This week on The Clone Wars: Events are shown to have actual consequences with The Wrong Jedi. Like last season's final arc, we see events actually cause big changes to the Clone Wars storyline, with actual weight, things that matter, and a reason to tune in for a change. Also, Tim Curry is this week's surprise guest voice. HUGE spoilers and video after the break.
Continuing to feel more and more like a Star Wars movie, "The Wrong Jedi" went out of its way to employ unique compositions and framing, superior editing, and top-notch scoring with a bevy of awesome new character designs and a new form of Jedi guard. After this season, I bet the Clone Wars supporters inside Hasbro are as frustrated as all get-out, sharing our increased bafflement over just why some of these awesomer-than-the-movies designs will go un-toyed.
The plot: If you watched last week's episode, you probably figured this one out but it was still some dramatic stuff. Ahsoka's trial begins, but not until after the Jedi Order kicks her out after a brief hearing which sort of shows the Jedi to be a bunch of tools. (This is a stark contrast to the 2003-2005 Clone Wars series, which treated them like super heroes.) Tarkin gets his show trial, while Palpatine returns voiced by Tim Curry (who has had an incredible string of voice-over gigs). Before we get into heavy spoiler territory below, let me just say that this arc makes a great bookend to the 2008 movie and would have been a great series finale. There's a part of me that hopes that it is the last one that ever airs - it might be - for all I know they'll burn off the remaining unaired episodes on a DVD or Blu-Ray release, or put them in the vault so the millennial generation of Star Wars fans can have an equivalent of the "Biggs scenes" of their very own.
For a fairly paint-by-numbers episode, this was an amazing watch. The pieces were all set up last week, with Anakin as an angry truth-hunter, Asajj as the wronged would-be villain, and Barriss Offee as the likely mastermind or pawn of the mastermind, and, for lack of a better metaphor, parents just not understanding. The Jedi Council have no real interest in the truth, and apparently have so little faith in their own abilities as teachers that in mere moments they decide to hand Ahsoka over to the Republic's military. I'm sure whatever tome that passes for definitive reference material has the Jedi High Council defined as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes" (apologies to Douglas Adams.) It walks the line between setting a high emotional bar and the utter lunacy that these supposed wise warrior-monks would hand over a kid-- Ahsoka's still pretty young here-- for a trial in which she is not only tried as an adult, but with the death penalty as a very real option. We never do hear the final verdict read, it's possible they found in her favor. I doubt this.
Following the paths over the last few weeks, the episode's tone is completely different than the start of the arc, but we do retread some similar ground. Anakin dashes off during the trial to find Asajj Ventress who, without her lightsabers, is forced to fight with kicks and whatever debris she can find around the underworld of Coruscant. It drives home the point, but I would assume that other weapons may be available to someone who is supposedly making decent money as a bounty hunter. It was Ventress' time to shine last season, and this year we see her remind us that much like a Sith can be betrayed by her master, so can a young Jedi. We got a little heavy-handed monologuing, but it drove home the point and nicely foreshadowed the end of the episode, although it does leave us with a number of dangling threads at the end of the week.
After seeing Barriss attack Ahsoka last week, this week we see Anakin kick the snot out of her in front of a bunch of younglings. (Nice touch!) Ms. Offee gets to give her supervillain "why I did it" speech to the Senate to set Ahsoka free, just before we see a drawn-out multiclimactic resolution in the Jedi temple. It looked like the scenes were shot with an ultra-soft lens, much like close-ups of the ladies in many old movies, as we saw Ahsoka reject the Jedi offer to not only rejoin the order, but to be promoted to full Knighthood at the same time. The episode ends with her walking off into the sunset, much like Luke was supposedly intended to at the end of Return of the Jedi, begging the question... is she still out there, somewhere?
Takeaway from this week:
Tim Curry makes a pretty good Palpatine, but do you know who does the best Sidious/Emperor? Sam Witwer.
So what happens to Barriss Offee? The Expanded Universe previously had her dead on Felucia as part of Order 66. Did the Jedi Order grant her mercy? Are we going to have to rejigger the too-big-to-fail Expanded Universe? Can we pray Disney just wipes the entire EU slate clean beyond anything not shown on TV or in the movies?
I was actually pretty excited by the episode as it went, especially in the final scene where I was practically yelling at my TV "tell the Jedi to go screw!"
Petro from the Young Jedi arc earlier this season made a cameo near the end.
The new Temple Guard were pretty nifty, but what are they? Jedi in training? Civilians? The same guys that guard the Senate in fancier outfits?
Will Ahsoka get her own line of books/comics/movie now? I'm sure if we never see her again, this will be the week that launched a thousand fanfics.
Next time: What do you want to see here? We have a comments section, so make your suggestions. If I like your pick, I'll name-check you in the column and share the blame!
I'm going to take a break for a few weeks! But here's a little-seen snippet of the unaired "Clovis" episodes. As I haven't read up on them much, I'm quite curious to find out if Ahsoka is in any way involved, or if we may find her as the subject of one of the five new movies in development. Maybe Episode VII will be surrounding her, either as a returning hero or a shadowy masked (and likely very old) villain?
See you next time!