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***This is a review of Star Wars Forces of Destiny episode four, “The Padawan Path.” There are spoilers! ***

The fourth episode of Star Wars Forces of Destiny, “The Padawan Path,” features Ahsoka Tano, voiced by the delightful Ashley Eckstein, back in her Jedi training days when she was still Padawan to Anakin Skywalker — voiced by none other than Matt Lanter. (Click here to watch this episode now.)

The episode opens as Ahsoka is rushing back to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Anakin urges to her to hurry as Master Yoda is awaiting her arrival for a special ceremony in her honor. While on her way, Ahsoka hears a commotion and knows she must check to see what’s happening.

She comes across a mother with her child being pursued by an out of control and malfunctioning load-lifter droid. Nothing good will come of the situation unless Ahsoka acts fast. She harnesses the power of the Force and wields her lightsabers to fend off the renegade droid and save its potential victims from sure death.

Meanwhile…. Anakin frets and Yoda reminds him to have faith in his apprentice. Of special note here is the tree. It is force sensitive and used by Yoda while training Younglings. We’ve seen it previously in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in the Marvel comic mini-series Star Wars: Shattered Empire.

Finally, Ahsoka arrives, out of breath and looking a bit worse for wear. Anakin is clearly exasperated with his Padawan, but Yoda is impressed with her growth and maturity and remarks that she is well on her way to becoming a Jedi Knight. To mark the occasion, Master Yoda presents Ahsoka with her Padawan braid.

So nice to Ahsoka in action after her murky fate in the second season finale of Star Wars Rebels! This episode is set during The Clone Wars, so we’re pretty far removed from the events of her confrontation with Darth Vader. This in no way addresses her current status in the world of Star Wars. Still, Ahsoka has proven herself time and again to be one of the most dynamic and interesting characters, and her appearance is always a welcome one.

As mentioned above, Ashley Eckstein perfectly provides the voice for Ahsoka, and the animation of her character in this episode is stunning. She looks amazing. Rey and Leia looked incredible in their respective episodes, but I think Ahsoka is a real stand-out so far. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Anakin. I loved hearing Matt Lanter, but I’m not crazy about how Anakin was portrayed visually. He seemed “off.” However, he gets bonus points for “Snips!” I have no issues with Yoda at all. He looked and sounded fantastic. (Yoda is voiced by Tom Kane.)

Shorts like this don’t usually have much of a plot — you have to keep things simple for the time allotted. Still, it was a satisfying story. The ultimate purpose was to show Ahsoka’s bravery as she steps in to rescue those in need — a trait we’ve seen in her previously and since. She’s always been mature beyond her years and selfless. That’s why we love her so, right? They are certainly traits worth emulating in real life. Star Wars is at its best when it shows us how we can be at our best.

You can read my previous reviews here: “Sands of Jakku,” “BB-8 Bandits,” and “Ewok Escape.”

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