The Clone Wars Rewatch: Vanquishing the “Ghosts of Mortis”

Anakin glimpses a dark and lonely future.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

61: “Ghosts of Mortis” (Season Three, Episode 17)

“He who seeks to control fate shall never find peace.”

A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis."

Synopsis:

The Jedi remain stranded on Mortis, and Anakin is stunned by images of his dark future while the Son promises him the power to avert this destiny.

A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis."

Analysis:

It’s time for Anakin to face who he really is, who he has the potential to become, and the pain he’s capable of inflicting on those he loves.

“Know yourself,” the Son taunts. “Know what you will become.”

A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis."

Always in motion is the future, but the one the Son provides is a horror show of Anakin’s greatest fears, and exactly the dark path we know he will walk down. Like Luke’s trials in the cave on Dagobah, he’s greeted by a terrifying possibility, suggesting a wretched end. For a moment, Anakin glimpses the monster that is Darth Vader and with fear as his compass agrees to join the Son in the hopes of avoiding this fate.

A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis." A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis."

Ironically, he’s joining with the dark side now to avoid becoming an instrument of evil later. Plant the seeds and Anakin’s fear will drive him down the path of darkness every time. But thanks to the intervention of the Father, his memory is wiped, the suggestion of that horrifying future erased…for now.

A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis." A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis."

Set back on the path of the righteous, the Father sacrifices himself to give the Jedi an opening, distracting the Son so he can be taken down by Anakin’s blue blade. This time, Anakin chooses the light. This time, he vanquishes the darkness on Mortis and in himself and brings the world into balance, all three god-like beings now gone.

A scene from "Ghosts of Mortis."

But we know he will fail to heed this warning: “Beware your heart.” After all, it’s his heart, his desire to control the world around him to try to avoid any future pain, his fear of loss, his attachment and failure to let go as the Jedi have taught him, all working in concert. Padmé, Padmé, Padmé. The name, like the beating of a heart, will propel him toward his destiny as the Emperor’s pawn.

Intel:

  • The lava in the well of the dark side shares some similarities to the landscape of Mustafar during the fateful duel in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when Anakin and Obi-Wan attempt the daring rescue of a Jedi Master and Captain Tarkin in “The Citadel.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

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