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Why 'The Clone Wars: Crystal Crisis' Storyline Was Not Finished

It's Not Over Yet!

By Culture SlatePublished 2 years ago 6 min read
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While the release of the seventh season of The Clone Wars was considered a success and lauded by Star Wars fans for giving us one final blast of The Clone Wars years after the show was officially canceled, there were still several unfinished story-reel that remain unfinished. While some of them have been captured in other forms of media, such as the comic book series, Son of Dathomir, and the book, Dark Disciple, featuring Asajj Ventress and Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos, there are even more Clone Wars stories that still have yet to see the light of day.

I was hopeful that one of my favorite storylines, known as Crystal Crisis on Utapau, would automatically be included in the aforementioned seventh season of The Clone Wars. Sadly, it was not. As yet, there does not appear to be an official statement from Lucasfilm about why this storyline, along with a few remaining others, did not ever get finished or released, nor if it may ever see the light of day in a different form (i.e., novel, comic). This article will discuss the aftermath of Lucasfilm's cancellation of The Clone Wars series, as well as the Crystal Crisis on Utapau storyline and speculation about why it remains unfinished.

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The Clone Wars was a fantastic series. Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, The Clone Wars ultimately gave us seven intense seasons filled with galaxy-spanning battles between the Republic and the Separatist. It had political intrigue, more fleshed out Jedi and expanded on Jedi and Sith lore. The final story arc of the last season, The Siege of Mandalore, ran parallel to and tied directly into the events of Revenge of the Sith, albeit from Ashoka's vantage point.

Regrettably, the series, which debuted in 2008, was canceled after five seasons, and the remainder of the finished episodes were released as a truncated sixth season on Netflix. The cancelation was officially connected to Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, although the precise reasons they canceled it seem unclear. The remaining completed episodes included story arcs that dealt with inhibitor chips inserted into every clone trooper, when activated, forced them to kill the Jedi (aka Order 66). The renewed mystery surrounding Sifo Dyas, the Jedi Master who commissioned the Grand Army of the Republic, and Yoda going on a "Force Journey" to seek answers about the future of the Jedi Order, the Force, and the Clone Wars. These remaining episodes were later officially titled The Lost Missions.

It was later announced that there would be a seventh and final season. The episodes featured The Bad Batch, who appeared in a self-titled spin-off series. And catches up with Ahsoka since she left the Jedi Temple. Most importantly, the final arc dealt with her return to lead clone troopers in a siege of Mandalore to capture renegade Sith Lord Darth Maul. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Crystal Crisis on Utapau, whose unfinished reels were previously made available for viewing on the official Star Wars website, was not among those finished storylines. I have been inquisitive as to why that storyline was not completed, as I felt that it was arguably one of the stronger story arcs, especially in developing the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan before Revenge of the Sith.

What would have been a 4-episode arc primarily features Anakin and Obi-Wan being sent to Utapau to investigate the mysterious death of a Jedi Master. They later learn of a Separatist plot, led by General Grievous and Count Dooku, to secure a large Kyber Crystal that could power a superweapon (i.e., Death Star) and work together to stop it. In the end, Anakin and Obi-Wan foil the Separatist plot, and the Kyber Crystal is destroyed. The story is significant because it returns the audience to Utapau and expands on the terrain and creatures seen in Revenge of the Sith. It also heavily foreshadows the destructive potential of Kyber Crystals, which, as we later learn, were used heavily in the construction of the Death Star's superlaser. Additionally, it has some great Anakin and Obi-Wan banter, and it showed Anakin struggling with processing Ashoka's departure from the Jedi Order.

Nearly completed story reels, complete with voice-overs, were conducted for this arc, and the reels were once posted to StarWars.com under the Clone Wars Legacy section. They have since been removed from the website. However, it is included in the Clone Wars: The Lost Missions Blu-ray extras. There has been no official statement as to why this story arc, among several others, was never finished and added to season seven of The Clone Wars. Additionally, there is no indication so far that it probably ever will be, at least in animated form. As such, we can only speculate as to the reason(s) why. Of course, given the intense secretiveness of Star Wars projects, there could also be things going on now behind the scenes that we are unaware of.

The simplest, and the most probable reason for the lack of inclusion of this storyline, is that given The Clone Wars cancellation, Disney only had so much to offer Lucasfilm in terms of budget and time to produce a final season of The Clone Wars, and this story arc ultimately did not make the cut. In addition, the last season only had twelve episodes, while earlier seasons (sans season six) had about twenty episodes apiece. So season seven was already truncated. Consequently, Lucasfilm had to prioritize, and they simply decided to prioritize The Bad Batch and Ashoka-heavy episodes, which they probably thought would be the most popular among the fans.

Another reason it could have been left unfinished is because it somehow conflicted with established canon, although nothing seemed to conflict with established canon then or even now. However, plot redundancy may have been a concern. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was probably already on the drawing board at that point, and the significance of the Kyber Crystals and connection to the Death Star were addressed in the film. There were also not one, but two, Star Wars Rebels episodes, Breaking Ranks (Season 1, Episode 5) and In The Name of the Rebellion (Season 4, Episode 4), whose subplots dealt with destroying or using Kyber Crystals. Consequently, by the time the seventh season of The Clone Wars was announced, Lucasfilm may have felt that another Kyber Crystal-related storyline might have just been redundant.

One last possible reason might be the level of violence in this episode, which featured Grevious beheading a minion who had failed him, as well as Anakin killing several Utapauns, possibly making the episode seem just a little too violent for a show featured on Cartoon Network. However, by the time season seven was announced, The Clone Wars was no longer being run on Cartoon Network, and the final season was set to stream exclusively on Disney Plus, for which it may still have been considered too violent for their intended audience. Although it can indeed be argued that the seventh season and much of The Clone Wars series were not without some dark moments, particularly as the series drew closer to Revenge of the Sith. As we all know, Revenge of the Sith was also a much darker and more intense Star Wars film, garnering the first PG-13 rating for a Star Wars film.

While we may never know the reason(s) for the lack of inclusion of this storyline, as, with many things, the most straightforward answer is likely the best one. Therefore, I can see why many fans are disappointed that Crystal Crisis and other story-reels were not completed, and I feel the same way. However, it is rare for canceled series to be continued or given life in different forms, and Lucasfilm ended up giving us another fully completed season of The Clone Wars, as well as full-length novel and comic book series for two other unfinished stories, so, in the end, fans of the show really did come out on top. I hope that we will see this storyline finished in one form or another one day. However, at least owners of the Blu-ray release of The Lost Missions will still have access to this story in its unfinished form.

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Written by Mara Butler

Source(s): Wookiepedia

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