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Ahsoka Episode 5 Review – Impressive, Most Impressive

I don't find this surprising if true, but Hayden Christensen is rumored to return in a major role, again, in Ahsoka Season 2

There was a lot of hype around Ahsoka Episode 5 so here is my review. I have to say I was impressed overall with the show this week. I enjoyed Episode 5, in fact I think it was my favorite episode of the series so far. First let’s talk about SPOILERS.

I’ve gone back and forth on having spoilers in reviews over the years and right now I true to keep them as spoiler free as possible. However, I really can’t think how I effectively pull that off this week without spoiling something. Therefore, whilst this won’t be a full spoilers review, there may be some SPOILERS this week and I just want to make that clear before we start.

Anakin Skywalker

We all know Anakin showed up at the close of Episode 4, so there’s no spoiling how Anakin focused this episode is. There are some points I want to make though which will spoil a few details related to Anakin’s return.

To be clear, I’m not really a fan of the prequels. I like the ideas behind them, but I felt the execution and the dialogue were atrocious. Lucas isn’t that good a writer, great ideas or pitch guy, but not a great writer. One of the characters i felt got the sort end of the stick in the PT was Anakin. Hayden Christensen’s performance was slated as being wooden and cringey. It was, but I always blamed the writing more than the acting. I don’t think Hayden is winning any Oscars anytime soon, but I’m not sure anyone could have pulled off what Lucas write for Anakin.

Like many fans I much preferred the animated version of Anakin we meet in The Clone Wars. It started terribly with that whole Rotta the Hutt business. However, we ended up with some gold as well, much of it involving Anakin and Ahsoka. What a do like about Anakin in Episode 5 is that the writing is more TCW than PT, which is no surprise given showrunner and director Dave Filoni. As such this feels more like live action TCW Anakin than it does that weird cringey dude from the PT.

RELATED: Ahsoka Episode 4 Review – Your Smoke Theory Sucks

This is a better Anakin, maybe not the one I hoped we’d get in 1998, but still. Hayden doesn’t look weird here. In the WBW he looks older, like Hayden currently would, and not as weird as he looked last week. There are other scenes which try to show a younger Anakin and again there’s not too much facial work, just a change of costume and hair to make him look more like the Anakin we saw during The Clone Wars. I’m okay with it to be honest.

Emotionally I liked Hayden’s interactions with Rosario as Ahsoka and also young actress Ariana Greenblatt, who as rumored plays the younger version of Ahsoka we knew during The Clone Wars. More about her later.

It worked for me, and there was no cringeyness or canon breaking moments. In fact, if anything this felt like something that Ahsoka needed to move on.

What Happened?

I’m not going to go into the plot. What I want to give some praise for was the ambiguity of exactly what we just witnessed. Some may dislike this, however I’ve always appreciated how Filoni likes to leave some mysteries just out of reach. Not everything needs to be fully explained and placed into a box with Filoni, especially when it comes to the Force. Anyone who’s watched Rebels or TCW knows there’s some things fans are still debating. Filoni keeps that mysticism here. Was this the WBW, was it all in Ahsoka’s own head as she was injured? Or, was this some kind of Force vision and Ahsoka was able to connect with Anakin despite him being dead. Luke has by this point seen the Force Ghost Anakin, but there’s no indication this is a Force Ghost.

Equally we are not specifically told what lesson Ahsoka had to learn. What was Anakin trying to teach her? You could make an argument for a few different takes on that one, and I appreciate that also. In fact, that ambiguity may be what I like most about Ahsoka Episode 5. We may get a clear picture as we see Ahsoka develop on a new path from here, but I think it will still be a point we can find variation of opinion on, long after the series is over.

The Past

I mentioned young actress Ariana Greenblatt and she was really good as TCW version of Ahsoka. Overall, those flashbacks were quite reserved and yet still conveyed that we were in the scenes we’ve seen elsewhere. As we shared a rumor on, Anakin does wear the armor from The Clone Wars finally and it looks good in live-action. I think what impressed me most visually though was that once we got to a battle Anakin hadn’t participated in, his appearance seemed to occasionally shift towards Darth Vader, sometimes just the red blade and others the full outfit. For me its showcased that at this time, that’s what was going on inside of Anakin, and it’s a big part of what is holding back Ahsoka.

The resolution equally was understated and yet satisfying. Again there are varied theories you could make towards what is actually happening here and what it does for Ahsoka.

The Future

Moving towards the Episode climax I thought it was shot brilliantly and really felt epic, yet also understated and less Hollywood than we are used to. I’m hyped to see what happens next and I’m eager to see what this experience has changed within Ahsoka.

As for the other characters, only Hera, Chopper, Jacen, Huyang are seen. There’s no update on Sabine, Elsbeth, Baylon or Shin. I enjoyed the connective tissue these characters provided, but I will say I’m not a fan of Jacen Syndula. His character traits seems to be, nice kid, with the Force. That’s it, he just feels plastic to me, and that’s no offence to the young actor playing him. There isn’t much to work with. I almost feel like it would have been better if we had spent less time with him. Leave him back on Home 1 unless you plan to develop him a little. It’s a small gripe, but he just feels like random kid number 1.

I guess they can’t send him to Luke or we assume he got killed by Ben Solo and he’s probably too young yet to be a useful character to learn form Ahsoka. Maybe in future seasons with a time skip and a recast, we can actually get a real character? Hope he dies his hair though in a rebellious phase.

A well put together episode with some emotional punch. It gave me something to think about and I appreciate that.

GRADE: A

I did call what I thought may happen at the end of Ahsoka Episode 5, but I’m genuinely not sure what to expect from Episode 6. There are several ways to play it. Have an episode focused on Sabine and what happens once they arrive at their destination, or have Ahsoka show up and take it from there. Either could work and the only predictions I’ll make are this. By the end of the season I think they all somehow come back to our Galaxy. As in Thrawn, Ezra, Ahsoka and Sabine. What happens between now and then, who knows?

Let me know what you thought of my Ahsoka Episode 5 review and of course, what you thought yourself. Comments below as always.

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