Star Wars: The Clone Wars more or less ends right here. Sure, there’s a sixth season, but that’s full of scraps and side stories. Ahsoka has been the heart and soul of the show, and her arc ends here. Let’s dig in.
1. Ahsoka’s build up
From her first introduction as a somewhat annoying padawan to the moment where she walks away from being a Jedi, Ahsoka grew an incredible amount over the course of the series. Her character arc is pretty remarkable in a few ways, and not always ones that reflect well on George Lucas. For instance, Ahsoka’s journey is far more convincing and moving than Anakin’s over the course of the prequels. Yes, you can claim there was more time, but Lucas could build three films around Anakin’s journey any way he chose to; he chose “yippee!,” hatred of sand, and the “noooooooooo” heard ’round the galaxy.
2. “I didn’t kill my wife.” “I don’t care.”
The moment of Ahsoka about to jump into the underbelly of Coruscant was ripped totally out of The Fugitive, to an almost comical degree. Obviously, Anakin and Ahsoka have more of a relationship than Richard Kimble and US Marshall Gerard, but the setting, the tone of the conversation, everything, was a real nod to that film. At first I found this really odd, but then I remembered that The Fugitive starred Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford. Pretty sneaky, sis.
3. “These are strange times”
What I loved about this arc was that just about everything felt off. This is the first set of episodes that really embraced the ambiguity that comes during moments of great distress. Sure, the Jedi want to believe Ahsoka, but they are distrustful of her and, arguably, rightly so (more on that in a moment). Everyone seems so out of place in these episodes, from Ahsoka on the run to Anakin being torn up, to the Jedi council being frustrated, to the Clones following orders in ways they don’t always agree with.
When your life starts to break down, even normal things feel absurd. “Why bother brushing my teeth if the world’s going to end tomorrow?” is an actual thought I had right after September 11th, as nuts as that sounds. These characters find themselves in situations they never expected, like Ahsoka teaming with Ventress, or even Ahsoka walking away from the Jedi.
Back to this idea of the Jedi turning their backs on Ahsoka. Ventress says to Ahsoka that the Jedi abandoned her, and in a way she’s right. And yes, the Jedi should have given Ahsoka the benefit of the doubt but, again, think about the circumstances: they are at war, and the evidence seems overwhelming. Now, that’s not an excuse to write her off, but you can understand the mistrust. Ventress, a character that acts in extremes, would of course see this as total betrayal. But I don’t know Ahsoka necessarily views it that way. I think she understands why they acted the way they did, and that is part of why she has to leave.
4. A pretty clear MacGuffin
Barriss was so clearly the true villain that it was almost comical. I get why the show has to do this sort of stuff; for all the time we’ve spent with Ahsoka, we’ve never really seen her with her friends, and understandably so. But having the betrayer be a minor character makes this feel like far less of a betrayal than it should have. I’m not sure who you could substitute in here, but it just feels like the producers had to look at a call sheet of voice actors and pick someone who wouldn’t be brand new but isn’t so established that it would change something major. Again, the show didn’t know it was ending, so maybe they were going to do more with Barriss. Especially because her view of the Jedi being corrupted is a really interesting one. It just falls flat due to the circumstances of this episode.
5. The Long Walk
Ahsoka choosing to leave is a really great choice, as it sort of throws everything we know about the Jedi, especially at this point, away. This is years before we hear of Luke deciding to abandon the Force, so someone choosing not to be a Jedi seems crazy to us. But it is also the right choice for the character and for the show. This is one instance where the order of episodes really hurt things. The three arcs right before this didn’t really feel like they were leading here, but the Saw Gerrera arc absolutely did. If that arc had been swapped with Ahsoka’s time with the younglings, it would’ve helped quite a bit.Continued below
Because what happens there? We see Ahsoka begin to question the tactics of the Jedi/Republic, and begin to see what rebels can offer. This would be yet another reason to doubt their wisdom, and it would’ve built on it nicely. But since that arc, we saw her help younglings create their lightsabers, as “I’m totally into this Jedi shit” move as there is. If those two arcs would’ve been flip-flopped, especially if you put the Droids arc in between them, would’ve made this finale feel a whole lot more natural.
But that said, this is some good, good stuff. I’m sad that season 6 will be without Ahsoka, but I also know she’ll be back in Rebels. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m getting stoked.
Next week: the Lost Missions begin!