The Clone Wars
Episode 5.20: The Wrong Jedi
The episode begins at the Jedi Temple, where Admiral Tarkin is before the Jedi Council via hologram. He explains that the Senate requests that Ahsoka be indicted for acts of treason against the Republic. Yoda explains that Ahoska would have a fair trial in accordance with Jedi tradition, but Admiral Tarkin and the Senate believe a trial within the Order would be biased in favor for Ahsoka. They believe she should be expelled from the Order so she can face a military tribunal. Obi-Wan is uneasy about this, but the rest of the Council think proceeding on their own could be seen as opposition to the Senate. They decide to summon Ahsoka to the Jedi chamber of judgement with Anakin by her side. Even after listening to her pleas of innocence, the Council rules to remove her from the Jedi Order.
Ahsoka is placed in a cell, where she receives a visit from Anakin and Padme. Padme agrees to represent Ahsoka before the Senate. Ahsoka believes Asajj Ventress is the one behind all of this. Anakin decides to go find Ventress.
Down in the seedy levels of Coruscant, Anakin locates Ventress, where they briefly battle it out. Ventress doesn’t last long though, and Anakin quickly disarms her and Force chokes her. He demands that she tell him the truth. Asajj tells him that she decided to put aside the bounty against Ahsoka because of the circumstances they share, namely that they were both abandoned by the Jedi Order. Anakin looks taken aback as if he sees truth behind her words.
Ahsoka is then led to the tribunal, where she joined by Padme and Admiral Tarkin, who acts as the prosecution. Chancellor Palpatine oversees the proceedings. Tarkin begins his arguments and immediately recommends the death penalty in the case of a guilty verdict.
Next, Ventress explains to Anakin how she was attacked. She then tells him what proves to be the ultimate lead in the investigation: Ahsoka’s prior discussion with Barriss Offee. Anakin leaves immediately to confront her.
Back in the tribunal, Padme presents her arguments to the court, and afterward is met with mock applause from Tarkin. He questions the arguments, and the fact that Ahsoka was found with known Separatist terrorist Asajj Ventress. Palpatine then begins his statements, first acknowledging how it might seem that Ahsoka is innocent, but then recalling how Separatist infiltrators off all types have fooled the Republic.
At the Jedi Temple, Anakin confronts Barriss. After a brief exchange in words, Barriss realizes she’s been caught. Anakin ignites her blue lightsaber as she reaches for Asajj’s lightsabers that she hid in a pot. A fierce lightsaber duel between them commences in the room and spills out into the halls of the Temple. Once confronted by Temple guards, Barriss jumps out of a Temple window an onto a walkway below, followed by Anakin. Anakin proves too powerful and Barriss is eventually defeated.
At the tribunal, the court reaches a verdict. As Palpatine begins to read it, Anakin enters and interrupts, presenting the court with new evidence: a confession from Barriss. She then reveals her motivations behind the Temple attack, and feels the Jedi are wrong to fight in the war and that the Republic is failing. Anakin is relieved, as is Ahsoka, but the look on her face says it all. The betrayal against her is too severe. The damage, irreversible.
Back at the Temple, Anakin apologizes, as do other members of the Council. Mace however feels that this was her great trial, as if this was the will of the Force. Yoda then welcomes her back. Anakin extends to her the Padawan braid, but Ahsoka rejects it. “I’m sorry Master, but I’m not coming back”. (Cue my tears)
Outside of the Temple, Ahsoka explains her decision to Anakin. He pleads for her to stay, but her decision is final. Anakin reveals that he understands her decision to walk away, likely because of his marriage with Padme. Ahsoka then says “I know”, as if she knows his secret and has kept it.
She then walks away.
This, of course, this the final episode of season 5, and this season sure went out with a bang. The build-up for this 4-episode finale arc was tremendous, with tons of publicity from Lucasfilm, including a fan screening at the Letterman Digital Arts Center. Most people didn’t know what to expect. Would this be the end for Ahsoka? Who was behind the attack on the Jedi Temple, and framing of Ahsoka? The suspense leading up to today was incredible.
What an intense episode! So many major events. It’s a shame about Barriss Offee, and there are a few continuity issues to deal with, but to me her fall was within the character established. After all, in the Medstar duology, she was in the thick of the clone wars on Drongar, and treating the injured surely weighed her down emotionally. In the second novel Jedi Healer, she skirted dangerously close to the dark side after brief exposure to bota, a powerful healing plant (the reason for the Republic/Separatist conflict on Drongar). Becoming disillusioned because of the war also played right into Palpatine’s plans. His plan was to exterminate the Jedi; if some willingly left the Order along the way, so be it.
We also see what impact all of this has on Anakin, and no doubt strengthens the wedge placed between him and the Order. Between lashing out at the Order, hunting Ventress down and in his confrontation with Barriss Ofee, his anger was quite visible and his resentment very apparent.
And how about Asajj Ventress? Who would have thought that she’d one day save Ahsoka’s life.
For me, if The Clone Wars were to end today, this would be a fitting end to this fantastic series. The Clone Wars began with the introduction of Ahsoka Tano in 2008, and season 5 ends today with her departure from the Jedi Order. Sure, there are loose ends to tie up, but I would be happy if this was it.
Final thoughts: This episode is powerful, and devastating. In the beginning way back in 2008, Anakin resisted taking Ahsoka on as an apprentice, but here he is, all these years later, pleading for her to stay. The betrayal she feels is heartbreaking. But I can feel Anakin’s pain too. This certainly adds rich context to the later events in Revenge of the Sith. His turn against the Jedi was so shocking, but now it seems a bit more believable.
When Ahsoka walks away with tears in her eyes, and the camera looks back on Anakin while fading away from him… is one of the most powerful moments in television, ever.
Watch the episode. Words will never do it justice.
Hats off to the cast and crew of The Clone Wars, especially the ones directly involved with The Wrong Jedi. I don’t often shed tears for anything, but I did today.