Ahsoka Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – Is Jacen a Jedi?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 13, 2023 (Last updated: March 20, 2024)
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Ahsoka Season 1 Episode 5 Recap - Is Jacen a Jedi?


Ahsoka delivers its worst episode with a fan-servicey detour to nowhere, but at the least the second half seems to be moving us in the right direction.

This recap of the Disney+ series Ahsoka Season 1 Episode 5, “Shadow Warrior”, contains spoilers.

“Shadow Warrior” was written and directed by Dave Filoni, and you can’t half tell, since it has his excitement for Star Wars ephemera and cameos without a proper understanding of how to get a story from point A to point B.

This isn’t to say the episode was bad – it was just one of those “Leonardo DiCaprio pointing at the TV” memes in Star Wars cosplay. I dread to think what someone who didn’t watch The Clone Wars or Rebels might make of it. I did watch both of those shows, though, so I got the point, even if I can slightly lament how much things seemed to be stuck in the past rather than building toward the future.

Ahsoka Season 1 Episode 5 Recap

At the end of Episode 4, “Fallen Jedi”, Sabine had handed the Star Map over the Baylan Skoll and Morgan Elsbeth, dooming Ahsoka to a watery fate and jetting off into the furthest reaches of uncharted space in the hopes of finding Ezra and Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Of course, nobody expected that Ahsoka would seriously suffer because of her plunge into the ocean, and the very end of the episode revealed she was in the World Between Worlds, reunited with her former Master, Anakin Skywalker.

What does Ahsoka see in the World Between Worlds?

“Shadow Warrior” spends a detrimental amount of time lingering between space and time, keeping the series’ main story paused for a few bad storytelling decisions.

Filoni constantly uses fan-servicey lightsaber duels to fill space, forgetting that they only matter when the stakes are real. This isn’t the real Anakin; it’s a facsimile comprised of Ahsoka’s memories of him as her mentor and friend, spliced with her dismay at what he eventually became. It doesn’t matter who emerges victorious in the duel because the duel itself doesn’t matter.

What’s really going on here is a soul-searching deviation, the equivalent of Ciri roaming the desert in the latest season of The Witcher. But this being a Filoni-directed Star Wars episode, it also can’t help but undermine itself and its own lore by poorly representing things in live-action just for nostalgia’s sake.

Ahsoka finds herself back in the Clone Wars, for instance, as her younger self, horrified at the notion of the Jedi being warmongers instead of peacekeepers. But the whole thing is rendered on an impenetrably foggy soundstage.

Later, a slightly more grown-up Ahsoka relives the Siege of Mandalore, which is new to Anakin, but it’s mostly an excuse for a Captain Rex cameo and more lightsaber slashing. What lesson is being learned here? What do these sequences reveal that hasn’t already been revealed in the animated shows or various adjacent novels and comics?

Is Jacen a Jedi?

While all this is going on, Hera and Carson Teva continue to search for Ahsoka and Sabine, but it’s really Hera’s son, Jacen, who does all the work. Jacen’s father is Kanun Jarrus, a Jedi whose Force sensitivity he has clearly inherited. He’s not a Jedi yet, but he clearly has the makings of one.

When Jacen closes his eyes on the edge of a cliff, he can hear the distant thrums of Ahsoka and Anakin’s lightsabers, helping his mother and Carson redouble their ocean search efforts.

Hera and Carson are able to drag Ahsoka from the waves just as she had come to terms with her purpose and mission, which as far as I can tell she never really had any doubts about anyway. This episode is titled “Shadow Warrior”, but it might as well have been titled “Shadow Conflict” given how needlessly flimsy Ahsoka’s personal dilemma was.

Ahsoka Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained

The episode ends by actually getting the plot moving again, with Ahsoka figuring out that she can track Sabine without the Star Map by conversing with the Purrgil – the giant space whales that litter the skies above the planet – and being carried between galaxies in the mouth of the biggest one.

This is a bit flimsy too, to be honest, but at least it has actual movement and direction, and it’s able to capture a sense of scale and quiet majesty in its depiction of the Purrgil. It’s also funny to see Carson run interference on the New Republic fleet so they don’t rumble in and scare off the wildlife.

According to Mon Mothma, Hera is going to have some explaining to do, but I actually don’t mind the political side of this show since it keeps forgetting that people might be interested in how it all works. We’re between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the nascent First Order, and I’d rather see how that all shakes out than have to squint at a less interesting rerun of the Clone Wars.

So, we leave things with Ahsoka and Huyang heading to another galaxy, and Hera going back to deal with the bureaucracy, all while Zeb and Kallus remain disappointingly absent. With the worst episode of the season now out of the way, hopefully, we can get where we’re actually going sooner rather than later.

You can stream Ahsoka Season 1 Episode 5, “Shadow Warrior”, exclusively on Disney+.

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