The latest Star Wars: The Clone Wars reunites former Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) with her Jedi obligations. “You can change who you are, but you cannot run from yourself,” says the opening epigraph of “Together Again,” directed by Nathaniel Villanueva. So concludes one of The Clone Wars’s most compelling arcs, penned by Charles Murray and Dave Filoni.
After an escape attempt, Ahsoka, Trace (Brigitte Kali), and Rafa (Elizabeth Rodriguez) are back to square one in the Pyke Syndicate’s jail on Oba Diah. Feigning betrayal, Ahsoka pretends to sell out the Martezes and persuades the Pykes to send the sisters to “recover” their hidden spice.
Despite being professional criminals, the Pykes don’t send supervision with the Martezes, making for an admittedly too-easy-to-be-true setup for Ahsoka to send the Martezes to safety. The latter pair end up having their more lighthearted B-story where they con and fight their way into obtaining spice straight from the Pyke Syndicate to pay for Ahsoka’s freedom. It’s a plan that’s both resourceful and dumb, but that’s on par with the sisters, who are inexperienced but not completely unequipped to overcome a situation that involves some bossy bantering and fisticuffs with the Pyke Syndicate workers.
When it comes to new characters introduced this final season, I wish the Bad Batch clones were provided character moments and developments as supple as what was given to the Martezes, who remain a persuasive portrait of lower-class Republic civilians processing the galaxy based on their background knowledge. At the start, the distress causes Rafa to unfortunately regress into redirecting the blame onto Ahsoka, despite assuming some responsibility last episode. Still, she’s made it to a more honorable place, catching wind of Ahsoka’s sacrifice, and cooking up a plan to rescue Ahsoka. Rafa grows more morally responsible even as she uses an unscrupulous strategy to rescue Ahsoka, and Trace grows more aware of her autonomy and this makes the opening scene where she stands up to Rafa more pleasing.
Ahsoka ends up resuming her Jedi ways, or at least fall back on learned virtues, deciding to conveniently sabotage the Pyke operations while she escapes. She also unlocks intel about Maul’s (Sam Witwer) control of the Pyke Syndicate and his presence on Mandalore. These certain intrigues, such as former Death Watch Mandalorian Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) trailing Ahsoka, the threat of Maul, and the hovering fate of Mandalore, sound like they would threaten the heart of the arc since they’re pushing future stories beyond its interior focus, but they manage to be integrated soundly without upstaging Ahsoka’s relationship with the Martezes.
If you found the Martezes’ B-story on the too-easy-peasy side, the emotional payoff is worth it. Although they only underwent a day-long separation, the reunion between Ahsoka and the Martezes is all the more stirring for the reveals, the situational humor, and human reactions. The emotional wavelengths ripple through its conclusion once they learn of her Jedi identity and accept her assistance with more trust, despite some understandable bafflement.
Once they have wind of Ahsoka’s truth, they provide empathetic words to Ahsoka’s open insecurity about her Jedi background. The Martezes’ “You act like [a Jedi], or at least how we want them to be” reinforces Ahsoka’s own Jedihood, reminding her that she’s a different kind of Force-warrior who acts outside the institutional expectations that have disregarded the welfare of the Martezes. Familiarizing with their plight helps Ahsoka question the Order for the better and evolve her perspective. But not only do these final lines further Ahsoka’s growth, but they remind the viewer that the galaxy owes an ear to the voice of non-heroic civilians like the Martezes.
I’m sad to see the former padawan part from Martezes so she can join Bo-Katan to deal with Maul on Mandalore. By the end, Ahsoka is an honorary sister to the Martezes. Like supportive relatives, the sisters encourage Ahsoka to act on her intuition and continue her purpose to help others, and the latter will proceed with confidence and anxiety. The former Jedi leaves her old bike with them, not just to signal that she may return, but to let them know that a part of her will be carried by the Martezes.
- Josh Brener voices a Worker, which makes Brener the second notable Star Wars Resistance alumni in this season, following Bobby Moynihan’s work as Pintu.
- Trace and Rafa’s simultaneous “You can do that? [Leave the Jedi Order?]” speaks to those fans who are surprised that Jedi can just leave the Order.
- It’s funny to see how Maul-via-holo acts as if he’s physically in the room and the scene is staged as if holo-Maul nearly catches the concealed Ahsoka. How does it look on Maul’s end?
- Bo-Katan states, “Don’t worry, Death Watch is gone,” to emphasize her change of allegiance. Considering how Bo-Katan and presumably other Nite Owls, Mandalorian warriors who rejected Maul’s rule, participated in genocide on Carlac, the next episodes could delve into how Bo-Katan and her Nite Owl sought to atone for their Death Watch atrocities.
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