Warning: The following article contains major spoilers for episode eight of Ahsoka.
Ahsoka has finally ended, and like any Disney+ series, it does so with an extended action sequence. I’ll say this immediately: the finale was MILES better than what we got with Secret Invasion. It is funny that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s finale mocked exactly what Secret Invasion did, which made it all the more insulting to the audience. And while Ahsoka’s finale is inherently predictable, its core action scene is largely enjoyable and far better choreographed than anything we’d seen from the previous “Disney+ event series.”
For once, the lightsaber battles are great. We finally see Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) come out of the shadows and use a lightsaber as Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), and Bridger battle a swarm of stormtroopers as they arrive at Grand Admiral Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelsen) palace. Before Bridger mans a lightsaber, he builds one with the aid of Huyang (David Tennant), who reveals to him – and Wren – that he taught his master, Kanan Jarrus, how to build a lightsaber when he was a youngling.
For those who haven’t seen Star Wars: Rebels, the scene won’t do much for them, but it does bring Ezra’s arc full circle. The once apprentice has become a Jedi master and shares some fairly exciting lightsaber action, using the Force with Ahsoka to stop their ship from crashing down. The rest of the episode sees them defeat a bunch of stormtroopers who get resurrected (from the dead!) by the Nightsisters and become mindless zombies. A bit of horror camp in Star Wars never hurt anybody, and that aspect of the episode was tons of fun to watch.
Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) herself becomes a full-fledged Nightsister and receives the Blade of Talzin (a deep-cut reference for anyone who hasn’t watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars). She fights Ahsoka in a rather tense battle. She manages to destroy one of her lightsabers but ultimately dies, with Ahsoka gaining the upper hand – killing her with her lightsaber and the forged Nightsister blade. Elsbeth’s arc started strong near the show’s beginning but finished with a massive whimper. There was still far more development left for her that could’ve been explored in subsequent series, but showrunner Dave Filoni seems to have taken the easy way out. At least she got a round two with Ahsoka (round one occurred during season two of The Mandalorian), though it didn’t end well for her.
The finale also completely omits Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) up until its final moments, teasing “what’s to come” for their characters. Sadly, we won’t see more of Stevenson’s portrayal of the character, so it seems rather disappointing that his arc had to end like this. It could’ve been far more complex and engaging by integrating the two bokken jedis in the finale and seeing their ideologies challenged for the first time, but Filoni, once again, chose the easy way out. We see Hati join a group of bandits while Skoll sits atop a statue mountain. It is still unclear if Skoll will get recast since there is so much more to tell from him, but as a final farewell for Stevenson’s performance and storied career, it remains disappointing.
Of course, it was inevitable that the characters would be unable to stop Thrawn from leaving Peridea and establish the next part of his master plan. He leaves without much suspense and travels to Dathomir, fully setting him as the Mando-verse’s big bad. It’s just a damn shame that the character itself serves as a setup for what’s to come instead of an intriguing antagonist. The only “antagonists” who were interesting throughout the series were Hati and Skoll, but their arcs were truncated entirely here! There is hope that Thrawn will position himself as a real threat in the future series. Still, I have doubts he’ll ever match the menace posed by, say, Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or even his animated iteration in Rebels.
All in all, Ahsoka is an enjoyable series. It has flaws; two of the eight episodes were not very good. But it’s far superior to the recent Star Wars series we got (barring Andor. That was a masterpiece). By the end of the series, you do get a sense of intrigue and excitement in wondering what will happen next, and there is hope that subsequent Mando-verse series will explore Thrawn’s return instead of doing whatever the hell The Book of Boba Fett and season three of The Mandalorian did. Still, there is [lots] of room for improvement as future Star Wars series will now have to confront the Heir to the Empire.
All episodes of Ahsoka are now streaming on Disney+.