It’s so strange to come off of a collection of episodes as horrfyingly inept and badly written as the Trace and Raffa saga, only to go into an episode so wonderfully written, beautifully shot, and themeatically heavy like “Old Friends, Not Forgotten.”
Gone is the annoying Ahsoka of the last four episodes and, in her place, a strong and confident leader with a heavy burden on her head. Gone is the awkward humor and annoying banter and, in its place, respect, comraderie, and a looming sadness as we have probably just witnessed Ahsoka’s final encounter with Obi Wan and Anakin.
The poodoo is getting real, that’s for sure.
I can only surmise that, since the Raffa and Trace episodes happened right after Ahsoka left the Jedi Order that she’s spent the last couple of years on Mandalore, becoming the person we see here. It’s a far cry from her time as Snips, isn’t it?
Simply put, “Old Friends, Not Forgotten” is Ahsoka at peak awesomeness. Her double sabers, her force powers, even her attitude… this is an annoying girl who has grown and evolved into an amazing leader, capping off a character journey that is virtually unparalleled in animation.
It wasn’t just Ahsoka either. The episode featured the return of Obiwan who has been tragically abscent for much of the season. He and Anakin engaged in some very lighthearted scenes that really drove home their comradery and friendship in a way that the movies never did. As the events of Episode III kicked off in the background, the episode filled with an ever-expanding sense of dread as the end of the prequel age draws to an end and darkness grows around them.
I even liked the clones in this episode. Their respect for Ahsoka was sweet and endearing and their show of faith to Ahsoka by painting their helmets was just amazing.
The action! The action, the action, the action! The action in this episode, the siege of Mandalore, was outstanding from beginning to end. After an season where it seemed like the show was dancing around the heavy themes of war and violence, this episode never shied away from it, showing the cost of war and the tragedy of it all.
I’ve been looking forward and dreading this story since it was first announced that the series was coming back and, so far, it looks like the finale is going to be amazing.
I hope the level of quality manages to remain this high.