Star Wars: Ahsoka - 01:05 - Part Five: Shadow Warrior

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Ahsoka confronts her past, while Hera and her allies undertake a rescue mission.
IMDB rating: 9.6 (2.9k votes) Runtime: 37 minutes
 
I am certain that there are people out there who wants this to flop. I'm not one of them, but as the House of Mickey keeps churning these out in fairly decent pace despite the writers and actors strike still going and no end in sight, I have to keep wondering what's in store for the future. Could it be more of the same or will the studios actually try to put out some decent material?

Speaking of which, it is surprising that this episode got another high score, because there are surely a lot of voices who cannot stand for fantasy or that matter for space fantasy, because it makes no logical sense. Ashoka however is fast getting covered with fantasy juices because there are no logical explanations for the places like World-between-Worlds or the space whales making hyperspace lanes. Not talking about going to another galaxy, because it breaks scientific facts.

It is kind of funny that SW FTL doesn't really allow FTL unless it uses the lanes, because otherwise people are lost in space, which believe it or not kind of happens a lot in the SW universe. That's why their main galaxy has 2/5 size that has never been explored, because it's a too difficult thing to do with their ultra technology. Yeah, it's not logical, but it's acceptable in the fantasy settings.

Another thing is that in the SW certain people never cannot die. They are fixed in the timeline and even if someone manages to snuff them, it's not likely unless the audience is shown a corpse. So let's see if Ashoka died during her fall and went to SW heaven...

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"I told them to stay together," Huyang said to Hera as she approached the droid standing on the cliff face. "But they never listen."

You can feel sadness dwelling in the master droid, just like you can feel joy and fear in Chopper's actions. This time, however, the orange can didn't act like in the Rebels, because it was willing to shield the young Jason without giving out much of vocalized opposition, or shaking its various bits while mum (Hera) studied the abandoned temple.

Hyuang is another thing, because the 'jedi' numbers are getting pretty low. There just aren't that many force users in the SW main galaxy after Palpatine's purges. He itself is a living relic of a long lost era, that's unlike to come back any time soon. Like I said there just aren't that many force users left and the series kind of reflects on it.

"They never listen."

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It surely looks like World-between-Worlds, but it isn't. There are no triangular gates, which can lead to past, present and future fixed points-in-time... and space.

"Anakin," Ashoka said, standing before her former master, amazed. "You look the same."

"You look old," Anakin replied.

Ashoka scoffed and crossed her arms. "Well, that happens." She looked around, "Actually what happened?"

"You lost a fight," Anakin replied.

"I don't remember," Ashoka tried to defend herself.

"Believe me," Anakin replied. "You lost."

"Baylon Skoll..." Ashoka crossed her arms.

"So, you do remember," Anakin said. He crossed his hands behind his back and marched forward. "That's good."

"Why?"

"It means you still have a chance," Anakin replied.

"A chance?"

"To live," Anakin smirked.

Ashoka looked him in the eye. "Tell me what's going on?"

"I'm here to finish your training," Anakin replied, sarcastically.

"It's a little late for that," Ashoka sniped back.

"One is never too old to learn, Snips," Anakin threw back. This is the same dialogue Anakin has with Ben at the beginning of the Clone Wars, when Ashoka is introduced. It is also a culmination of the stuff that made them both unhappy when Ashoka left the Order. They never finished Ashoka's training because the girl gave big ef's to the whole institute.

Back then, they both knew that they both were unique and powerful characters in the Force Users realm, because of the single fact that Ashoka received the spirit of the Sister, when she died the last time. Anakin as we know is the Chosen One, and also the Redeemed Fallen One.

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"Alright," Ashoka said. "What's the lesson?"

Anakin pulled out his sabre and lit it up, "To live... or die."

Man, that made me giggle, because that is the same lesson that Ashoka already faced, when she clashed the last time with Anakin wearing the Vader mask, and her shattering it to learn that underneath it was Anakin's face with yellow eyes. It can be seen as Sister vs Brother match, but the little known fact is that Ashoka lost and died, and then she was rescued by Ezra getting into the World-between-Worlds and using the opportunity to save her from that fate as he pulled her out and then put her back in, again.

This time, however, she again doesn't understand the reality and the symbolism of fighting the 'brother' who also happens to be symbolic Charon, the Ferryman as she said, "I won't fight you."

She had no choice but raise her arms and fight when Anakin brought the sabre to her face. And just like she said, she didn't go offensive but instead allowed Anakin to charge her on that narrow, glowing bridge. One-on-one corridor fight that Disney cut short...

Man, can you hear me swearing?

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Young one, you are strong in Force just like your father. But if you don't find a teacher, you'll go down the road like Ezra. Anakin's Academy or Huyang's Ancient Ways, which is the better choice? Whatever Chopper says, don't listen to him.

While he was contemplating the big mysteries, Huyang confirmed that the map was beyond repair. There was no way to get it lit up again. Except part of it had burned itself on Ashoka's palm, but is it the crucial bit?

The droid also made the conclusion that the missing bodies could be because they weren't with them, physically. Then on top of everything Cpt Carson brought the news of the HQ wanting to have a word, because the Senator Organa couldn't keep the cover up, as usual. Not with Carson having no answers.

Hera didn't want to leave, as usual because mum knows the best. Jason however proved again to be just like his father as he sensed that there was more to the waters surrounding the temple then what they could see.

"Listen to the waves," Jason said. And mum did. She had been Kanaan and others for long enough to recognize when to shut up and listen. The young one was able to hear the warriors clashing in a Force Space, just like Sister and Brother had done countless times on Mortis Planet (under eyes of the Father).

And then, for the first time mum could hear. She could sense the Force flowing through her and she knew what it meant, so much so that she could bully Cpt Carson to do another sweep over the ocean.

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That's the face. Anakin AKA Vader AKA the Brother (of the Mortis Gods). That's what I was looking for and it just got lit from one tiny kick that must have hurt the boy.

"It looks like you don't have much to offer," Ashoka said.

Anakin grinned, "I haven't thought you everything yet," and he slashed down on the bridge, severing it from the reality and dropping Ashok through space-time continuum back to the beginning. Straight in the Clone Wars. And in the body of her younger self.

The whole scene made me to tear up. Especially for seeing Ashoka showing heart to the Clone brothers. This time, however, she was carrying more emotional baggage because of the history with all the brothers and what they went through, together.

When she refused to move, young Anakin turned around and asked, "Is there a problem?"

"We lost so many," Ashoka answered.

Anakin sighed and stomped back to his padawan. "There's always a price to be paid."

Ashoka looked him in the eye and said, "It was my fault. They were following my orders," while carrying the weight of memories on her shoulders. "I got them killed." True, tens of thousands of them. Some later on when the fighting had stopped and Palpatine sanctified their replacement with the StormTroopers.

So like in the original script, Anakin pulled her aside and gave her the 'this is war, mistakes happens,' speech. However as Ashoka answered, "But mistakes cost lives," you could feel that she really meant it from the bottom of her heart. The most important question that she asked was, "What I'll stop fighting?"

Anakin's answer was, "Then you'll die."

Forge on sister, forge on. This is the way!

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Why does that look like Irish Sea? I loved watching X-wings doing the sweep and Cpt Carson crumbling about the job, like usual, because nothing changes in the military. Day in, Day out, Nothing changes.

It also surprised me that he pulled out the fuel card out from his sleeve, when we know for the fact that there's almost no limits to the mileage on those vessels. The tank is there but we have never heard of them going bingo fuel. Yet, that was the card he played and got handed back by general orders because of Jason's hunch.

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The worried face. Hera knew that there was not much to go on with Jason's hunch because there was no Institute like the Jedi Order left in the galaxy. The Force itself had become a mocked thing, a thing from the past, because the Force Users had become so sparse.

"Maybe those Senators were right. Maybe I am here chasing ghosts," Hera muttered.

Huyang turned towards her and said, "You do things your way because you care. This is why people like you."

Hera smiled at him and asked, "Huyang, where are they? People just don't vanish into thin air."

"Well, no. Normally, no," the droid answered.

"Is there a chance they're out here?"

"Always. Especially with Lady Tano (the Sister)."

"Yes, she is tenacious," Hera grinned.

"So was her master," Huyang replied without even looking at her.

"Yeah? What was he like?"

Huyang turned his head and squinted his eyes, "Intense." ROFL

Soon after Jason relyed back sensor pickings and ordered mum to go low, super low, which usually is a very risky manouver for the vessels that cannot do transmedium dips easily as they correlate to the known physics. The problem on low flying is that you cannot accurately measure the height on a wavy sea. Hera however is a top class pilot, able to rival the best.

As she searched over the stormy sea, Ashoka clashed in the space-time continuum as a youngling.

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It is an animation. Very, very high class animation. Something you could easily get through unreal engine and mocap suits. Nevertheless I teared up again on seeing young Rex. The innocent ones who had not witnessed all the sins. Stuff that turned his beard white. The rumour is that we are going to see live action version of him in the next season.

Ashoka knew what waited them down the lane, when Re asked him to follow them into the Siege of Mandalore. A partial purge. Not the Night of Thousand Tears, but the one she took partthe Senate ordered the Clone Brothers and the Deathwatch she slaughtered in the scene, were part of people Palpatine wanted to dominate by putting Maul on throne and handing him the Black Sabre.

"I don't know this battle," Anakin stumpled to next to her.

"This was the Siege of Mandalore," Ashoka replied. "We had parted ways by now."

"Looks intense," Anakin smiled.

"It was."

"You did well," Anakin said. "You're a warrior now, as I trained you to be."

She scoffed and looked at the macabre scene. "Is that all?"

"Ashoka, within you will be everything I am," Anakin replied. "All the knowledge I posses. Just as I inherited knowledge from my Master and he from his. You're part of legacy."

Ashoka stepped forward and turned around. "But my part of that legacy is one of death and war."

"But you are more than that," Anakin threw back. "Because I'm more than that."

"You are more than that Anakin. But more powerful and dangerous than anyone realized."

"Is that what this is about?"

"If I am everything you are--"

"You've learned nothing," Anakin snapped at her. And so he threw her back at the beginnings. This time however when he pulled out the sabre he had red blade and vader's turned face. So the Brother and the Sister had to clash again.

The fight was a bit of repetition of their Sith temple fight and the Brother was able to disarm her. Both blades at the same time. And in this shot you can see the Brother face, including the eyes.

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"No," Ashoka said. I don't know how but somehow she'd managed to take the Vader blade and bring it on his neck. A chance to right the wrongs, and also a chance for a win in the everlasting battle as sisters under Father's eyes.

But she didn't take it as she casted the blade aside and said, "I choose to live."

Brother stepped back and changed back to the normal self. And there you have it, it wasn't the World-between-Worlds, it was a battle in the Mortis space-time-continuum. Her return back to the sea through a thunderstorm felt a bit like a recall of the Highlander as she is stuck in this eternal battle forever until she dies.

She was brought back to her ship and left under droid care. Her recovery took a day but when she came to her senses she could not sense the boy and her mum. Huyang had to told her that Ghost and the X-wing squadron had stayed. Well done Cpt Carson for acting like a true rebellion.

The droid handed her the map half and Ashoka ventured outside to see the boy playing at the temple under mum's watchful eyes. The boy asked about the fight, and Ashoka's eyes lit up because she knew what the boy had become. A better candidate than Groku or Sabine.

Mum didn't like it. So he had to have private words with the master. So Ashoka did as she was asked and by holding the relic she investigated the clash and relived the Force Impression. Then she told Hera that she's away, taken by Lady Morgan. Hera wanted to go after them but Ashoka said no, "I'm afraid it's not that simple."

Then Carson arrived to tell that the fleet was on their way to relief Hera from command. So mum did what she had to and she collected the kid and gave orders for Ashoka to find out out how they can get forward.

The answer lies with the space fish. What else?

The problem Hera had was the lack of evidence, because Huyang had not transferred or mentioned the sensor readings. Chancellor tried to get it out from her but there was nothing she could give to sanctify her actions. But Mon Mothma didn't took her command, instead she ordered them back to the fleet and to be taken Coruscant.

Hera's only choice was bringing Ashoka to the Senate or go rebel. She chose latter. The way was with the fish. A lot of them. Including the one they'd met before. The Herd Mother. Ashoka went outside the ship to communicate with her while wearing all whites, just like the Sister.

At the meantime Cpt Carson kept the fleet away to best of his abilities. The fish gave Ashoka a docking clearance. And off they went with the fish to the unknown.
 
Hm, this one didn't do much for me. Too bad after the last one...

Fan service doesn't leave me completely cold, but when I really don't see a point in it (which doesn't mean there isn't any, but that it eludes me) I find it extremely annoying...

And that flashback to The Clone Wars with a young Ahsoka, Anakin appearing for the first time ever in live-action in his TCW garb and cameos by ARC Troopers (Rex, I assume) felt exactly like that. Like Dave Filoni trying to scratch an old itch, fulfill an old fantasy. But it feels like a personal fantasy, or ego trip even, not like there is a deeper purpose to it beyond addressing a long, extremely salacious wink to the fans.

I still don't know what Ahsoka learned from that vision/flashback that either advanced the plot or allowed her to grow as a character. "You live or you die". Okay, and?

I vaguely remember the Mortis arc from TCW. As far as I can recall I thought it was fun, and tried something different, providing us with a BTS look at The Force, if you will. But it's buried way too deep in my memory for me to be able to tie it to what happened in that episode of Ahsoka. I just don't see the correlation. Okay we have a sister figure in the person of Ahsoka and a brother figure in the person of Anakin, but... I'm lost beyond that. I just don't understand what the show is trying to tell me as an audience member.

Other flaws and nitpicks beyond that:
- Erm, can we talk about Jacen's hair color? Man, it is just horrible. He looks like some guy who in a few years is going to slap some clown makeup onto his face and tie up Batman and Robin above a shark tank, if you catch my drift.
- I have no love for Hera or Captain Teva, whom we've already seen far too much of in recent shows, and I see no point in devoting any screen time to either of them or the "Rebels" for that matter. This show works best when it focuses on Ahsoka, Sabine and the two Dark Jedi. There's plenty to tell between these four already, stop wasting my time with subplots about the New Republic acting stupid. We get it. They're stupid and they're doomed. Can we move on to the main course, please?
- The Space Whales. All right, so visually they're rather poetic, sure. Those big majestic animals who float their way into Hyperspace lanes. Cool. But I don't like that here they're being used as a quasi deus ex-machina device to allow Ahsoka to track down Sabine.
- Ahsoka "sensing" Sabine's imprint via the destroyed sphere... Look is there some kind of actual 'SW Bible' somewhere, written by George or whoever, that states how the SW universe actually works? And are there people who even bother looking at it? Because sometimes we're told the Force ties LIVING things together (and therefore droids for instance cannot be sensed by Jedi at all) and sometimes a rusty piece of metal contains the memory of an entire dialogue between two characters. Sometimes vehicles entering Hyperspace will annihilate anything in their path (The Last Jedi), sometimes they just push them aside (Ahsoka, Part 4). Can we stop just accepting those easy cop outs from the writers and ask them to... do better?! If Ahsoka can sense memories through the Force, fine. Have her relive the scene by tuning into the 'Force field' of that place. Seatos looks rather mystical anyway with this circle of stones overlooking the ocean... Why did it have to be through that stupid sphere?
- Urgh. I guess everything else was fine. Let's move on.
 
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To those that were asking why this series is called Ahsoka and not "Rebels part 2" then I'd say that this episode explains why. This was all about Ahsoka - only she got to meet Anakin and only she could talk to the Space Whales. Only she can follow the villains by hitching a lift inside a whale. This was that infodrop for those who never bothered to watch most of the animated series (myself included.)

On the other hand:
I still don't know what Ahsoka learned from that vision/flashback that either advanced the plot or allowed her to grow as a character. "You live or you die". Okay, and?
I have to agree with that analysis. It was to give backstory for those who didn't know it, and it was fan service for those that like it, but I guess there must be a large other audience that doesn't require or want either. It didn't forward the plot at all.
Jacen's hair color?
I thought it was odd, but neither know what it is meant to be, nor the reason for it.
I don't like that here they're being used as a quasi deus ex-machina device to allow Ahsoka to track down Sabine.
But I thought that was how Ezra and Thrawn got to where they are now, so not a great surprise, and a rather expected outcome really, after the destruction of the map. I'm still more puzzled about how everyone expects to return (since that is still the ultimate goal of the exercise.)
Why did it have to be through that stupid sphere?
Agree with what you said, but this is Star Wars and I guess the writers a take it or leave it attitude, and most fans seem not to care about those things.
 
And that flashback to The Clone Wars with a young Ahsoka, Anakin appearing for the first time ever in live-action in his TCW garb and cameos by ARC Troopers (Rex, I assume) felt exactly like that. Like Dave Filoni trying to scratch an old itch, fulfill an old fantasy. But it feels like a personal fantasy, or ego trip even, not like there is a deeper purpose to it beyond addressing a long, extremely salacious wink to the fans.

I still don't know what Ahsoka learned from that vision/flashback that either advanced the plot or allowed her to grow as a character. "You live or you die". Okay, and?
Two scenes. First Ashoka's death as she's possessed by the Brother spirit. Notice the yellow eyes, red rims and the attitude.


And then the resurrection. Notice the Sister's colour and what the Father is wearing.


- The Space Whales. All right, so visually they're rather poetic, sure. Those big majestic animals who float their way into Hyperspace lanes. Cool. But I don't like that here they're being used as a quasi deus ex-machina device to allow Ahsoka to track down Sabine.
Well, you should accept them as the original travellers. SW space is full of creatures that survive in that hostile environment. If the SW didn't have nav computers, like back in the day, they'd have to use Purgils and talk to them via Force in order to travel, like they did a long, long time ago.
 
I didn't mind the episode. The Clone Wars flash back was cool enough, if a little smoky and murky. But I, for one, have had enough of the old Anakin / Darth Vader arc. We were told what happened in ROTJ in '83. We got it spelled out for us in full in ROTS in '05. And we got a fairly pointless intermediate update in the execrable Kenobi that really didn't serve any purpose at all. Now he is back, as good Jedi Anakin... but just so long as we are reminded he goes bad again (red lightsaber / flashes of Darth / red eyes). Cue a lightsaber fight. And then, all-good, dead Anakin is still good Anakin, he just has some relapses...

Let the guy die, FFS. Darth Vader is done. Anakin is done! I second you, @The Crawling Chaos: enough with the background noise and political intrigue and get back to the core story. As you say, the 2 Sith and the whole Thrawn angle is more than enough to devote screen time to; we definitely don't need to se Hera hauled over the coals for breaking rules.

Star Wars always worked better when it was a central plot set against a broader backdrop that served the main themes. If they want to make a separate show detailing the political transition between Rebels and Resistance, then by all means, make a show exclusive to that.

But a lot of the what made Star Wars a much-loved fantasy to begin with is missing, as per my comments on the previous episodes.

As for the space whales... nah, that's total nonsense. The notion that a ship-sized organic being can somehow generate enough energy to jump into hyperspace and travel vast distances... 100% Deus Ex Machina - that they happen to be found on the one world Ahsoka ends up on... the same world that an untraceable, untrackable hyperspace supership left from... whales that she can telepathically connect with.

Why? Why not just Sabine's helmet cam having recorded the map, and then have the droid have to work the full episode to put it together and find the co-ordinates. And then it's possible to reach it, but just with numerous mini-jumps. Because Rise of Skywalker already made a nonsense about hyperspace rules with the whole jump-skipping things; i.e. you don't need lanes.

I don't know why they need to overcomplicate these things. If they just want to make someone hard to find, put them on a remote planet (like Luke was in Force Awakens) or in the middle of some asteroid in some remote system, where some natural pulsar thingy makes scanning impossible. Keep it simple, and then make an entertaining detective story to try and narrow it down (case-in-point the stellar cartography scene in Star Trek Generations).

Nonetheless, I'm still looking forward to the 2nd half of the series. As you say, @ctg, it's space fantasy, so (as dumb as some plot devices are) I'm still happy to watch if it's entertaining, with good characters, and an engaging plot. And I, for one, am never happy to see anything fail. On the contrary, when a show or movie fails (Kenobi, for instance), I always feel it's a massive shame and a waste of the talent involved.
 
(Jacen's hair color) I thought it was odd, but neither know what it is meant to be, nor the reason for it.
It's the one physical trait his mum passed on to him (her green skin became green hair in his case). Sure it's stupid, but why not? My problem with it is the execution, not the idea: That shade of green is so... green. It looks like the guys from the costume department walked into the block's costume shop and bought the first, cheapest can of 'Paddy's Day' green hairspray they could find. I'd bet it had a leprechaun and a shamrock on the can too.

(Space Whales) But I thought that was how Ezra and Thrawn got to where they are now, so not a great surprise, and a rather expected outcome really, after the destruction of the map. I'm still more puzzled about how everyone expects to return (since that is still the ultimate goal of the exercise.)
But then... why the convoluted plot about the map? Did no one even think of, I don't know, finding a way to track these whales through hyperspace for instance? Why did they have to learn about this ancient map that had been waiting in some forgotten temple, bring it to that one specific place, use nightsister withcraft to make it work... when there were all those purgills around and they're just happy to bring anybody in for the ride?

My problem with Filoni is just that he doesn't seem to try hard enough. I have this image of him developing his screenplay at his desk and the first thing he thinks is "Okay, let's make a list of all the cool stuff that could happen." But where a great writer is able to then weave all this cool stuff into a coherent plot, Filoni is just happy to stay at surface level and throw the 'cool stuff' at us thinking it's going to wow everybody the way it wows him. It's cool for the sake of cool.

This latest Space Whale development feels like it's been written by a 17-year-old majoring in Literature who just walked out of a class dedicated to the "Belly of the Whale" trope. It's just so literal, so superficial... There's no nuance or subtlety to it. He doesn't even try to put a twist on it, it's just literally the guys entering a whale. Yawn.

ctg said:
Two scenes. First Ashoka's death as she's possessed by the Brother spirit. Notice the yellow eyes, red rims and the attitude.
And then the resurrection. Notice the Sister's colour and what the Father is wearing.
I see the reference, but I don't understand the relevance. What did Ahsoka learn from that vision/flashback? How did it help Ahsoka figure out what to do next? What is that thing that Ahsoka did after being resurrected that she wouldn't have done anyway had she never fallen into the ocean?

BT Jones said:
Why? Why not just Sabine's helmet cam having recorded the map, and then have the droid have to work the full episode to put it together and find the co-ordinates.
I was 100% sure that's what they were hinting at when they had that shot of Ahsoka in the stone circle glancing at the helmet, with the broken map in her hand. I could almost see the cogs working inside her brain and was waiting for her to catch up with me and then... Nope, let's go talk to some Space Whales, m'kay?

BT Jones said:
I don't know why they need to overcomplicate these things. If they just want to make someone hard to find, put them on a remote planet (like Luke was in Force Awakens) or in the middle of some asteroid in some remote system, where some natural pulsar thingy makes scanning impossible. Keep it simple, and then make an entertaining detective story to try and narrow it down.
100%. Again, that's Filoni (and others, I'm not saying the blame rests only with him) not really bothering to ground his 'cool stuff' into a coherent narrative.
 
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I see the reference, but I don't understand the relevance. What did Ahsoka learn from that vision/flashback? How did it help Ahsoka figure out what to do next? What is that thing that Ahsoka did after being resurrected that she wouldn't have done anyway had she never fallen into the ocean?
Well, it is not just like it is not told what exactly happened to Gandalf the Grey when he died and was resurrected with the white robes. The show also doesn't show that she's followed by a bird, a force animal that is also a symbol for the Daughter. What she gained from the fall and meeting the Force Being is highly symbolic. It is not logical in any way.

The last question is a bit more complicated, but the first thing she did was to talk to the fish. She never really spoke to other animal types, and she even shied away from meeting with Bendu. As far as I can recall, that never happened, but the biggest thing was the speaking thing. In the SW only Kenobi, Ezra and Groku have been shown to be talking to the animals and beasts. Others don't really do it and for her to commit to it, it's a big change. What else might have been altered, we don't know.
 
Well, it is not just like it is not told what exactly happened to Gandalf the Grey when he died and was resurrected with the white robes. The show also doesn't show that she's followed by a bird, a force animal that is also a symbol for the Daughter. What she gained from the fall and meeting the Force Being is highly symbolic. It is not logical in any way.

The last question is a bit more complicated, but the first thing she did was to talk to the fish. She never really spoke to other animal types, and she even shied away from meeting with Bendu. As far as I can recall, that never happened, but the biggest thing was the speaking thing. In the SW only Kenobi, Ezra and Groku have been shown to be talking to the animals and beasts. Others don't really do it and for her to commit to it, it's a big change. What else might have been altered, we don't know.

First of all, thank you for trying to answer my nagging questions.

Ahsoka was also seen 'talking' to Grogu in The Mandalorian. Yeah, Grogu is also a 'Jedi' theoretically, but I suppose considering his developmental stage he was little more than a wild animal.

I'm flogging a dead horse at this point but my problem is that the whole World Between Worlds scene(s) was completely useless to the show. Again if it didn't help Ahsoka understand who she is, who she must become or what she must do next... Then it was all fluff. Unfortunately (for Filoni) I don't care that it was a reference to Mortis, because the whole meaning of that reference continues to elude me. In my mind it was just a wink at the fans who've perhaps always wanted to see a live-action Clone Wars show, and nothing else. A scene that didn't earn its place in the plot. Which makes it bad writing.

All writers have their pets. When developing a new story we all make lists of characters, locations or scenes we want to use just because we think they're cool. But again the difference between a great writer and, well, Filoni I guess, is that the great writer will then work hard to make those cool things fit into the overarching story. To make them mean something beyond the surface level of coolness. And when they can't? They cut them out of the story. They "kill their darlings". Filoni just doesn't seem to bother. He'll throw as many of his darlings at you as he can muster hoping you, the audience member, do the hard work of juggling them all into a coherent thing, hopefully without getting your shirt too messed up in the process.

Anyway... I don't hate Filoni. I think in many ways he is the true successor of Lucas, and I absolutely believe that he's not a cynic: He really is a SW nerd who truly loves those characters and worlds, and bringing them to the screen. I just wish he worked a bit harder to make us care about it.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot the Gandalf the White thing!

ctg said:
Well, it is not just like it is not told what exactly happened to Gandalf the Grey when he died and was resurrected with the white robes.

True, but they didn't try to explain it to us. We know that Gandalf somehow faced total annihilation, sacrificed himself for the greater good, died and entered some kind of limbo. Then he 'ascended' as a reward and came back stronger than before. But what did Ahsoka do to ascend? She... learned that she wanted to live?

The problem is that unlike Gandalf in LOTR, in Ahsoka the writers and showrunners spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make us understand whatever transformation the character was undergoing in the limbo. They didn't just present it as a fait accompli, they took us along for the full ride. So we followed Ahsoka on a semi mystical journey through an alternate dimension where she encounters and battles characters from her past, who seem to want to impart an important lesson on her. But that lesson is lost on us. Like "You live or die". What does that mean? That she must choose whether she surrenders to death or decides to return and continue her mission? Why is that necessary? Ahsoka is not the type to give up easily so if she was really stuck between life and death, she'd surely fight to her last breath or ounce of consciousness to come back.
 
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All writers have their pets. When developing a new story we all make lists of characters, locations or scenes we want to use just because we think they're cool.
Not me. I have either the end or the beginning, and then it's a lot of fuzzing in between with rewrites, edits and so on. Boneman could tell you that I am particular on carrying on details in the prose, but like some people it's easy to forget the injuries. Injuries make details, and they need to be carried in the prose for a length in time, even if the reader doesn't need it to understand the story. Also in regard to the characters I don't draw them out beforehand, as they either come or then they are not used in the story, but once they're in the story that's where they live.

Anyway... I don't hate Filoni. I think in many ways he is the true successor of Lucas, and I absolutely believe that he's not a cynic: He really is a SW nerd who truly loves those characters and worlds, and bringing them to the screen. I just wish he worked a bit harder to make us care about it.
Fantasy and drawing out the Force related things is his thing. You guys don't want to deal with the space fish, well, look the original trilogy and see a great big worm living and reaching out from the asteroid to vacuum in space. SW universe is full of beings that are fantastical. In other words it's a fairy tale told in modern means, but it's not SF and it shouldn't be because it deals with the things that cannot be easily explained by science, or for that matter, logic. You have to take that leap of faith to accept it and be comfortable with it.

If you read my original posting on the Space Whales, you'll see that I too was and still are highly sarcastic about them. But I don't go sh*tting other writers for using fantasy tools to propel their stories. And in this case, it's not just a reach because in the historical SW cannon, want it or not, they are explained as the beings that allowed people to jump from one system to another. FTL technology came much later.

In the ST I have a big problem with their FTL technology and in places it really sucks, when you think about it logically. Also in this show, they need the momentum to keep going, because Mr Filoni could have ignored the fish and forced Ashoka to go the other way, thus delaying and extending the connection as there would have been a lot of fluffing around the map, and making hyperspace rings. Now the New Republic isn't caught pants down as the perpetrators are being pursued by an active protagonist. From Thrawn's perspective, antagonist.

To me, this story is what I wanted to see, and it's far better than the Book of Boba Fett. However, I still think that Andor is a top product, and it is set very differently. BoBF they effed royally and it still pisses me off as much as things that they did with Kenobi.

The last thing, how would you make the audience care more about the Ashoka series? How would you have written it?
 
There was a misunderstanding somewhere. Who here is blaming anyone for using Fantasy in a Space Fantasy? I'm blaming the writer for using bad writing.

I have no problem at all with the Space Whales as a species. I don't like the way they are used in this episode, as a lazy and convenient plot device to allow Ahsoka to accomplish the impossible and follow the Hyperspace Ring. Which was only a problem in the first place because the writers decided to create, then destroy the only other thing that could've led her there: The map. So Filoni writes himself into a corner, then gets out of it with a cheap trick.

ctg said:
Also in this show, they need the momentum to keep going, because Mr Filoni could have ignored the fish and forced Ashoka to go the other way, thus delaying and extending the connection as there would have been a lot of fluffing around the map, and making hyperspace rings.
Making Hyperspace Rings to go to that other galaxy is only necessary in the first place because Filoni made it so. It's an artifice of the plot. If it's possible to enter a Space Whale's mouth and survive a jump through Hyperspace, everything else is also possible, including making a series of smaller jumps to reach that distant galaxy, or randomly deciding that the Force can now interact with Hyperspace Lanes and manipulate them, or create a Force shield allowing a random ship to jump there directly... Or perhaps less convoluted: If you have the resources and designs to create a Hyperspace Ring capable of withstanding that jump, can you not also develop a small tracking device and use it to follow the Space Whales' migration route? So why do you need that map in the first place?

It's all about the writers' whims, there's nothing scientific or logical about any of it, nor should there be. But whatever decision you end up going with as a writer, you need to sell it. Which is the entire problem in the first place. Not that it's illogical or unscientific, but that Filoni doesn't sell it.

As for needing to keep the momentum going... To me this show, like the other SW Disney+ shows, is a masterclass in beating around the bush. The jump to the other galaxy should've happened in Part II or III at the latest, after a short fight to get the map. Because this is where the meat of the story is, with Thrawn, Ezra... This is the plot line we want to see developed. And they're taking their sweet time with it... because they're saving it for the feature film. They have a one-movie idea and they turn it into six different TV shows filled with hot air. That's a big problem. Just do the movie.

Now the New Republic isn't caught pants down as the perpetrators are being pursued by an active protagonist. From Thrawn's perspective, antagonist.
I'm not sure I understand exactly what you meant, but let's talk about that: Why does the New Republic not want to prevent Thrawn from returning, or at least let Hera pursue this goal? I don't get it. What other important things should Hera be doing with her time? The New Republic leaders are threatening to demote a general, a war hero, because she wants to prevent the most dangerous threat to their rule from returning. It makes no sense.

Disney Star Wars continually depicts the New Republic as buffoons, so much so that I'm starting to regret Palpatine's rule. But of course that's not an in-universe problem, it's - again - a writing problem. Another artifice to inject some much needed conflict in an otherwise pedestrian story that the writers don't know how to handle. Another lazy cop out: The reason the New Republic doesn't want to commit any effort to preventing Thrawn's return is not because they actually want him to return and have already formulated a masterplan to capture him immediately and make him talk about a nascent First Order, for instance. No, it's just because they're dumb and don't trust each other. And all deserve to lose.

ctg said:
(Ahsoka) is far better than the Book of Boba Fett
It sure is. The Book of Boba Fett was probably the lowest of the lows. But I wouldn't say you need to grade a SW show as either the best or the worst, there's a whole spectrum there. And if BOBF is a 0 and Andor a 10, Ahsoka certainly isn't anywhere near a 9. I'd say it's hanging somewhere in the middle of that scale.

To sum up, it's not that the show has a lore problem or a Fantasy problem. The fantasy aspect is my favorite part of Star Wars. I don't want science fiction in SW, I want space wizards, impossible laser swords and dark caves that make you confront your greatest inner demons. The show has a writing problem. The ideas are there, the execution is all over the place.

I won't take the time to rewrite the show because I don't even want to bother honestly. But just taking what's there and tweaking it slightly would already make it more palatable. As it stands the show is too slow, too light on character development, too heavy on fan service that steals screen time away from the really interesting things, like who is Baylor and why is he the way he is? What's his angle on the Force? Why does he hate Vader but embraces Thrawn? There are so many interesting questions in there, but so little answers are given because the writers just don't want to put in the work. At least that's what it feels like to me.
 
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I have no problem at all with the Space Whales as a species. I don't like the way they are used in this episode, as a lazy and convenient plot device to allow Ahsoka to accomplish the impossible and follow the Hyperspace Ring. Which was only a problem in the first place because the writers decided to create, then destroy the only other thing that could've led her there: The map. So Filoni writes himself into a corner, then gets out of it with a cheap trick.
Well maybe so but of all the individuals we have in the SW canon universe she has gone the longest path. Ashoka kind of reached the culmination point when she gave big ef's to the Order and went on her own way. After that she grew as a character, even if she didn't get much of screentime in the Rebels.

I really, really don't mind using the Purrgil's as a plot device, because it is the way Thrawn got sucked into the unknown. Obviously, Ezra has rebelled because the space whales are back on the original galaxy and Thrawn is stuck on the other side.

To me, the bigger problem is Morgan's extra, extra large hyperspace ring. It is an extraordinary device meant to do the thing that the space whales does naturally. I also explained the problem on navigating the way into the next galaxy in the last episode, and personally it is a huge problem, where as I accept that the space whales naturally does what they do. Just like accept that the Force is bigger thing than powering up individual space wizards.

It is already established canon that the Force has sides, even gods, like the Mortis gods. It has super powerful Force Beings like Bendu, who showed Thrawn what the Force really can do when it destroyed the occupied Chopper Base, and wrecked his troops. It was the culmination that caused Thrawn to hunt even deeper, but he couldn't figure out the Force Mural on Lothal showing the Mortis Gods.

He cannot force the space whales to be the vessels on his campaign, because he's not even a Force User. Sensitive... maybe, but that is a long stretch. I always have seen him as the chaotic device that wants to get rid of the space wizards and all things related to it, because he wants the power to himself and nobody else should have anything other than the technology.

Steven King could refer him as the man in the black tower. But back to the space whales, sure they could have skipped it, but this series is limited to ten episodes, and the long arcs are connected to other pieces like the Mandalorian.

To me it is more satisfying to see the whole thing, with all the weird, almost unexplainable things that reach the limits of our understanding. Mr Filoni is fantastic at extending the known Fantasy beyond its limits. So if he wants to use the space whale as a plot device, then so be it even if it had been more satisfying to see the New Republic struggling with the problem.

Personally, less I see the corrupted New Republic, the better because I do not want to see the new reign of Palpatine's power. Let the evil space wizard to be dead, please.
 
Well maybe so but of all the individuals we have in the SW canon universe she has gone the longest path. Ashoka kind of reached the culmination point when she gave big ef's to the Order and went on her own way. After that she grew as a character, even if she didn't get much of screentime in the Rebels.
Agreed, but do you think the show is giving her justice as this accomplished character who had already been through so much? She spends most of the time crossing her arms and looking cryptically at people. She doesn't seem haunted, tortured, obsessed by anything... What makes her tick? What personal failings is she trying to overcome, willingly or not, in this show?

The whole World between Worlds scene in the latest episode would have been such a wonderful opportunity to address her shaky foundations: thrust into a large-scae conflict at such a young age, traumatized by her mentor becoming the face of the most evil regime the galaxy had ever known. And I'm not talking about showing her crying by the bedside of a wounded clone trooper, which is just a flashback showing what she felt then, I'm talking about having it resonate with scenes in the present to show what it all means to her now, how it has shaped her and how she's trying to cope with it. And I can't believe Filoni is not interested in telling this story, so what is he waiting for?

Maybe also have her struggle with the impostor syndrome as she never became a full fledged Jedi Knight. Like, make her question her ability to advise New Republic personnel. Have her struggle with her connection to The Force. I don't know but give her some fault lines she has to work out, something more personal, as opposed to just giving her a mission she decides to go on because there's nothing more important catching her interest on the Holonet that night.

I really, really don't mind using the Purrgil's as a plot device, because it is the way Thrawn got sucked into the unknown. Obviously, Ezra has rebelled because the space whales are back on the original galaxy and Thrawn is stuck on the other side.
I don't mind that they used the whales as a plot device, I mind that they used them in this way, meaning that they were just conveniently forgotten and saved for later as a replacement for the destroyed map when they should have been the map in the first place.

That's the cop out, you introduce the map as the "one and only" thing that can take people to that galaxy, then when the map is destroyed you go "But hold on, now we could also find a way to get there by using the whales who've been traveling there every other Sunday." This is the problem. Not that they used the space whales, but how they used them. That everyone else had forgotten that the space whales existed until it was convenient for them to remember.

From a major plot device that should have been integral to the story from the start (as soon as Rebels ended, the characters should have been investigating the species, trying to develop ways to follow them and understand their migration patterns - why did they not think of it sooner?!), the whales became a cheaply manufactured deus ex-machina. And really, the only way they could devise to use the whales was to have Ahsoka's ship entering one's mouth? This is fan fiction level stuff.

To me, the bigger problem is Morgan's extra, extra large hyperspace ring. It is an extraordinary device meant to do the thing that the space whales does naturally. I also explained the problem on navigating the way into the next galaxy in the last episode, and personally it is a huge problem, where as I accept that the space whales naturally does what they do.
I agree with that too.
 
The whole World between Worlds scene in the latest episode would have been such a wonderful opportunity to address her shaky foundations: thrust into a large-scae conflict at such a young age, traumatized by her mentor becoming the face of the most evil regime the galaxy had ever known. And I'm not talking about showing her crying by the bedside of a wounded clone trooper, which is just a flashback showing what she felt then, I'm talking about having it resonate with scenes in the present to show what it all means to her now, how it has shaped her and how she's trying to cope with it. And I can't believe Filoni is not interested in telling this story, so what is he waiting for?

Maybe also have her struggle with the impostor syndrome as she never became a full fledged Jedi Knight. Like, make her question her ability to advise New Republic personnel. Have her struggle with her connection to The Force. I don't know but give her some fault lines she has to work out, something more personal, as opposed to just giving her a mission she decides to go on because there's nothing more important catching her interest on the Holonet that night.
She struggled so much in the Clone Wars and in the Rebels she didn't want to teach Ezra because she struggled with the whole concept after giving those big ef's. She was trying to find herself and what she does with lack of her kind in the galaxy. This series is showing her coming to accepting that she's more, and that's also part of the Daughter plot, as in the Rebels it was shown that the Daughter was a bit of bimbo.

Her turning to White is a culmination point of her accepting that she's more than what Anakin made her to be. There's a lot of struggle in her past with all sorts of concepts, and Filoni showed in this episode that side of her. But he also advanced that Mortis god side, because that's how I saw and explained her being in the essence of the Force, without being on that Mortis Gods planet/place/thing.
I don't mind that they used the whales as a plot device, I mind that they used them in this way, meaning that they were just conveniently forgotten and saved for later as a replacement for the destroyed map when they should have been the map in the first place.

That's the cop out, you introduce the map as the "one and only" thing that can take people to that galaxy, then when the map is destroyed you go "But hold on, now we could also find a way to get there by using the whales who've been traveling there every other Sunday." This is the problem. Not that they used the space whales, but how they used them. That everyone else had forgotten that the space whales existed until it was convenient for them to remember.

From a major plot device that should have been integral to the story from the start (as soon as Rebels ended, the characters should have been investigating the species, trying to develop ways to follow them and understand their migration patterns - why did they not think of it sooner?!), the whales became a cheaply manufactured deus ex-machina. And really, the only way they could devise to use the whales was to have Ahsoka's ship entering one's mouth? This is fan fiction level stuff.
Well, she said that the whales didn't know what she meant and the whole trip inside them and not being dragged by their tentacles as it was shown in the Rebels doesn't mean that they're going to be b-lining straight to the plot point. It is more likely they are going to follow the migration patterns and do a series of jumps, unless House of Mickey is in a rush.

It is a problem that she and Huyang are facing. Trusting the Force that it does the good thing, but knowing him, it could be that it's not so simple as docking with the whales and leaning back with a cup of coffee in hand to see weird lights shining through the cockpit.

There are a lot of things that could be explored by allowing the fish to be fish. We just don't know what or how the next episodes construct itself. As a showrunner, I believe it was Mr Filoni's first time in the Director's chair. He constructed the story, including the writing, but we don't really know what ended in the cutting room floor and what was changed to make the story more coherent.

Andor sure struggled a long time with him not accepting who he really is and what he can do with those natural spy skills, and personally I hated it. Maybe I wanted him to be space James Bond, but that's not what we got.
 
She struggled so much in the Clone Wars and in the Rebels she didn't want to teach Ezra because she struggled with the whole concept after giving those big ef's. She was trying to find herself and what she does with lack of her kind in the galaxy. This series is showing her coming to accepting that she's more, and that's also part of the Daughter plot, as in the Rebels it was shown that the Daughter was a bit of bimbo.
That, in a nutshell, is the main problem of this show. To explain to me why it works, you need to refer to all those past shows which people may or may not have seen. All the conflict already happened. If you just watch Ahsoka, you don't have that info and the show just seems bland because all that subtext is missing. Imagine watching the latest episode having not watched Rebels and the Mortis Arc. Would you say then that the writers are doing a good job at explaining the story to the audience? At giving them enough to root for the characters or care for their story?

ctg said:
Her turning to White is a culmination point of her accepting that she's more than what Anakin made her to be.
The show just told us exactly the opposite of that, as far as I'm concerned. It's precisely thanks to her interactions with Anakin and his "you live or you die" challenge, whatever that meant, that Ahsoka was able to ascend (and ascend to what precisely, beyond a cosmetic change?). She didn't turn the tables on Anakin, she didn't use her own wits or come to her own realization to break free, it's Anakin who provided the challenge and the key to her growth, and kept trying to nudge her on that path forward, he was her guide throughout the entire thing. So in effect she is now exactly as Anakin made her.

But more importantly, I never got the impression until now that Ahsoka was struggling with "what Anakin had made her to be." Based on this show alone, she seems at peace with who she is, not conflicted whatsoever and not even remotely interested in changing who she is. Beyond her refusal to train Sabine, which we can put down to a host of other things, we never had smaller, quieter character moments which allowed her and us to reflect on where she was, where she had come from and where she wanted to go from there. And this is the showrunner's failure, not the audience's failure for not picking up on the subtle and not-so-subtle references to other SW shows.
 
Yeah, it's a problem when you cannot cram in all that info in 37 minutes. 50 minutes would have been better, and if they'd gone down the World-between-Worlds and shown what was, what could have been and what is happening now through the portals would have explained better the whole struggle part. They didn't do that and this is what we have to live with. Like it or not.
 
Sigh! Every time I come to this site I realize that there is so much going on that I know nothing about.

I do find the space whales (whatever they are called) to be a tough ask. And the musical score behind them and everyone's enraptured face as they encounter them make me a bit sick. (I would comment further, but I am likely to slide into religion here.)
 
That, in a nutshell, is the main problem of this show. To explain to me why it works, you need to refer to all those past shows which people may or may not have seen. All the conflict already happened. If you just watch Ahsoka, you don't have that info and the show just seems bland because all that subtext is missing.
And I can give you one perfect example of this:
It's [the green hair] the one physical trait his mum passed on to him (her green skin became green hair in his case).
I wasn't aware that she was his biological mother. Yes, he frequently calls her "mom," but I assumed he was adopted. The only thing that we have been told in this show is that his father was a great Jedi called Kanan Jarrus. I keep asking myself why it's Bring the General's Son to Work Day because it seems odd to bring a child along on a dangerous and unauthorised mission, and then have to tell him to stay out of trouble.

why the convoluted plot about the map? Did no one even think of, I don't know, finding a way to track these whales through hyperspace for instance? Why did they have to learn about this ancient map that had been waiting in some forgotten temple, bring it to that one specific place, use nightsister withcraft to make it work... when there were all those purgills around and they're just happy to bring anybody in for the ride?
I think you really are flogging a dead horse, but I agree with you entirely. In earlier posts, I have already complained about all the Megafauna on Star Wars being ecologically unsound, and that they are a lazy SF trope to use, and I hadn't even got to the "energy required to create wormholes" by the Whales part, but not much else to say about them. They do exist!

Again as I already said in an earlier post, with the map destroyed, how do they hope to get home again? What is the plan? There must be a plan, right? They want to rescue Thrawn and bring him back, and not also strand themselves in a different galaxy, far, far away too?

You say: The Whales will bring them back. I say: So why didn't they use them to get there too?

And if Ezra or Thrawn used them to get there, why can't they use them to get back again without any help? What changed? What will change again now?
I don't like the way they are used in this episode, as a lazy and convenient plot device to allow Ahsoka to accomplish the impossible and follow the Hyperspace Ring. Which was only a problem in the first place because the writers decided to create, then destroy the only other thing that could've led her there: The map. So Filoni writes himself into a corner, then gets out of it with a cheap trick.
I have less problems with Ahsoka being the only one to be able to speak to the Whales, and to travel with them, but that also needs some explanation of why? Not every hitchhiker is given a lift when they ask for one.

the whole World Between Worlds scene(s) was completely useless to the show. Again if it didn't help Ahsoka understand who she is, who she must become or what she must do next... Then it was all fluff.
This cannot be disputed, as I said:
It was to give backstory for those who didn't know it, and it was fan service for those that like it, but I guess there must be a large other audience that doesn't require or want either. It didn't forward the plot at all.
 

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