At long last, Ahsoka Tano returns!
The opening montage of “Gone with a Trace” reminds the viewer of what happened with the Jedi padawan at the end of season five, as she decided to walk away from the Jedi Order, and it is fitting, because this truly felt like the continuation of that story.
While the first four episodes of the seventh and final season of The Clone Wars were focused a bit on Captain Rex, this next arc is focusing on Ahsoka – in particular, on Ahsoka after leaving the Jedi Order. How does she deal with no longer being a Jedi? How does she move on with her life? That’s what we’re going to begin to learn, and that started with this episode, titled “Gone with a Trace.”
Let’s dive in to our review!
Ahsoka Tano rides her bike in the Coruscant skies as she flies to the lower levels, but as she does so she experiences trouble with the bike and struggles to keep it from crashing. She eventually manages to run along the wall, propelling it toward a platform on which she crash lands, on Level 1313. On the platform she meets Trace Martez, who is a mechanic operating on the level. Trace kindly offers Ahsoka a place to repair her speeder and is friendly with her. Ahsoka, however, struggles to repair her bike, as she wants to leave. She stares longingly at ships rising to the upper levels (which is where she tells Trace she is from).
Upon returning to the shop, however, Trace and Ahsoka are soon approached by thugs, looking for money to pay off the debt of Trace’s sister, Rafa. Trace orders Ahsoka not to get involved and tries fighting them off, but winds up asking for help. Ahsoka then intervenes, making quick and easy work of the thugs and sending them running away. She claims to have learned how to fight from her older brother.
The two new friends go to meet Rafa, who gets a new job fixing droids for a client. Trace and Ahsoka help her on this, but Ahsoka realizes that the droids they are fixing are dangerous. Before Trace can instal a restraining bolt on one of the droids, it activates and escapes, causing wreckage in its wake as it travels the underworld. Rafa is infuriated by this development, while Trace and Ahsoka pursue on a speeder. They eventually catch up to droid and Trace manages to deactivate it… but this sends her and the droid plummeting. Ahsoka catches them with the speeder, but as it begins to fall as well and she sees no other way, she uses the Force to drag the speeder (with the droid and Trace in tow) to safety.
In the aftermath of this, Rafa reveals that she still sold the droids to the client despite the dangers, and that this allowed her to pay off her debt. Trace confides in Ahsoka that she knows Rafa is trying to make life better for them, but Ahsoka asks at what cost. Ahsoka then heads off to fix her speeder, planning to leave, and Trace offers to help her with the repairs.
The highlight of this episode was easily the return of Ahsoka. It was so good to see her return to The Clone Wars. Additionally, this was the first episode of this season that told a brand new story, so even though I enjoyed the Bad Batch arc, that was a pretty cool and welcome development.
Overall, this episode felt like it was setting a lot of things up. We were re-introduced to Ahsoka, we saw her dealing with having left the Jedi Order, and we were introduced to the Martez sisters. So while this episode in itself didn’t really seem like anything spectacular, I’m confident that a major goal here was to introduce Trace and Rafa Martez, and to bring Ahsoka into contact with them.
So speaking of the sisters, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Trace was very welcoming and kind, while Rafa seemed to just be taking advantage of Trace and more self-centered (despite doing things claiming it was best for Trace). I’m very curious to see that dynamic moving forward.
But these sisters also give us – and more importantly, Ahsoka – a look at life outside the Jedi Temple. Trace doesn’t think very highly of the Jedi, which Ahsoka tries to defend at first… but Trace is right. In many ways, the Jedi did lose their way; Ahsoka knows that, we know that, and it seems others in the galaxy knew that as well. They didn’t have an idealized version of the Jedi; instead, they actually don’t think too highly of the Jedi whatsoever. I find it interesting that Ahsoka is now coming to know people who don’t think highly of the Jedi; even though her faith in the Jedi has wavered and even though she left the Order, that’s also all she has ever known. That’s quite a bit for her to be dealing with.
Additionally, Ahsoka seems to be shocked that Rafa would still sell the droids despite them being dangerous, but what’s notable is that the underworld of the galaxy has to do things like that to survive. It’s a moral gray zone, and it’s one that Ahsoka is going to have to learn to walk in. How do you do what’s right despite the need to simply survive on a daily basis? At this point, all Ahsoka has is basically a bike that’s broken… she’s having to deal with this new way of life.
Aside from all of that, there’s not a whole lot from this episode, but I did love seeing how Ahsoka was clearly a more than formidable fighter, and I loved the moment of her using the Force. She must be careful, but her desire to save someone trumps her desire to stay hidden. That’s exactly the way she’s always been. And I think Kevin Kiner deserves a lot of credit here in particular, because I loved his use of the Force theme in this episode to really drive home the emotion of Ahsoka trying to figure out life after the Jedi Order.
We know where she ends up, but we don’t exactly know how she got there. I’m thrilled that we’re going to get the chance to explore that more: what does someone who has known the Jedi Order all her life do once she’s no longer part of it? This episode was fine, and it felt like a lot of important character development and introductions that will pay off later. And at the end of the day, it’s just so great to see Ahsoka again.
My grade: 7.5/10