I sure hope we haven't seen the last of Rafa on Clone Wars but last night concluded the entertaining arc about Ahsoka's adventures with the Martez sisters. The four episodes, following Ahsoka just after she left the Jedi Order, were clearly designed to show the young Tagruta confronting how the Jedi are regarded in the lower depths of Coruscant. On this score, the episodes didn't really succeed since we find out the Martez sisters' grievances all stem from a run in with a renegade Jedi Ahsoka knew was bad anyway. The three of them present a nice puzzle after Trace Martez dumps the illegal spice shipment that Rafa wanted to profit from, setting up a conflict about morality versus pragmatism. This followed from a conclusion in the first episode where Rafa goes ahead and sells a dangerous weapon because she and her sister need the money to live. But by the end of the four episode arc, the best things about the story turn out to be the engaging chase sequences and Rafa's animation and voice work.
Dave Filoni is credited as co-writer of the four episodes and he has spoken in interviews about how he feels protective of Ahsoka creatively. For all that, Ahsoka doesn't have much to challenge her emotionally in this arc and it's worth remembering that the episodes that truly formed the character everyone knows and loves were not written by Filoni. They were episodes like "Cloak of Darkness" by Paul Dini or "Lightsaber Lost" by Drew Z Greenberg, or "Jedi Crash" written by Katie Lucas, George's daughter. George Lucas spoke in interviews about how he was influenced by his relationship with his daughters in creating Ahsoka:
"I wanted to develop a character who would help Anakin settle down . . . I wanted to force Anakin into that role of responsibility, into that juxtaposition. I have a couple of daughters so I have experience with that situation. I said instead of a guy let’s make her a girl. Teenage girls are just as hard to deal with as teenage boys are."
But Ahsoka is a long way from the girl testing the waters of responsibility in the first few seasons. She now has a stoicism almost like Luke in Return of the Jedi, a fully matured warrior, which is naturally what makes the Martez sisters more interesting, especially Rafa.
I loved Rafa's fight with the foreman of the spice refiners. You can always sense her pride's at stake as much as her physical well being when she's dodging and, a couple times, taking punches. There's always a sense of stakes in these fight scenes that was sorely lacking from Rebels.
Now it looks like Ahsoka's going to be adventuring with Katee Sackoff's Mandalorian character. I find myself wishing the narrative had stayed with the Martez girls, which probably would have been a good lead in for the Coruscant underworld live action series.
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