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Star Wars: Ahsoka Season 1 Episode #3 Review

6 min read
There's good stuff here but it needs more impact and a better screenwriter bringing it all together.

“Time to Fly”

What They Say:
Hera tangles with New Republic politics while Ahsoka and Sabine Wren voyage to a distant planet.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Whether or not you consider this Rebels Season 5, it is more Star Wars in this era and that holds a lot of potential for me. We’ve seen some interesting threads pulled on in the different shows and while I’m frustrated by the execution of how the New Republic is handling taking over the administrative level of the Empire – particularly in the very rough third season of The Mandalorian, the stories themselves have a lot of potential as we’ve seen in the novels. This episode leans into some of what Hera and Ahsoka saw on Corellia in the last episode with how there are some “Long live the Empire!” types in their ranks, but it follows a lot of the things that happened in reality after World War II. Especially the part where some wanted to continue the fight toward the east in Europe to deal with the threat of Russia instead of falling into a Cold War while others chose for stability to rebuild. We see that in the brief time with Chancellor Mon Mothma here and several senators, which could have used another pass at the dialogue.

The general premise for this episode has Ahsoka and Sabine, now working together, heading to Seatos in order to see what Elsbeth may be getting into there. It’s a solid approach even though they’re not getting help from the fleet as the council has decided to not view the vague threat of Thrawn being alive as something to worry about and that’s pretty expected. Thankfully, Ahsoka and Huyang have lived lives to be sure and know how to sneak into a system, but the reality is that it doesn’t take long to get noticed. A decent chunk of the thirty-minute-episode focuses on this battle in space as we get a good dogfight that serves to show how Ahsoka is learning to better let Sabine do what she knows how to do best and in turn, allows them to both trust each other more in order to survive the fight. Not that it’s one they win, but survival is part of it. The only downside I had with it was that I wanted more from both Shin and Marrok here than we got. They both survive as it’s just the rank and file that get shot down and their time in the fight is decent, but I want some time to know them more as characters.

The other part of the journey is focused on Ahsoka working to train Sabine more and that involves Huyang at first to run some of the sequences to see where Sabine is after several years of not practicing. It’s a neat training method and we do see Ahsoka going into a form of what Luke did with Obi-Wan years ago but with its own spin. Star Wars has always echoed things since Empire Strikes Back but it can adjust and turn it in interesting ways through a certain point of view. What we start to get with the training, and when Ahsoka is hands-on with her as well, is that she’s trying to get Sabine to feel more connected to the Force because, as we know, it exists in all things. But Ahsoka does say that there is a talent to using it that not many have, but you get the sense that Ahsoka believes that there are things to learn from all that the Jedi have done and cataloged that can help her become a better person and to help others, hence the training. I don’t think the goal is to get her to be a Jedi or wield the Force like she and Anakin did but rather to create something new that can work to protect people but be connected to it.

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After all, we’ve seen how Sabine and Bo-Katan as examples were able to wield the Darksaber but that it was something that Mando wasn’t able to utilize well. There’s a greater connection there among a select few like them to work such weaponry but it may not translate into what Ahsoka can do beyond her lightsabers. So I’m curious to see this expansion on things because it can offer an alternative to what Luke is doing in trying to recreate the Order, which we know he fails at, and can inform what Rey may be doing down the line in trying to form her path as well. Having watched as much as I have of Filoni’s work and with Ahsoka specifically along with the broadening of the Force that has been divisive at times with fans, I’m more than willing to let this open to something more because we know that in the Old Republic days that the Jedi were quite different. Just elements we’ve seen from the High Republic era have shown some intriguing differences and seeming lost arts among the Order over the centuries.

The show does a lot of stuff I like this time around with the pieces that flesh it out more. The namedrop of Hera’s son Jacen was a big moment but I did not expect to see him come bounding in nor the piece of armor on his shoulder being just like his father’s. I’m amused that a war criminal like Chopper is helping to raise him but that was a given. It’s also a great add here because there is a real dearth of good mother/child relationships in the franchise. There are a lot of parent/child stories and they’re largely filled with despair and problems, but getting one like this feels unique and welcome. This episode also felt like both Dawson and Winstead were able to feel more relaxed in their roles, and the change of dialogue helped as well, as both felt a more more natural and some of their movements and expressions felt a lot more “human” and accessible in a way. There was more lightness to both of them even as they’re dealing with dangerous situations and events.

In Summary:
The show doesn’t expand in a big way here like some might want – myself included – as I want to see more of the cast and more of the bigger picture. I do think things are moving a bit too slow and some of the structure isn’t going as it should and I continue to be frustrated by how Marvel and Lucasfilm do this thing of the 30-minute episodes after opening with two longer episodes. Episodes should be as long as they need to be but at the same time when you feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick here, it can stick in your craw. This combined with some of the mild pacing issues that come from the design of the show at times has me wishing that they’d look at their approach to these projects in a new light. Again, I’m not asking for another Andor, but each episode needs to feel significant in some way and can be even if it’s just all dialogue. There’s good stuff here but it needs more impact and a better screenwriter bringing it all together.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Disney+

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