If nearly five decades of Star Wars have taught us anything, it’s that Jedi training is really difficult. And it’s even more difficult when you don’t seem to be particularly Force-sensitive in the traditional way. So spare a thought for Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in Ahsoka, who’s struggling to live up to her master’s lofty expectations.
After the explosive start presented by Ahsoka episodes 1 and 2, the new Star Wars series settles into a quieter rhythm with the opening part of third installment ‘Time to Fly’. It can’t all be lightsaber duels and crowd-pleasing Rebels cameos, after all.
We begin with Huyang (David Tennant) putting Sabine’s lightsaber fundamentals to the test, while Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) tries to convince her to develop her instincts and skill for anticipation. Ahsoka knows that the Force resides in all living things and believes training and discipline to be more important than natural talent in developing Jedi skills.
Frankly, this scene is more important than it sounds, espousing an idea and approach to the Jedi arts that feels completely alien in a franchise that seems to believe everyone who can wield a lightsaber should be related to a Skywalker. This is a story thread worth pulling on to see where it goes, for sure.
Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), meanwhile, is trying to secure New Republic approval to support Ahsoka and Sabine on their mission to find out what Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) is up to. She states her belief that the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn is on the cards.
Chancellor Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) listens, but the confrontational Senator Xiono (Nelson Lee) thinks Hera is just on a personal quest to find Ezra Bridger. Hera points out that Xiono never fought in the war and suggests Thrawn is powerful enough to unite the scattered Imperial remnants. But this isn’t enough to stop the skeptical Senate turning down her request.
Already, the complacency of the New Republic when it comes to the remains of the Empire is a running thread. They appear doomed to make the mistakes of previous regimes, which is pretty damning.
Soon after, Ahsoka and Sabine arrive in the Denab system and are immediately attacked by fighters, including those piloted by Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and Inquisitor Marrok (Paul Darnell). Sabine takes up the tail gun and, once Ahsoka lets her call the shots, takes out many of the fighters. That’s when Elsbeth starts firing turbolasers from the Eye of Sion.
Huyang scans the Eye, but their ship takes a big hit. Ahsoka dons a spacesuit and heads outside, taking on the fighters with her lightsaber while on the ship’s wing to buy time for Sabine to fix it. When they manage to swoop down towards the surface of the planet Seatos, they find themselves in the midst of a herd of purrgil.
We last saw the purrgil when Baby Yoda watched them in hyperspace during The Mandalorian season 3. But, of course, they have added resonance here due to their connection to Ezra Bridger. Ezra used his bond with the purrgil to defeat Thrawn, sending one of the best Star Wars villains – and himself – way off into hyperspace to liberate Lothal at the end of Star Wars Rebels.
When the ship lands, Huyang confirms that the Eye of Sion is an enormous hyperspace ring, powerful enough to facilitate jumps between galaxies. Huyang recalls that the Jedi archives spoke of “intergalactic hyperspace lanes”, which followed purrgil migration paths.
But they might not get time to investigate too much as the episode ends with Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) sending his minions to hunt our heroes down in the forest.
The appearance of the purrgil suggests Elsbeth is much closer to finding out where Thrawn is than it initially seemed. Presumably, the Pathway to Peridea we heard about last week has something to do with those purrgil migration paths Huyang just told us about. This is more than just a wild goose chase now.
Ahsoka is still ticking along very nicely as a Star Wars show, even if this week’s Disney Plus episode didn’t quite hit the high standard set by the premiere. The dynamic between Ahsoka and Sabine continues to develop, while the central quest has now taken a big step forward and there’s some real political intrigue lurking behind it all. So far, so Star Wars.
If you can’t get enough of seeing one of the best Star Wars characters as the lead of one of the franchise’s best TV series (so far), find out everything you need to know about the Ahsoka cast and how Ahsoka survived Order 66 in the saddest way possible. You can also learn more about the Nightsisters of Dathomir and the awesome Jedi power Ahsoka shares with Yoda.
Elsewhere, we’ve got a massive guide to help you watch the Star Wars movies in order and a look ahead to the new Star Wars movies on the way, as well as guides to the Andor season 2 release date and The Mandalorian season 4 release date. And if you’re after something altogether different, check out everything new on Disney Plus this month.
A necessary slow-down after the explosive two-part premiere, this installment still gives us a fiery space battle and the return of the purrgil. Plenty to get excited about!