Spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of the Ahsoka TV show!
Star Wars has always delivered impressive scenes and visuals. From full-sized sets and miniatures for the movies to the giant LED wall pioneered for the Disney+ shows, the franchise never disappoints when it comes to production design. Ahsoka is no different, combining physical sets with LED-wall/StageCraft technology to bring to life some of the most beautiful scenes of any Star Wars movie or TV show — in my opinion, at least.
Episode 5 of Ahsoka, titled “Shadow Warrior,” released on Disney+ this week, and fans and critics are hailing it for its incredible and action-packed storytelling. The return of Anakin Skywalker, a trip down memory lane for Ahsoka, and a search for Sabine seem to work well, considering the episode has a 9.5 IMDb rating right now. But the truth is, I doubt that the rating would be anywhere near as high without the impressive cinematography and editing, and these six scenes stand out as especially beautiful.
Hera, Jacen, & Chopper Listening To The Waves
It might not seem like that exciting of a scene on the surface, but this shot of Hera, Jacen, and Chopper staring out over the waters gave me literal goosebumps. Not only is it visually stunning with the ominous gray sky spread out for miles and miles, but there’s also a sense of hope breathing life into it.
The scene, which has Jacen convincing his mom to listen for lightsaber sounds in the waves, is a quintessential example of the elusive Force in action. Add to that the incredible sound mixing of the score and the lightsabers crashing with the waves, and there's a scene that will play in my head for days to come. After all, Star Wars has always been about hope, and this scene is proof of that.
Anakin Transitioning Into Vader
There’s no denying the beauty and sheer terror that arises in the scenes where Anakin’s silhouette flickers into Darth Vader's. The entire team of Ahsoka deserves an Emmy for that beautiful transition alone, if you ask me! The first time it happens is when Ahsoka is transported back to The Clone Wars.
As Anakin runs off into battle, young Ahsoka witnesses his silhouette flicker from Anakin and his blue lightsaber into Darth Vader and his red lightsaber. As if that’s not chilling enough, the silhouette flickers are even more sinister the second time. It happens when Ahsoka is thrown back into the World Between Worlds. As she lies on the floor, Anakin appears again and quickly flickers into Vader before returning to his pre-Vader suit form.
Both scenes are no doubt intense and mind-blowing in their visual power, but I’d argue it’s the latter scene that really earns a spot on the best scenes in Episode 5 list. Anakin is fully Vader here, and while the Darth Vader suit is menacing in its own right, I’d argue this version is even scarier because we get to see the anger and rage play out on his face instead of being hidden behind a mask.
A Call Back To The Clone Wars
Admittedly, I have not seen all of The Clone Wars, but that hasn’t stopped me from understanding how impactful this scene was for fans of the animated series as a recreation of the Battle of Ryloth. After all, you can’t search the Ahsoka hashtag on any social media site without fans screaming about this scene and the comparison to the show.
Not only did the scene make OG The Clone Wars fans happy, but I think it also drove home just how young Ahsoka was when she was fighting in The Clone Wars. Animation is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s easy to forget that she was just a child when the animation makes her seem older than she is. But here? With Ariana Greenblatt playing young Ahsoka racing off into battle with Anakin? Well, there’s no denying how young she was.
Ahsoka & Anakin Lit By The Red Lightsaber
Don’t get me wrong, the entire Anakin/Vader vs. Ahsoka lightsaber duel is amazing (and I’m definitely going to talk about it in a minute), but I’d be remiss not to call out this one specific moment.
After Ahsoka overpowers Anakin and retrieves his red lightsaber, she holds it up to his face, and the red light makes his already-turned Sith eyes turn even more sinister. Then, as she steps closer, we see Ahsoka’s eyes tint the faintest yellow/red color Sith color before she tosses the lightsaber aside.
Now, maybe it was purely a reflection of the ignited lightsaber, but the budding Star Wars nerd in me says otherwise. To me, what we see here is Ahsoka briefly considering killing Anakin, thus giving in to the Dark Side. Thankfully, she doesn’t do that and instead tells Anakin she “chooses to live.” Her words not only turn Anakin back into his pre-Vader self, but they also save her from drowning in the sea.
Ahsoka & The Purrgil
Again, I may not know a lot about the lore around Purrgil, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of the scene. After watching Ahoska spend the entire episode reliving her past and confronting so much death and destruction, it’s healing to see such a visually bright and hopeful scene.
And that’s what this scene is. After all, Ahsoka believes the Purrgil will be able to guide them to Ezra and Sabine. Though the following scene of Ahsoka’s ship going into the mouth of a Purrgil is gimmicky (and reminded some fans of a certain Finding Nemo scene), it can’t take away from the serene and mystical scene that precedes it.
The Entire Lightsaber Duel In The World Between Worlds
Star Wars is nothing without its epic lightsaber duels. While many fans have their own list of top lightsaber duels, I’m pretty certain that the one between Anakin/Vader and Ahsoka in the World Between Worlds is going to be added to plenty of them.
Sure, it may not be as bright and tense as the battle on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith, but that’s not to say it’s any less incredible. In fact, I’d argue that the subdued World Between Worlds backdrops allowed fans to focus on the actual duel between Ahsoka and Anakin and the struggle for power that they experienced.
Plus, it had some pretty iconic visuals in its own right, like Anakin slashing the floor to send Ahsoka into The Clone Wars memory and, of course, the times their lightsabers locked with one another. Anakin doing his signature lightsaber spin definitely helps, too.
While there may only be three more episodes left of Ahsoka, Episode 5 definitely has me hoping the Force is with us so we get a second season. However, even if Disney does renew the show, it’ll be a while before we get any new episodes, given the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. For now, you can catch up on Ahsoka with an active Disney+ subscription. Or, if you haven’t already, consider watching the Star Wars universe in chronological timeline order.