Ahsoka Episode 6 review: Star Wars just changed forever
Ahsoka Episode 6 is an ominous leap into both the unknown and the arms of familiar friends and foes – for the first time in years, Star Wars has a threat that’s substantial.
The fifth chapter was an era-defining episode for the franchise’s TV storytelling, bringing back Hayden Christensen’s Anakin for a trip into the past that allows Ahsoka to fight for her future. It also ended in spine-tingling fashion, setting the Jedi and her trusty droid on an extragalactic journey to a never-before-seen world. “May the Force be with you.”
Episode 6 had a tough task of living up to the thrills and weeklong wake of hype, but it does something arguably more significant than the part-cozy, part-awesome nostalgia of last week’s installment – it takes fans to a whole new world, one that feels immersive and wrong, a “land of dreams and madness.”
Ready your lightsabers and strap in, because “what was first just a dream has just become a frightening reality.” Spoilers to follow…
Ahsoka Episode 6 takes us to a galaxy far, far away
We pick up with Ahsoka and Huyang inside their “star whale” as the purrgil fly through hyperspace in vibrant, electrifying strokes of light. Unlike the smooth, blue whooshing we usually see, this feels wilder, unpredictable, and more dangerous.
With nothing to do but wait, Huyang offers to tell Ahsoka a story, but she’s not in the mood. Instead, she confesses to him that she saw Sabine go with Baylan willingly when she picked up the orb on Seatos. “She could have ended this,” she says, but “she was fated to make this choice,” as Ahsoka didn’t have enough time to convince her otherwise. Huyang isn’t as harsh, believing that the Force can’t show everyone all things, and “perhaps for Sabine, it was the only choice.”
The dialogue in this scene is oddly stilted; the pauses between each of their lines go on just a little too long, making it seem like they’re choosing what to say as you would in a Bethesda game. This is a problem across the series as a whole so far – few conversations have any sort of flow. That said, Huyang’s last line in the scene is great: Ahsoka changes her mind and asks him to tell her a story from his archive, which begins with a familiar quote, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”
A whole new world
Back on the Eye of Sion, Sabine finds herself locked in a small cell. “I was hoping for a room with a view,” she tells Baylan, but he gives her a wry smile before walking away, leaving her screaming about their deal; remember, when she chose not to destroy the map, he promised she would see Ezra again. He tells Morgan Elsbeth that she’s impatient, but he believes she can still be of use to them.
Soon, they emerge out of hyperspace into the Unknown Regions, confronted with the floating carcasses of purrgil around Peridea, the home of the Dathomir and a graveyard for purrgil after they’ve traversed the void from one galaxy to another.
As they enter the planet’s atmosphere, they soar past wailing, horrible statues evoking the visage of The Scream, before landing and coming face to face with three women in red cloaks: the Great Mothers, who appear to be the leaders of the Nightsisters, an ancient clan of magick-wielding witches. It was these women who called out to Morgan and guided her “across the stars”, but their meeting is quickly polluted by Sabine’s Jedi stench, and they decide to lock her away “in solitude.”
For a moment, Baylan looks unsure of himself; has he betrayed a Jedi with a promise he can’t keep? Any self-reflection soon dissipates, though, as he looks around the vast, frightening wasteland of Peridea. “Children’s stories come to life… some ancient past long forgotten,” he tells Shin Hati, before casting his mind back to Order 66. He was around Shin’s age when the Jedi Temple was burned down, and while he “couldn’t make sense of it” at the time, he soon learned that the cycle was “inevitable… the fall of the Jedi, the rise of the Empire… it repeats again and again.”
Shin asks him if it’s time for them to come into power, but Baylan says that’s “fleeting… what I seek is the beginning, so I may bring this cycle to an end.” Ray Stevenson’s performance has been terrific throughout the series, and compared to others (including the titular character), he’s maybe the most-well-written character on the show; he’s not driven by the hunger of the Sith, but the grief of a fallen Jedi.
Thrawn is back
While Sabine practices the Force in her cell, an enormous Star Destroyer arrives overhead (the visuals here are grand, if a bit visually bland), loaded with hundreds of Night Troopers (presumably former Stormtroopers reanimated by the Nightsisters), led by Captain Enoch and the head, blue-faced honcho we’ve all been waiting for: Grand Admiral Thrawn in all his menacing glory. In mere seconds, Lars Mikkelsen’s ice-cold charisma takes hold of the screen; not a single word is wasted, and each sentence is carefully considered and strategized.
Baylan, Shin, and Morgan take him to see Sabine, who demands to see Ezra. “The desire to be reunited with your long-lost friend… how that will reshape your galaxy,” he tells her, but then comes the surprise: he’s letting her go to find him. “You helped my cause, I’ll help yours,” he says, citing Baylan’s promise to her while warning that he could be dead. Sabine thinks he’ll be fine if Thrawn is still alive, but the Chiss admiral has a chilling response: “You’ve gambled the fate of your galaxy on that belief.”
Thrawn’s advantage is also his disadvantage: he can’t fathom how love can take precedence over the most strategically sound option for power.
Sabine sets off on a slobbering, vicious-looking Howler (he’s actually adorable), with Captain Enoch arming her with various weapons before she leaves – including her lightsaber. “Die well,” he says as she rides off into the distance, but Thrawn is already a few steps ahead: he orders Baylan and Shin to follow her at their own pace and destroy Sabine if she finds Ezra.
Soon into her journey, she runs into some violent bandits, but she makes light work of them with her lightsaber and Mandalorian skillset. Meanwhile, while Thrawn’s men begin loading the Star Destroyer with all of their cargo, he enlists two squads to follow Baylan and Shin and assist them in killing Sabine and Ezra, if she’s lucky enough to track him down. Morgan suggests sending more, which gives Thrawn pause – he’s forced into the slightest admission of weakness, as he doesn’t have the manpower to send an army to kill the Jedi. It’s a great, subtle touch for the villain from the off; his resolve is unmatched, but he’s also proud to a fault.
Sabine meets an old friend
Out in the wilderness, Sabine comes across small turtle-like aliens known as Noti. They’re incredibly nervous at first, especially when they see Howler’s fearsome chops, but Sabine catches sight of a necklace with her starbird crest. “How’s that possible?” she says, before asking if they know Ezra Bridger. They don’t speak any English, but they repeat Ezra’s name back to her before telling her to follow them.
Elsewhere, Baylan and Shin find the corpses of the nomads who tried to fight Sabine. She asks him if he misses the Jedi Order, to which he replies: “I miss the idea of it… but not the truth, the weakness. There was no future there.” Shin doubts there’s any future here, but Baylan feels something calling to him. “Something stirs here,” he says.
Sabine arrives at the Noti camp, where she sees the small Koopa-esque people looking after their young and tending to their huts. She seems to be the only human, until someone speaks to her from behind. “I knew I could count on you,” Ezra says, now rocking a rather dashing beard. They have a long, much-needed hug, and Ezra wants to know how she was able to find him. Knowing that her pursuit has undone his sacrifice, she stays mum for now and helps Ezra and the Noti pack up their things. “Thanks for coming, I can’t wait to go home,” he says, as Sabine stifles her worry.
Before the episode ends, the Great Mothers tell Thrawn they’ve detected another Jedi flying to their galaxy. “Could it be the recently deceased Ahsoka Tano?” he asks, rhetorically, which Morgan brands “impossible” – but as Thrawn points out, “death and resurrection are common deceptions played out by Nightsisters and Jedi.” He asks the witches for the “aid of their dark magick”, and they tell him: “The thread of destiny demands it.”
Ahsoka Episode 6 review score: 3/5
A major turning point for not just Ahsoka, but the whole of Star Wars: Thrawn is back, and thanks to Lars Mikkelsen’s icy, intimidating performance, he has the potential to be one of the franchise’s best villains.
Ahsoka Episodes 1-6 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
- Episode 3 review
- Episode 4 review
- Episode 5 review
- Ahsoka cast and characters
- Who is Marrok?
- What time does Ahsoka come out?
- How many episodes are there?
- When does Ahsoka take place in the Star Wars timeline?
- How long are the episodes?
- Where was Ahsoka during the original Star Wars trilogy?
- Darth Sion and the Eye of Sion explained
- Who is Jacen Syndulla?
- What are purrgil?
- The World Between Worlds explained
- Why does Anakin call Ahsoka Snips?
- Ahsoka budget: How much did it cost?
- Dark Jedi vs the Sith
- How old is Ahsoka?
- The Siege of Mandalore explained
- When does Ahsoka die?
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