April 14, 2024

If final week’s episode of Ahsoka—which featured prolonged, surreal scenes centered on Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano—was showrunner Dave Filoni catering to each Clone Wars and prequel followers, then the most recent episode, “Far, Far Away,” is for Rebels loyalists. However not simply Rebels loyalists, as Ahsoka episode six looks like Star Wars is lastly giving us one thing new. And it’s about rattling time.

Ahsoka episode six begins with a needlessly CG sequence of the purrgil (house whales) making their intergalactic migration via rainbow-colored streaks of sunshine. It appears to be like, effectively, like a cartoon, so I’m relieved when it cuts to Ahsoka and Huyang sitting contained in the ship that’s parked on one of many purrgil’s tongues. Huyang remarks on how mind-blowing this complete ordeal is earlier than they each begin speaking in regards to the prolonged historical past classes he used to present on the Jedi Temple. The scene is a good reminder that David Tennant (who voices Huyang) is a stellar actor, as he imbues the droid with a lived-in, sage-like character that feels distinctive to the character.

Learn Extra: Ahsoka Episode 5 Assessment: The Ghost Of Anakin Skywalker
Stream Ahsoka now: Disney+

Ahsoka reveals that she is aware of Sabine went with Baylan Skoll, Shin Hati, and Morgan Elsbeth willingly, and that her resolution has set forth occasions that might trigger the return of Thrawn and an all-out conflict. Huyang performs satan’s advocate, suggesting that she made the one resolution she may have made, or that felt proper for her. Miffed, Ahsoka adjustments the topic—she desires to listen to a type of previous historical past classes. Huyang obliges: “A very long time in the past, in a galaxy far, far-off…”

Shin Hati and Baylan Skoll stand together on Peridea. Shin looks at Baylan as he looks off into the distance.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Kotaku

A brand new galaxy

That’s the final we’ll see of Ahsoka this complete episode, as we’re now laser-focused on Sabine and firm’s journey. She awakens in a gold metallic cell on Morgan’s ship, and she or he’s annoyed—she thought she’d have a room with a view, she tells Baylan. As soon as once more we’re reminded of the tragic lack of Ray Stevenson, who continues to slowly unravel and reveal the previous Jedi’s character with a grace and subtlety that’s so hardly ever seen in Star Wars, not to mention Star Wars TV.

Baylan clearly likes Sabine, regardless of all the things, however his motivations stay unclear. Although some have pointed to this lack of readability as a mark towards Filoni’s character improvement or writing (which I’ve no drawback lambasting when essential), I believe Baylan’s shifting motivations are a mark of the interior turmoil he’s dealing with—and a later dialog with Shin proves that principle.

However earlier than that, we’ve got to get to the large, blue elephant within the room: Thrawn. The unlikely groupquad has arrived on the coordinates given to them by the now-destroyed map: Peridea, the tip of the migration route for the purrgil, a worldmap surrounded by Saturn-like rings which might be truly huge purrgil bones. It is a graveyard.

Sabine is taken from her cell and thrust onto a transport ship that’s taking them all the way down to the floor of Peridea. Shin and Sabine shippers get some additional fodder for his or her fan-fic, as the 2 ladies stare at one another relatively than the traditional planet specified by entrance of them. There’s nothing like an enemies to lovers arc, am I proper?

Three Nightsisters in red robes stand with their hands clapsed.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Kotaku

One thing depraved

Right here is the place Ahsoka begins to actually really feel new, or at the least, unrecycled. We’ve by no means seen the Nightsisters (an historic witch clan of which Morgan is part) in live-action, simply within the animated reveals and in EA’s Jedi video games. And boy do they give the impression of being cool right here, a trio in blood-red robes and pointed hats, standing amongst towering pillars, giving equal elements Dune and Star Wars.

They bathe reward on Morgan, their chief talking in an unnerving, layered voice that’s a vocal impact carry-over from The Clone Wars. The general vibes—from the creepy voice to their glowing crimson magic to their corpse-gray visages—give the episode a spookiness that’s far too unusual in Star Wars media, a spookiness that feels fantastical, like one thing out of a fairy story informed to warn kids off of wandering into forests, or accepting assist from strangers. Even Shin and Baylan are freaked out by the Nightsisters: Shin echoes Baylan in an earlier episode when he watches Morgan spin magic along with her fingertips, hissing “extra witches” because the three Nightsisters reveal themselves.

The three sisters warn that Sabine reeks of Jedi, and her fast response tells a multi-layered story in simply seconds: She’s briefly shocked that they sense Jedi in her, then considerably irritated that she’s getting picked out, then offended that she’s about to be put in isolation once more. Natasha Liu Bordizzo is, as soon as once more, wonderful right here.

After Sabine is escorted away, Shin and Baylan get a uncommon second to themselves, and provides us a rarer second in Star Wars: full-blown introspection. “It is a land of desires and insanity, kids’s tales come to life,” Baylan says. It is a forgotten place, a folkloric land—and Shin thinks that’s factor. “Typically tales are simply tales,” she shrugs. However he remembers what it was like to listen to these tales again on the Jedi Temple, and he additionally remembers what it was wish to see all the things he knew burn. Shin’s pleasure at her grasp’s willingness to open up is palpable, and it’s nice to see Ivanna Sakhno exhibit her appearing chops. We already know she’s nice at enjoying feral, however right here we see Shin’s youthful curiosity come via. She is, in spite of everything, a pupil.

“As you become older, take a look at historical past, you understand it’s all inevitable—the autumn of the Jedi, rise of the Empire, it repeats many times and once more,” he laments. Shin thinks this implies it’s their flip now, however he’s fast to right her. It’s not about turns, nevertheless it’s about ending this complete cycle, beginning contemporary—and this planet holds the important thing.

In her far much less luxurious cell, Sabine calls out to Ahsoka, then decides she may doubtlessly use the Pressure to get herself out of this mess. In the same vein to the scene during which she fights Shin again on Lothal, we get a quick second the place it seems she, perhaps, probably, has tapped into the Pressure, because the stone partitions of the cell start to vibrate and free rocks fall to the bottom. However wait, what’s that within the transient slice of window behind her? It’s a large Imperial Destroyer, languidly drifting overhead, with some banging music accompanying its arrival. Thrawn is right here.

Grand Admiral Thrawn smirks with a few Storm Troopers standing behind him.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Kotaku

It’s arduous to stay as much as the huge expectations that include a live-action Thrawn reveal, nevertheless it definitely helps that Lars Mikkelsen additionally supplies his voice in Rebels. Although, as soon as once more, the make-up/costuming decisions on this sequence break the fantasy fairly a bit, as Thrawn appears a bit too blue, his hair too jet-black, his eyes too crimson—like a misguided try to repeat/paste the cartoon model of himself into the live-action world (the identical destiny that befell Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Hera Syndulla).

However as he walks amongst his military of kintsugi Storm Troopers, Thrawn does reduce an imposing determine (although I’m persistently shocked all through this episode at how pedestrian a lot of it appears to be like, because the reliance on the huge Quantity soundstage turns so many scenes into one thing out of a SyFy film). This man, notorious throughout the galaxy for his techniques, his potential to foretell his enemies’ subsequent strikes, is offended that Morgan, Baylan, and Shin have introduced a prisoner alongside…till he learns it’s Sabine Wren. Mikkelsen is superb in these moments. He’s calm and picked up, however you may see the cogs turning behind these candy-apple-red eyes, you may see him taking six steps earlier than anybody else within the room has taken one.

Sabine and Thrawn come face-to-face, and although their assembly feels considerably anticlimactic contemplating the years of historical past between them, the confusion he causes virtually instantly is fantastic to behold. Thrawn provides Sabine provisions, a mount, and the final recognized location of Ezra Bridger, in addition to her weapons again, and guarantees to let her go. Cue face cracks from the trio that introduced her right here, however Thrawn has a plan. “As soon as my starship departs, you’ll be stranded right here without end. It’s additionally fairly attainable that your buddy is useless.”

Sabine’s single eyebrow capturing briefly to the highest of her brow tells you that she’s not the Mandalorian to be fucked with. She’s not within the temper for Thrawn’s soft-spoken verbal sparring, she simply desires to get on her mount and get the fuck outta dodge. And he or she does simply that. However keep in mind, Thrawn is enjoying 4D chess: He sends Baylan and Shin after her in order that if she does handle to seek out Ezra, the mercenaries can wipe them each out in a single fell swoop. And if Thrawn’s preparations are full (he’s offloading our bodies from catacombs, more likely to resurrect them by way of the Nightsisters assist), he doesn’t care if he leaves all 4 of them on Peridea. The person is chilly.

Sabine stands with her Howler mount.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Kotaku

Die effectively

Sabine is given a mount by Enoch, the chief of Thrawn’s creepy shiburi/kintsugi military, and climbs on the again of it with out hesitation. (Animal lovers all the time thrive in Star Wars, keep in mind?) Enoch fingers Sabine her weapons, warns her of the planet’s risks, and tells her to “die effectively.” The stone partitions of the house half, revealing the floor of the considerably barren planet dotted with historic, crumbling totems of a bygone civilization. Sabine forges forward on the again of the Howler, her cloak trailing within the wind, and Sabine units off on Ezra’s path, following a scent laid 5 years in the past with the finale of Rebels. From this second forth, Star Wars feels prefer it hasn’t in years.

The second half of “Far, Far Away” is sort of a stellar ‘80s fantasy flick. There’s a scrappy younger lead decided to forge forward in an unknown land filled with surprises on the again of an (at occasions) unruly steed, an ambush from harmful nomads that she barely fights off (in one more unbelievable struggle scene that makes wonderful use of Sabine’s Beskar armor and lightsaber abilities), and lovable little creatures known as Noti that talk nonsense in high-pitched tones and provide assist to this unusual, gallant determine. By the point Sabine makes her approach to the Noti’s village, I’d virtually forgotten that this was a Star Wars present, because it feels extra like a full-blown film from a long time in the past.

The creature work is good, with the Howler shifting and reacting like a fussy pet and Sabine reacting to it like an proprietor barely irritated that their canine gained’t cease making an attempt to eat poop on the canine park. And the Noti, who at one level all rise up and reveal themselves to Sabine like little alien hermit crabs, may very effectively be a best-selling toy this vacation season.

However there’s much more occurring right here. In a quick scene displaying Baylan and Shin’s makes an attempt to trace Sabine, we get a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it adjustment to Star Wars canon that can have the Jedi fanboys freaking out for months to return. Baylan refers to Ezra as a “Bokken Jedi,” which is a time period we’ve by no means heard earlier than (although “bokken” is a Japanese phrase for a picket sword). These Jedi have been educated after the autumn of the Order, which signifies that Luke and Rey fall into that class—however Baylan is fast to verify Shin is aware of that she will not be that, both. He’s educated her to be one thing extra. It’s an attention-grabbing new approach to have a look at how the Pressure could be utilized, warped, and twisted beneath totally different tutelage, and the way the facility of a phrase can drastically shift the that means of an thought.

“I miss the thought of it,” Baylan says of the Jedi Order. “However not the reality, the weak spot. There was no future there.” He reveals that one thing on this planet is looking to him, one thing is stirring right here that’s past the facility of the Nightsisters.

Turning again to Sabine, we uncover that, naturally, the Noti are precisely what she’s searching for, because the little crab dudes are all mysteriously carrying necklaces with large Insurgent logos dangling from them. Seems like Ezra Bridger has spent the final decade dabbling in making jewellery, and Sabine realizes that these chittering guys are the important thing to discovering him. They take her to their village, which is stuffed with lovable particulars that when once more evoke older fantasy flicks: a Noti patching the roof of their dwelling, Noti getting ready dinner on an open hearth, a child Noti with impossibly massive eyes rocking in a hammock. It’s a prolonged scene filled with moments that make you coo, till you understand that Ezra doesn’t look like there.

Ezra Bridger looks at Sabine Wren.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Kotaku

Simply kidding, he’s behind you, Sabine! He’s leaning up towards one of many huts with a thick beard that reminds us that he was an adolescent when he went lacking, however that was 10 years in the past, and he’s been ready a very long time. “I knew I may depend on you,” he says. “Although, it positive took you lengthy sufficient.” Sabine and Ezra briefly fall again into their typical banter, earlier than embracing one another. Although I’m fully undone by the choice to present actor Eman Esfandi horrible contacts that appear to be the Fremen eyes in David Lynch’s Dune, it’s nice to see that Filoni isn’t losing any time. Ezra is so again, and he’s not going to be all that happy to be taught what Sabine needed to do to get to him.

However that can come subsequent week, as will, probably, a battle. The threads of future are entwining, because the Nightsisters level out, and Ahsoka is en route, keep in mind? This was a very robust episode (although it appeared, sometimes, like shit), maybe even higher than final week’s. It manages to present us a large payoff for longstanding Rebels cliffhangers, whereas additionally feeling contemporary and new. It is a welcome signal of what’s to return. If Filoni retains this up, I would truly find yourself overtly optimistic about his forthcoming Star Wars movie.


The following episode of Ahsoka airs on September 26 at 9 p.m. ET on Disney Plus.

Stream Ahsoka now: Disney+

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