by @HolocronJosh for @sw_holocron
Ahsoka returned to The Clone Wars this week in an entertaining, albeit standard and lightweight episode. After leaving the Jedi Order, Ahsoka journeys across Coruscant when her speeder breaks down and her journey converges with Trace Martez, a young mechanic living on Level 1313.
One’s opinion on The Clone Wars as a whole is in large part determined by their opinion on Ahsoka as a character and how she fits into Star Wars canon, especially in the earlier seasons of The Clone Wars in which she has a more consistent, substantial role in the show. Over time, we’ve gotten to know Ahsoka more and more, including through the incredible Season 5 arc in which she leaves the Jedi Order, her intriguing role in Star Wars Rebels, and E.K. Johnston’s Ahsoka novel. And, while this episode does not offer the depth to the character seen in these installments of her story, this episode sheds light on Ahsoka’s values and personality now that she is not consumed by the Jedi Order’s way of doing things. Little moments in the episode like Ahsoka defending the Jedi Order against Trace Martez by saying that the Jedi didn’t start the war are great in their ability to highlight key parts of Ahsoka’s personality in relatively brief moments. The fact that Ahsoka, a woman who was not believed and felt betrayed by the people she considered family, defends the Jedi and their role in the war speaks volumes about her stance on right and wrong. So does Ahsoka’s willingness to help Trace on a somewhat shady task involving local gangsters and killer droids. This isn’t the squeaky clean Ahsoka we were introduced to in the 2008 film, calling Anakin “sky guy.” This is a more mature, calculated version of Ahsoka, who, now that she is not beholden by the doctrine of the Jedi, dictates her life as she sees fit, including helping people who helped her. In this sense, the episode was interesting in offering a new look at Ahsoka, bridging the gap between her falling out with the Jedi and the Ahsoka novel.
Exploring 1313 was also a highlight of this episode. Across the board, it seems that Star Wars fans have been yearning for more of Coruscant, in particular its underworld, for years now. And this episode delivers a little more on that, as has The Clone Wars show overall. Coruscant looks beautiful in this episode, truly echoing how amazing the planet looks in the prequel trilogy. From the colorful lighting of the streets to the different species populating the city to the griminess of the underworld, the animation this season is really impressive, especially in detailing environments.
Speaking of aesthetics, it’s interesting to see Ahsoka with the updated animation, as we did with several hallmark characters of the series in The Bad Batch arc. The facial animation adds a lot of nuisances to Ahsoka that compliments Ashley Eckstein’s consistently impressive performance as the character. The animation adds a certain maturity to the character, which aligns with her evolution since we last saw her (and her new outfit is great too). Other characters in the show, including the Martez sisters, look great, once again showing how the animation this season elevates the show to another level. This was probably best encapsulated by the climatic action sequence of the episode, speeding through the underbelly of Coruscant chasing after the droid. The action really evokes the feeling and tone of the prequel trilogy, in large part due to how refined and smooth the animation appears.
Although it’s entertaining to see Ahsoka return to the front, this episode was lacking a bit in regards to narrative and emotion, elements that this season of The Clone Wars has succeeded quite well in. That isn’t necessarily a negative, as this episode was clearly going for a light hearted, more child friendly re-introduction to Ahsoka. But, it would be nice to see more of the final episodes of this amazing show dedicated to dramatic character moments and key plot points as opposed to fun, yet lightweight and seemingly inconsequential episodes like this. That being said, this episode definitely succeeds in setting up Ahsoka’s journey for the rest of the show. She clearly still has strong feelings about the Jedi and is deeply affected by their “betrayal.” She’s a changed person, doing things and interacting with people she typically wouldn’t engage with as a Jedi. But she’s not a Jedi anymore. We know from promotional material and the E.K. Johnston novel that Ahsoka plays a major role in the Siege of Mandalore. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the show uses this episode as a springboard to launch her character into that more plot heavy arc with more broader narrative implications.
All in all, it was great to see Ahsoka again after several years since her final appearance in the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels. Ahsoka is a true staple of The Clone Wars show and era overall, so if there’s any character to spend a little more time exploring in a lighter, fun, less plot heavy episode it’s her. We’re definitely looking forward to the rest of season 7 of The Clone Wars and seeing more of Ahsoka’s journey leading up to the events in Revenge of the Sith in substantial episodes.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney, Starwars.com, and Disney Plus