Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Clone Wars: The Wrong Jedi

Andrew Leon and I are watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Every Tuesday, we will be featuring an episode from the series which began in 2008.

Episode: "The Wrong Jedi"
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 5, Episode 20
Original Air Date: March 1, 2013
via Wookieepedia
What is the true moral position of the Jedi Order within the Star Wars universe?  For me, this is the question that lies at the heart of the best Clone Wars episodes and what, in fact, makes the series more interesting than the prequel movies themselves.  All of the movies are set upon an obvious Jedi vs. Sith conflict, with Jedi the unquestioned good guys, the Sith the unquestioned bad.  We know that Anakin ultimately abandons one for the other but that is due to his personal failings and Palpatine's manipulation.  We are never left to question whether the Jedi might, in some instances, actually be in the wrong.  In The Clone Wars, that's all on the table, nowhere more so than in the final episode of Season Five.

Ahsoka Tano stands accused of murder and treason.  We all know she's been framed but Anakin is the only Jedi who believes it.  Tarkin and the Senate want her to have a civilian trial so they demand Ahsoka be kicked out of the Jedi Order.


We really can't explore the story any further without spoiling.  Ahsoka is removed from the Order.  While Padme stands in as public defender for Ahsoka, Anakin tracks down Asajj Ventress, Ahsoka's accused accomplice, to learn the truth.  Asajj argues for her own innocence and implicates another: Barriss Offee, Ahsoka's confidant within the Order.  Anakin confronts Barriss.  They duel.  Barriss is brought before the court just at the moment of verdict and confesses all, her speech an impassioned accusation of the Jedi, blaming them, not the Separatists, for the war.  This is not the first time we've heard this asserition but it is the first time we've heard it from a Jedi.  Nonetheless, Ahsoka is vindicated.  Perry Mason couldn't have planned it any better.

But wait, there's more.  Here's where things really get interesting.  The Jedi Council apologizes to Ahsoka for doubting her and welcome her back to the Order.  Instead of rushing back to their welcoming embrace, she walks away.

She walks away!  Her faith in herself and her faith in the Jedi have been shaken.  While she is clearly sad to leave, she sees that her way lies along a different path.  Now, more than ever, it is becoming increasingly clear that The Clone Wars has been largely Ahsoka's story all along, not Anakin's.


Ian Abercrombie, the original voice of Palpatine in The Clone Wars, died on January 26, 2012 of kidney failure.  The episode "Lawless" was dedicated to his memory.  While some of his parts for future episodes, including one Lost Missions arc, had already been recorded, the series needed a new voice actor for the role.  In stepped master thespian, Tim Curry.
via Garfield Wiki
Timothy Curry was born April 19, 1946 in Grappenhall, Cheshire, England.  Curry attended boarding school at Kingswood School in Bath where he was a talented boy soprano.  At university in Birmingham he studied English and Drama.

The London stage beckoned.  Curry got his first full-time role in the London production of Hair but it was his second gig that set him on the path to international superstar.  Fair or not, Curry will always be best associated with his most famous role: Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  He performed the part in London and Los Angeles productions before landing the screen gig.  Frank doesn't merely steal the show in Rocky Horror, the world's greatest of all cult films.  He is the show.

His stage and screen credits since are numerous.  Movies include Annie, Clue and Legend.  He has done extensive voice work, too, with roles in Fern Gully, Peter Pan & The Pirates, for which he won a Daytime Emmy as Captain Hook, and The Wild Thornberrys.  Between 1978 and 1981, he also recorded three albums with A&M.  His single "I Do the Rock", co-written with Michael Kamen, even reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  I'll let you judge for yourself...

Next week: "The Unknown." This Thursday, we'll be recapping Season Five.


  1. I almost agree with you about Ahsoka but for one thing: The show continues on after her departure. Or that was the intent, at any rate. Not only do we have part of season six but season seven was in pre-production, all without Ahsoka. If the ending of season five had been the intended ending to the show, I could go with Ahsoka being the protagonist, but I think she's there to bring balance to the... to show the road Anakin should have taken. Sure, the Jedi Order may have some problems, but that doesn't mean that the answer is to go full Sith.

    1. Two questions I have been pondering:

      1. What is the point of these stories?

      2. Who is telling them?

      The answers I have come to so far:

      1. They are fables. Those morals at the beginning of each episode have been the big clue all along.

      2. Ashoka. These are her stories to tell, whomever, about her experiences with Anakin and the Jedi.

      Looking forward to Season 6...

    2. My answer to your first question was kind of answered by Lucas at some point, the point being to show Anakin's path so that you can see his journey toward his fall so that it's not the sudden, inexplicable thing many people complained that it was in Ep. III.

      For your second question, I'm going to go with it still being the droids. They're around enough to be able to have the information to tell these tales.

    3. Hmm. Artist intent aside, I still think the show is more interesting when it's not all about Anakin.

    4. I don't disagree with you. Clearly, the people "on the ground" had some different ideas and that not everything could be focused on Anakin. However, as a general principle, I think Anakin and the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan and, then, Anakin and Ahsoka can be seen as the driving force behind the show.

    5. Sure. And those relationships are certainly raison d'etre.

      The Star Wars franchise in general is really good at maintaining a folkloric atmosphere. While I get the droids as chroniclers idea, it's also easy to see how many of these Clone Wars tales might be told at a campfire, a bar table or even a child's bedside. It is in such context that I imagine Ahsoka as storyteller.

  2. The amount of the show I have watched I agree we have be traveling along with Ahsoka journey of growth. I think you can believe in something but not agree with an all or nothing.
    Great review as always.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  3. Ooo~ Such a good episode. I'm a huge fan of the gray-area moral dilemmas, and this one was well done.

    I really need to go rewatch it.

    1. Doesn't every truly great story noodle around in that gray area?