Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for Episode 6 of Ahsoka.
With only two episodes remaining in Season 1, Episode 6 of Ahsoka finally delivers answers regarding the long-awaited return of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) as well as the continued search for Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi). In the aptly titled “Far, Far Away,” Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) and Huyang (David Tennant) venture forth on their mission to track down where Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) have taken Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo).
Jennifer Getzinger’s direction brings much-needed stability to the series after last week’s visually uneven episode. “Far, Far Away” provides Getzinger with a lot to work with, from sweeping rocky vistas filled with new adorable creatures to the expansive vastness of Thrawn’s Star Destroyer, and she manages to find creative and engaging ways to play with each. While Dave Filoni’s scripts continue to leave something to be desired, he does manage to reclaim the essence of what made Star Wars Rebels fun, and perhaps that is owed to the reintroduction of Ezra Bridger and the end of the grand MacGuffin search.
The episode opens with Ahsoka’s sole appearance in the episode, as she and Huyang continue their voyage on Purrgil Airways. They briefly discuss their previous encounter with Thrawn and Sabine’s “fated” decision, which ultimately sets everything into motion. In the midst of this discussion, there’s some light banter about The History of the Galaxy, volumes one, two, and three, to which Ahsoka cheekily says “one is the best.” Star Wars fans will likely read into this as Filoni giving a nod to the Original Trilogy, but I’m going to give this one to the Prequel Trilogy since technically they come first—chronologically. This scene also gives Tennant the chance to “say the thing” that has been an iconic part of the franchise since its inception: “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” He would know a thing or two about galactic travel, after all.
On the other side of that galaxy far, far away, Sabine Wren is waiting it out in her holding cell where Baylan and Shin (Ivanna Sakhno) left her after she was taken into custody. Baylan pays her a brief visit and Sabine quickly gets the impression that he has no intention of holding up his side of their bargain. However, once Baylan rejoins Morgan on the bridge, she calls him out for his plan to follow through with the deal. His motivations have consistently remained in question throughout the series, and it’s ironic that Filoni’s script seems hyper-aware of the fact that, as of now, Baylan’s character is underdeveloped. We know key details about his past, but none of it has been pulled together to explain his true purpose. These are little things that could’ve been worked out in a writer’s room, and it would’ve helped to tighten up the loose threads of the series.
‘Ahsoka’ Episode 6 Introduces New Nightsister Lore
As they approach their destination, it is revealed that Peridea has been a Purrgil graveyard for as long as anyone can remember—but that’s not the planet’s only secret. As Baylan later explains to his apprentice, Peridea was once the Witch Kingdom of Dathomari, a place of folklore and mystery. Once they land on Peridea, Morgan, Baylan, Shin, and a handcuffed Sabine are greeted by a trio of Nightsisters who have been waiting for them. The Great Mother is mightily displeased that Morgan brought a surprise along with her, and the witches have Sabine hauled off to a temporary solitary confinement while they await Thrawn’s arrival. To his credit, Baylan does look concerned about what might befall Sabine, but not enough to intervene.
The Great Mother reveals that Thrawn will be coming soon, and she isn’t wrong. After a short interlude, Thrawn finally makes his live-action reveal, and it’s quite an impressive show of force. While everything about it pales in comparison to the menacing nature of the character in both the Expanded Universe and the present novels by Timothy Zahn, Mikkelsen cuts quite a creepy figure as the Grand Admiral—especially when he’s flanked by the new Night Troopers and the gold-masked Enoch who has his troops chanting like deranged cultists. After the gaseous Marrok reveal earlier in the season, it’s probably safe to say that Enoch is no one special, but he is hilariously reminiscent of the gold-masked Enoch in Ben 10, which briefly aired concurrently with Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network in the late-aughts.
Like the Great Mother, Thrawn is less-than-thrilled about the arrival of Sabine, but as the master tactician that he is, he sees a window of opportunity. She is looking for Ezra, and he is looking to have both of them neutralized, so Thrawn concocts a plan that will see Sabine freed from confinement, gifted with provisions, weapons, a ride, and Ezra’s last known location, and he will send Baylan and Shin after her to ensure that after Sabine reunites with Ezra—they’re both killed. It’s a heartless goose-chase of a plan, but it does make some sense, at least narratively speaking. Sabine sets out on a true quest to find Ezra, and Baylan and Shin have a mission that remains personally motiveless.
The Search for Ezra Bridger Is Over in ‘Ahsoka’ Episode 6
Blissfully unaware of the trap that she’s gotten herself into, Sabine takes up Thrawn’s offer and sets out to locate Ezra Bridger. But the journey is not quite as easy as she hoped it would be. Before she sets out on her new howler (some cross between a wolf and a horse), Enoch warns her that she will encounter nomads who prey upon each other for survival. And he didn’t lie to her. As she sets out across the rock-covered wasteland, Sabine finds herself jumped by the red-swathed nomads and nearly abandoned by her mount. Fortunately, her recent lightsaber training with Huyang comes in handy, because she manages to wipe the floor with the nomads and get through the encounter largely unscathed. As with every episode preceding it, Ahsoka seems bound and determined to ensure every episode has at least one lightsaber-centric fight.
The back half of Episode 6 veers into Star Wars Rebels territory, which feels like its sweet spot, particularly with Filoni’s writing. Sabine’s situation forces her to forge a bond with the howler, which ultimately leads her in the direction of an adorable Noti, who recognizes the signature Rebel symbol on her Mandalorian armor. The creature design and the ensuing cuteness that is a whole bale of Notis turning up, all wearing the same symbol. Sabine quickly realizes that this means they have likely come in contact with Ezra and urges them to take her to him. The only difference between Ahsoka and Rebels, aside from the live-action aspect, is that Ahsoka seems devoid of the bright colors that made Rebels so visually engaging. The color grading for the series remains drab and colorless, and even Sabine’s brightly colored armor seems cast in a murky hue.
In the final ten minutes of the episode, Sabine is finally reunited with Ezra. Unlike the nods to nostalgia that Filoni has employed throughout the series, Ezra and Sabine’s reunion is given actual weight. Getzinger sets the scene beautifully, building up the anticipation until the moment the camera spots Ezra before Sabine sees him at long last. It’s a shame that the premiere established that Sabine and Ezra have some sort of sibling-like bond because their reunion had shades of something much deeper. In the time they have spent apart, they’ve both grown up, faced new adventures, and made bad decisions. Ezra’s beard is a testament alone to how much time has passed. Perhaps those feelings still have room to change — if not on-screen, then perhaps in the minds of fans. Sabine is hesitant to provide Ezra with details of her arrival, opting instead to let him talk about his experiences on Peredia and his little band of Noti rebels, leaving it all open-ended for the remaining episodes to build on this reunion.
What Are Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Grand Plans in ‘Ahsoka’?
“Far, Far Away” closes out with Thrawn and Morgan scheming on the bridge of his Star Destroyer when they are made aware of the fact that Ahsoka seemingly survived her brush with death. While Ahsoka is well aware of Thrawn, it seems that he has not been spending his time reading up on the fallen Jedi. He tells Morgan that while they wait for her arrival, he wants her to find out everything there is to know about Ahsoka: “Her background, history, homeworld, her Master, everything.” Thrawn also casts doubt on their ability to trust Baylan, because after all, he was once a Jedi too.
It’s unclear if this is setting the stage for Baylan to betray Morgan, especially when paired with his continued thirst for riding the coattails of power, or if it’s simply a red herring. Thrawn is seething with annoyance that his plans might once again be ruined, and he informs the Nightsisters that he will require the aid of their magick once more. The Nightsisters tell him that the thread of destiny demands it, though, does it? Thrawn’s machinations seem to have no real influence over the trajectory the galaxy is headed in once it arrives in the Sequel Trilogy, so where is all of this headed? Time will tell.
New episodes of Ahsoka premiere Tuesdays on Disney+.