By Josh Reilly B.
Together Again” concludes Ahsoka and the Martez sisters’ arc of the final season of The Clone Wars in an entertaining, somewhat lackluster episode. This episode sees Ahsoka hatching a plan for her and the Martez sisters to escape from the clutches of the Pyke Syndicate involving the Martez leaving to retrieve spice, while Ahsoka attempts to escape on her own.
As this four-episode arc came to an end, it is clear that this narrative was perhaps not best fit for the final season of a beloved show, especially a shortened season with only 12 episodes. This arc was not initially designed to be part of the show’s final season and that’s understandable given the relatively inconsequential plot, character reveals, and introductions. The creators behind this arc have clearly adapted it to make it more suitable for the final season, including the set-up for the Siege of Mandalore that will soon be discussed. However, despite these efforts, this stretch of episodes simply did not reach the heights of previous Clone Wars episodes, some of which stand alongside the best theatrically released films as truly great Star Wars content. This is not inherently indicative of the arc’s quality, necessarily, but, rather, suggests that these episodes do not have the plot or character moments one would expect from the final season of such an amazing show. Especially when viewed within the context of a shortened final season, these episodes feel even more frustrating given the slew of interesting tales occurring throughout the galaxy that these stories could be centered around.
In looking at this particular episode more narrowly, independent of its role in the larger scheme of the show, once again, The Clone Wars delivers a really enjoyable 25 minutes of Star Wars content. It was obvious where this episode had to pick up, given the conundrum Ahsoka and the Martez sisters found themselves in at the end of the last episode. And the prison break elements of the episode that followed suit were quite interesting. The Martez sisters’ journey to obtain more spice was light and friendly and humorous. But, Ahsoka’s journey in this episode was far more interesting and suspense-filled. Her plan to escape the Pyke facility, while the Martez sisters obtained the spice, was well conceived, but did not culminate in the way it was intended. Along the way, however, the audience was treated with some great moments of tension, particularly centered around the much anticipated introduction of Maul into this season. Although the Pyke Syndicate’s relationship with Maul has been touched on in the earlier seasons of The Clone Wars and Solo: A Star Wars Story, it was still a pleasant surprise to see the once Sith apprentice turned underworld leader on the scene again. Coupled with the updated animation that makes Maul look better than ever, Sam Witwer’s performance as the villain is as chilling and menacing and enthralling as it is has ever been. Perhaps the biggest surprise in this episode came from Maul’s mention of Crimson Dawn in this scene. Not only was this a really cool reference to the organization Han Solo and his crew are working for in Solo, but it also establishes that Crimson Dawn has been around longer than fans may have thought. The Shadow Collective was the criminal alliance that saw Maul collaborate with Death Watch, Black Sun, the Pykes, and more in the earlier seasons of The Clone Wars to takeover Mandalore. This episode confirms that it wasn’t too long after the Shadow Collective fragmented and Maul escaped Sidious that Maul kickstarted a new criminal empire, one that seemingly proves more deadly and menacing than its predecessor as future events indicate. Once again, this brief moment of dialogue highlights one of the strengths of Star Wars – the interconnectivity of characters, organizations, plots, locations, and the galaxy overall. An organization first introduced in Solo, led by a character first introduced in The Phantom Menace, is now being elaborated on in The Clone Wars. The Clone Wars and Rebels have excelled in establishing such connectivity between characters and events in the Star Wars saga and every scene like this one in “Together Again” is a real treat for Star Wars fans.
The emotional crux of this episode pertained to Ahsoka’s inevitable revelation of her Jedi background to the Martez sisters. While this reveal panned out rather predictably, it still delivered an effective message that aligned with the episode’s initial statement of changing who you are, but not being able to run away from yourself. Although the reveal that Ahsoka was a Jedi has obvious positive implications for the Martez sisters’ perceptions of Jedi overall, the reveal and its aftermath were more important for Ahsoka’s journey and understanding of herself. In discussing her background as a Jedi to the Martez sisters, Ahsoka realizes that, although she is no longer a member of the Jedi Order, this doesn’t mean she is not a Jedi still, exhibiting the values of selflessness and unwavering care championed by the Order. The notion that a person is defined as a Jedi, not by their participation in an order, but the inherent values they exhibit is a powerful message and one that resonates throughout a number of characters, including Anakin in Return of the Jedi, Luke in The Last Jedi, and Ben Solo in The Rise of Skywalker. For these characters and Ahsoka, they are still inherently Jedi, loving, caring, compassionate, and selfless, despite events and choices in their lives that have driven them away from what we traditionally conceive Jedi as.
The last point of interest in this episode was alluded to earlier and involves the full introduction of Bo-Katan and her recruitment of Ahsoka to liberate Mandalore from Maul. It’s clear, given the previous points, that this episode was not originally meant to lead into the Siege of Mandalore arc, but the writers did a good job making the transition from the Martez sisters arc as seamless as possible. The episode doesn’t linger as long as it should on the moment of Ahsoka’s deliberation regarding whether or not she should join Bo-Katan to Mandalore, instead opting to quickly, formally introduce the Mandalorians into the fold before flying away. It would have been nice for the episode to take a little more time with this moment as deciding to jump back into the fold of the Clone Wars, potentially running into her former Jedi and Clone trooper comrades, is a decision Ahsoka probably wouldn’t take lightly. Nevertheless, this tease for the final arc of the Clone Wars was still effective. Although people were excited to see the Bad Batch and Ahsoka again, much of the anticipation surrounding this season is centered around the Siege of Mandalore, which seems to be a fitting conclusion to the show overall. And this episode does a good job setting that arc up.
So far, two of the three plot arcs of The Clone Wars’ final season have concluded to mixed results. Both arcs had their downs, with some sluggish plotting and inconsequential narratives, but both also had their highs, with some great character moments, stunning animation, and exciting teases of what’s to come. Although this episode certainly doesn’t hit the heights of previous episodes of this arc, the season, or the broader show overall, it still does its job of offering Star Wars fans an exciting 25 minutes with beloved characters, an entertaining, lightweight plot, and great animation. And now that we’re nearing the final episodes of The Clone Wars, our anticipation for the Siege of Mandalore couldn’t be greater.