Ahsoka Tano’s first post-Jedi Order adventure has finally wrapped up. The arc has been a mix of water treading and important character development for Ahsoka all set to the backdrop of a galaxy filled with people suffering for a war they want nothing to do with. This episode finally pushes the story forward and answers important questions posed in the previous ones.
We pick up almost exactly where we did last time with Ahsoka, Rafa, and Trace locked up in a Pike prison cell bickering about how they got there and how they can get out. The opening is an unfortunate reminder of how Dangerous Debt brought the heroes full circle and doesn’t do anything to refute criticisms of this story overstaying its welcome. Much of last week’s better elements could have been fit in here and nothing about the story would have changed.
After some argument in the prison cell, Ahsoka cooks up a plan to get the Martez sisters off planet while giving herself up in the process, something that would allow them to get to safety and for her to remove the handcuffs she has put on her Jedi skills. Her plan works, the sisters are sent off under the false pretense of reacquiring the lost spice and the Pikes throw Ahsoka back in her prison cell. Ahsoka quickly lets herself out of the cell with the Force making one wonder if keeping her friends’ trust was really worth endangering their lives for as long as she had. But these are the first people she’s cared for after feeling abandoned and betrayed by everyone she trusted, so it’s hard to judge her for not wanting to push them away. Up until this point the Martez sisters have mostly been a foil for Ahsoka’s character development, but this week they finally get a chance to shine.
Rafa has decided to go back and save Ahsoka, but not before Trace clarifies that she is only going back to help her, so she can one up her- which is Star Wars scoundrel code for “I wanna do the right thing, but I won’t say that out loud.” Rafa plans to steal some of the Pikes own spice and give it back to them and smooth talks her way into a fist fight with a Trandoshan heavy in the process. Rafa’s scrappy brawl with the big guy is very Indiana Jones like and adds some much-needed grit to her character. Seeing her competence in these situations stacked against Trace’s naivety pulls their dynamic into focus. We understand why Rafa is so protective and why Trace might not be totally cut out for this life.
Meanwhile, Ahsoka has gotten her hands on some thermal detonators and decides to do some damage on her way out. But after the inevitable reveal of Maul hooded on a hologram, she feels herself being drawn back into the thick of the galactic conflict. Ahsoka can’t resist the opportunity to track Maul’s transmission and is caught because of it. The Martez sisters show up to save Ahsoka but the plan backfires and all of Ahsoka’s attempts to hide her identity from the siblings are ruined by the Pikes revealing that she is in fact a Jedi. The reveal falls a bit flat, perhaps because there isn’t enough time to flesh out the impact of it on the trio. The heroes make their escape while the thermal detonators go off and Trace finally gets a chance to show off her piloting skills on their way out. The ensuing dogfight feels straight out of a big screen Star Wars outing and ends with a game of starfighter chicken that is easily a season high point.
The trio make it back to the Martez’ garage and they have a moment to talk through Ahsoka’s deception. Rafa ends up laying out the most profound line of the episode when she tells Ahsoka “You might not think of yourself as a Jedi, but you act like one. Or at least how I want them to be.” It’s a firm and important character thesis for Ahsoka. She is the best part of the Jedi. Now removed from all the politics and hubris, she can get perspective on who she is as a person. To the audience, it’s an important reminder of what makes Ahsoka special and how important the Jedi can be to the rest of the galaxy. It’s a clear statement on the endlessly complicated morality of the Jedi and puts a nice bow on all this season’s themes of how the war affects the common people of a galaxy far, far away. This moment is cut short by the Mandalorians who have been stalking the shadows of the last two episodes strolling up nonchalantly and inviting Ahsoka back to the main plot of the show and the most anticipated arc of the season. Because of who she is, she can’t help but go with them. While this arc could have probably been an episode shorter and been better, this detour was important to establishing who Ahsoka is without the Jedi Order and allowed her to find her independence. She is returning to the war, but this time as her own person and on her own terms.