April 15, 2024

Go away it to Dave Filoni to tug off a Star Wars nostalgia play that has me sobbing on my front room sofa after years of nods to different characters that felt extra fan-service-y than impactful. With Ahsoka episode 4, the unofficial inheritor to George Lucas’ empire manages to weave collectively a number of Clone Wars’ story arcs, uncharted territory, and a prequels-era redemption within the sequence’ strongest episode but.

I’m at all times hesitant to get too enthusiastic about Star Wars, particularly after the violent juxtaposition that was The Final Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, however after “Fallen Jedi,” I can’t wait to see what the subsequent episode of Ahsoka brings. Brilliantly, the Fallen Jedi of the episode’s title might seek advice from a number of characters central to its plot–-is it Baylan Skoll, who Ray Stevenson performs with all of the air of a classically skilled British stage actor? Is it Ahsoka Tano, former Jedi turned deserter? Is it Sabine Wren, former apprentice turned hermit? Or is it, maybe, another person?

Learn Extra: Ahsoka Episode 3 Assessment: Bizarrely Temporary However Promising
Stream it now: Disney+

Let’s get into it.

Ahsoka blocks a red lightsaber with her white one, a snarl on her face.

Picture: Lucasfilm

Stranded on Seatos

The episode begins instantly the place the final left off: Ahsoka, Sabine, and Huyang are stranded on Seatos, their ship disabled by a blast from Morgan Elsbeth’s ship. They’re making an attempt to hail assist (learn: Hera) however their comms are shot, too. The scenes on the stranded ship are the weakest of your complete episode, and it’s largely as a result of Ahsoka nonetheless has an issue with enhancing and pacing, with retreading character motivations and repeatedly exhibiting the identical hand (what number of occasions are we going to be informed that there’s one thing lingering within the forest round their ship?).

However as soon as we get previous that, and re-establish that Ahsoka will do no matter it takes, regardless of the private connection, and Sabine might not be capable to do this due to her attachment to Ezra (Ahsoka factors out that they might must destroy the map slightly than let it’s utilized by the baddies to get Thrawn, even when it means stranding Ezra without end), the episode jumps immediately into extra meatier stuff—particularly, lightsaber fights.

Baylan has despatched his private pitbull Shin Hati and the ever-illusive Marrok to deal with Ahsoka and firm together with a couple of of Morgan’s murderer droids and henchmen. The primary wave (henchmen and droids) assault Huyang whereas he’s engaged on the ship, giving us a hilarious struggle that appears like Star Wars does Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots as two droids punch the shit out of one another, the clangs of steel ringing all through the blood-red forest. In some way, Ahsoka and Sabine can’t hear the 2 preventing outdoors, so Huyang destroys the wiring he was simply engaged on, killing energy to the ship and alerting the 2 that one thing is afoot.

Ahsoka and Sabine run out, weapons blazing and sabers ignited, and make fast work of the henchmen and droids. It’s a tightly shot, well-paced struggle with sound design that snaps and crackles like a heat hearth—Sabine deflecting blaster bolts together with her Beskar vambraces is particularly satisfying. The actually great things, nevertheless, is ready amongst the timber, and the 2 girls know that. As they set off into the forest, Huyang tells them to stay collectively, simply earlier than they run off.

Elsewhere, Hera has determined to disregard the Republic’s resolution to not ship assist to Ahsoka and Sabine and heads there anyway with a little bit squad of her personal, which incorporates Paul Solar-Hyung Lee’s Captain Carson Teva (we’ve seen him in The Mandalorian, bear in mind?). Naturally, she brings her son together with her, which at first annoys me, however then swiftly breaks my coronary heart after I understand he’s sporting what seems to be Kanan Jarrus’ pauldron. RIP. Additionally, I’ll by no means complain a couple of vintage-style Star Wars cockpit shot, and we get a number of right here.

However let’s get again to the enjoyable stuff, lets?

Sabine and Shin fight, their sabers crossed.

Picture: Lucasfilm

Up in smoke

Baylan and Morgan are ending calculations for the huge hyperspace soar her bizarre Halo-ring ship is about to go on. Bizarrely, we get one more scene the place Morgan prompts the map in order that her ship can end calculating their path, which felt prefer it might have been left on the reducing room flooring—particularly since Shin and Marrok are ready.

Within the forest Ahsoka takes Marrok, whereas Shin and Sabine have a rematch of their battle on Lothal in a gorgeous back-and-forth struggle cut up between the 4 duelers. We’ve been ready to see who the hell the masked Marrok is, with rumors abounding about their origins. Is it Sam Witwer’s Starkiller from The Drive Unleashed video games? Is it Bariss Offee from The Clone Wars? Is it another person completely? Filoni, for as soon as, doesn’t cater to any of those fan-servicey needs.

Ahsoka and Marrok conflict for a bit, then Marrok decides to get fancy, spinning their double-bladed saber with dizzying results, however Ahsoka isn’t bothered–she doesn’t even ignite her second saber, however waits patiently for her opponent to strike earlier than reducing them down similar to Obi-Wan takes out Darth Maul in Rebels. As Marrok kneels, a glowing saber wound straight by their torso, we lastly work out simply what the fuck the deal is: Marrok is product of smoke, a nothingburger, the identical ilk because the Inquisitor Ahsoka makes fast work of in Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi. Sure, Marrok is nobody, they’re all simply smoke and mirrors.

Disney XD

Shin is clearly shocked by Marrok’s defeat, nevertheless, and briefly stops preventing Sabine due to it. Although Sabine has been getting her ass totally kicked by the new honey badger, she tells Ahsoka to go away her and go after the map (guys, what did Huyang simply say?), and we’re arrange for one more lightsaber battle, this time between Ahsoka and Baylan.

As these fights rage on, Morgan’s ship is ending its calculations for his or her hyperspace soar, so we get an occasional break from whooshing laser swords as a way to catch our breath. However I don’t care if I’m breathless, this episode has received me extra excited than a Wookie enjoying holochess.

Baylan and Ahsoka meet below the glistening starmap, Stevenson enjoying it cool like a good cuntier Depend Dooku, Dawson enjoying it assured like she simply made fast work of one in all his henchmen (as a result of she did). Stevenson’s work right here is simply one other harsh reminder of the outlet his loss leaves (he died earlier this yr), as you may see how badly Baylan desires to keep away from preventing Ahsoka, how dedicated he’s to this concept that he can create a brand new world within the ashes of the outdated one. He’s reserved however relentless, assured however cautious, and it actually appears that his plans are to persuade Thrawn to let him begin a unique sort of Jedi Order for a more moderen, darker age.

The 2 conflict in one more attractive, well-choreographed struggle that sounds almost pretty much as good because it appears to be like, Baylan preventing sturdy and upright like a medieval knight, Ahsoka making an attempt to make use of her pace to get the higher of him. It’s essentially the most evenly matched we’ve seen her but, and Baylan’s makes an attempt to control her by reminding her that she as soon as realized below Anakin Skywalker, a person recognized to carry dying and destruction, are highly effective and considerably efficient. Ahsoka often struggles throughout this struggle, and it’s unusual to witness since we’re so used to seeing her competent, assured, and robust—she’s clearly warring with Baylan and herself, together with her losses, together with her legacy. Earlier than we are able to additional unpack that, nevertheless, she grabs the map from its mantle and badly burns her hand within the course of. “That was unwise,” Baylan warns.

Baylon Skoll stands under the starmap on Seatos, his red lightsaber ignited and ready for battle.

Picture: Lucasfilm

Multiple grasp and apprentice

Episode 4’s third act is its strongest, as we get an opportunity to see a aspect of Ahsoka we haven’t gotten but in live-action. Throughout her struggle with Baylan, Shin reveals up alone, and the belief that she might have misplaced Sabine performs throughout Ahsoka’s face. It distracts her, and together with her hand burned from the map, she’s backed up towards the sting of the cliff by Baylan. A flash of anger on the considered a lifeless Sabine provides her sufficient energy to Drive-smash Shin towards a rock, after which Sabine seems, the map in her hand, her pistol aimed toward it.

The episode’s earlier dialog comes again vivid and robust, as Ahsoka urges Sabine to destroy the map to make sure Morgan and Baylan can’t get to Thrawn and (presumably) Ezra. Sabine hesitates like we knew she would, and that hesitation will get Ahsoka thrown off the cliff and into the metal grey ocean beneath it. Shocked, Sabine is left unguarded and open for manipulation, and Baylan’s energy makes the very best of it. Stevenson shines right here but once more, pausing to sense Sabine’s warring feelings to find out that her relationship to Ezra is the important thing, particularly with Ahsoka presumably lifeless.

“You and I share a typical objective, to make this journey,” he says after sheathing his saber and strolling slowly in direction of Sabine with cool, calm, disconcerting confidence. “You, to be reunited along with your lengthy misplaced pal, and I, to serve a higher good. Include me, willingly, and I offer you my phrase no hurt will come to you.” Natasha Liu Bordizzo performs this scene superbly, as nicely, her eyes welling with tears, the choice clearly tearing Sabine up inside. In a second of weak point (one thing we have to see extra of in our Star Wars heroes, IMO), Sabine fingers Baylan the map and seals her destiny.

Although Shin tries to power choke Sabine (down, canine!), Baylan retains his phrase, and escorts her (cuffed) to Morgan’s ship. Hera and her crew arrive at Seatos earlier than the baddies can go away, however Morgan hyperspace jumps straight by them, killing half the insurgent pilots within the course of. Within the aftermath, as she struggles to proper the ship, Jacen Syndulla turns to Hera and says, “Mother, I’ve received a nasty feeling.” Don’t all of us, child.

However “Fallen Jedi” isn’t performed with us but. Huyang tries to name each Sabine and Ahsoka over their comms, however to no avail. The digital camera cuts to an overhead view of the cliff Ahsoka fell off of, lazily panning over and throughout the waves crashing towards the coast, weird, discordant horns signaling one thing else is afoot. Slowly, virtually imperceptibly, the waves flip to one thing else—glowing, bioluminescent particles, surrounding a susceptible Ahsoka.

And right here is the second the place Rebels followers collectively shit their flight fits: Ahsoka is within the World Between Worlds, a mystical airplane that hyperlinks all of Star Wars’ time and area, although those that haven’t seen Rebels might worry she’s within the afterlife. As she stands, confused to be again on this area (Ezra pulled her into the World Between Worlds throughout her duel with Darth Vader years in the past, successfully saving her from dying), she senses one thing, and we’re reminded of the ability of Rosario Dawson as an actor. A number of feelings flit throughout her face: confusion, concern, incredulity, hope. “Grasp?” she wonders aloud.

Anakin Skywalker stands in the World Between Worlds.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Kotaku

“Howdy Snips,” a distorted voice says, referencing the nickname a sure somebody gave to his Padawan many years in the past. Ahsoka turns, nonetheless not sure, and comes face-to-face with Anakin Skywalker, performed by a barely de-aged Hayden Christensen. “I didn’t assume I’d be seeing you so quickly,” he says, and we see Ahsoka’s face change to reflect a youthful model of herself. She’s ecstatic, viewers are confused, and fade to black.

As a staunch believer that the Anakin Skywalker Renaissance is upon us, and that Christensen deserves an opportunity to painting the character with extra nuance than he might earlier than, I used to be (and am) ecstatic. Hell, I sobbed on the sofa, repeatedly referencing the “someone sedate me” scene from Gray’s Anatomy and the one from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Hearth when Cedric Diggory’s dad retains going “THAT’S MY SON! THAT’S MY BOY!”

I do know that I’m getting excessive off my very own nostalgia provide, as a lady who believes Anakin is the very best, but most essentially misrepresented, Star Wars character of all time, and a lady who was as soon as a younger woman that was blindly in love with him. I do know that that is what the Star Wars franchise does, trotting out older characters unnervingly de-aged or re-mapped onto totally different folks’s faces in order that we’ll coo and cry over them. However simply this as soon as, I don’t give a fuck. I’m absolutely plugged in and prepared for Anakin and Ahsoka to lastly have the dialog they each must have, and all of us want to listen to.

Ahsoka’s subsequent episode airs Tuesday, September 12 at 9 p.m. EST on Disney Plus.

Stream it now: Disney+

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