Ahsoka Episode 3 review: Infuriatingly short but fun
In Ahsoka Episode 3, it’s ‘Time to Fly’ for our Jedi – and that’s all we see them do: fly, fight, and arrive at a destination. This may be serialized storytelling, but we deserve more than this each week.
Cast your mind back to the heyday of Game of Thrones. For long stretches at a time, we’d fall in and out of the orbit of duos and groups as they made a somewhat perilous, tiresome journey across the lands and seas of Westeros; the never-ending clip-clop could have become grating, but these scenes were engineered to deepen our connection to the characters.
Plot isn’t everything; stories demand our curiosity and investment in the people who take us on that journey, so Ahsoka’s third episode isn’t at fault for barely moving the needle towards Thrawn or Ezra Bridger.
However, it is guilty of spending nearly half of its nippy 34-minute runtime in an exciting but hollow dogfight that adds little to how we feel about anyone on screen; Marrok is still cool, Shin Hati is still a determined Sith apprentice, and Ahsoka and Sabine are… well, just the same. What are we doing here?
Ahsoka Episode 3: Sabine trains to be a Jedi
We open on Ahsoka’s T-6 Shuttle in the vortex of hyperspace, and Sabine is practicing her sword-fighting skills with Huyang – he is not impressed. “Not bad, but not good,” he says, but her master is pleased to see she’s remembered the basics.
She asks Huyang if Sabine can try the “Zatoichi” technique, but he doesn’t think she’s ready – in fact, he told her she’s the “worst candidate to be a Jedi out of every Jedi” he’s ever known. Ahsoka teaches Sabine privately and uses the oldest training trick in the book: getting her to put a mask on and “see with more than just eyes… feel my presence, sense my intention.”
Ahsoka taps her shoulders with a wooden sword, and while Sabine initially responds with panicked, frustrated swings, she eventually taps into some sort of awareness – and then she falls to the ground after her foot is swiped. “Anger and frustration are quick to give power, but they also unbalance you.” In all honesty, after more than 45 years of Star Wars, this type of scene is getting a bit old – especially when it’s choreographed with sleepy, inconsequential energy.
Hera talks to Mon Mothma
After their clash with Imperial loyalists on Corellia, Hera boards the New Republic’s fleet to seek approval for a mission to the Denab system. For that, she needs to talk to Chancellor Mon Mothma – god, Andor was great, wasn’t it? – and the other dour-faced senators, almost all of whom are loudly skeptical of any leftover supporters of the Empire. “Outliers!” one barks.
“Long live the Empire doesn’t sound like the kind of loyalty we’re looking for,” Hera says, and warns them of the possibility of Thrawn’s return. Mon Mothma seems like the only one who takes her fears seriously, especially after Hamato Xiono claims it’s another veiled attempt to use New Republic resources to find Ezra Bridger. “I see no enemy, they have no centralized command,” another senator says, but Hera urges that’ll change if Thrawn makes it back to their galaxy.
Mon Mothma asks Hera to give her a few minutes to discuss the matter with the senators, at which point she leaves the room and we meet Jacen – no, not Solo, but Syndulla, her son. “Is is true Aunt Sabine is gonna be a Jedi?” he asks, and adds eagerly: “I wanna be a Jedi.”
Ahsoka and Sabine find the Eye of Sion… and purrgil
Back on the T-6, Ahsoka tries to explain to Sabine that the force “resides in all living things… talent is a factor, but training and focus” are the true markers of success. Like every nascent Jedi, Sabine is struggling to wield it in the flashy ways we’ve grown accustomed to, but Ahsoka tells her to start small; more specifically, she leaves her sitting in front of a teacup, desperately attempting to move it.
As they approach the Denab system, Huyang picks up an “unknown signature.” They drop out of hyperspace early as they approach the planet – it’s Jedi mission protocol, as Huyang stresses – and they’re quickly attacked by Shin Hati, Marrok, and another fighter pilot. As they fly over the top of the planet, they see the Eye of Sion, now confirmed to be “some sort of hyperspace ring.”
The action is slick and entertaining, if not spectacular – sometimes we should be grateful for this level of high-budget set-piece from the comfort of our own home. Morgan Elsbeth starts firing the Eye’s turbo lasers, which soon puts the ship (and Huyang) out of action. While Sabine runs a diagnostic and tries to get the power back on, Ahsoka gets her coolest moment yet: a spacewalk, armed with her dual lightsabers, deflecting cannon blasts and flipping across the outside of the spacecraft.
Sabine succeeds, and after managing to get Ahsoka back inside the ship, they descend through the planet’s atmosphere with Shin Hati and Marrok on their tail. Suddenly, a majestic sight breaks through the clouds: purrgil, the deep space “star whales” who migrate via hyperspace, and the same creatures that catapulted Ezra and Thrawn to a neighboring galaxy.
Their ginormous tentacles create an opening for Sabine to escape out of Shin and Marrok’s sight, landing in the forest and shutting off their ship to avoid being detected. Alas, they forget who they’re up against: Baylan Skoll, who’s stationed outside the woods with his troops, and he’s already sensed their location. “The Jedi have taken refuge in the forest… hunt them down,” he coldly commands.
Ahsoka Episode 3 review score: 2/5
Ahsoka’s third chapter feels like half an episode; the spacefaring action may be exciting, but it’s a distraction from the fact that it hasn’t really done anything. Nothing but crumbs.
Ahsoka Episodes 1-3 are available on Disney+ now, which you can sign up for here. You can check out our other coverage below:
- Episode 1 review
- Episode 2 review
- Ahsoka cast and characters
- Who is Marrok?
- What time does Ahsoka come out?
- How many episodes of Ahsoka are there?
- When does Ahsoka take place in the Star Wars timeline?
- How long are Ahsoka Episodes 1-2?
- Where was Ahsoka during the original Star Wars trilogy?
- Darth Sion and the Eye of Sion explained
- Ahsoka budget: How much did it cost?
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