Ok, this is good. This is fine.
Finally a connection to that ridiculous plot thread that was left cut and dangling at the end of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Among the gangly limbs of Solo was a loose thread of Darth Maul appearing at the end to be the leader of a group called the “Crimson Dawn”. While I was very interested in it, it never really got developed. It was given a measly comic a while back, establishing itself as a crime syndicate of true power in the galaxy, but I really hope with the (rumored) Ahsoka live action series that Crimson Dawn gets its appearance with the word of mouth.
Audiences were extremely confused by the fact that Maul was even alive, given that many of them didn’t know he came back in ‘Clone Wars,’ and this bogged down the movie a bit as a solo movie given that it’s setting up many different plot lines that need their own treatment. But of course, this isn’t up to me and what I think is good. It’s up to the empress of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy.
More on Crimson Dawn later, we open the episode with Trace, Rafa, and Ahsoka still in jail. They can’t devise a plan, but Ahsoka decides to come up with one. It is probably the most convoluted plan I’ve heard of, but it’s not too hairbrained for a ‘Star Wars’ character, I suppose.
Ahsoka gets an audience with the Pyke leader, their captor, where Ahsoka fakes turning them in. She confesses that Rafa and Trace have the spice hidden off the planet, and that they will go get it within two rotations (days) in exchange for their lives, the protection of their family (who all died on Coruscant) and a small portion of the money. When they leave the room, the leader’s bodyguard comments on their obvious deception, and the leader says he knows, but that he cannot answer to “him” without the spice, him, we later find out to be Maul.
Ahsoka is put back in jail while the other two go back to Coruscant. They stall as Ahsoka, back on Oba Diah, attempts to steal some of the Pyke’s spice to make it look like they had spice to give the Pykes. Or at least, that’s what it seemed at first. It would have made sense for Ahsoka to do it, as with how seemingly poorly communicated the workers were (were they workers, or enslaved?) that Ahsoka could have taken a shipment herself and no one would have batted an eye. The only real problems would be the Pykes, who aren’t the only populace on Oba Diah, and also Bo-Katan, the bounty hunter on assignment on Oba Diah.
But we see Ahsoka instead setting up bombs all around the spice refinery, stanced up to blow it all to hell. While skulking around, Ahsoka happens upon a conversation between the Pyke leader and Maul, who seemingly has a tight grip on the Pykes, gearing up for a conquest of Mandalore, the coming conflict. What spice could be used for, I’m not sure besides funding for their operation. It seems that there is an increased sense of urgency to what is happening.
Trace and Rafa come back, attempting to steal back some spice. Rafa asserts her dominance here as an “expert” negotiator, and preys on a poor worker in charge of managing spice shipments to give them a special order of spice. Sadly, they can’t convince the manager of their promised spice shipment to give them said product. Then they get into a gratuitous fight in which I am not particularly interested in, although I do want to comment on Rafa’s adaptability. She is very much able to turn around a situation, even though she really bit off more than she could chew with this whole spice running business.
They manage to escape, without the shipment, expecting Ahsoka to have the spice, but in the meantime, while Ahsoka was setting up bombs, she was found out by the Pykes, the leader finding her. Ahsoka fights back, using the force in front of the Pykes, but still gets captured, having been found out as a Jedi, with the Pykes believing the Jedi are attempting to meddle in their operation. He asks if Trace and Rafa are Jedi, and she denies, saying they don’t know about her. They stun her and imprison her.
Ahsoka is brought to the leader, and Rafa and Trace claim they have the spice, but the Pyke leader knew their deception, that they’re working for the Republic and the Jedi. This is how they find out Ahsoka is a Jedi, but through a series of apologies by Ahsoka and an explosion of the spice plant, they escape the Pykes’ promised execution. Trace displays her piloting skills in a last ditch attempt to shoot down pursuers, and they escape back to Coruscant, Bo-Katan en route behind them.
They get back, and Ahsoka attempts to apologize, but they don’t want to hear it. They tell her that she should go back to being a Jedi, and Ahsoka says that she can’t, and we obviously know why (pained flashback to season five). Rafa, however, turns her anger into appreciation, commenting on Ahsoka’s kindness to them, that they got over their head. Then, out of nowhere, Bo-Katan comes in, calling truce with Ahsoka and asking help from her in order to assist in the coming conflict. Ahsoka agrees, and parts with Rafa and Trace on a high note.
And that’s it, I guess. What was the point of that? Like, seriously. What was the point of any of this? I have some sort of neutral anger inside me, like the feeling of the starting of a stomach ache or a sore throat. What was the point of this arc?
I understand, in some sense, this was meant to show Ahsoka’s adaptation to the underworld, to the thought of not being a Jedi. But in some ways, we already got a lot of what was portrayed here. We already got Ahsoka’s capability both without a lightsaber and without Jedi assistance with the Trandoshian Hunter arc. We already got an underworld/prohibited type of relationship with Lux Bonteri, Ventress, and so many others. What is the point?
We have four episodes left, meant to encapsulate a significant amount of storyline, especially Ahsoka’s comeback to being a Jedi. What is going on? Why does she have two blue lightsabers? Why is she even being associated with the Jedi when she’s supposed to be separate from them? Where did Bo-Katan come from, and what is her grudge? There’s so many things that just came out of literally nowhere, and is it because we aren’t following Anakin and Obi-Wan anymore? Is what Dave Filoni said true, that ‘Clone Wars’ is ONLY about Ahsoka and Rex, when it came down to it?
I guess we will have to see how it turns out. Regrettably, I will not be able to review it. This week’s set of articles are the last ones, so I will be leaving you on a cliffhanger. Perhaps when I come back in the Fall, I will give my final thoughts. Stay tuned.