Clone Wars explores ancient Jedi rite of passage

A lot of the focus this week has been on the future of Star Wars and what it might hold for old characters and actors, but a new storyline on Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuting this weekend looks back on the waning days of the Old Republic and the trials faced by the youngest members of the Jedi Order:

Ahsoka escorts a group of younglings to Ilum, where they will learn from Yoda and undergo a crucial rite-of-passage: the construction of their lightsabers. They grapple with both physical and inner challenges as they face the dangerous task ahead of them in “The Gathering,” airing this Saturday, November 3rd at 9:30am ET/PT on Cartoon Network.

According to Lucasfilm, this episode will feature a rare flashback to the period before the Clone Wars, in which Jedi Master Plo Koon discovers baby Ahsoka and brings her to the Jedi. “The Gathering” also expands on the concept of the “Kyber crystal” from the early draft scripts of Star Wars, exploring the mystical gems that amplify the power of the Force and give all lightsabers their power. Also look for a new symbol worn only by Jedi younglings, and the recurrence of symbols from the mysterious “Mortis trilogy” back in Season 3.

Above, you can watch two clips from the episode. In the second, I’m impressed with how similar Yoda’s voice (which has had its ups and downs these many years since the prequels) sounds like Frank Oz’s original interpretation when he launched the character in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. (Yoda is voiced by Tom Kane in The Clone Wars, though Oz did perform the role in Episodes I-III, V and VI.)

Below, you can check out some stills from “The Gathering.” Want more? Check out our photo and clip gallery from the recent season premiere, “Revival.”

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