It doesn’t really feel like I’ve been writing this series for a long time, but I look back at where I am in the series and realise I’m over halfway through the series at this point, just finishing season 3 and going into the 4th. I’ve seen the series grow and change over the past 25 entries and it’s just become a normal part of my week now.
At the expense of all other non-anime television, but It’s not the end of the world.
Season 3, Episode 21: Padawan Lost
We start on Felucia… again. Why is this fungus planet so important, there seem to have been more battles here than any other throughout the series. It’s a pretty short-lived excursion though. As the Republic forces take down a Separatist landing base, we notice Ahsoka is being stalked by a something.
Something that turns out to be a Trandosian.
Based on my past experience with the franchise, if there’s one thing I know about Trandosians, it’s they all suffer from a shared racial bout of Predator envy. As in the movie Predator. They’re a race of aliens obsessed with “the hunt” and these particular Trandosians feed that obsession by kidnapping sentiments and transporting them to the Trandosian moon of Wasskah for a The Most Dangerous Game style game of cat and mouse.
The plot of this particular episode feels incredibly reminiscent of the plot of the 2010 movie Predators, which is the second-best movie in the franchise. Come at me, I don’t care.
Once Ahsoka has been dumped on this moon, without her weapons, she is approached by a trio of characters who introduce themselves as Jedi Younglings, and by the looks of them, they’ve been stuck there for years by the sounds of it. Although the word “rotations” could be used to describe either days or years, and they don’t look like they’ve only been there for a couple days.
Back on Felucia, Anakin realises Ahsoka is missing and his big flaw comes out to shine again. It’s weird, Anakin’s utter devotion to his allies is an incredibly admirable trait by normal person standards, but for a Jedi it’s taboo. Something that other Jedi admonish him for, with good reason in hindsight considering this aspect of his personality is the major factor that sends him down the road to the dark side.
Thus the hunt begins, and the Trandosians version of hunting seems to be taking pot-shots from an elevated and unreachable position. It doesn’t seem especially sportsmanlike, it’s like hunting deer with an attack helicopter. The Younglings themselves have become hardened to their situation, interested only in survival. It’s Ahsoka’s presence that reminds them of what it is to be a Jedi.
During an attempted ambush of their own hunters, Ahsoka accidentally kills the son of the Trandosion chief, who kills one of the younglings with a sniper bolt in retaliation. Ahsoka seems to have a moment where she contemplates revenge, but shakes it off and flees back to regroup with the two other younglings to make another escape plan.
Meanwhile, Anakin is pouring over map data, tearing his hair out trying to figure out what happened to Ahsoka. Despite having no clues whatsoever. It’s at this point that Master Plo Koon shows up to give Anakin a pep talk. This conversation feels very reminiscent to me of a similar situation that happened in the season 2 episode; Weapons Factory.
During that episode it also seemed like Ahsoka was lost, only that time, Luminara told Anakin to give up. I felt the Mirilian Jedi Master seemed too detached about the situation, almost emotionless at the loss of her own Padawan. However, this time Plo assures Anakin that Ahsoka can take care of herself and that he should trust her to do so.
Once again, I find myself wondering why Plo Koon isn’t Ahsoka’s master. As the more this story goes on, the more it seems like Anakin is the one with more to learn from his student than vice versa.
Season 3, Episode 22: Wookiee Hunt
Back on Wasskah, Ahsoka and the remaining younglings attack one of the Trandosian dropships there to deposit more prey on the island. It goes well, until the trio manage to crash the ship in the process of taking out the pilot. In the wreckage, it seems like there is only a single survivor.
It was at this point that I realised, “Oh, this is going to be Chewbacca isn’t it.”
I was kind of annoyed. It’s a silly reaction to be honest. It’s just, of all the millions of Wookiees in the galaxy the one that just so happens to get captured and dropped on the same island as Ahsoka is also the most well known. It seems a little contrived to me, but every other character from the series is getting an episode dedicated to them, I suppose it was only a matter of time till Chewie showed up.
As soon as Chewbacca appears on the scene, what was once a desperate situation of hunter and prey for the young Jedi suddenly becomes easy mode. As formidable an opponent as a Trandosian hunter is, Wookiees are a race you probably want to mess with even less. Which is shown right away as Chewie throws around a lizard sniper like he’s a rag doll.
With one of the hunters as their hostage, Chewbacca sets about using the wreckage of the drop ship to build a transmitter to send a distress signal to Kashyyyk, which is in the same star system as the Trandosian homeworld. While that’s happening though, the younglings get antsy and plan to use their prisoner to lure the hunters into a trap and hijack one of their transports.
It’s at this point that I realise that these two remaining younglings seem to be pretty powerful force users in their own right. I guess they’re younger than Ahsoka still, but as younglings, they’ve never had a personal master and have only learned in groups. And yet, they seem pretty adept at using a Jedi mind trick as well as being able to use the force to lift entire speeders, something some Jedi much older can struggle with.
I get that they’ve probably got stronger from their non-stop battle survival on the island, having to get sharper and more powerful or die, but it also feels like something of a writers convenience considering how they get brushed under the rug at the end of this episode and most likely never show up again.
Once on the big ship/hunting platform up in the sky, it turns into a big battle. With Chewbacca on their side, the odds seem much more even. When it seems like the tide is turning against them, a ship shows up filled with Wookiee backup and the bounty hunters who were introduced in the season 2 episode of the same name.
With this extra support, it turns into a final confrontation between Ahsoka and the Trandosian chief in his throne/trophy room. A battle she ultimately wins before being transported back to civilised space along with the younglings, who get brushed into the background and don’t really get another line to utter.
The episode ends with a reconnection between Anakin and Ahsoka. Anakin is incredibly apologetic for allowing Ahsoka to get captured, despite the fact that was literally nothing he could have done to prevent it. In a move that shows how this experience has matured Ahsoka somewhat, she gives the reply: “Because of your training, I was able to survive. Not only that, I was able to lead others to survive as well.”
I kind of wonder if this line by Ashoka is foreshadowing of what it to come with her character, knowing she has a role in the Rebels series and out survives her master based on her reported appearance in the upcoming second season of the Mandalorian.
It’s weird, based on this conversation, I feel like Ahsoka is quickly outgrowing her master as a Jedi. She might still be a kid, and act as such, but when it comes down to it, she is capable of being much more mature and level headed the worst comes to pass. Something Anakin himself remains unable to cope with right up until his transformation into Darth Vader.
Man, I remember when we started this series, and Ahsoka seemed like the bratty little kid competing with Anakin to see who could come out with the more obnoxious quips. Now, she’s fast becoming my favourite character in the series.
And that’s it for season 3. Next time we begin the 4th season with a three-part storyline that seems very reminiscent of one of the more famous episodes from the 2003, more traditionally animated, Clone Wars series. I’ll be looking at:
- Season 4, Episode 01: Water War
- Season 4, Episode 02: Gungan Attack
- Season 4, Episode 03: Prisoners