious’ plan is about to be fulfilled.
Maul was hoping for Kenobi and Skywalker when he orchestrated the conflict on Mandalore, but instead he got Ahsoka. After a plea to join forces, Maul destroys any chance of Ahsoka helping him when he mentions Anakin’s role as Sidious’ new apprentice. What follows is a superbly choreographed duel between the two, a scene that was actually shot using motion capture.
A glorious clash emerged in the final product that raised the stakes to cinematic heights. While the good guys win the siege, Ahsoka senses an uneasiness in what she learned from Maul. That uneasiness sticks with the audience and allows them to absorb the new perception they have on the tragedy of Revenge of the Sith.