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

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?

Comments (23)
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what kinda punishment can jedi padawan like ashoka get? prison? execution? someone answer? :)
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QUESTION: At the beginning Baressa Offee mentioned one of the dead Jedi name. It sounded like Tootsomara, Toots Amora, Toot Samora, Toot Samara, etc. Does anyone know exactly who she mentioned???
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Tutso Mara. I believe this was the first mention of this character ever.
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great great great episode so much going on and mystery
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This was a great episode. I loved the homage to "The Fugitive" at the end, and I hope for a continuance where Ahsoka finds out who really did this.
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Deeinately one of the classic and best episodes in its' five year run. More like this please.
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Simply a fantastic episode! It's gonna be a long week...
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Anybody else notice the Clone Turbo Tanks all driving backwards in this episode? Or how about the oddity of that opening funeral scene, where they had exactly the right number of coffin-elevators in the floor and made no mention at all about the civilians and clones killed in the blast, anybody else find that off-note?

Otherwise it was fine in terms of an action story, but simplistic in terms of a STORY story, and required a lot of stupidity on a lot of characters' parts (oh, the audio went out on this monitor just when something really important happened? Gee, I'll let that pass!) Also, if they have Barriss Offee be the real killer, it'll be horribly disappointing just because of how odd her scenes were in this one, she acted way weird... had this been Law & Order, she definitely would have been the killer (and probably less obvious until the last 10 minutes). The story felt like they got through it a tad too neatly, not enough character moments - as if they didn't have enough time to tell everything they wanted so they cut too much dialog - and Anakin letting Ahsoka jump was asking a lot. But it moved along and didn't stumble beyond those points.

As to the theory of Palpatine putting this in motion, it's certainly a good possibility - an element missing from the Prequels was that the Jedi had lost the admiration and trust of the people which would have weakened them and shadowed the Force from them (Yoda and Mace Windu mention in the films the Force being shadowed from them, but that goes nowhere). Palpatine couldn't be a plausible fake Jedi though, nor could Dooku (he already pulled that stunt with Sifo Dyas in AOTC, before he became the face of a Galactic Civil War), and obviously Ahsoka and Barriss actually have some issues with what's going on so it's not impossible that any true-believer could have pulled this stunt for the greater good. That said, all the framing, misdirection, lack of clear statement, those are tools of the Sith.
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I like your idea of the "true-believer" among the Jedi to pull off the bombing for the greater good in the sense that the Jedi Council is still oblivious about the danger they are facing from the top of the republic.Only Windu and Yoda seem to understand how potential dangerous the clones are and that the Sithlord has to have power in the senate - if only any Jedi would have spoken directly to the Jedi council at least to prepare for the ultimate treason, but no, obviously the Jedi are a bunch of non-communicating couch monks. Also good approach on the "clouded force" issue! Until now I thought the sheer power of Sidious was enough to interrupt the Jedi from deeper insights through the force at all, but now I think the growing seperation of the Jedi from the people of the republic is a good alternative or addition.
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I debated Barriss being a suspect, and I think the episode wants us to see her as such. Certainly there's book evidence about the character's ambivalence (she's not much for the whole light/dark side of the Force debate), but she also died on Felucia, so who the hell knows.
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Her Order 66 death scene in Revenge of the Sith was cut though, so there's no canon that says that must be her fate.
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Transmedia canon, though. Which is flexible, of course.
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Yeh, just look at what happened with the whole Mandalorian debacle.

To make matters more interesting... there are different "levels" or "degrees" of Star Wars cannon. Some books/series are in one kind and other are another. But even the strongest levels of book-cannon can be overridden by Lucas (or I guess now Disney) on a whim.
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I knew I recognized that last scene, it was so familiar, it was a fugitive reference.
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Yeah,I'm also very interested with what happens to Ahsoka. If she does turn to dark side,she will probably die:D(and I guess by Anakin's hand/lightsaber,since there is no mention of her in movies) I think someone will kill her or as I read somewhere,she might survive. Think someone here said,that only 2 Togruta survive order 66. She might be one.
I loved atmosphere in this episode....very dark:D I do wanna see some episodes centered around Kit Fisto and Ki-Adi-Mundi damn it!!! :D I know,wishful thinking.
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since I cant reply below only Harrison Ford is confirm, Carrie and Mark are just rumored according to IMDB, and since Carrie little episode on the yacht I would say she's out!!! IMO
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Mark Hamill says he is willing, they haven't officially approached him yet.
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The movies existed before Clone Wars came out in 2008. As for Order 66, Shaak Ti does survive only to be killed later by Starkiller if you count Force Unleashed as canon
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maybe Ahoska will turn up in the upcoming Star Wars movies ??
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It's all up to Disney now. They're the ones in control of the Clone Wars series.
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Giving that Mark Hammill,Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were confirmed for episode VII,I think Disney will move past Clone Wars era and all movies era and start something new,but I do know,there are comics after original trilogy,so we will have to wait and see with,what they will give us.
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I feel like this episode is making her out to just quit the Jedi order, or wash out and become a normal, requiring Anakin to turn his back on her and try to cut her out of his heart to stay true to the Jedi way of no connections.
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