The penultimate episode of ‘Ahsoka’ came and went this week without a major revelation, and while it was enjoyable from start to finish it was largely a piece-moving affair. This was disappointing and underwhelming as episode six set the board amazingly and engagingly. Here, it feels like Dave Filoni has decided to reset all the major players. But there were still some fun moments, and Thrawn continued to be handled excellently.
The opening takes place in the New Republic courtroom, with Hera attempting to answer for taking a few X-Wings to Seatos. The way that the star maps and star whales are described as fairytales is quite funny, even in ‘Star Wars’ some things are considered to be too far-fetched. It shows how wrapped up Senator Xiono is. C-3PO appears in a delightful cameo to save Hera, letting Leia be a part of the story without having to physically include the character.
The following action scene in space is great. Ahsoka and the Purrgil are traversing an Imperial minefield in space, dodging explosions. It’s amazing to watch, and slightly sad, as the Purrgil are constantly battered by the mines. Thrawn would have enjoyed that. Ahsoka flees into a Purrgil graveyard, a spin on an asteroid field. Instead of wasting resources to follow her, Thrawn turns to the Nightsisters for help and ends the chase. It’s something that helps differentiate him from Vader, as the latter would throw countless resources to achieve the smallest of goals.
Down on the planet, Ezra and Sabine talk with quiet dialogue, with little of it engaging. There is some classic banter between the two, but because Sabine is still cagey about how she got to Peridea, the feeling of unease prevents them from acting like the friends they are. This is set up for a huge reveal later on, but right now it acts as a drag to Ezra and Sabine’s relationship.
Baylan, Shin, and the marauders locate Ezra and Sabine and are about to attack them. But Baylan stops and admits that he wants the best for Shin, and lets her go. He is going to search for whatever it is he’s looking for on his own. What’s frustrating here is that even seven episodes into ‘Ahsoka’, audiences still know extremely little about his goals and what drives him. And due to Ray Stevenson’s passing, it’s unlikely that audiences will learn more after ‘Ahsoka’. Thankfully, due to the gravitas Stevenson brings to the role, Baylan is a character that still manages to captivate everyone.
The fight between the marauders, Sabine and Ezra is great, well shot, and staged. What makes it stand out, is that when Sabine attempts to give Ezra back his lightsaber, he refuses and claims the Force is his ally. But as he’s spent a long time without a lightsaber, it makes complete sense for Ezra to reject it, and makes him stand out as a Force-user.
Ahsoka’s fight with Baylan is underwhelming, but her admitting that she doesn’t need to kill him shows what she learned in the World Between Worlds. She joins Sabine and Ezra against the Night Troopers and Shin. It appears the Night Troopers aren’t undead soldiers after all, but regular stormtroopers, but it’s still too early to tell. They still look frightening. Ahsoka’s offer to Shin to join her is the classic ‘Star Wars’ join me moment but in reverse, a nice twist. Shin rejects this though.
Thrawn has been watching this entire battle via drone, which is a neat and tactical move that isn’t done enough. It lets him make strategic decisions from far away, instead of just sending his men to die. And keeping his philosophy of not wasting resources, he orders the Night Troopers to retreat. Morgan attempts to declare this battle a failure, but Thrawn cleverly reminds her that this battle has cost Ahsoka time, and the bigger goal of galactic conquest is preferable to a small victory. This moment shows viewers that Thrawn is goal-driven, and not out for personal glory.
It’s something that ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ would pull often, to varying levels of success. But it shows another way Filoni understands Thrawn and how he’s different from the rest of the Empire. Mikkelsen continues to give a stellar performance as well, with a standout moment the shock Mikkelsen conveys when Thrawn learns Ahsoka is Anakin’s apprentice. It’s a moment that pays homage to the book ‘Thrawn: Alliances’ without feeling unnatural.
While episode seven was ultimately an underwhelming experience, it doesn’t mean that it’s a waste of time. Mikkelsen shines yet again and it adds to Ezra’s character. Hopefully, the finale will deliver an action-packed episode, and what will likely be a cliffhanger for Dave Filoni’s upcoming movie.