Written and directed by Dave Filoni, Ahsoka Episode 5, “Shadow Warrior” is a feast for the eyes, even when it continues to muddy and convolute the Star Wars lore a bit. While that’s certainly something that will happen in an extensive universe, it can get frustrating at times when casual viewers and even some die-hard fans have to keep questioning timelines. Nevertheless, in the midst of this, Filoni delivers an emotionally gripping episode that works despite the overt choice to rely on nostalgia. We’re a desperate lot and will gobble up whatever we can regarding our favorite characters. One simply needs to mention Obi-Wan and General Organa, and I’m already a goner.
Thereby, while Ahsoka Episode 5, “Shadow Warriors,” thrusts itself toward some jumbled waters and uncharted galaxies, it continues to emphasize how the Force works with a bonus theme that addresses the complexities in the idea of legacy. And perhaps, most importantly, continuing where last week’s episode leaves off, it gives live-action fans a chance to see a different side of Snips and SkyGuy.
Ahsoka Episode 5 Gives Hayden Christensen Another Moment to Shine
In both Obi-Wan Kenobi and now Ahsoka, Hayden Christensen has yet another chance to prove the naysayers wrong about his casting as Anakin Skywalker. Christensen’s undeniable love for this character and the care he puts into understanding Anakin might not have always been on display in the prequels, but it’s imbued in him today. (It’s in him then, too; one merely needs to look close enough.) And it’s the best part of Ahsoka Episode 5, “Shadow Warriors,” as it allows the more casual viewers to understand the titular character as well as her former master more.
For a beat there, Ahsoka felt like the kind of series that should’ve been titled Rebels. Instead of allowing the audience to get to know the character more, she takes a backseat in the plot. It’s not necessarily the worst thing, but it’s certainly misleading, and perhaps if the series were focused on a more ensemble cast, it could’ve been better. Still, as Ahsoka finds herself in the World Between Worlds, she reunites with her master, also giving Christensen a chance to don the all-black Clone Wars attire we’ve only ever seen in the animated series thus far. In the short time they have together, the plot tangles itself a bit, forcing some audience members to question why it’s happening, but it doesn’t miss an emotional beat in exhibiting why this bond is special. It also does a solid job of showcasing why Ahsoka is so detached and how losing her master to the Dark Side forced her to lose a piece of herself.
“Shadow Warrior” Continues to Address the Importance of Legacy in Star Wars
Filoni understands what he’s doing with flashy lightsaber duels, but the jump from the Clone Wars battle to the Siege of Mandalore thwarts the pacing. What could’ve made the episode more compelling would’ve been a more elongated conversation on the importance of legacy for Jedis and those fighting on the light side. Part of the reason why Obi-Wan Kenobi works so well is because legacy is a theme that threads the entire series while simultaneously helping viewers connect the dots into the future. The characters talk a lot. Ahsoka Episode 5 dabbles into this, but similar to many series, it halts the moments of vulnerability in favor of action sequences. The thing is, it works just fine because some of the visual displays in the episode are exceptional, making it very clear why this episode was set to air on the silver screen in some areas.
However, there’s tremendous strength in showing the audience what’s important by allowing characters to talk to each other. And again, they do talk, especially with young Ahsoka, played by Ariana Greenblatt, adding more heart and depth to the future relationship. It works entirely, perhaps, I’m just greedy and want more. Still, the idea of legacy and how the Force works intermingle carefully in this episode, but they don’t quite hold. Jacen’s sensitivity, as well as what we see with Sabine in earlier episodes, fit right in with what Anakin tells Ahsoka, but the leaps from one scene to another don’t allow us to grip onto the strings. We don’t get to pull the threads tighter together; instead, they almost hold and then detangle. Diving deeper into combining these ideas could’ve made “Shadow Warriors” a near-perfect episode.
Ahsoka Episode 5, “Shadow Warriors,” is solid for what it’s worth. It’s impressive on multiple fronts, and it allows viewers to tie some things together. It primarily allows us to understand the titular character’s present emotions a little more by pushing us to dig into the past. It might miss the mark in some spaces, but it’s still thoroughly impressive in more ways than one. And it’s high time that a particular corner of the fandom admits that Hayden Christensen is a damn good Anakin Skywalker.
Now streaming on Disney+: What are your thoughts on Ahsoka Episode 5, “Shadow Warriors?” Let us know in the comments below.
First Featured Image Credit: ©Lucasfilm Ltd.