3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Wrong Jedi” (S5, E20)
The Wrong Jedi is probably the saddest part of The Clone Wars cartoons, and maybe even all Star Wars content. The myopia of the Jedi council really is on full display, as they don’t even see how the Republic is changing them, forcing their decisions, and leading them down the primrose path. They were so unaware, and it’s a miracle Anakin didn’t turn to the Dark side of the Force much sooner than he did.
Accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Ashoka is subjected to trial. The trial, however, is somewhat of a farce because the decision, influenced by Tarkin, has already been made. She’s expelled and stripped of her Padawan status. Not only does this strike as perhaps the pinnacle of Jedi flaws, but also as a turning point for Anakin. Ashoka was basically accused of committing the crime, and her only consolation is Yoda telling her at least the trial wasn’t unanimous.
The effect on Anakin
To make matters worse, Windu goes full Windu and doesn’t show an ounce of remorse when the Jedi Council realize they’re wrong. Obi-Wan and Plo Koon damn near shed a tear when she first left, but Windo looks like he’s perpetually constipated. She’s eventually permitted back in, but she refuses. Unable to tell Windu off, Anakin is forced to chase his Padawan down to plead with her. It’s important for two reasons.
First, Anakin tells her he understands why she’s leaving, and she says, “I know.” Either that implies knowledge of his forbidden marriage or his anger problems. Second, it punctuated Anakin’s growing discontent for the Council and left an opening for grief, loneliness, and despair with Padme far away. If she stays, maybe he never becomes Darth Vader?