Everyone has been waiting for this. Even since the first trailer for Clone Wars Season 7 came out, Maul’s return was on everyone’s mind. How and when was this famous antagonist coming back?
Now we know. “Together Again” not only concluded Ahsoka’s adventure arc alongside the Martez sisters, it tied-in to the aftermath of the Mandalore arc in season 5. And to Solo – Crimson Dawn was mentioned and we are finally getting a peek at how this whole crime empire came to be.
Everyone’s Moment In The Sun
The episode’s opening scene was so similar to the previous one that for one moment I wondered whether Disney did not put up the same episode twice. Turns out it didn’t. After the failed escape attempt last time, Ahsoka decides to accept her share of responsibility for ending up there and comes up with a plan to get out. She gives herself up, pretending to betray the sisters, allowing them to be set free, and then plans her own escape.
This allowed for one of the best scenes between Ahsoka and the older of the sisters. Rafa (being the clever one) understands Ahsoka’s ambiguous undercover communication and replies, on equal terms, “I won’t forget this”. Leaving Ahsoka as hostage, the sisters depart, but Rafa devises a plan to bring Ahsoka back. I appreciated the tiny detail that Rafa still did not want to save Ahsoka out of altruism, but from the selfish motive that she would not owe Ahsoka anything.
It was nice that the sisters, despite being secondary characters, got their own screentime, complete with their own heroic stunts. One must appreciate the fact that this was again something new. Their battle scene was “a non-heroic fight” – two girls against one trandoshan foreman and a couple of miners – that could not be more different from everything we have seen in Lucasfilm’s animated series (and maybe even in live-action). The sisters are no professional fighters, yet the action scene was fast-paced and interesting enough to follow, maybe even more so than the heroic battle scenes we have seen million times over.
The Return of the Sith
Ahsoka, meanwhile, had a plan of her own. Using her powers, she escaped easily and, like the good pupil of Anakin she is, decided to do as much damage as she could by blowing up the Pykes’ facilities. During this endeavour, she overheard a dialogue between Krim and Maul.
Maul’s introduction scene deserves 10/10 points. He was creepy, intimidating, keeping all the charisma he’s ever had. Especially the moment when it almost looked like his hologram could see Ahsoka (or he could sense her presence?) deserves a mention as one of the highlights of the entire season.
We also finally got a confirmation what the Mandalorians were doing on Oba Diah – unsurprisingly, they are after Maul’s operation. They followed Ahsoka and at the end of the episode, Bo-Katan herself invites her to come along.
One Story Ends, Another Begins
The escape from the Pykes’ facility culminated with the sisters’ discovery that Ahsoka was a Jedi. But after having spent so much time and getting to know her as person, they did not let their definition of Jedi define what Ahsoka is. Quite the opposite: in a reversal that I believe deserves to be pointed out, the sisters let the actions of Ahsoka define what the Jedi should be like. “You may not think of yourself as a Jedi, but you act like one. Or at least what I want them to be,” Rafa tells Ahsoka – and this may be the most powerful line of this arc. It captured the essence of what Ahsoka’s personal story is about: becoming the real Jedi, in action, not because of belonging to the structures of the Jedi Order.
Rafa and Trace’s reconciliatory acceptance of Ahsoka in the end finished the arc. Perhaps a bit abruptly, but fittingly. Looking back at their relationship and how it unfolded, it was certainly a well-written arc. It started from suspicion and grew through trust into genuine acceptance.
And now, with Ahsoka travelling alongside Bo-Katan to Mandalore, the “all-girls adventure” continues. We may soon expect everyone else to appear, however, and everything setting up for the grand finale. After all, there are only four episodes left.