This week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars delivers something fans have been dying to see for years. Where did Ahsoka Tano’s journey lead to next after walking away from the Jedi Temple? Series leader Dave Filoni has already given context on where Ahsoka canonically goes by the end of the Clone Wars. Season 7 is going to eventually get there with the highly anticipated “Siege of Mandalore” arc. However, viewers have never seen where Ahsoka literally went after walking away from Anakin Skywalker at the end of Season 5. “Gone With a Trace” finally sheds light on this unexplored chapter, and it is quite promising.
The episode directed by Saul Ruiz and Kyle Dunlevy is compact and sweet. The few punches it packs make it feel far from “filler”. Ahsoka spirals her way down to Level 1313 on Coruscant. The societal norms of Level 1313 are far from what she is used to being a high dweller. Accidentally getting intertwined in the schemes of Trace and Rafa Martez are the first of her worries post-Jedi Academy. The younger of the two sisters, Trace, tries to lend her a helping hand in trading the high life of the surface for the “back against the wall” survival skills of the deep. It turns out the two can learn a lot more from each other than they initially thought.
The script written by Dave Filoni and Charles Murray is solid despite being slightly predictable. Level 1313 is notorious both inside and outside of Star Wars canon. The underground society of Coruscant’s less fortunate is truly an exciting sandbox to play in. The handful of times fans have gotten to see Level 1313 never disappoint. “Gone With a Trace” included, the environment feels distinct and alive with its vigorous characters. The Martez sisters have the potential to be new fan favorites. Sisterly bonds do not have much representation in Star Wars outside of Ahsoka and Anakin and what is also seen in Star Wars Rebels. This makes it quite fitting that they are introduced through Ahsoka’s perspective.
Ahsoka finds the sisters at a time when their unity is slipping through the cracks. She just cut loose from a similar relationship with Anakin. How the next set of events test Ahsoka and the sisters’ faith should make for one of the show’s more resonant arcs. Taking Ahsoka out of her comfort zone, revealing what lies underneath the freshly denounced Jedi image, is always what was going to come next. The fact that fans have traveled to multiple points in this character’s life and have continuously seen emotional progression (similar to Maul) is a testament to the creatives at Lucasfilm. Moments such as Ahsoka referring to Anakin as her older brother hit harder than what fans expected- even with them seeing it coming from a mile away.
The voice work in this episode is quite special. Ashley Eckstein returns to voicing Ahsoka in her youth after voicing her as an adult in Rebels. Her work sounds as natural is it can be for this point in the character’s life. Brigitte Kali (Thumper) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange Is the New Black) join her talents as Trace and Rafa. Trace, a young gearhead with dreams of flying away to bigger opportunities (very familiar for Star Wars), still comes alive with qualities of her own thanks to Kali. Meanwhile, Rodriguez operates by making viewers feel unbeknown of what is to come. New Latinx characters in Star Wars are always welcomed with open arms.
“Gone With a Trace” thrives on highlighting big dreamers. Nothing new for Star Wars in general, but nevertheless potent and relevant to Ahsoka in a way it has not been before. The Martez sisters serve this crux and are looking to take viewers for some twists and turns. The episode plays inevitably, but is saved with lively visuals and beats brought to life by new and old faces. There is even a cameo from SNL alumn Bobby Moynihan! Returning to Star Wars after frequently appearing in Star Wars: Resistance- his work on The Clone Wars may not be done yet. The second to last arc in the final season of this show is harvesting some potential.