Ahsoka and Yoda guide six young padawans as they take the next step in their Jedi training, the construction of one’s own lightsaber. Before this can be done one crucial task must be accomplished, the harvesting of the crystal, the element in the lightsaber that channels the force of its user. This ritual will prove to test each padawan in its own way.
What a delightful surprise! My cable guide read that this week’s episode was called “An Old Friend” and gave a description that seemed like it would be one of those Padme centered stories that tend to be rather boring as they are usually focused on the politics of the Star Wars Universe. Instead a switcheroo was pulled and I got “The Gathering”. As this episode opens up Ahsoka guides the six padawans to an ice planet where they will each be tasked with finding the force crystal they will use to take the first crucial step to becoming a Jedi, construction of their very own lightsabers. This premise excited me, as this was an element of the Star Wars universe I have never witnessed but have always been curious about. The padawans find themselves inside of a Jedi temple carved into an ice cliff. Once inside Yoda shows them the cave where the crystal will be harvested from by using different mechanisms to focus the sun into a frozen waterfall to expose the cave. I don’t know if any of you gamers out there made the connection, but the first thing that came to my mind was a Tomb Raider puzzle or a dungeon in a Zelda game. I loved seeing the mechanisms turning and harvesting the sun’s rays to melt the frozen water.
Once inside a brash padawan by the name of Petro decides to split from the group to selfishly strike out on his own. Instantly I thought; okay, this kid is going to be a Dark Jedi one day, if he survives Order 66 that is. The others split into their own teams and the hunt begins. An element that I liked about their searches was that the crystals would only to its rightful owner. They would glisten, but only to the padawan it was meant for; the other would be blind to the shining crystal. It’s things like that which catch my attention. I love when writers put in little details like this. It’s not essential to the plot but adds to the mysticism of the force crystal. Each padawan then finds themselves tested in a different virtue such as patience or trust to obtain their crystal. Not only was this a good episode, but there were also some lessons tucked away in there for those of us watching with our kiddos.
Though each test was interesting in its own way, the standout here was Petro. When padawan Katooni lands in a rough spot after getting her crystal she has to rely on Petro for help. Since he still hasn’t found his crystal with time running out he is hesitant to help her. At first it seems like he will leave her behind leaving me to definitely believe this kid will turn to the Darkside one day, but he comes back to help Katooni and in learning to be selfless, finds his own crystal.
Another strong episode coming on the heels of the Onderon arc I loved how the padawans interacted together reminding me of a Force-wielding Goonies. The story itself was well written and entertaining with a script that delivered on some action, tension and virtuous themes. Though this week was light on action, I still found myself taken in by the story this week. I was a bit confused by the Wookie padawan since after the death of Lobacca in the expanded universe novels Lucas said Force using Wookies would be off the table from now on, but I guess for something not playing out in a long term story arc it’s probably a different story. That thought actually saddened me though because I would love to see these kids come back and continue their Jedi trials. Quick thought here, I’m also wondering what the future of the Clone Wars will be with the big news this past week of the Disney/LucasFilm merger. Will Cartoon Network still be airing the Clone Wars once this season is past? I have to assume that Disney will want to move the show to a channel of their own such as DisneyXD. The other scary thought is that they would just let the show go into the night, but as successful as it is I just can’t see that happening. Well whatever the future of the Clone Wars is, focusing on the present, this is turning out to be one heck of a season. Here’s to hoping that the Padme centric “An Old Friend” never airs.
3.5 out of 5 nerds
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