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Star Wars: Ahsoka Season 1 Episode #6 Review

7 min read
I continue to understand the complaints that people have, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the blending of bringing in the familiar but adding so much more new

“Far, Far Away”

What They Say:
Ahsoka confronts her past, while Hera and her allies undertake a rescue mission.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In going back to a different time, I remember when I first saw the Heir to the Empire hardcover novel in stores in the early 90s. It had been a few years since the Marvel Comics run had ended and some time since the various novels of the 80s had ended. I think it was before the PC gaming side really started to move forward as well. That trilogy, which had things I loved and hated, introduced the kind of character that you needed and had to come from a science fiction writer rather than a filmmaker. Thrawn has been used in a lot of different ways over the years but his inclusion in the canon during the Rebels series worked well for what was intended and how it could grow beyond that, if they so chose to do so. The Ahsoka series brought him to the small screen and after five episodes we finally get some time with him. Not a lot, not enough, but with enough small moments of nuance within the dialogue that will delight fans of the character and those who pay attention to things like that.

With the previous episode delivering a huge love letter to the Clone Wars era with Anakin and Ahsoka, she’s largely kept out of this episode. We get a good moment in the opening as she and Huyang are continuing their journey in the purgill, which has some neat additional colors highlighting the intergalactic hyperspace journey, but that’s about it. The main focus is the arrival of Morgan Elsbeth and her group, which takes us through the purgill graveyard that exists around Peridea. It’s a disturbing piece for fans of the purgill to see but adds to the larger narrative about them and adds the right vibes. Peridea is already feeling like a dead world and watching Elsbeth and her group, with Sabine in town, head down in what feels like an Ornithopter from Dune delivers. The landscape has a great feeling of decay and old to it, from statues that rise out of Green Legend Ran to the ruins all around. The main structure is a towering piece where, in glorious adaptation, we get three Grand Mothers who are pleased that Elsbeth heard her call and has finally arrived.

This is the start of Thrawn’s arrival as his ship, the Chimera, enters the area and in its state of ruin and disrepair hovers over the structure and brings everyone inside. The look and feel of this is fantastic as we get a crew that has dwindled over the past decade for a host of reasons we’ll likely see in some other medium and Thrawn, always pristine in his whites, is fully in command of it all but acknowledges along the way that they are not the power they once were. Which makes sense considering how all of it unfolded years ago, and whatever ranging attacks Ezra may have done over the years as well. There’s also a sense that these Stormtroopers, called Night Troopers in the closed captions, may be bound together by some nightsister magics as well. It’s engaging and disturbing with its designs, right down to the one leading them, a trooper called Enoch with a helmet that has had a golden face painted on it that speaks to an ancient time. Knowing that he’s played by Wes Chatham just makes him all the more dangerous in my mind.

The episode plays to a grim feeling that fits this dead world but with the promise of what Thrawn will bring once they return to their own galaxy. That this world is where the ancient Dathomiri came from makes a lot of sense and ties into older tales told in other stories, and they have their own grand plans that they’ve made that Thrawn will enable them to pursue when they do return. There’s a nod to three days needed to bring resources up to the Chimera and for Thrawn to learn what’s coming as the Grand Mothers know that Ahsoka is coming as they can sense her. It’s an intriguing moment because Thrawn doesn’t just hear this and throw off some line, he wants to know everything about her from Eslbeth so that he can factor her into his plans and breadth of knowledge. It’s a brief moment but pure Thrawn compared to most who would just say something flippant or dismissive in their moment of triumph. After all, it’s been a decade or so of being stranded here and escape is finally here. But he knows what danger someone like her may be.

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I also love that Thrawn’s aware of who Baylan was in his previous existences as a Jedi himself, which plays against Baylan talking with Shin about his own ambitions here and his views of the Jedi order. This doesn’t feel like a simple play for power but rather a chance to change what has happened over and over to someone like Baylan. Shin’s personality gets to expand a bit here as well and you can see how she may not be as cut and dry bad guy material as we’ve been given the impression of so far. She’s loyal to her master, likely to a fault, but you can see how her own goals may yet align with Ahsoka and Sabine down the line when truths of this situation are revealed that neither she and Baylan may know at the moment. The small looks and the hints in the dialogue work very well here for her, and that she is smart enough to let Baylan take the lead in all of this.

Of course, the other big moment is that if we’re getting Thrawn here, and it is episode six, we have to get some time with Ezra. Thrawn honors the deal, from a certain point of view, that Baylan made and has his troopers return her armor and weapons and provides a beast to ride and some supplies. The idea being that they roughly know where Ezra operates and she can lead them right to him and eliminate him once and for all. Sabine’s journey reminded me of some of Artoo and Threepio’s desert journey in A New Hope as she looks for him, especially in how it slows things down. You’re watching it and kind of like, get to it already, wishing it had a bit of the urgency of the animated series. Her bonding with the Howler beast is interesting and we get a lot of fun when she encounters the small Noti people that Ezra has aligned himself with in a way. They have that kind of Jawa-like element to them because of their size and it lends itself to some of the elements of The Last Jedi with the small bird creatures just in being cute and curious about things.

But getting that moment, finally, when Ezra steps out and looks exactly like his father, that delivers. That he’s still fairly jovial and light, joking about how it took her long enough to get there, hits right. This is family. These two are close after their years fighting against the Empire together. And yes, I would have liked to have had Sabine go right into “Here’s what we’re dealing with ” mode, I also appreciate the moments of them just connecting with each other and looking each other up and down to see what’s what. Ezra doesn’t get to do enough here to really stand out in a way but it gets things moving in this direction and I’m really curious to see what explorations we get of him (and Thrawn) for this lost decade of theirs.

In Summary:
There’s a lot that worked for me with this episode and a big chunk of it was getting something new. We’ve heard from a lot of fans, myself included, that Star Wars needs to do new things and not spend all its time on the same core characters (and time period). While Ahsoka plays in the post-OT period so it’s not able to escape that, we’re largely working with all-new live-action iterations of characters and this episode again expands things in a big way. It’s not reliant on the things that have dominated the films or prior shows for years. And this episode goes big with the weird that we haven’t had in the live-action side since we first learned from Yoda about the force. The Grand Mothers are visually striking, their world is eerie and dead in so many ways but has such life hidden amongst it. It taps into familiar themes but is executed in a new context.

The graveyard in space is a haunting moment that may have greater meaning more, but then you become fascinated by time inside the Chimera with how these Night Troopers are put together and seemingly literally bound by red string. There’s a deeper darkness going on here and the stakes are about to change with Thrawn able to get back to the galaxy. I continue to understand the complaints that people have, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the blending of bringing in the familiar but adding so much more new, especially for those that have watched the animated works. We’re also getting so many new things here that it’s going to truly enhance what others will be able to pursue in other mediums.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Disney+