TV Recap: STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS S3E16 Altar of Mortis


Just when you think you're safely away from Mortis, you're pulled back in. Though Anakin denied his role as the keeper of balance between Light and Dark, it was not meant for him to leave. The Son has other intentions for the Chosen One. Episode 16 of season three Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Altar of Mortis," takes us back to the home of the Father, Daughter, and the Son.

Anakin is troubled by bad dreams. He, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka are leaving Mortis, but Anakin sees the Son. The Son wants him to stay so that they can sway the balance of the Force to the Dark side and rule the universe. It turns out that it's more than a dream. The Son appears on the ship and kidnaps Ahsoka; he wants to use her as bait. Anakin would never leave her, and the Son knows that. Anakin takes the helm from Obi-Wan and pursues the winged Son. They end up crashing their ship conveniently on the front steps of the Son's tower.

Anakin wants to go after Ahsoka immediately even though Obi-Wan points out that it could be a set-up. Practical as ever, he suggests that they should visit the Father for guidance first. Anakin knows the Father is weakened though and heads towards the Son's keep (that looks a lot like Orthanc). He can't make it in time to help Ahsoka though. She's been bitten, literally, by the Dark side. The Son leaves her to change and pays a visit to the Father. He knows his Father is frail, and like all rebellious children, he pushes his boundaries. Actually, he blows right past them. When his Father threatens to contain him, the Son pushes him down stairs with Force lightning. Yeah, you thought you had issues with your teenagers.

Obi-Wan arrives just in time to see the Son's treacherous deed. He and the Daughter see to the old man. He survives, but he is further weakened. Obi-Wan warns the Daughter that her brother must be stopped. She wants to see the good in him though. She points out that “it is her way to be selfless and his way to be selfish.” She doesn't even believe that her brother caused the Father's injuries. She at least acknowledges that he is becoming too powerful. She is forbidden to stop it directly, but she leads Obi-Wan to a mystical cave that holds the one object that can stop her brother. It is a dagger drawn from the Altar of Mortis.

While Obi-Wan is finding +5 daggers of Force-smiting, Anakin searches for Ahsoka. He eventually makes his way up the steep wall of the tower; he seems relieved to find Ahsoka. The relief turns to confusion fast when he sees what has happened to her. She faces him; her skin looks cracked with black lines, her eyes are ringed with deep purple, and her pupils are a sickly yellow. She's got a bit of an attitude too. The Son asked her to give a message to Anakin: If Anakin doesn't join him, he will kill Ahsoka. To force Anakin's hand, the Son makes Ahsoka attack her Master. And she does, happily.

The Daughter and Obi-Wan arrive to confront the Son. The Son doesn't seem to notice the Dagger of Mortis stuck in Obi-Wan's belt. The Daughter finally sees her brother for what he really is – Dark and evil. She stands her ground and says that she refuses to let him leave the planet. Obi-Wan stands with her until the Son points out that Anakin is in need of some help. Obi-Wan and Anakin battle off a fierce, determined, and possessed Ahsoka while the sister and brother fight to the death. The Son seems more powerful because of his hate, but they are equally matched. The Daughter knows the truth and fights back with all she has.

The fight for the balance of the Force is serious; it awakes the Father from his healing slumber. He arrives and demonstrates that is still capable of keeping his children in check. He breaks up their fight and throws both the children out a tower window. They crash into the courtyard where the Jedi are fighting. The effort weakened him though. The Son launches a fresh attack, and the Father isn't able to block it. He is overcome. Since the Son is distracted, Obi-Wan seizes the moment and tries to give the dagger to Anakin. Dark Ahsoka intercepts it. She delivers it right to the hands of the Son. Her usefulness has ended, and he casts her away. She seems to be lifeless. The Son turns the dagger on the Father but just as he goes in for the kill, the Daughter jumps in to save her father's life. She can be killed by the dagger too. The Son flies away, but you can't tell whether it's in anger or sorrow or both.

The balance of the planet has been broken. The Father feels responsible for destroying everything. He cannot undo things. His daughter is lost. She uses the last of her Light and life to restore Ahsoka. The Father warns that the crumbling balance of the planet means that war will escalate in the galaxy. The Son's toppling of the Light will make the Sith stronger. Dark times are ahead.

Trivia & Notes

Once again, we have Sam Witwer and Adrienne Wilkinson returning to the Star Wars universe from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed to lend their voices to Son and Daughter.

This mythos-deep story has heavy implications to the whole of Star Wars. With a father and twins, one male, one female being the Force-balancing equation, we'll see that repeated in the timeline. Anakin Skywalker, who was meant to take The Father's place, will father twins, a son, and a daughter. The son, Luke Skywalker, is tempted and nearly drawn to the dark side of the force. Later, Leia, Luke's twin sister, will play parent to twins of her own, Jaina and Jacen Solo. You guessed it, Jacen turns to the dark side, and Jaina is the light balance that eventually has to take his life to keep it in check.

Additional reporting by Lucas Siegel

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