*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episode four of Ahsoka*
Dave Filoni once again cooked with this week’s episode of Ahsoka, which is the series’ best yet. Wholly reliant on alternate lightsaber duels, the episode is a testament to Filoni’s love for the characters and a better understanding of the show’s morally complex antagonist, Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson), the titular “Fallen Jedi.”
After the events of the third episode, Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and Huyang (David Tennant) are on Seatos and attempt to contact General Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who defies orders and travels to the planet alongside her son Jacen (Evan Whitten) and Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) among others. Skoll and Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) have the map in their grip and are ready to chart a course to Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelsen) location, with Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) also there.
On their ship, Ahsoka and Wren discuss the implications of finding both of them. Ezra’s location is also where Thrawn is, with the Jedi willing to destroy the map if it means never finding Thrawn and preventing an all-out war. However, they are quickly attacked by Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and Inquisitor Marrok (Paul Darnell), setting the show’s best action scene in motion.
We got round two of Wren v. Hati, and it’s as good, if not better, than round one. Director Peter Ramsey helms this week’s episode. He directs the action with as much verve as possible, always finding new ways to make lightsabers feel like the coolest-looking (and most dangerous) weapon in cinema history. Some stuff in there completely blew my mind and made me feel like a giddy kid watching The Clone Wars again, which pales compared to the dreary lightsaber battles we had in Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Marrok/Ahsoka battle is akin to the gun scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, but the real showstopper is yet another thrilling fight between Shin and Sabine.
Once again, Sakhno and Bordizzo are incredible together, and the two have a real electric chemistry. Why do they keep fighting each other if not because they may or may not be connected? Twitter users have already shipped them from the first episode, and this second fight only solidifies their apparent bond. But a palpable tension arises as they fight, and it grows even stronger when Sabine attempts to use the force on Hati, who ducks but realizes that she isn’t force-sensitive. She then says, “You have no power,” before Wren goes, “Oh, really?” and blasts her with a wristdart. Take that.
After that, the episode goes into another duel, but this time with Skoll and Ahsoka. We then get to see, for the first time, the true menace from the eyes and demeanor of the late Stevenson, who didn’t do much in the last episode other than tease what this week’s outing will be. The monologue sounds highly familiar, but Stevenson’s performance sells the material, consistently frightening at every turn, even if he does not want to kill Ahsoka or Sabine. The two fight, while Sabine gains the upper hand by threatening to blast the map. Of course, she will never do so because it means Ezra will never be found.
Skoll throws Ahsoka off a cliff and pleads to Sabine not to destroy the map by emotionally manipulating her into helping them find Ezra. It works, and the three are off to Thrawn. Hera attempts to stop the hyperdrive from happening, but Morgan ignores the fleet and goes to Thrawn nonetheless, resulting in many X-wings perishing in the most astonishing moment of the episode. It shows the might of the freighter far better than any large-scale action scene would. What will the New Republic’s reaction to this be?
The episode ends with Ahsoka awakening in the World Between Worlds, where she sees a vision of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen, de-aged to uncanny valley levels). The two reunite, and the episode ends. I will say that it’s great to see Christensen back as Anakin (not Darth Vader, like in Obi-Wan), but did he need to be de-aged? He looks just like he did when Revenge of the Sith came out. Not a wrinkle on him. No more de-aging spiels for me, but I look forward to seeing what role Anakin plays in this show. I guess he is, after all, the “Fallen Jedi.”
The fourth episode of Ahsoka is now available to stream on Disney+.