Chris Connor reviews the sixth episode of Star Wars: Ahsoka…
After the fan pleasing previous episode that saw Ahsoka come to grips with her past and her relationship with Anakin Skywalker, the sixth episode sees us return to our main plot and the imminent return of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger. Morgan Elspeth and Balen have reached Peridia, a former stronghold of the Darthomiri but now a graveyard of sorts teeming with odd creatures and bandits.
It doesn’t take long for Star Wars Rebels’ Lars Mikkelsen to make his long-awaited return, in some style. Thrawn has become one of the expanded universe’s most beloved characters courtesy of several series from Timothy Zahn and his appearances in Rebels. His initial appearance in live action here belays the need for any worry from fans – he is just as menacing, calculating and cold as he has been previously, and distrustful of some of the company Elspeth has brought along although seeing Sabine as an opportunity to deal with Ezra if he is still alive.
While the previous episode had no Balen, Sabine and company this episode features a far smaller role for Ahsoka and Huyang whose sole appearance is brief and right at the beginning of the episode, with our focus on returning heroes and villains which has been the overarching arc of the series.
This episode will likely please fans of Rebels most feeling the most that the series has felt like a true sequel since the first episode with an assortment of new critters for Sabine to interact with as she makes her perilous journey to find Ezra. There are some nice visual nods to the Samurai and Western influences of George Lucas in the choice of garb for Sabine and the styling of the action sequences. Outlander and Jessica Jones director Jennifer Getzinger does a commendable job, making up for some slightly lacking dialogue at times to keep the audience invested.
Balen continues to be one of the most intriguing villains in Star Wars for some years and his desire to honour his agreement with Sabine is telling. While this episode dives into more of his history with the Jedi Order and his desire to build something more, it also sets up a distrustful relationship with Thrawn. Will we see Balen ally with Ezra, Sabine and Ahsoka?
With just two episodes left there are plenty of questions for Ahsoka left to answer both for this season and for this corner of the Star Wars universe more widely. Surely Thrawn’s return with an army of Stormtroopers will impact several projects. All in all, his is another action-packed episode, full of reunions and setting up an exhilarating final couple of episodes.