I think I’m starting to see why Filoni and crew keep saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” after the Darth Maul arc. This arc starring Ahsoka in the midst of a terrorist plot is shaping up to be one of the series’ best.
After the events of last week and the bombing of the Jedi Temple, Ahsoka is the only one the terrorist will talk to. Much like in the Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, Ahsoka is given a vital piece of information and is witness to a murder. It takes it a step-further, though, and casts her as Cary Grant in North by Northwest, with photos of her committing the murder and everything. As part of the plot of a force-user, Ahsoka must escape to clear her name and save the Republic from this plot.
Who could the mysterious force user be?
Could it be Maul, who Sidious had “plans” for? Could it be Ventress back to play her part in the galaxy? Could it be another disgruntled Jedi (like Pong Krell) all together?
We’ll find out next week.
The visuals in this episode were nothing short of stunning. It truly felt like any epic film you can think of, but designed by Alfred Hitchcock in the style of The Clone Wars. There was so much Fritz Lang in the exteriors of the military prison, evoking images of the flag-filled courtyards of Nazi Germany with the Imperial cog standing in for the Swastika. The inside, though, was one hundred percent Star Wars. So much so, that I almost thought they’d accelerated construction of the Death Star, the interior architecture was so Star Wars.
Once Ahsoka made it out of the prison, though, things became an incredible action showcase. I could have watched her bat away stun bolts shot by Clones all day long. This portion of the episode was very much an homage to the Harrison Ford/Tommy Lee Jones film The Fugitive, from the spotlights and circling gunships, to the chase through the waterways and fateful jump off the dam.
Ahsoka takes the spotlight in this episode, sure, but not enough can be said about Anakin’s place in the episode. Matt Lanter’s performance is edging us closer and closer to Revenge of the Sith and its nuance is haunting. Casting him as the man responsible for catching Ahsoka but also having to trust her enough to let her go is a fascinating choice and one I’m glad that was made.
The other thing I loved about this episode was the reaction of the Clones to the revelation that three had been killed by a lightsaber. They don’t want to believe a Jedi could do it, but the evidence assembled against Ahsoka seems clear.
But the layers of story, lighting, weather, animation, and voice work are only most of the tapestry here. In this episode, the music took center stage as much as anything else. It provided a Star Wars flavor to a Bernard Herman like score and I felt like it was a masterful take on what things would sound like if one of the greatest film composers who has ever lived had taken on an episode of The Clone Wars.
Top marks for this episode. And we’re only moving up from here.