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

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Maul and the Death Watch

As much as I’m not a fan of Darth Maul returning to The Clone Wars, this past episode was pretty interesting.  It was also a breath of fresh air after the last four episode arc that had R2-D2, an annoying pit droid, and an even more annoying frog-like miniature commander.

Maul and Savage Opress get rescued on their ship (see, I can’t even remember what happened beforehand or why they needed to be rescued…it looks like their ship had had an accident and there was no food or water so they were lying their unconscious) by a group of Mandalorians known as the Death Watch.

Once recovered, Darth Maul finds out more about the Death Watch: they want to return the Mandalorians to their “ancient roots” of warriors and you get the feeling that they are pretty violent crew.  To do this, they want to kill Duchess Satine Kryze who is now leading the planet of Mandalore with the intent of creating a pacifist nation.  Satine is also hanging out with Obi-Wan so naturally, this enrages the Death Watch and they want to kill him too.  Lots of happiness and butterflies, n’est-ce pas?  Darth Maul agrees to help them out in this quest because he has a personal vengeance against Obi-Wan, but would also love to just pop off all the Jedi.  There is a lot more history behind the Death Watch and Satine, but I will not go into it here.

Pre Vizsla angry at Darth Mauls decisions

Now, up to this point, I thought, Ok, this makes sense.  Terrorist group + two insane Sith = good match.

But when Darth Maul tells Savage Oppress about his plan to join the Death Watch he says, “They possess honor.”

With which Savage replies, “Another weakness.”

And here we find a distinction between the Sith and the Death Watch.  Though so similar in their intentions, the Sith are constantly over arrogant and confident in their abilities.  Maul thinks that these petty Mandalorians have honor and therefore would not stab him and Opress in the back.   How nearsighted of him.  Does he forget he’s essentially dealing with a terrorist group?  I agree the Death Watch could have honor, but perhaps that honor is just amongst them and this so-called honor may not extend to outside forces.

Pre Vizsla is definitely planning something on the side, though we don’t know specifics of what Pre Vizsla and his team is planning.  But along with significant glances between him and Bo-Katan, and his comment that both Sith will be dead after they get Mandalore, you know he’s up to no good.  Is Maul and Savage’s presumption going to be their downfall?  Maul believes he can dispose of them easily enough once he gets what he wants…

Darth Maul and Pre Vizsla

But what does Darth Maul want?  As the episode progressed, we see Pre Vizsla get increasingly frustrated with Maul and how he took over the organization of the mission.  Darth Maul tells Pre Vizsla that he will still get Mandalore but Maul would command an entire underworld.  They went from getting revenge on one planet and one leader, to a takeover of numerous systems.

The Death Watch is satisfied with their original plan of revenge.  The Sith want more and more, never ceasing in their quest for revenge.  Would Darth Maul actually be happy with the death of Obi-Wan?  Of course not.  He’s a Sith and the Sith want unlimited power.

I just thought this was an interesting, subtle comparison that played out well throughout the episode.  You would think that taking two supremely evil groups and pairing them up would be a recipe for success.  And yet we see that the more evil you stir into the pot, the more chaotic and unruly it becomes.  An explosion will happen, but who will end up on top?  The Death Watch or the Sith?