This Star Wars: Ahsoka article contains spoilers.
So much of Ahsoka‘s third episode feels like classic Star Wars, from Sabine’s blind training nodding back to A New Hope to the space battle that combines elements from both the Original and Prequel Trilogies for one of the best dogfights ever made for Disney+. But that doesn’t mean Ahsoka has skipped out on bringing back a bunch of stuff from Rebels this time around. In fact, one major cameo allows this Disney+ series to pick up exactly where its animated predecessor left off.
Here are all the Star Wars easter eggs and callbacks we spotted in “Time to Fly”:
Evan Whitten as Jacen Syndulla
There was never any doubt that Jacen Syndulla would pop up in Ahsoka, but we definitely didn’t expect to see this little dude so soon. Introduced in the final minutes of the Rebels series finale all the way back in 2018, Jacen is Hera’s son with the late Jedi hero Kanan Jarrus, so when he tells his mom in this episode that he hopes to become a Jedi one day, it feels like a bit of foreshadowing. Surely, Jacen has inherited his father’s Force sensitivity?
Jacen is played in live action by Evan Whitten, who you likely most recently watched opposite Christian Slater in the Netflix chupacabra movie Chupa.
One other note about Jacen: his name is clearly a nod to Jacen Solo from the now non-canon Legends continuity of Star Wars. In that timeline, Jacen was the eldest son of Han and Leia. The character was created by Timothy Zahn in Heir to the Empire, one of the key inspirations for Ahsoka.
Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma
We should all be used to seeing the wonderful Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma at this point, as she’s been playing the character since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, although her work in the Prequel Trilogy closer was excised from the theatrical cut. That said, she returned to the role in Rogue One and most recently in Andor.
In Ahsoka, she’s a bit further along in her political career. Since this show is set five years after Return of the Jedi, Mon Mothma is now the Chancellor, the leader of the New Republic. Of course, O’Reilly isn’t the first actor to play the Rebellion/New Republic figurehead in live action. That honor goes to Caroline Blakiston, who brought the character to life in Return of the Jedi.
Nelson Lee as Senator Xiono
Nelson Lee plays Senator Hamato Xiono, the politician who is at odds with Hera about what to do regarding Grand Admiral Thrawn’s impending return. Not only is his role in the episode just further proof that the New Republic is destined to commit many of the same mistakes as the Republic from the Prequels but Xiono is also a bit of an easter egg himself. After all, he is the father of Kazuda Xiono, the main character from the Star Wars Resistance animated series.
The blind sparring technique that Ahsoka uses to train Sabine at the start of the episode is known as “Zatochi.” That name is a reference to fictional blind swordsman Zatoichi, who was created by Japanese novelist Kan Shimozawa. The character really came into prominence in Japan as the protagonist of a very long-running, 26-movie series starring Shintaro Katsu between 1962 and 1989. He also starred as Zatoichi in a television series that ran for 100 episodes.
Like Ahsoka herself, Zatoichi is a drifter, a wandering master of the blade who helps those in need wherever he travels. While best known in Japan, the character has inspired many other characters and stories across different mediums. He was undoubtedly an influence for Lucas’ concept of Jedi Knights — beyond Toshiro Mifune and the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa, of course — and Star Wars paid tribute to the character’s legacy in Rogue One through Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe, who is himself a blind warrior.
Ahsoka’s Space Suit
Known as “EVA suits” in the galaxy far, far away, Ahsoka’s very cool blue space suit is a new design for the Disney+ series. But this is not the first time we’ve watched her don a suit like this on TV. She wore an EVA suit in episodes of The Clone Wars. The deep blue color of the suit also reminds this writer of the very orange space suit the Doctor puts on when it’s time to go on a space walk on Doctor Who.
The space whales are back! Purrgil are creatures who can travel through space at lightspeed, meaning they have no problem traveling from one star system to the next — or even distant galaxies like Peridia. Purrgil are also the reason Thrawn and Ezra Bridger went missing in the first place on Rebels. You can catch up on all that backstory here.
A squadron of beautiful blue A-wings fly alongside the rest of Hera’s New Republic fleet in this episode. You likely remember these starfighters from the Original Trilogy, first appearing in Return of the Jedi for the climactic battle against the Empire above Endor. Although the Galactic Civil War, it looks like the New Republic has adopted these fighters for their own fleet, simply switching the red trim of its hull for blue, which actually brings these A-wings much closer to Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art for the ships, which he drew with blue hulls.
Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvette
The Hammerhead corvette design we see in this episode of Ahsoka actually goes all the way back to the now non-canon video game Knights of the Old Republic. Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni first brought this design back to canon in Rebels, but we’ll always remember them best from the days of Revan, Darth Malak, and the Jedi Civil War.