REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ Season 7, Episode 5 – “Gone with a Trace”

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 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars,' Season 7, Episode 5 - "Gone with a Trace"

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is back this week with episode 5, “Gone with a Trace.” The previous episode saw Rex, the Bad Batch, and Echo all working together to result in the first big win the Republic has had since the start of the war on Anaxes. Episode 5 distances us from all of that, leaving the clones and the war behind to focus on Ahsoka as she distances herself from the Jedi Order.

In a previous season, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, was wrongly accused of treason by the Jedi Council and hunted down by the Grand Army of the Republic. Anakin, believing his padawan, sniffs out the real traitor and clears Ahsoka’s name. However, unable to reconcile her damaged relationship with the Jedi Order, Ahsoka left her life with the Republic behind and that’s the last we saw of her.

Now, in “Gone with a Trace,” Ahsoka is seen leaving Coruscant’s topside to traipse through its underbelly. But as fate would have it, her speeder malfunctions and she crash-lands onto a platform owned by a mechanic by the name of Trace. Ahsoka and Trace quickly become friends, but adversity comes in the form of a dangerous droid that Ahsoka must stop all the while hiding her Jedi past from her new friend.

This episode shifts gears and focuses on a well-known character introduced in season 1 and who the audience has watched grow over the years: Ahsoka. Personally, Ahsoka’s first appearance in the show was lackluster; her original character never really stuck with me. However, as she grew over the seasons, I found myself liking her more and more. So, with season 7 being our last season of the series, I’m glad we get some time to focus on Ahsoka as she continues to grow as a character and the distance she’s putting between herself and the Jedi Order.

Each episode of The Clone Wars always begins the same: with a quick summary of some background leading up to the events of the current episode. Since it’s been years since I’ve watched The Clone Wars, I’m glad “Gone with a Trace” doesn’t break this tradition. I’ve already forgotten much of what has happened in previous seasons so the quick summations at the beginning of the episodes help greatly and make the episodes much more accessible to viewers whose memory may be as bad as mine.

Trace stands out in this episode. She is smart, resilient, and kind, characteristics not common amongst the bottom-dwellers of Coruscant. Overall, she’s a good character to pair up with Ahsoka. Despite Trace not being a typical citizen, we get a feeling for what the average person thinks of the war and the Jedi Order. As the audience, we see not-so-average characters doing miraculous feats on-screen in most episodes with little thought of the billions of other people who are just bystanders in the Jedi’s war. It’s always great to see the show’s creators taking time to highlight the other side of things.

However, the episode does have some pitfalls. Trace has a sister and we get quickly pulled into a trope that is arguably overplayed in media: the foolish sibling and responsible sibling. On top of this, the two siblings are trying to not only make a living but also get enough money so they can fly far away to escape all their troubles. It’s a cliché setup that left few surprises in the episode.

The ending also left me a little wanting. It’s not a discrete ending like I had hoped and expected and is a little open-ended. But, at the same time, this was a better ending than I expected because it addresses the grayness of the world. Not everything is black and white; people make choices that they think are the best regardless of whether they’re morally right or wrong. The Clone Wars has always handled these gray decisions with finesse and this is one of those times.

As usual, I’m astounded by the animation. It’s great to see how far the animators have come since season 1. The fight sequences are fluid and the general movements of the characters are dynamic and seamless. The characters are emotive and, because of this, are easy to empathize with.

Overall, “Gone with a Trace” was a fun episode for its focus on two great characters, Ahsoka and Trace, but was a bit stale due to the overuse of a few sibling tropes.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars “Gone with a Trace” is exclusively on Disney+ now.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 7, Episode 5
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, “Gone with a Trace” was a fun episode for its focus on two great characters, Ahsoka and Trace, but was a bit stale due to the overuse of a few sibling tropes.