March 5, 2013

The Clone Wars Season Five Finale Made Me Cry

Warning: spoilers ahead for “The Wrong Jedi,” the season five finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

After years of wondering what would happen to the little Togruta Padawan who annoyed us and then charmed us, we finally got a hint as to what her fate will be in the final arc of season five. I don't think it could have played out much better. Ahsoka's on her own path now, and I don't think there's any doubt her decision deeply affected Anakin.

Knowing Ahsoka isn't around for Revenge of the Sith left a cloud hanging over her character. I wasn't sure what would happen with her. I didn't want to see her die, but I also felt whatever was going to happen had to be drastic. It has to propel Anakin further towards the Dark side and would probably push his mistrust of the Jedi Council. She's not out of the woods yet, but it looks like there is a way for her to survive and have the necessary effect upon her former master.

I was surprised by the way the Jedi Council acted during the four part arc that began with sabotage at the Jedi Temple and ended with a wrongly accused Ahsoka expelled by the Jedi Order and targeted for a military tribune. They took a guilty until proven innocence stance with Ahsoka and given her record has been pretty spotless, I feel like they gave in to their suspicions because it was easy. Yoda even stated the great extent to which the Dark side of the Force was clouding everything so why wouldn't he push everyone to give Ahsoka more of a chance? I don't understand.

I'd expect as much from the ambitious Tarkin and the military, but I expected more of the Jedi who have taught Ahsoka all these years and watched her grow and develop. I'm looking at you, Plo Koon.

If I felt the pain of their betrayal, I can only begin to imagine how it made Ahsoka feel. Seeing the Council divided and watching only Anakin stand up for had to hurt. And it was probably confusing. Once you stack Barriss Offee's backstabbing on top of it... I don't think Ahsoka had any choice but to leave. Though the Council spun the ordeal as a trial which made Ahsoka a stronger Jedi and coupled it with an apology, it wasn't enough to make up for the way they turned her backs on her. How could a person go back to following their guidance after being a firsthand victim of their mistakes?

Besides having to process the actions of the Jedi, I believe Ahsoka was also compelled to leave because maybe – just maybe – she saw truth in what Barriss said about the Jedi (I'm putting aside the fact that Barriss came out of left field for this arc). The members of the Jedi Order are no longer peacekeepers. They're involved in a violent war and though they shouldn't even be involved in the fight, they don't appear to be backing off. I think the seeds of doubt were planted in Ahsoka's mind a while ago. Definitely by the Onderon arc earlier in the season.
From Star Wars: The Clone Wars Facebook page
Now that she's off on her own, I expect big things. Her character development over five seasons has been nothing short of astounding. She hasn't been Snips for a long time, and she's more than capable of being a leader. I believe she can forge a heroic path for herself and perhaps this decision will keep her safe from order 66. Though I think we'll see her on her own for a while, I wouldn't be surprised if Anakin tries to track her down to try to get her to come back to the Temple.

Speaking of Anakin, think of how he will feel about losing his Padawan because the Council didn't trust her. It's just another reason to second guess them, and he's sure to channel some of the blame on himself. Asajj Ventress didn't help when she pointed out how Ahsoka was abandoned by her master, just as she was abandoned by hers. 

The season finale packed a powerful punch. The final scene between Anakin and Ahsoka had me in tears. I think it's the most emotional and heavy moment the series has had. Since Anakin has thought about splitting from the Order too, he's not able to be the most persuasive. Ahsoka - who I think revealed she knows about Padmé with her response to Anakin - needed more. Though I'm heartbroken for everyone, I'm happy to see the character I love take another huge step in her journey and find her own way.

Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, Dave Filoni, Kevin Kiner, and every person who touched any part of directing, writing, lighting, animating, and designing this arc delivered on a level that is simply unbelievable for a cartoon.

I can't wait to see what's next for The Clone Wars.

While we're on the topic: what's next for the series is up in the air at the moment. We know it's not going to be on Cartoon Network, but Disney hasn't announced it will be on any of their schedules either. Now is the time to speak up to Disney about this show you love and make your voice heard. Rebel Force Radio has been spearheading this campaign, and they're encouraging fans to send polite letters to the below addresses (you can visit their Facebook page to get letter templates and more info):

Disney Studios
500 S Buena Vista St
Burbank, CA 91521
Attn: Bob Iger

P.O. Box 29901
San Francisco, CA 94129-0901
Attn: Kathleen Kennedy

You can call and leave a voicemail about the series at 708-320-1RFR. Rebel Force Radio will put all the voicemails on a CD and send it off to the people who need to hear them. Don't let season five be the last season of The Clone Wars we see on television.


  1. I must say, even though I hadn't seen any of Season 4 yet (and only the last two arcs of Season 5), I felt really emotional during the final scenes too.

    There's also the moment in Episode III to consider when Anakin is accepted onto the Council yet he is not made a Master. As we know, you need to train your first Padawan to knighthood before that honour. Anakin is outraged, but the Council remeains silent. Since The Clone Wars started in '08, we've really known why.


    1. I didn't think about the training a Padawan requirement. Things come together!

  2. I too am surprised about the Jedi Council's actions in this story arc - that they are so suspicious and not investigatory seems very out of character for the jedi in general... and not willing to fight for one of their own, even. as you know, i feel that ahsoka shoulders some of the responsibility for her fate (in not speaking up about her contact with bariss, or even really sharing her testimony with anyone), but the sham trial in the jedi chamber of justice just felt very wrong. because they had to hand her over to the Republic for military trial, they somehow channeled that into proclaiming her guilty so they could feel ok with expelling her.

    is it the cloud of the dark side? or is the jedi council really really off course. barriss seems to think the latter. no matter what they do, they keep losing.

    1. I think it's a combination of both. I especially don't understand how they could recognize the shroud of the Dark side but STILL send Ahsoka out the door. :/

  3. I was so pissed that the Council turned its back so quickly on Ahsoka then had the balls to say our bad, we goofed. I think Ahsoka goes to a bar finds Ventress and they have an understanding and head off to right the wrongs of those that cant fight.

    1. I like the thought of Ahsoka and Ventress teaming up - lots of potential fun and conflict.

  4. While I'm surprised at the Jedi Council's actions, I really dug where they went with the show this season. It was everything that I was hoping The Clone Wars would be from the start. It has really developed and become the tie in between old and new Star Wars fans.

    I'm hoping that Disney will continue with the series. It's really sparked some new life into the franchise and I want to see where it goes from here.

  5. I had real mixed feelings about this one.

    As drama, it rocked; the whole storyline had a heft and an emotional weight that I wish the Anakin storyline of Episodes 2 and 3 had had; strange to see a bunch of CGI play human actors off the screen, but they did. And it was a logical and worthy conclusion to the Ahsoka story arc.

    I had some real issues though with the way the SW:TCW writers have been cavalier with the EU canon and in this case I thought their use of Bariss Offee was careless to the point of sloppy.

    First was the apparent disregard for the "rules" of the SW universe. We're suddenly supposed to buy that Bariss has snapped and gone all darkside, turned apprentice Sith and none of her close friends in the Order have noticed her emotional turmoil or her Darkness? And especially Ahsoka, who has been as close as anyone to Bariss, and yet couldn't tell that the mysterious assailant she dueled in "To Catch A Jedi" was her BFF Bariss?

    We've been told all along that everyone has a distinctive signature in the Force. Vader and Luke can "see" each other across an expanse of empty space over Endor. Yoda tells Thire and the two close troopers on Rugosa that he can see them as individuals in the Force. And yet Ahsoka, as close a friend as Bariss has, couldn't tell that it was her BFF behind the lightsabers in the preceding episode?

    Frankly, I thought this reeked of writers who had written themselves into a corner and chose to "break the rules" of continuity rather than do the hard work of writing their way back out. Re-writing the whole Mandalorian backstory just to facilitate the underwritten Obi-wan/Satine "romance" was bad enough; this just seemed like pure laziness.

    And the other problem for me, frankly, is that there IS a huge moral issue as the center of the Clone Wars; the Order accepting and commanding a slave army. You'd think that the people we're presented as the "great souls" of the Order - particularly Yoda - would see the Darkness in that. But instead the only Jedi characters that seem angry or troubled are the small and the "marginal"; Bariss in this episode, Bardan Jusik in Traviss' Republic Commando series.

    But if Bariss was troubled by this it never turned up in her rant at the trial. As with the Pong Krell character, the writers took what I thought was the easy way out; instead of pointing out the moral dilemma of an order of "peacekeepers" fighting as officers on one side in a war, or leading slave-soldiers, or simply accepting violence as "solution", she is presented as merely an Enemy, a Darksider, and her acts in the temple bombing seem merely senselessly violent rather than a legitimate protest. Her whole part in the story seemed underwritten and poorly realized.

    Which was too bad, because I thought the Ahsoka story, and this episode in particular, was among the best in the series. C'mon, guys; you're doing some of the best work in the EU - let's step up your game and make CN beg you to return!


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