(Full Spoilers Ahead)
The Gathering followed a handful of younglings on their quest to find the crystal for their lightsaber. Rather than being action packed, the writers went a different route and crafted a poignant, albeit simplistic tale about six younglings and their search for lightsaber crystals.
Right off the bat, the premise catches your interest. Seeing a youngling search out their lightsaber crystal is something we haven’t really gotten to see, and it was quite exciting watching it on The Clone Wars.
The plot was executed great, the young Jedi’s-to-be were real cute and easy to relate to, and the way the episode moved from character was especially well done. Dave Filoni always impresses, and his care for detail shines through in every episode.
Even though the younglings were all a bit cookie cutter in their personalities (the arrogant one, the scared one, the righteous leader, etc.) I think the writers did a really hood job making them unique in their own ways. Mainly how they were all of different species.
Each kid was interesting in their own way, especially the wookiee Gungi (how can you not love a little wookiee Jedi?) but they still lacked any real depth. Definitely a side-effect of a 22-minute episode about six different characters.
I’m sure this episode will turn off some of the fans who prefer the darker, more violent episodes, and although I do love those I thought this was a very sweet episode that portrayed something I’ve always wanted to see with finesse.
As much as I really enjoyed The Gathering, I felt like there was some wasted potential. I really wanted to see more of the interaction between Ahsoka and Yoda, as it was great to see the two of them working together to help these kids. I just wish we got to see a little more of that.
Oh, and how great was it to see Plo Koon find little baby Ahsoka in the beginning? That was a highlight for me no doubt.
The Gathering ended appropriately, with each youngling finding their crystal and overcoming something, but it was all very simple and predictable.
I wouldn’t have minded if the writers were a little more ambitious with the episode and maybe put the kids through some more unique trials, just to prepare them for the future. But as this starts another four-episode arc, I think The Gathering served primarily to introduce the children and begin what I hope will be a very good arc, as there is loads of potential.
To go off on somewhat of a side-note, I have to say I loved, loved the animation in the ice cave. All the little markings on the wall, the lighting, the tone; it was all amazing and reminded of The Mortis Trilogy back in season 3, which are three of my favorite episodes the show has done.
Overall, The Gathering was a sweet yet simplistic story that sets up future episode well. If you read the interview IGN had with voice-actors Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter (who play Ahsoka and Anakin respectively) then you know that the next three episodes are going to get intense.
With that in mind, I think The Gathering sets the stage for the coming episodes well, and I look forward to seeing how it all ends up.