AHSOKA!!!!!! It’s finally here! The new Star Wars series from Disney+ has released its opening two episodes centering around the former Jedi’s search for the evil Grand Admiral Thrawn and ending the remnants of the Empire once and for all.
We will be covering the new series extensively right here on CouchSoup. Accompanying the recaps (one of which you’re reading now) is the Watching Now: The Ahsoka Chronicles podcast! Stef, Lily, Brandy and Tom will be nerding out weekly to analyze and react to each new episode! The podcast is available every Friday to watch on YouTube and listen to on all of the podcast services, but you can also see it A DAY EARLY on CouchSoup.com if you’re a member. JOIN US!
Ok, so on to the recap!
Holy crapola! We have a red Star Wars opening crawl! On Ahsoka!
We’re in the era of the New Republic (as with The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett), in the time after the fall of the Empire. Imperial remnants are trying to locate the Big Blue Booty Daddy, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and retrieve him from the depths of space, refocusing their efforts to reconquer the galaxy.
Meanwhile, Ahsoka Tano’s prisoner, Morgan Elsbeth (see: The Mandalorian season 2), is being transported for trial while Ahsoka searches for a map, hoping to thwart the Thrawn’s allies’ sinister plot.
Annnnnd we’re off!
The prisoner transport carrying Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) is hailed by a ship using a legacy Jedi call signature. After being granted permission to dock, two hooded figures emerge. The two Jedi(??) state they need access to the prisoner. Captain Smarty Pants is having none of it.
Big mistake. These ain’t no Jedi. The apprentice, Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno), starts a-swinging, slaying innocent New Republic personnel. The swings don’t seem to connect all that well, but they all die, so it must have been close enough. Baylen Skoll (Ray Stevenson) kills the captain and proceeds to the brig. Baylen has his Darth Vader corridor massacre moment (super cool) and then frees Elsbeth.
Ahsoka arrives at a temple ruins, looking pensive and inquisitive. Not an inquisitor. Inquisitive. She finds no entrance, so she makes her own, throwing her two white lightsabers into the ground and rotating, carving a circular entry. She lands gracefully inside. This temple doesn’t seem to be Jedi, nor does it feel Sith-y evil… interesting.
Puzzle time with Ahsoka. It’s similar to a puzzle that Nathan Drake would solve in Uncharted. She turns three columns like Rubik’s cubes, aligning things and stuff until there’s some glowy glowy. When all three columns are aligned, a pedestal appears, presenting an orb. A star map puzzle ball.
Leaping out of the temple puzzle room, she’s greeted by imperial droids. Don’t send droids to do a Sith’s work. Ahsoka makes quick work of the droids before three of them initiate a self-destruct sequence. Time to run.
And run, she does, all the way to her ship piloted by Huyang (David Tennant), an old Jedi droid. Ahsoka tells the droid to watch her back in the future as the temple explodes. Big time explosion.
Home One (yes! THAT Home One. Admiral Ackbar’s!) is the destination for the former Jedi Knight, reporting her progress to General Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Ahsoka discusses the map and its implications, speculating it could contain the location of Thrawn. It could contain the location of Ezra Bridger (see Ahsoka Prep Notes for Ezra). Hera’s interest is peaked, but the map is locked. You know who’s even better at puzzles than Ahsoka? Her.
Lothal bossman Governor Azadi (Clancy Brown) unveils a mural as a celebration of the victory over Thrawn by the Rebels. If you’ve seen Star Wars: Rebels, you’ll have seen this art before. The special guest for this unveiling is none other than Commander Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Applause. Sabine? Where you at?
Riding a speeder out of the city, that’s where. New Republic guards try to stop her, but the reckless Sabine cuts the power to her bike and slides underneath a makeshift blockade, reigniting the engine before she crashes. It’s not worth the effort to apprehend her.
Sabine is living in a tower outside of the city of Lothal, the former accommodation of one Ezra Bridger. She’s greeted by her pet Lothcat (awwww cute) before fishing out a recording device that holds the last holo message of Ezra (Eman Esfandi). Sadness envelopes Sabine’s features.
Baylen, Shin, a rando masked Sith dude and Morgan Elsbeth stand in the even more ruined ruins of the temple once housing the star map. It was a Nightsister temple?! And Morgan is a surviving Nightsister?! DUM DUM DUMMMM!
Baylen sends Shin to Lothal to seek out Ahsoka’s former apprentice, Sabine Wren.
Wait. Apprentice? As in…Padawan?!
Back on Lothal, Ahsoka Tano reunites with a frosty Sabine. Her demeanor melts slightly when Ahsoka asks her for help unlocking the star map using her “artist’s eye.” A task that could bring them one step closer to finding Ezra.
Sabine passive-aggressively calls Ahsoka “Master.” She’s angry that her friend and teacher abandoned her when she needed her most. Ahsoka hits back; there was blame on both sides.
Regardless, Ahsoka needs Sabine to help solve the puzzleball. Sabine agrees but, against orders, takes the star map home to work on it. As soon as Ahsoka said, “It stays here,” and left the room, it was obvious that Sabine would disobey her orders.
And what did Ahsoka do when she was out of the room? Huyang told her that Baylen is a former Jedi Knight. Well, duuuuuhhhhhhhhh!
As Sabine speeds back home, a probe droid spots her and returns to Shin. That shot was frame-for-frame of a scene in The Phantom Menace with Maul on Tatooine. Uh oh! We’re in trouble!
Ahsoka discusses Sabine with Hera. She’s as stubborn and bullish as ever. But wasn’t Ahsoka the same way with her master? Well, that hit a chord. Ahsoka’s master was the legendary Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader.
Puzzle time – take two! After a bit of pacing and mumbling, Sabine solves the star map Rubix ball (fairly easily). Woohoo! She goes outside to try to determine where the map leads.
Ambush! Sabine is attacked by two assassin droids. One distracts Sabine, while the other steals the star map and destroys her recording devices. Damn you! The young Mandalorian incapacitates a droid and hurriedly follows the other as she signals Huyang for backup.
Here it is, apprentice versus apprentice. Shin draws her red saber, and Sabine raises Ezra’s green saber. FIGHT! A lightsaber duel ensues, Sabine clearly exhibiting poorer skills than her counterpart. She defends fairly well, but her offense is non-existent. This is only going to end one way… unless Ahsoka can get there in time.
Which she can’t. Shin runs Sabine through with her saber, a little left of center, and she crumples to the ground as Shin exits stage right.
It’s a MIRACLE! Sabine wakes up from her hospital bed, seemingly fine after being pierced in the same way as Master Qui-Gon Jinn. She’s a bit drowsy but all-in-all, a success for Lothal General Hospital. It’s lucky because now she can tell Ahsoka she saw the star map in all its glory. D’oh! She’s forgotten the details, and droids destroyed the backups sooooooooo… maybe it’s hopeless?
Ahsoka searches Sabine’s home methodically until the incapacitated droid drops from the ceiling by surprise. My surprise, not Ahsoka’s. She swiftly decapitates the droid, taking the head with her.
Sabine, ever the engineer, believes that she can retrieve the memory core from the droid’s head. Or it could explode and kill them all. What’s life without risk anyway? Sabine can only recover a partial memory before Huyang ensures there’s no boom boom.
The droid originated from Corellia. Ahsoka strides out. She and Hera will handle this one.
Hologram Hera has a heart-to-heart with Sabine, telling her that she and Ahsoka are kindred spirits. They’re both difficult and stubborn, but they care for each other. Ahsoka wants Sabine to rejoin her, even if she doesn’t say it.
Meanwhile, Baylen and Shin arrive at the planet marked on the star map, finding some kind of weird Stonehenge druid circle. The star map perfectly fits on a pedestal in its center. This is the place. They call for the witch Morgan Elsbeth.
The Nightsister performs a ritual at the ancient shrine. Oooooo, pretty lights! A map showing a path forward across time and space is revealed. Baylen assures Elsbeth that Marrok (the other Sith dude hanging out in the background) will accomplish his task to complete whatever the Eye of Scion is.
Ah, Corellia. Where the Millennium Falcon was built. Otherwise, it sucks.
Hera, Chopper (an orange and white bucket droid with a personality) and Ahsoka are immediately greeted by Mr. Business Bureaucrat, Myn Weaver (Peter Jacobson). He’s not enthused by having them there but is less enthused by the threat of a more official inspection. Weaver confirms former Imperials are working at the ship-building and salvage factory. It’s not unusual; there are former Imperials everywhere. Most of them are just regular people trying to get by. Concerning, though.
As Hera and Ahsoka tour the facility, they again discuss Sabine. Despite Ahsoka’s protestations that Sabine is not ready to become Padawan again, Hera asks, “What makes someone ready?” Excellent question, Hera!
On Lothal, Huyang talks with Sabine as she inspects her freaking MASSIVE lightsaber scar. Huyang tells her that although she has by far the least aptitude with the Force he’s ever witnessed, the only time she’s a-wasting is her own. When Sabine mentions Ezra’s lightsaber, Huyang corrects her. She’s made so many modifications to it; it’s more hers than his now. Huyang is so annoying… but insightful!
Business, business, business. Money, money, money. That’s all Weaver cares about.
But what’s that, buddy? A hyperdrive? Whatcha building? Weaver stumbles over his answer before the hyperdrive is collected by a transport ship, and tries to make an escape.
Red Shirts 1 and 2 open fire on Ahsoka and Hera. They’re quickly dispatched, and Hera hurries back to her ship, The Phantom. Ahsoka, on the other hand, unsheathes her lightsabers, breaks glass and jumps out of the window like a boss.
She’s met with Marrok and an assassin droid. The droid is a momentary nuisance before Ahsoka and the Sith boy duel. Ahsoka’s dual-wielding lightsabers will always be cool. She gets the upper hand, and then Marrok transforms his saber into dual-bladed form (ala Darth Maul).
Hera pilots The Phantom, chasing the hyperdrive-carrying ship. Hera orders Chopper to ready a tracker beacon. Chopper can’t find the tracker and, like a sassy madam, claps back at Hera, asking if she’s messed with his stuff. He eventually finds it and shoots. AND SCORES! The tracker attaches to the ship. Mission accomplished.
Here Shin comes to save the daaaaayyyyy! She swoops in and picks up Marrok before Ahsoka defeats him. They escape.
Sabine has come to a realization. She retrieves her old Mandalorian armor and cuts her hair WITH THE TINIEST KNIFE IN THE WORLD. Ain’t no way that hair is gonna look good after this. She contacts Ahsoka; she’s ready to return.
Ahsoka arrives at the Lothal mural to collect her Padawan. They have tracked the hyperdrive to the planet Sitos, but what the heck could they be building?
The Eye of Scion. It looks like a hyperspace ring that will propel a ship farther into space than a regular ship. I’m guessing. Baylen tells Elsbeth that there is an elusive presence in the force. Ahsoka is coming for them.
Baylen shows remorse for what he knows must be done. There are so few Jedi left in the world, but Ahsoka has to die.
We have an Ahsoka series! And it’s good! Ok, so far, it’s not lived up to Andor’s standards, but that was a tough ask. It’s been compelling, pretty and nostalgic. We got lothcats, Chopper, Lothal, and Azadi. We even got Nightsisters confirmed!
However, I do fear that this could become too Rebels-focused, containing niche references that I even struggle with at times. I’m also wary that this could be more of a Sabine show than an Ahsoka show. It’s still early, but as much as I love Sabine, Ahsoka is the better character who deserves her own standalone story.
For Ray Stevenson. The closing credits of Episode 1 were a fitting tribute to the terrific actor. It was announced that the actor who plays Baylen Skoll recently passed away back in May, but he has done a fantastic job so far in this show, bringing a conflicted force user to life. I hope that the rest of the season does him justice.
I can’t wait for next week!
So what did you think? Did you enjoy these opening episodes as much as I did? Or are you worried about what’s to come?