The day has finally arrived. The day I legitimately felt something while watching this season of ‘Clone Wars.’
It’s not that the first arc was BAD, per se. It was just disappointing. While in my recaps I tend to find the good in all episodes, I am absolutely, positively, and completely an Ahsoka shill. She is probably in the top three as far as my favorite ‘Star Wars’ characters go.
A significant number of ‘Clone Wars’ fans are older and, while feeling the same feelings of nostalgia and happiness for the character, were among those who, at Ahsoka’s beginnings, relentlessly hated on Ahsoka. In a lot of online forums, they thought she was bratty, annoying, arrogant, and part of some agenda in very isolated areas of the conversation (doesn’t sound too far from what is happening now, is it?).
I was among those who, in some realm, vaguely disliked her, but were too young to overtly hate her like some in the ‘Star Wars’ community. But, instead of Dave Filoni and team pulling her completely, he worked with her character and made her into the confident, powerful, sensible, and poignant Jedi she becomes towards the end of the series. Of course it really took a LOT of work. Ahsoka spent the first two seasons in this purgatory of internet discussion. I was not a part of it (because I was seven years old), but looking at it in videos after the fact, it was the same ridiculous fanboy banter that I see in the 500000 ‘Last Jedi’ video essays.
But here, we see her in full form, and almost uncharacteristically so. She’s still plucky, but it’s a pluckiness that is evident in those who spent a lot of time in a lot of precarious situations. This is a very obscure image, but that’s why I used it. Her humor is darker, her attitude more somber like those of her former-ilk. She is seen riding away in a new outfit through the lower levels of Coruscant, and midway the motor blows and causes her to knock into all manner of ships, giving us some much needed whacky Jedi hijinks. She crashes down and lands in a hangar on level 1313.
We meet our new characters, Trace and Rafa, sisters doing their trade in acquired droids and ship repair. Ahsoka is taken in when her bike crashes by Trace, but Rafa distrusts her, due to her newness to their operation and opposition to how they make money (back-handed methods, something the straight-laced Jedi would be opposed to). Rafa has to make a deal with a “didn’t have this conversation” type of character to give them heavy lifting droids.
One thing I would like to comment on is the rather insignificant appearance of these two sisters. They look a lot like just regular bystanders. I think their simple design speaks to the idea in ‘Star Wars’ that everyone has a story to tell and has their own burdens to bear, from the highest level of office to the lowest levels of capitalist/authoritarian ‘Star Wars.’ These people, who Ahsoka just happened upon, look insignificant and not particularly eye catching in a crowd, but that is the point.
Ahsoka in their first meeting, however, happens to meet an employer of theirs with some bodyguards, a rather indescribable mix of a squid and a mafia boss with two large green asparagus aliens. They demand money from Rafa, Trace’s sister, but they refuse. They begin attacking her, but not before Ahsoka, in her own, stylish, exciting fashion, completely wipes the floor with all three of them quickly. Trace decides to trust her and fix her bike for free, compared to constantly saying she will charge her when she enters the hangar.
Ahsoka develops a rapport with Trace, bonding over their shared struggles living under oppressive circumstances. Ahsoka hides her past, but by way of hiding it in veiled language. Where did she learn her Jedi powers? From her “older brother.”
They repair these huge hulking droids similar in building style as the bounty hunter droids from ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’ (the video game released last year on PS4, Xbox, etc.). As they repair them and prepare for being sold, Ahsoka realizes these droids are recalled droids because of their violent tendencies, and in a timely fashion, one of them turns on and starts attacking anything in the frame whenever it appears. Ahsoka and Trace chase after it, with fun and colorful action sequences that I feel only get accomplished within animated shows and movies.
They finally catch up, and Trace has to get on top of the droid to turn it off. It begins climbing up a wall, and Trace tensely holds on. She manages to turn it off, but not before it falls off of the ledge it was on. Ahsoka has a speeder-forklift they used to chase after the robot to catch it in midair, with Trace barely surviving the fall. But due to its weight, the forklift cannot hold it, and it begins to fall from the ledge they’re on. She then attaches it with a cable, and with the Force, pulls it up to save the droid and Trace.
When coming back, Rafa decides to sell them anyways, Ahsoka being opposed to it due to the violence they could potentially cause. Rafa refuses and chastises her, getting the money to pay off the squid mafia boss alien. Ahsoka then poses a real and terrible question to Trace: at what cost does their dream of being rich begin to hurt them? When will these problems they keep creating for themselves begin to catch up to them? This is a reality that many of the people in lower classes have to face, and the same with people in ‘Star Wars’ as well.