Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much" Review: Born to Run

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars S05E18: "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"

Stripped to their barest of bones, the plots of many of Alfred Hitchcock’s films are about an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary situations. While a Jedi Padawan is hardly an ordinary person, Ahsoka Tano is the closest thing The Clone Wars has to that sort of a character type. Across one movie and five seasons, the show’s intended audience has grown up with her, watched her become a confident Jedi, and has come to relate to her. In the same way that Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart’s were sophisticated movie actors who were still believable as regular people in Hitchcock’s films, Ahsoka’s image is one of both a competent Jedi and the audience surrogate in the narrative.

In “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much,” Ahsoka found herself in a Hitchcockian situation of being set up for the murder of Letta, the woman who fed her husband the explosive nano-bots that blew up the Jedi Temple hangar last week. Since clones were killed in the explosion, Palpatine decreed that it was a military issue, not a Jedi one, and placed Tarkin in charge of the matter. The change in jurisdictional control was likely a three-pronged decision: The first, as Tarkin explained, is that Palpatine is seeking to further remove the Jedi from military matters, because they are peacekeepers, not warriors. The second, and this is me theorizing, is that Palpatine’s looking for another way to discredit the Jedi, and the murder of bombing suspect by a Jedi would certainly fit into that mold. I’ll get to that third prong in just a moment.

Compared to Grant and Stewart’s characters, though, Ahsoka is at a disadvantage, one that those older characters never really had to worry about. The conventions of classic Hollywood cinema being what they were, the fate of the protagonist was never really in doubt. He would break up the spy ring, clear his name, and get the girl (provided he didn’t already have her). So while he’d be in danger, and it would be thrilling and suspenseful, the outcome was always a sure thing.

But ever since she made her debut, Ahsoka’s fate has never been a sure thing. Does she die? Does she turn to the dark side? Does she simply go into exile at some point? This arc seems primed to test the possibilities of what could happen to Ahsoka now that she's on the run from the Jedi Council and the military in an effort to clear her name. Certainly the evidence is stacked against her, from her rant about Letta’s guilt and desire for revenge in front of Anakin, Tarkin, and Barriss to the holocam footage that made it look like she was Force-choking Letta to all the dead or injured clones in the prison. Like any good Hitchcockian hero, Ahsoka will likely end up traveling long distances and making unlikely alliances in an effort to acquit herself. But unlike those heroes, it’s tough to know how exactly how it will all end.

And there’s still the matter of the third prong. This one, like the second, is just a theory, but here goes: Given Palpatine's careful orchestration of everything so far, I would not be at all surprised if he's had this in the works for some time, and considers Ahsoka’s fall from favor within the Jedi Order—whether by discreditation, turning to the dark side, or getting trapped in a web of convincing evidence—as another step in his plan to turn Anakin against the Order. Losing an apprentice you knew to be innocent would be one thing, but to have the very institution you serve doubt that innocence? Anakin would not be pleased with that at all.



NOTES


– How wonderfully Galactic Empire-esque did that prison and its surroundings feel? The episode as a whole was pretty good-looking. I especially enjoyed the chase along the industrial pipeline.

– As soon as Ahsoka sliced into that pipeline, I immediately thought, “Oh, yes. Give me my The Fugitive homage.” And then they did.


What'd you think of this week's episode?