Clone Wars Season 5 Finale: My Thoughts Part II

Final thoughts about the end of Season 5 of The Clone Wars.  There was a lot going on in these episodes, but what stood out to me primarily were the clones and their reactions to the events and just how messed up the Jedi Council had become.

I always had a problem in Revenge of the Sith with Order 66 and how quickly the clones turned on the Jedi.  And as I watched TCW over these few years, it seemed even more unlikely that the Clones would turn on the Jedi when they seemed to be mostly capable of independent thoughts and were quite close to many of the Jedi they served under.  You could see inklings of that in Revenge of the Sith with the banter between Rex and Obi-Wan.

What these episodes of TCW helped me realize is that the key lies in the fact that the Jedi were labeled as “traitors”.  In TCW, Ahsoka was labeled as a traitor for (supposedly) bombing the Temple and though Anakin gave orders Clone trooper clone wars s5ep18to the Clones to bring her in alive, they followed higher up orders from Tarkin to stun her and I believe at one point, kill her.  It shed light on how the clones were able to easily kill the Jedi in ROTS with no hesitation.  “Traitor” is a word they do not suffer lightly as their allegiance is to the Republic (later Empire) and whoever is in charge of it (Palpatine).  How easy it was for me to think they served the Jedi and forget that they were trained to serve the Republic. This helped me to understand the clone’s mentality better and if you watched these episodes closely, you notice that the whole arc mirrored ROTS and Order 66…probably on purpose.

Secondly, with these episodes, I got to see how involved the Jedi had become in politics.  When Grand Moff Tarkin said that Ahsoka would stand a trial by the Senate, Yoda barely argued.  He seemed to briefly state that he wanted to a fair trial in the order of “Jedi Tradition” (whatever that means), but Tarkin quickly overrode him.  What happened to the Jedi?  I was so disappointed to see themjedi council observing ahsoka's trial s5ep20 walked over, but understood it was necessary for the downfall of the Order in the Republic.  Briefly Yoda mentions to Ahsoka that the Dark Side was clouding everything, but it was a lame excuse at the wrong time.  Throughout all these episodes they seemed to be going along with Tarkin’s assumption that Ahsoka was in the wrong.  The funny thing about Tarkin too, is that you get the impression that he was behind the attacks in some way.   Unfortunately, that’s never proven but I wonder if he knew it was Barriss all along.  There were plenty of evil smirks and grins coming from him whenever he accused Ahsoka.  Or maybe he was just really out to prove that the council was not as powerful as it once was and the whole situation played nicely in his hands.  The whole trial of Ahsoka really showed how weak and less influential the Jedi Council had become as a group.

Slowly and reluctantly, I’ve begun to realize that I like how TCW ties into the movies and fills up some back stories.  Sure, I’ve had problems with it – namely Darth Maul returning from the dead, too much time on main characters, but overall I have appreciated their attempts to answer lingering questions that may not have been covered in the prequels.  In these episodes, we see the Jedi slowly losing their influential power as well as the Senate/Republic/Palpatine/Tarkin gaining more ground.  It’s easier for me to understand now that when Palpatine accused the Jedi of attacking him and creating his disfigurement, people of the Senate bought into it so willingly.  Not only did the Clones turn against a Jedi, but it all makes a lot more sense in how this reflects back onto ROTS.  As Palpatine/Tarkin folk get stronger, the Clones allegiance is tied more closely to them and further away from the Jedi.  So when Order 66 is issued, it was really not that hard to execute it.

Ahsoka, Anakin, Tarkin, Barriss clone wars s5ep18

Ahsoka’s Departure: Clone Wars Season 5 Finale Part I

Yup, my post was so long that I will have to split it into two parts to get all my thoughts on the latest episode out onto this blog.

Ok, ok, everyone.  Let’s stop crying.  Let’s stop acting like this is the end of the world.  It’s a TV show.  Yes, the finale involved a major moment for Ahsoka and Anakin, but it’s still an animated TV show.

I can tell you, though, that these past 4 episodes have been a fresh of breath air for The Clone Wars.  After spending most of December with a boring side plot line that involved droids and a little frog character, TCW got back on the right footing with the Darth Maul/Death Watch story line.  I mean, they even killed off a semi-main character (Duchess Satine, if you’re wondering)!  But it wasn’t until these past four episodes of TCW that it began to get interesting and intense.  I’ve been holding off writing on it only because I wanted to know what happened in the Season 5 finale episode.

In a nutshell, this is what has happened in the past four episodes:

A portion of the Jedi Temple is blown up.  Jedi’s die and so do civilian workers.  Is a Jedi behind this or a civilian?  Investigation begins, led by Anakin and Ahsoka.

While Ahsoka is interviewing a main suspect, the suspect is Force strangled in the air and it looks like Ahsoka killed her.  Conveniently, the security cameras had their sound disabled so we can’t hear Ahsoka crying for help as the woman is strangled.  We now know that a Jedi is behind the attacks, but it looks like Ahsoka is the culprit.

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

The Jedi want to bring Ahsoka in for questioning, but Ahsoka runs for it and every step she takes makes it look more and more like she is the one behind the attack.  Anakin seems to be the only one who believes she is innocent, but the council bans her from the Jedi Order.  Ahsoka meets up with Asajj Ventress and they try to get to the bottom of it.  Ahsoka finally ends up being captured and is put on a trial in front of Tarkin (yes, Grand Moff Tarkin when he was younger) and is given the death sentence.  Thankfully, Anakin comes in to save the day and you realize it was actually Ahsoka’s friend, Jedi Barriss, who was behind the attacks.  The Council ends up apologizing to Ahsoka and asks her to rejoin the Jedi.  Ahsoka declines and leaves the Council and Anakin.

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Yup.  We see Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order for good – hence the many internet wails of sadness, real or otherwise.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.  I’ve been wondering for a long time how they would get rid of Ahsoka on TCW since we all know she doesn’t end up in Revenge of the Sith.  I held the belief that she would fall in love with Lux and leave the Jedi Order for love, doing what Anakin could not.  But this is more poignant.  It’s a crash of beliefs and ideals that Ahsoka held so high.  Being a Jedi is your life.  There’s no turning away and why would you want to?  It’s a hard life, but also an extremely gratifying one and a life that not many people get the ability to experience.  You are the special elite – almost more so than high officials of the Republic.

The tables were turned in this episode where Ahsoka was once viewed as the deceiver, she now looks at the Jedi as traitors.  They did not believe her innocence and they were her family, her life.  She was betrayed by them, and now they are betrayed by her as she turns her back on them.  The mirroring was so perfectly done.

Ahsoka does what Anakin cannot, or does not, have the will to do. She leaves.  Anakin should have left when he married Padmé.  His life would have probably been better and easier without the pressure of the Jedi.   As things get worse within the Jedi Order and as the Dark Side begins to cloud everything, Ahsoka sees clearly enough to know that it’s time to get out of there and to figure things out on her own.

What’s great about Ahsoka’s departure is that you still root for her.  You know and understand that she cannot be part of the Jedi Order after how they turned on her.  She was basically treated as a prisoner and her only advocate was Anakin.  At the end of the episode, Anakin says to her, “I understand wanting to walk away from the Order.”  All Ahsoka says in return is, “I know.”  You get the feeling then that she knows more than she let on.  Does she know about Anakin’s marriage to Padmé?  Probably.  Does she understand Anakin’s frustrations with the Council, the inner Jedi politics, the outward politics affecting the purity of the Jedi?  I think she definitely does now.

What a great way to end TCW…especially as we don’t know what will happen next season.  Now that it’s in Disney’s hands, we still don’t know if it will continue to air on Cartoon Network or if it will continue to air at all.  If this is the end of TCW, they did it perfectly, which almost makes me hope they don’t keep the series going on.  We have an open page now for Ahsoka, which I’m sure the EU would love to expand upon.  She is technically no longer a Jedi so she may not be killed with Order 66.  Also with this ending, you see why Anakin never mentions his former Padawan in ROTS since it may be too painful for him.  It also sheds more light on how the Jedi react to events in the third prequel movie and to Anakin’s continuing frustration with the Jedi.  It provides a good foundation for Palpatine to start gnawing into Anakin’s doubts and uncertainties regarding the Council, Mace Windu, and Yoda.

Bravo.  Clone Wars – you definitely converted me.  From a fan who was enraged over Ahsoka and the choice of even creating an animated series, I am now a huge fan of hers and glad I came around.  Thanks Clone Wars!  Hope to see you soon, but if not, it’s been fun.

Ahsoka leaves Anakin and Jedi Order