Breathtaking is the only possible way to describe episode five of ‘Ahsoka’. It’s fan service, pure and simple, but it was fan service that was earned and done right. The episode delivers on what fans have wanted to see for decades but also pushes the story forward into a new galaxy.
A live-action reunion between Ahsoka and Anakin was foretold long before the series even began, but no one could have expected it to go the way that it did. Anakin Skywalker is more antagonistic to Ahsoka than fans might expect, attempting to guide her through a final lesson. It’s a surprising twist, but one that keeps the episode fresh.
In this journey, audiences see a fantastic lightsaber duel between master and apprentice before transitioning to flashbacks from ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. There are two, one from the Battle of Ryloth early on in the Clone War and the Siege of Mandalore from the very end. Both are pivotal to Ahsoka’s journey, displaying to her the cost of command. Captain Rex appears in beautiful Phase Two Clone Armor, voiced by Temuera Morrison.
The scenes give some context to how the padawans of the Clone Wars era felt. Cal Kestis, Ahsoka Tano, and Caleb Dume weren’t trained as peacekeepers, but as soldiers. A conversation between Ahsoka and Anakin shows the disconnect between the Jedi Order’s beliefs and actions, with clones dying by the dozen and Ahsoka is trying to reconcile this. She faces her fear of Vader and comes to terms with her master’s downfall.
Young Ahsoka is played fantastically by Ariana Greenblatt, who embodies Ahsoka’s sass and rebelliousness. She has had a fantastic career already. Not only has she played young Gamora in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, and young kid in the smash-hit ‘Barbie but she can now add playing a younger Ahsoka Tano to her CV. And she’s only 16.
Above ground, Hera and the X-Wing pilots are searching for Ahsoka. Jacen demonstrates his aptitude in the force and plot relevance by sensing the duel and guiding Hera to Ahsoka. The New Republic continues down the road of being antagonists, ordering Hera to be stripped of her rank for a small disobedience. It’s a bit unrealistic, especially as Hera is a war hero. Some pushback is expected but ordering her to stand trial is a bit much.
The CGI throughout the episode looks very convincing. In the flashbacks, audiences get treated to a heavily CG sequence, complete with explosions, AT-TE walkers, Republic gunships, the works. The World Between Worlds, three New Republic ships, and the Ghost look fantastic. It’s a marked improvement over past ‘Star Wars’ series.
While previous episodes were slow paced, this episode furthered Ahsoka’s growth. She now appears jollier and more willing to believe in a positive future. While this episode spent most of its time looking back and giving fans everything, they could ever hope for, the end of the episode thrusts the season into lightspeed.