I've been an Ahsoka supporter since day one, so this is the day I've been both excited for and dreading at the same time. We all know Ahsoka is never even mentioned in Revenge of the Sith, so the question as to her fate was always up in the air. Does she die? Does she turn to the Dark Side? For the past five years, everyone has had their speculations, and now it seems we finally have our answer.
Well, for the most part.
Anakin and Ahsoka's relationship in this episode was perfect. These two have been through so much together and watching Anakin anxiously pace around, not knowing how to help his Padawan, was beautifully handled. I especially enjoyed his rage during Ahsoka's judgment in front of the Jedi Council. If the look on Ahsoka's face after hearing the decision of her dismissal from the Council wasn't hard enough to bear, it was the the look of pure sadness on Anakin's face in the background. It was heart breaking to say the least. The guards removing the beads from her head stood out to me as I always believed that to be part of her regular attire but it seems, the beads on the right side hang farther down in what I assume represents the "Padawan braid" they always sport. Took me five seasons to notice that. Go figure!
More Anakin rage ensued when he confronted Ventress. This was another great fight sequence in this arc, and I loved her immediate reaction to use some sort of weapons to replace her missing lightsabers. Grabbing the freshly cut poles left by Anakin's swing-and-a-miss and using them to defend herself was a highlight of mine. Of course, nothing can replace those sabers, and she quickly finds herself on the receiving end of Anakin's Force Choke.
Which leads us to Anakin's confrontation with Barriss. It was obvious that she was the traitor fairly early on in this arc, so there was no surprise there, but a part of me hoped maybe there would be more to it, like someone pulling her strings. That said, I thought it played out well anyway, and Anakin tricking her into revealing Ventress' blades using her own was nothing short of awesome. Their fight sequence was intense, and, although I didn't care too much for the Young Jedi arc, it was fun to see their fight lead outside to where the younglings were training.
Ahsoka's trial was a tough one to watch. I appreciate Padme being there to support her (Where was SHE all season?), even though nothing she could have said would have changed the outcome. Tarkin was ruthless in his words, and it seemed there was no way Ahsoka was getting out of this one unscathed. Had Anakin not interrupted with the true traitor, I felt it was pretty obvious Ahsoka was going to be found guilty. Props to Stephen Stanton who did a great job at making us hate Tarkin so much. His portrayal of a young Tarkin is spot on in my opinion. And, it should be noted Tim Curry is the new voice of the Emperor. It was a bit jarring at first since I'm so used to hearing Ian Abercrombie, but I thought he did a great job and is a welcome addition to the cast.
And then, the big moment. The look on Ahsoka's face when Mace Windu hits her with the "Surprise! This was your trial!" summed up exactly how I felt. Sorry, guys, it's kinda hard to take back what happened. Sure, she prevailed and was proved innocent, but the only person to really stick by her was Anakin. Throughout the episode, you could clearly see at least Obi-Wan didn't believe she was guilty, and I felt had he not been so close with the Council, he would have been more vocal about it. Not to the extreme as Anakin does, but something. So, I totally bought Ahsoka's denial. Was it the right decision? Probably not, but remember she is still a kid. They act on impulse and don't always look at the bigger picture. She was hurt by the closest thing she has to a family, and those wounds take time to heal.
The moment I was waiting for all season was the last moment between Anakin and Ahsoka. An interview I heard with Filoni many months back stated he kicked out all the other voice actors from the room so Matt Lanter and Ashley Eckstein could record their dialogue alone. The scene played out beautifully, and I'd be lying if I wasn't a grown man getting a little misty eyed. This was the game changer. No going back from this one and I found that painful and exciting at the same time. I'm going to miss the adventures of Anakin, Kenobi, and Ahsoka all fighting together for the greater good, but it's time for a change. Sadly, it just so happens that means removing one of my favorite characters from the mix. Is she gone from the show for good? Highly doubtful, but things will never be the same.
The future of the show is still uncertain, but with Season 6 already being made, I'm sure it will be coming back on Disney XD or something similar. There's more story to tell here, and I can't wait to share it with you all next season. If, and this is a big IF, there is no Season 6, I will write a follow-up article as the ending of the series means the end of me writing these reviews.
'Till the next episode!