After last week’s Duel-o-mania, we’re surely in for a palette cleanser this week, right? A nice amount of chill… Oh yeah, I forgot. Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) was knocked off a cliff by Baylen Skoll (Ray Stevenson), and she ended up in a bonkers world where her old master, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), was waiting for her. He’s dead and potentially evil like his alter-ego, Darth Vader, so it probably won’t be so chill.
Meanwhile, the villains and Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) have taken the hyper-space highway to another galaxy in search of Thrawn and Ezra. In the process of the jump, they almost destroyed a rebel squadron headed by Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
Can Ahsoka traverse the World Between Worlds, returning to find Sabine and thwart her adversaries? Or will it be down to Hera and the gang to save the galaxy?
On with the show!
Someone went to film school. The camera cuts between important environments of the past episode. The sea, the cliffs, the bisected star map. It’s very arty-farty. The Ghost lands at the altar on Seatos, and then Hera exits, looking for her comrades. Nobody is there. All they can hear is the crashing of the waves on the cliffs. Chopper and Jacen (Evan Whitten) follow before a different sound is heard.
Huyang (David Tennant) sits on the edge of the cliff, holding Sabine’s distinctive Mandalorian helmet. “I told them to stay together.” The grief-stricken annoy-bot is correct. They SHOULD HAVE!
In the World Between Worlds, we pick up from where we left off: Ahsoka turns to face her dead master, Anakin Skywalker. Is it the World Between Worlds? The environment looks similar, but I remember more doorways and pathways than we see now. We’ll revisit this.
This Anakin is the version from her padawan days, so although he’s intimidating, there’s a calmness and safety in his speech. She lost a fight and looks old. Nice Anakin! That’s no way to greet an old friend!
Ready to finish your training, Ahsoka? Despite a reluctance to fight her old master, they commence the Duel-o-rama afterparty.
The star map is destroyed, and Huyang is unable to fix it. Duhhhhh! It’s split in two and scorched to high heaven!
Carson (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) enters and warns Hera about HQ asking after her whereabouts. Senator Organa (boom! Cheap name drop!) is covering for her at the council, but it won’t be long until they are rumbled.
Jacen stands at the water’s edge, staring into oblivion. He tells Mama Syndulla to listen to the waves. He hears lightsabers crashing together, and apparently, Hera can hear them, too. Doubt. Suggestibility is synonymous with hope; hope her friends are still alive.
Still in the throws of battle, Ahsoka gains the upper hand with a swift roundhouse to the face of Anakin. He counters by LASER SWORDING THE WALKWAY. Ahsoka falls through time and space and lands on a beach.
When she stands, she’s not the older, wiser Ahsoka of the present. She’s Snips (Ariana Greenblatt), the young padawan of the Clone Wars. In the midst of battle, she runs towards explosions with her master and the 501st legion.
They run through some mist (because it’s very misty here), and suddenly, she’s in triage in the battle’s aftermath. Ahsoka touches an injured clone’s arm caringly but guiltily. She believes she’s responsible for all that death and suffering.
Anakin, with a lilt in his voice, makes jokes, trying to lift Ahsoka’s spirits. The young padawan isn’t amused, but Anakin presses on with his lesson. Mistakes happen, but you still have to lead the clones into battle. Mistakes can cost lives, but you still have to lead the clones into battle. Gone are the times when the Jedi were peacekeepers; now they are Generals. You have to adjust to the times…
Especially if she has her own padawan one day. *cough* Sabine *cough*
Fight or die. That’s her choice. Anakin walks into the mist, explosions causing his image to flicker into Darth Vader.
Three X-wings scour the seas of Seatos looking for Ahsoka. No luck yet. There was luck for one of those fighters, though. In the last episode, out of five, two exploded and one was crashed into and looked very badly damaged. Lucky, lucky X-wing!
During a conversation between Hera and Huyang, we discover that Ahsoka has never told her old rebel pals the story of the evil Master and the young Padawan. Gonna be awkward if she ever finds out.
MPH MPHHH MPHH MPHH. Chopper has found something. Search the waters, HARDER!
The Siege of Mandalore! Well, I think it is. It’s still pretty misty, but I can see Ahsoka plunging lightsabers into Death Watch-style helmets.
Oh, Anakin’s here. Anakin acknowledges the inconsistency, stating that he was never here. In fact, at this exact time, he was probably slicing off Mace Windu’s hand.
Anakin reminds Ahsoka she is more than death, war and destruction, as Baylen had suggested in the last episode. But what if Ahsoka is ready to rest? She’s been a warrior for so long; what if she’s tired and ready to retire to the country?
You know nothing Ahsoka Sno – I mean – Tano.
Live or die. Anakin kicks Ahsoka through some more mist and back into the World Between Worlds, then follows through after her. Brandishing his red lightsaber, he flickers into Darth Vader again before returning to his natural form.
Duel, duel, duel; nice choreography. Dodge, and then Ahsoka has Anakin beaten. Instead of ending him, she throws the lightsaber away, choosing to live. Anakin disappears, and so does the World Between Worlds. Water rises and envelops Ahsoka.
Cut to Ahsoka, suspended in the sea. A light lands on her face, and shortly after, a rebel pilot appears, pulling her toward the surface. SAVED!
Ahsoka awakens in her bunk, bathed in a ray of light. Has imagery ever been as on-the-nose as this? She disembarks the Jedi shuttle and meets Hera, who tells the former Jedi that Sabine is still missing.
Ahsoka grabs half of the destroyed star map and tries to sense the events following her dive into the sea. Some kind of force echo emanates from the object, and Ahsoka somehow determines that Sabine is alive with Baddie Inc.
Purrgil fly overhead. Ahsoka has a plan.
Hera is summoned by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly). The fleet is on its way to retrieve Hera and take her to Coruscant to face charges. There may be a demotion in her future. But there’s one last rebellion to be had.
If ever there was a risky plan, then this is it. Ahsoka’s Jedi shuttle and The Ghost fly into the colony of space whales looking for a candidate. Huyang spots a big one. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.
Ahsoka walks out onto the wing, getting into the face – I mean EYE – of the purrgil. She communes with it, demonstrating a previously unshown ability to force-talk with creatures (something that Ezra could do in Rebels)
Suddenly, the whale opens its maw invitingly, and Ahsoka flies straight in. We’re going on an adventure! Huyang asks if she knows where they’re going, to which Ahsoka replies with a straight but confident “No.” Ehhhhhhhhhhhh?!
Meanwhile, Carson has done his best to delay the fleet, buying Ahsoka and Hera time for insubordination. The purrgil have started their migration, almost crashing through the fleet. It’s daaaamn pretty.
With a final “May the force be with you,” the purrgil jump to hyperspace. Buhbye NERDS!
It was great to see Anakin back, played by Hayden Christensen, and it was terrific to see some of The Clone Wars in live action. However, I can’t help but think they could have done more with Ahsoka and Anakin in this episode. There had to be more of a lesson than “Live or die,” right?
But maybe the answer lies with the World Between Worlds. I don’t think it was. Everything points to a deathbed fever dream sequence, explaining the inconsistencies with the environments and Anakin’s presence on Mandalore. It didn’t make sense in World Between World lore. So, if we accept this is a memory, and Jacen could sense Ahsoka’s Mind Palace, then “Anakin” was just a representation of her own subconscious, and nothing groundbreaking could have been done with the master and padawan dynamic. It’s disappointing but understandable.
Maybe, just maybe, she’s figured out how to be a better master to Sabine and found a little peace, as signified by her new white outfit (but, you know, she already had it in her closet). We’ll see how it pans out.
Three episodes left, and despite my criticisms, I’m really enjoying this series. I’ll be sad when it’s over. It’s been a welcome addition to Star Wars, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next. Because where it’s going is: