Leave it to Dave Filoni to deliver one of the best Ahsoka episodes of the season as Part 5 offers a blast from the past in many ways.
The fifth episode answered a lot of burning questions. First and foremost, were we getting Anakin Skywalker or Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). The answer to this question is something that I will get to in a moment. It’s going to be pretty spoilery below the photo so please read at your own risk. But for now, I can tell you that this is my favorite episode of the season to date.
Regarding the appearance of Anakin, well, it’s complicated. One thing that is for sure is that the Anakin Skywalker in the World Between Worlds has the ability to come and go as he pleases, much like a Force Ghost. The only difference is that he does not have a burning glow. This is why there was so much speculation at the end of episode 4, especially with the Darth Vader theme playing in a sinister way. Classic Star Wars tease! There were theories floating around the internet of revisiting the Revenge of the Sith battle on Mustafar. Knowing that, I thought it was very well possible that we were looking at Darth Vader more so than Anakin. Still, we got to see the Vader red eyes and Anakin flashing between his human and Vader forms.
Kevin Kiner calls back to come of the classic John Williams themes throughout this episode, including the Force theme. He also calls back to the Siege of Mandalore themes. The siege is one of two battles that Ahsoka revisits while in the World Between Worlds. The other is the Battle of Ryloth, which is an arc that comes from the first season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As a fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it’s nice to revisit this era of Star Wars. We never got to see Anakin and Ahsoka interact during the prequel trilogy so this is one way of making up for it. I will say that I thought we might see Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi but it was not meant to be. It is nice to finally see Captain Rex (Temeura Morrison) make his live-action debut.
In watching the Siege of Mandalore play out in live-action, it’s not surprising that Anakin doesn’t remember it. This is where it helps to be familiar with Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan Kryze had information on the whereabouts of Maul as the arc was beginning. However, it comes at the same time as General Grievous taking Chancellor Palpatine hostage at the start of Revenge of the Sith. The episode helps explain why Anakin and Obi-Wan were late to the Battle of Coruscant. Ariana Greenblatt portrays the younger version of the titular character.
What I love about this episode is how it utilizes the World Between Worlds. We saw how Ezra Bridger used it in Star Wars Rebels. While he did use it to glimpse into the past, it was nothing like this. Anakin uses it to revisit key moments in Ahsoka’s life as he gives her another lesson: to live or die. In showing flashbacks to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it is every bit a sequel to that series in as much as Star Wars Rebels. It’s so much fun getting to see Jedi General Anakin Skywalker in live-action very early in the war. We still need to see both Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger make their return to the galaxy. As the episode ends, it looks like this could very well be next week. Will Filoni give the fans what they want or keep the audience waiting?
Other things to note about the episode:
- Senator Leia Organa is covering for Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and the rest of the New Republic squadron on an unauthorized mission on Seatos. Carrie Fisher might not be with us but it’s nice to have the series reference our favorite princess.
- Jacen Syndulla (Evan Whitten) is very much like his father, Kanan Jarrus. He is able to sense the lightsaber duel between Anakin and Ahsoka through his Force abilities. Without him, they wouldn’t have found Ahsoka.
- We see Ahsoka donning white robes for the first time.
- Ahsoka and Huyang travel inside one of the purrgils in hopes of finding Ezra.
CREATOR/DIRECTOR/HEAD WRITER: Dave Filoni
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson, Carrie Beck
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Karen Gilchrist
CAST: Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, David Tennant, Evan Whitten, Genevieve O’Reilly, Ariana Greenblatt, and Hayden Christensen
GUEST STARRING: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Temuera Morrison, Eisa Davis