That sound you heard last night was the internet breaking over just how enjoyable the latest episode of Star Wars: Ahsoka was. After three episodes of mostly set up, the story inched forward, but that inch was filled with exciting action, major character beats, huge revelations, and a cameo we all knew was coming, but was still incredibly exciting to actually see happen. Let’s dig in.
Why is the Dancing Baby an NFT?
Episode four of Ahsoka is called “Fallen Jedi,” a fantastic title for a few reasons. When you first saw it, you got very excited at all the possibilities—but by the end, it’s not exactly clear who or what it’s referring to, which is kind of a fun discussion point. We’ll circle back to it at the end.
Things pick up with Huyang and Sabine attempting to fix Ahsoka’s T-6 after the dogfight in the previous episode. Ahsoka senses something though and decides they should move out and push the action themselves. Before leaving, the master has a heart-to-heart with her apprentice. Ahsoka explains that, yes, the quest for the map is a quest to find Ezra—but more importantly, it’s to find and stop Thrawn. If things go south and they are forced to choose, they should forget about Ezra if it means stopping Thrawn. Sabine looks like she kind of, sort of agrees, but hopes it doesn’t come to that… which, of course, we all know it will. “Can I count on you?” asks Ahsoka. “You know you can,” says Sabine. It’s a statement that will be put to the test.
What was so great about this scene was it felt like the first time this season Rosario Dawson actually got to show some empathy with her character. You saw there was a person in there with feelings and opinions. Ahsoka has previously been very stoic and patient, but that shell started to crumble here as she was talking hard truths with her apprentice. That continued into the next scene as the pair put a bit of a bow on that conversation.
As Ahsoka and Sabine talked, we saw that Baylan’s minions had found the T-6. Just as Huyang fixes the ship, one of the assassin droids attacks, and we get to see the droid put his generations of Jedi training to use. Huyang kicks ass, but the assassin droid seems as if it’s going to get the best of him. That’s when, using brains over brawn, Huyang signals his friends by once again disabling the T-6.
Master and apprentice make quick work of the enemies and realize they’re running out of time. Ahsoka tells Huyang to focus on bringing back communications so they can get in touch with Hera, and he tells them no matter what happens, they should stick together. He says they were always better when they stuck together. They agree but, well, it wasn’t gonna last long.
Meanwhile, back with the New Republic fleet, Hera has had enough. She’s supposed to stay with the fleet but she and her son Jacen purposefully disobey and jump on her ship, the Ghost (did you catch the Kanan cameo?), to head off and help Ahsoka and Sabine. Plus, she’s not alone. She’s got a squadron of X-Wings with her, led by the Nick Fury of Star Wars Disney+ shows, Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), as well as a brief cameo by Brendan Wayne as Lt. Lander. Wayne, of course, is one of the stunt people who primarily plays the Mandalorian.
Back on Seatos, Morgan Elsbeth and Baylan Skoll are locking in the final calculations on their major, intergalactic hyperspace jump, as Ahsoka and Sabine run through the forest hoping to thwart it. They’re stopped in their tracks by the formidable pair of Shin Hati and internet darling Marrok. “Going somewhere?” Shin asks in that cold, evil tone we love. But Ahsoka and Sabine don’t hesitate. Sabine busts out her favorite weapons, her blasters, to engage Shin, and Ahsoka starts a lightsaber duel with Marrok.
At this point, I kind of have to say I was a little surprised by the pairings. Marrok is obviously a formidable, mysterious, pseudo-Inquisitor but Shin’s almost Sith apprentice status isn’t anything to scoff at. I thought maybe the roles would be reversed but writer Dave Filoni clearly wants to keep the apprentices, Sabine and Shin, on one page and elevate Marrok to Ahsoka’s level. Which seems odd, especially with what happens next.
The two battles commence. One with Shin running away from Sabine’s blasters and the other with Marrok and Ahsoka eventually slowing to a standstill. Then, in a moment that Star Wars Rebels fans will recognize from the iconic episode “Twin Suns” (which itself was inspired by legendary samurai films of the past) Ahsoka takes her stance, Marrok takes his, and with one decisive swipe, Ahsoka kills the would-be Inquisitor—who explodes in a puff of smoke, much like the Inquisitor Ahsoka faced in Tales of the Jedi. So no, he wasn’t anyone. Just a smoke monster. A story for another day, we think.
Distracted by Marrok’s death, Shin steps back and Sabine tells Ahsoka to run away and get the map. Ahsoka knows they shouldn’t separate but also trusts Sabine when she says she’s got this. It’s a tough decision but she leaves and heads toward the cliff where Baylan is protecting the map as Morgan and her team continue to make the final calculations.
Ahsoka approaches the map to find the former (maybe fallen?) Jedi sitting there. Baylan senses her presence and, as we know from previous episodes, is very wary and concerned with her powers. He even starts the conversation with a compliment, saying that Anakin spoke highly of her. Ahsoka, however, is having none of that and retorts that Anakin never mentioned him. Diss! Baylan tries to push her on what it must be like knowing Anakin before he became Darth Vader, but she’s not there to talk about the past—she’s there to secure the future.
The conversation continues with Baylan tip-toeing around the fact he has some alternate plan beyond just finding Thrawn. He’s banking on Thrawn starting a war because it’s necessary for whatever his plan is. As this is happening, the two would-be Jedi circle each other, building tension, and sizing each other up. It might even go on too long but the end result is worth it. Another lightsaber battle begins with the two combatants flexing their different styles. Baylan is like a home run hitter, swinging with power. Ahsoka is like a surgeon, picking and choosing her spots.
Meanwhile, this whole time the battle between Sabine and Shin has continued. Shin seems as if she’s about to win as she knocks Sabine over and Sabine pushes out with her hand, mimicking the Force. Shin scoffs, telling Sabine she has no power, which we know is true. Sabine has another power though. One she has only used sparingly, and it’s the power of being Mandalorian. She shoots Shin with something from her armor, knocking her saber out of her hand, and Shin decides to create a distraction and leave.
Ahsoka and Baylan are also still fighting. However, defeating him isn’t the mission. Ahsoka needs to get to the map before the final calculations can be locked in. She keeps trying to grab it unsuccessfully until finally, she creates a small window and snags the map, stopping the calculations and buying them some more time. The problem is that the energy inside it somehow injures Ahsoka’s hand, followed by Shin’s return without Sabine. Ahsoka assumes Sabine is dead and it’s a devastating moment for her, but it’s just a moment.
Sabine returns, grabs the map, and Ahsoka figures it’s checkmate. They’ve won. All Sabine needs to do is destroy the map. She starts to but hesitates, and Baylan takes the opportunity to slash Ahsoka and send her off the cliff. For all we know, she’s dead.
And with that, Baylan sees his opening. He talks to Sabine. Appeals to her good nature. He knows about Ezra Bridger. He knows the complicated situation with her family. He seems to know everything. How he knows these things is unclear. Through the Force? But he promises that if she gives him the map, not only will she not be harmed, she’ll be reunited with Ezra. Does that mean Baylan knows Ezra is alive? So much tension, drama, and uncertainty is swirling both for the audience and Sabine as she, finally, begrudgingly, hands him the map without a fight. She selfishly, but maybe understandably, chooses to see her friend rather than secure the safety of the galaxy.
That was the moment when this episode of Ahsoka stepped it up a notch. To see a character like Sabine make such a bad decision, but also for us to understand it, is the type of moral ambiguity we don’t usually see with the Dave Filoni/Jon Favreau Star Wars shows. That kind of stuff is relegated to Andor. But, for this one scene at least, Star Wars was flawed. And it was beautiful.
Shin assumes her master is lying though and the second Sabine hands over the map, she tries to kill her. Baylan stops her and says, unlike Sabine’s former master, he keeps his promises. He puts the map back, the calculations are complete, and Baylan drives his lightsaber through it. “No one will be following us,” he says.
Who even could follow? Ahsoka is basically dead. Sabine is a prisoner. Oh, right. Hera and Phoenix Squadron. They arrive in the system just as Huyang is finally getting communications back up. He explains the situation but Hera can see it for herself. There’s a giant ring that’s gaining energy ready to make a super duper jump to lightspeed. Baylan, Shin, and Sabine arrive on the ring ship and Morgan tells her team to ignore the fighters in front of her. Make the jump. Which she does.
At this moment, I can’t be the only one who expected a replay of the Holdo Maneuver, especially as the speeding ship destroyed several of Hera’s team. Then I realized it was a big circle, so they just went through it. Either way, it’s a devastating blow that’s perfectly, albeit it a big awkwardly, summed up by Jacen: “I’ve got a bad feeling.”
The episode comes to a close with Ahsoka waking up in some kind of alternate dimension, afterlife-looking place. A place that, as fans of Star Wars Rebels will recognize, is almost certainly the World Between Worlds, a crossroads of time and space. There she hears someone call her “Snips,” a name only one person has ever used. “Master?” Ahsoka asks. “I didn’t expect to see you so soon,” the voice replies. Ashoka turns and confirms our suspicions, it’s Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), her former master, looking much as he did when he trained Ahsoka during the Clone Wars. Not as he would in this time, after Return of the Jedi, when he was killed by the Emperor. That question is conveyed by the music which briefly teases John Williams’ “Imperial March” as Ahsoka shows more emotion on her face than she has the whole series.
What exactly Ahsoka and Anakin are doing in the World Between Worlds will surely be answered next week. But it was a great cliffhanger and the perfect cherry on top of the best episode of Ahsoka yet, by a mile. The lightsaber duels were great. Hera and Jacen on the Ghost was exciting. Sabine’s fall was sad but also solid storytelling. We got more Shin, more Baylan, the death of Marrok, and then finally, Anakin Skywalker. Who could ask for more?
Which brings us, finally, back to the title. The episode is called “Fallen Jedi,” and at the end, Ahsoka literally falls off a cliff. Does it mean her? Does it mean Anakin, who fell to the Dark Side all those years ago? Or does it mean Sabine, not yet a Jedi, but certainly someone who took a big step off that path in aiding her enemies? It could, maybe intentionally, mean any of those people. But don’t forget Baylan Skoll. A character who clearly was a big part of the Jedi Order, having known Anakin back in the day, who has now turned those powers to something else. He’s got a lot going on in his head. He’s very perceptive, maybe partially clairvoyant, and he’s cooking something up that not even Morgan is aware of. Maybe Thrawn will figure it out. But, for us, he’s the fallen Jedi whose actions drive this particular story.
Who do you think the “Fallen Jedi” is referring to? Do you agree this is the best episode yet? Tell us in the comments below. Watch the full episode here.
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