This Star Wars: Ahsoka article contains spoilers.
Ahsoka Episode 4
Many of the things that were great about the first three episodes of Ahsoka are built upon in episode four, “Fallen Jedi.” Ahsoka and Sabine’s continue to mend their relationship, we get to see some much-anticipated lightsaber showdowns, and Ezra and Thrawn are teased…some more. In other words, the episode feels decidedly transitional.
But this isn’t a bad thing! Yes, “Fallen Jedi” isn’t as explosive as the episodes that have come before. It does, however, serve as a nice downshift in tempo for the season as a whole, setting up what is sure to be a pivotal episode five. After all, it ends with the Imperial Loyalists (and Sabine) finally making the hyperspace jump to wherever the hell Thrawn and Ezra are, and Ahsoka coming face to face with Anakin Skywalker in the World Between Worlds.
“Sabine, can I count on you?”
That line, uttered with more than a hint of sage skepticism by Ahsoka to her trusty but troubled pupil, resonates louder and louder as the episode unfolds. Ezra and Thrawn are, for all intents and purposes, a package deal, and Ahsoka isn’t sure saving Ezra is worth reintroducing the galaxy to the ominous Heir who could potentially obliterate everything in the name of a new Imperial beginning. “One must destroy in order to create,” as Baylan so coolly puts it.
The fascinating thing about the late Ray Stevenson’s Baylan is how incisive and psychologically imposing he is (on top of also being a huge dude). His tongue is as dangerous as his lightsaber—he knows precisely how to knock Sabine off of the fence when she’s deciding whether or not to destroy the star map. He knows she loves Ezra more than anything, so he pushes that damn button as hard as he can. “It’s the only way. Do it. For Ezra.”
Baylan’s mind games with Sabine and Ahsoka are so well played that they actually outshine the handful of lightsaber duels that unfold around them. In fact, the biggest bummer of the episode, by far, is that the fight sequences feel largely forgettable and uninspired. Marrok was way too cool to go out the way he did.
Ahsoka’s lightning-fast, single-blow takedown of Marrok calls back to the Samurai movies that inspired Star Wars, as does the stillness of the Seatos forest. But the fast pacing of the duels between Ahsoka and Marrok and Sabine and Shin feels doesn’t quite match that energy. The first showdown between Sabine and Shin on Lothal was far more intense and better choreographed—their face off here pales in comparison.
Hilariously, the most memorable and entertaining fight in the entire episode is Huyang’s brawl with the HK assassin droid. The clunking sound effects are funny as hell, and the close-combat choreography is actually pretty sweet to boot. Huyang continues to be a highlight on the show—he makes every scene he’s in better.
The conversations between Ahsoka and Sabine about the ethical ramifications of finding Ezra and in turn finding Thrawn are just excellent. The throughline of Sabine aching to be reunited with Ezra has in many ways defined the show’s identity so far, and her ultimate decision to essentially aid Morgan, Baylan, and co. is a major turning point that will also catapult Sabine and Ahsoka’s story into what will very likely be a serious rough patch in their relationship.
“Sabine, can I count on you?” Nope. Damn. That stings.
Hera’s involvement in this episode feels a little disjointed, mostly because she and Captain Teva feel kind of shoehorned in. Her appearance makes sense on paper—she’s there to help her friends even without support from the Senate. But then…she kinda doesn’t do anything. She and the fleet of X-wings “obstruct the path” of Morgan’s hyperspace jump, and then, predictably, they get absolutely trucked and a bunch of them die! Isn’t Hera concerned about Jacen getting blown to bits with her?! All of the Hera stuff comes off like a bit of an afterthought, which is a shame. But at least we got some sweet X-wing shots and the nod to Jacen being Force-sensitive.
Baylan sending Ahsoka off of that cliff and into the World Between Worlds (that trippy transition from the aerial shot of the cliff to Ahsoka’s awakening is magnificent) is a clever way of getting her some one-on-one time with her old master. Hayden Christensen’s appearance is obviously “the moment” of the episode, but again, this is all just set up. The real meat of the matter is coming next week, and there’s no telling where the story is going from here, which bodes well for the rest of the season.