Padawan Lost: Ahsoka and Anakin in Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Dark Lord Tarkas, Sep 11, 2012.

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  1. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
    star 4
    [Reposted from the temps:]

    I was just watching Padawan Lost and Wookiee Hunt again, and there were some things that stuck out to me more after seeing S4.

    Anakin's clearly pissed when telling Rex to search the same area again, which isn't something that normally happens. He's still really different from General Krell in that he's not demeaning them personally and he's acting that way because he's upset that his his Padawan is lost. Emotion is clouding his judgment the same way I'd argue Krell's emotional reaction to serving with clones colors the way he interacts with them, though. It manifests itself different ways for the two characters.

    After Ahsoka's dropped off and meets the captured younglings, they try to show her how they survive by always being on the run and not helping others and she has an instinctual, gut reaction against that. She says they have to act instead of being so passive. Essentially, trying to more directly control fate, perhaps past the point of being realistic.

    An important factor that's introduced at this early stage but developed more as the episode goes on is hope or the lack thereof motivating action or inaction. Ahsoka symbolizes hope for the younglings, but there are a lot of variables here and this concept applies throughout the whole Star Wars saga depending on how you look at it, starting with Luke Skywalker as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s hope and motivation for action in Ep. IV.

    I’ve always loved the scene where Ahsoka stops the youngling from killing the Trandoshan with the dark side of the Force, but when I started thinking of things in these terms this scene took on some new meaning. As we’ve now seen in S4, Ahsoka can tell when Anakin dips into the dark side and actively protests when he does. It’s an interesting and I think important part of her character that she’s that way without him being right there and for people other than him, not just when he’s the one who needs to be held back.

    After that scene, the younglings tell Ahsoka that her arrival is a sign that maybe all hope isn’t lost for them, which it had been before her arrival. They say that they’d forgotten who they were - Jedi - essentially they’d stopped being themselves. This also connects into the larger Star Wars saga in important ways. Anakin who comes along, potentially fulfilling the Chosen One prophecy and thus offering hope to the Jedi Council at the very same time they were learning that the Sith were resurfacing in the galaxy. As the retroactive centerpiece of the saga, he’s also kind of unique for going from cause of hope in the PT to the cause of despair and reason there’s need for a new hope with Luke in the OT. And obviously what the younglings say is true of them is also true of Darth Vader in the OT up until he redeems himself in Ep. VI - he forgot who he truly was, a Jedi, and stopped being his real self, from a certain point of view, of course.

    I also find their search for the Trandoshan’s hidden fortress highly symbolic of aspects of the larger Star Wars saga. This adds a whole new dimension to hope motivating action, which is whether or not your short term goal matches your long term goal. Being too eager to get to the action makes it all irrelevant if you wind up with the wrong goal. The fortress they were searching for, as they found out, didn’t actually exist - they were too eager to take action and their short term goal turned out to be wrong (even though they didn’t have great options to begin with). And to me this is really Anakin’s biggest character flaw and reason he becomes Darth Vader - he’s too eager to take action, to the point of having the wrong short term goal. He’s so desperate to save Padme he takes whatever course of action seems most drastic to the point where he didn’t seem to be taking long term goals into account at all. Obviously that’s a much more dramatic example but the point is they’re on the same spectrum. Then at the end of Ep. VI we find out really everyone had the wrong short term goal except Luke, who eventually realized the solution was to bring his father back from the dark side instead of killing him.

    The last layer comes at the end of the episode when Plo Koon asks Anakin what Ahsoka’s greatest strength is, Anakin said she has no fear, and Plo said that can be weakness. Specifically, fearlessness can be a weakness if it leads to aiming for smaller, seemingly more easily achieved, but ultimately wrong goals, which leads to a bad outcomes. Ahsoka being a symbol of hope but over eager to engage in action without fully thinking it through - thinking she can control fate more than she really can - leads to the death of the girl youngling. Anakin being a symbol of hope but over eager to engage in action without fully thinking it through - thinking he can control fate more than he really can - leads to the fall of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire dictated by the returned Sith.

    Anakin is as much a Padawan lost to the dark side when he becomes Darth Vader as Ahsoka is a Padawan literally lost in this episode.

    Could there some foreshadowing in all of this for Ahsoka's future?

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    I agree that Anakin's interactions with Plo Koon are also really interesting. Comparing Anakin and Plo at the end of Wookiee Hunt is also interesting, pretty sure I noted that when it aired. Anakin's overcome with emotion and not even trying to hide it, perhaps not even aware of it, when greeting Ahsoka, while Plo Koon just walks up with his usual "good to see you li'l Ahsoka" in a totally flat voice - the voice of a true, disciplined Jedi Master - and steps away. It's telling of how short of the Jedi ideal Anakin is. He has the capacity for genuine heroics when it comes to being a general and in other aspects as well, but he gets all screwed up when it comes to his personal life. It was similarly telling when, in the slaver arc, they revealed that Anakin still hadn't said anything about his past to Ahsoka at that point. A Jedi shouldn't be that hung up on his past.

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    I think their relationship has to go somewhere. Not even saying it's going to be good or bad because I honestly don't have great faith that I'm definitely going to like it, but something has to happen between the two to end the series. They can't just end the series with their relationship the way it is now, they have to explain why she's no longer his Padawan in Ep. III. It could happen abruptly or not, but it has to happen, right?

    I'm way more fascinated with the new facets of Anakin's character revealed through his relationship with Ahsoka then the relationship between the two itself, personally. It's mostly generic Master/Padawan stuff already seen in the PT, perhaps slightly different because they're very similar personalities, but nothing special. What's special to me is that one of the characters is Darth Vader in the OT.
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    S4 definitely showed aspects of their relationship for the first time that had only been hinted at in episodes like Cloak of Darkness and Brain Invaders. Getting to see Anakin giving into the dark side and Ahsoka's horror at it for ourselves is not only awesome in its own right IMO, it does suggest they may be starting to lay the foundations for her fate.

    I probably should have talked about that more in my first post, but that's exactly what I meant when I said that these new aspects of Padawan Lost and Wookiee Hunt jumped out at me a lot more now that all of S4 is as ingrained in my brain as the rest of TCW. It's an oasis of Anakin being cast as a person who can be pushed to desperation while really meaning well, which is especially effective right after what we see of him in the Mortis arc and his attitude towards the Jedi revealed in the Citadel and right before the season where we get the slaver arc and Rako Hardeen arc.

    And yeah, I don't think I ever watch TCW without thinking of how it connects to the OT, specifically as the adventures of Luke Skywalker's mentor (Obi-Wan) and mysterious father-figure (Anakin) when they were young, before the fall of the Republic and rise of the Sith, with all that entails for those two characters. Ep. IV is my favorite Star Wars movie and from Luke's perspective his dad was always just some navigator and only as an almost-adult does he learn his father was a Jedi Knight adventuring with crazy old Ben Kenobi when he was young, but it's a complete mystery to him what ANY of those adventures were like. And of course that remains true even after he learns that Darth Vader is his father.

    Locked: Open for well over 30 days without one reply. - Sx3
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, Oct 24, 2012
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