What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: As I had suspected after the last episode, Barris was behind all this, which comes as a shock and at the same time makes sense. Her justification for why she did it seems completely valid. However, it is never explained how exactly she committed those crimes. We still have no idea how she got into the prison cell, killed Letta, got out, and helped Ahsoka escape, all without being detected by anyone. They also didn’t say what is going to happen to her now, whether she is going to get executed or not. But aside from those plot holes, it was pretty good.
Brickdoctor: It had been hinted at in the previous episodes, but the big new plot element was of course that Barriss was behind the attacks. This is a big change in the storyline of an established character, but I actually don’t really mind it. Barriss’ potential to turn to the Dark Side was touched on in the MedStar Duology, if I remember correctly (excellent books, by the way – two of my favorite CW-era novels). Looking at Wookieepedia, the only post-MedStar story involving Barriss was already ambiguously canon, since her Order 66 scene had been cut from Sith, so this shouldn’t actually cause any major retconning.
CloneyO: Even with some plot holes and questions left unanswered (how did Barriss pull off everything? How was she such an awesome fighter that she could stand up to Anakin?), this episode was fantastic. I hate calling the newest of anything the ‘best,’ but I’m inclined to say that this could be a contender for best episode in this show so far. The tone, animation, performances, even music were all touching. Everything with Ahsoka and Anakin was so well done, I never could’ve imagined The Clone Wars having something like this.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: As I said above, Barris’ change, while abrupt, made sense for the most part. She has always been a model Jedi type character, so it would seem plausible that she doesn’t like how the Jedi Order has strayed so far from their path and that she was willing to sacrifice innocent lives and even frame her best friend to prove her point. However, it does seem strange that she went from an innocent, kind girl to an almost evil mass murderer. She must have been using the dark side of the force as that’s the only way she could have choked Letta, ambushed Ventress, defeated Ahsoka, and even held her own against Anakin for a while. She even said that Ventress’ red lightsabers suit her. It would have been nice if they would have explained a little how she got to that point. Also, it would have been nice to see Luminara’s reaction to Barris’ confession, but unfortunately she was nowhere to be seen in this episode. Oh well. I liked how Ahsoka chose not to return to the order in the end. Seeing her best friend betray her and hearing all the things Barris said must have really given her some doubts about the Order. Plus this is a nice way of taking her out of the picture in preparation for the events in ROTS. There was also an interesting new type of guard, the temple guards.
Doc: I’ll unashamedly admit that I was watching this episode and rooting for Tarkin, hoping for Ahsoka to be either imprisoned and expelled from the order or executed. Not just because I’ve never really liked Ahsoka, but because I’ve also always found Tarkin to perfectly fit the mold of what a high-ranking (eventually Imperial) officer should be. (as opposed to men like Admiral Ozzel and Moff Jerjerrod) Anakin continues to move closer to the character he was at the end of Clones and throughout Sith, which is of course a good thing. I think there was also a definite sense in this episode that the Jedi really don’t know how to respond to their clouded senses and the darker situations. By the way, can you believe that it’s now been over a decade since Asajj Ventress made her first appearance?
CloneyO: I really don’t want to dwell on Barriss and the leaps taken with her character, because I feel the stuff with Ahsoka completely overshadowed that. (As an aside – sure, it would’ve been better if ALL the characters were sound, but oh well). Ahsoka’s arc was amazing here – seeing her wanting to retain hope in the order, but then having to leave it in the end after it has abandoned her. Anakin too had some nice moments, especially at the end of the episode. It’s good to see that he’s played with the idea of leaving too, so that his fall in Episode III isn’t completely abrupt.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: Again, the military base looked very death-starish, which fit the theme of this arc. The judgement chamber served its purpose well too as it looked very ominous with its lighting and everything. And that last scene with Ahsoka walking off into the sunset was just gorgeous!
Doc: I liked the Death Star-inspired design of the court. It was very clearly a more Original Trilogy-esque building, but it also had those circular platforms that tied it into the curved look of more recognizable Prequel Trilogy buildings, like the Senate building. The judgment chamber, on the other hand, while nicely designed, struck me as unnecessary. I think a Jedi trial by the High Council would belong in the High Council Chamber.
CloneyO: The chamber of judgement was neat, and I liked how it sort of echoed the chamber where Anakin is shown being knighted in the old show though of course with a lot more detail. All of the settings also were quite beautiful, with superb atmospheric effects like shadows and the like.
Oky’s Rating: 4/5 – This was definitely one of the stronger episodes of the series, but it was a somewhat unsatisfactory conclusion to this arc. The revelation of Barris as the traitor seemed a little rushed, resulting in some plot holes. But other than that, the episode was great, from the music and atmosphere to the story and characters, everything was executed quite well and gave a nice feeling of a grand season finale. There are rumors that the series might be over now, and if that is true, this was a nice way to end it, even thought there are dozens of questions left unanswered.
Overall, this season was very split. On one hand, you’ve got the Younglings and Droids arcs which were pretty bad for the most part, and on the other you have the Maul and Ahsoka arcs which were great, and then there’s the Onderon arc which was kind of in between. So only two arcs were truly good, and even those didn’t directly focus on the Clone Wars. In fact, there were only a couple of episodes in this entire season that actually featured clones, so the season was kind of disappointing in that regard, although the two good arcs at the end did redeem it a little. I just hope they keep the lower quality arcs to one or two episodes in the future, if not leave them out entirely.
Brickdoctor’s Rating: 4/5 – I don’t want to give this episode a perfect score, because it doesn’t really involve the main plot of the Clone Wars, the Republic-Separatist conflict, but it was a very satisfying season finale, and I even think it wouldn’t be that bad were it the conclusion of the entire CW series itself. It wraps up the current portion of Ahsoka’s storyline and appears to return Anakin and Obi-Wan to the position they were in at the beginning of the series: a pair of Jedi Knights, generals of the Republic fighting battles leading up to the events of Sith. Here’s hoping that the next season puts more focus on those battles.
CloneyO’s Rating: 5/5 – I’m glad Filoni or somebody decided to end the season this way; this is a perfect tone to end a season if there ever was one. We really need to let all the characters’ feelings sit before seeing more. It will be interesting to see if Ahsoka continues to be a recurring character in the future; this frees her up for a full-on relationship with Lux, doesn’t it? Eh heh.