Well that was another terrific episode of Ahsoka. As always, spoilers ahead.
We’ll get right to the meat of ‘Far, Far Away’ the sixth out of eight episodes in Ahsoka’s first season. Only two episodes remain in a show that has transformed almost completely over the course of the last three episodes.
This episode was a big deal for three reasons:
- We get to see a totally new galaxy for the very first time, opening up any number of storytelling possibilities for Star Wars. We don’t see very much of it, and what we do see is strikingly similar to our own galaxy (replete with cute aliens like the Howler that Sabine rides and the little Noti creatures, which are basically if you took an Ewok and crossbred it with a tortoise) but it’s a new galaxy far, far away.
- We get our first live-action appearance of Thrawn, a villain from both the animated Star Wars: Rebels that this show is effectively a sequel to, and the main villain of the excellent Thrawn trilogy of Star Wars Extended Universe books. He’s played by Lars Mikkelsen who voiced the character in Rebels, and despite all the blue makeup and red contact lenses, I can’t help but think of his Witcher character, Stregobor, when he’s onscreen.
- I was surprised that we got to see both Thrawn and the long-lost Jedi, Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) in the same episode. Ezra is rocking a beard now and he’s super happy that Sabine has found him. I am . . . not thrilled with Sabine, however.
Sabine is not being very smart or very honest and that’s really the thing that’s bothering me the most about this episode. When Ezra asks her how she found him, she demurs, telling him that she doesn’t want to talk about it right now. Clearly she’s worried that he’ll react badly to the truth: That she tagged along with a Nightsister and some fallen Jedi in order to bring Thrawn back to overthrow the New Republic.
But withholding that information puts them both in grave danger. It’s just not smart and Sabine at this point is too old and too experienced not to realize that she could have been followed—that the entire point of letting her go find Ezra was a subterfuge. I get that Thrawn is clever and he’s hoodwinked her here, but I don’t love it when a smart character is made to look smart by making other characters seem dumb. I don’t think Sabine is stupid, but this show is doing its damndest to make her appear that way.
Pretty much everything else was great, however. Thrawn is perfect (though I have one quibble I’ll discuss further down). Ray Stevenson continues to steal literally every single scene he’s in. I find Baylan absolutely riveting and that’s largely thanks to Stevenson’s tremendous performance.
Shin continues to be a fun bad guy sidekick, and other lesser bad guys were introduced as well, like Enoch (pictured at the top of this post) and the alien witches who were able to communicate with Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) with their magic. “More witches,” Shin whispers at Baylan, clearly spooked, when they find them on the planet, Peridea—a place where the star whales come to die. “Peridea is a graveyard,” Baylan intones as they approach.
When the episode ends, Thrawn is preparing to leave and to receive Ahsoka, who he is convinced isn’t dead (though that’s a little odd since it could just as easily be that other famous Jedi, Luke Skywalker, though perhaps Thrawn hasn’t heard about him yet in this timeline).
We get very little of Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) herself this episode. There’s one scene at the very beginning with her and the droid Huyang (David Tennant) flying in the star whale. It’s not much but it does end really well. Huyang is going to tell Ahsoka a story and he begins with “Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” Hearing that just before the title card gave me goosebumps—though at first I thought we’d get the actual story he was about to tell this episode.
As much as I’d love an episode devoted to one of Huyang’s stories, I’m glad we got the one we did. Other than Sabine being kind of ridiculous, it checked all the boxes for me.
What did you think? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.
P.S. I still need to write about last week’s awesome episode, which was probably my favorite Star Wars Anakin of all time. It was actually sort of cathartic to get this version of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin. He was better in one episode than he was in the prequel trilogy. That’s bittersweet, I suppose. In any case, stay tuned. Further thoughts on that—however chronologically incoherent it may be—soon.