This evening saw the release of Star Wars: Ahsoka episode 6, entitled “Far, Far Away.” Below are my spoiler-filled recap and thoughts on this installment.
Much like The Book of Boba Fett a year and a half ago, the best episode of Star Wars: Ahsoka (so far) isn’t really about Ahsoka much at all. Of course, this episode– entitled “Far, Far Away” in a poetic tribute to George Lucas’s opening text– opens with the titular Ms. Tano (played by Rosario Dawson) traveling inside the mouth of a hyperspace-bound Purrgil with her ancient droid companion Huyang (voiced by David Tennant). The two chat about old stories regarding the history of the galaxy stored in Huyang’s databanks, setting up a theme that will pay off later. And speaking of paying off, that’s what the remainder of the episode spends its time doing, as we soon cut to the distant planet Peridea, ancestral home to the race of dark-side witches we’ve come to know as the Nightsisters of Dathomir. When Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson), and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) arrive on this world, they are greeted by three such witches (guest stars Jeryl Prescott Gallien from The Walking Dead, Farscape’s Claudia Black, and Star Trek: Picard’s Jane Edwina Seymour) who promise them that Grand Admiral Thrawn will be along shortly. In the meantime, Sabine Wren (Natashia Liu Bordizzo) is put into binders and thrown into solitary confinement in a dimly lit cell.
Next we get a pretty interesting scene between Baylan and Shin, wherein Skoll actually starts to spell out his motivations, something I’ve been waiting for since the start of the series. There are hints that Peridea may be home to a power even greater than that of the Nightsisters, and that’s what made most of their civilization flee so many years earlier. But then we get to the really good stuff: the arrival of Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen, reprising his Star Wars Rebels voice role) in his beat-up Star Destroyer and accompanying brigade of Imperial stormtroopers whose armor have definitely seen better days… still, I can’t wait to get my hands on those action figures. Thrawn even has a gold-masked second-in-command named Captain Enoch (The Hunger Games star Wes Chatham), and he thanks Elsbeth for coming to the rescue– though the Grand Admiral admits that his forces have “dwindled” during their exile, and I have to wonder if that was due to starvation or something else. Thrawn also seems willing to follow through on Skoll’s promise to reunite Sabine with her missing Jedi friend Ezra Bridger, but warns her as she sets out into the wasteland that Ezra may not have survived.
Much of the rest of the episode follows Sabine as she searches for Ezra on this unfamiliar planet on a friendly dog-slash-horse-type creature called a howler. She fights off bandits that destroy her equipment and soon encounters a species of sentient crab-like aliens who wear the Rebel Alliance insignia around their necks. Sabine takes a little bit too long to figure out what that might mean, but these aliens are still willing to take her back to their village, where she at long last reunites with her friend. The interesting thing here is that Sabine withholds the details about how she actually tracked him down, though I’m sure that other shoe will drop before too long. Meanwhile, Thrawn has immediately betrayed Sabine’s trust in him, having sent out Baylan and Shin to follow her and murder both Wren and Bridger once they’re reunited, but they encounter the same bandits along the way. Skoll suggests they take a more diplomatic approach in dealing with the locals than Sabine did, and we cut back to the Nightsisters’ tower, where Ahsoka’s approach from hyperspace aboard the Purrgil has been detected.
The final scene has Thrawn asking the witches to make use of their dark magick “once again,” and we are left to wonder for what purposes he’s utilized those powers previously– and also what will become of our heroes on this foreign, foreboding world. “Far, Far Away” is instantly my favorite episode of Ahsoka (though my mind remains wide open for whatever might come next) and gave me just about everything I wanted from the series. I wasn’t shocked that Thrawn finally showed his face, but I was surprised that we got to Ezra so quickly– at this point I was almost anticipating a final-episode debut for young Mr. Bridger. Naturally this all has me wondering what lies in the future for these characters, especially since Ezra isn’t around (that we know of) during the sequel trilogy era. But that’s a good 20-25 years down the timeline from here, and there’s a whole lot of storytelling for Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau to fill in during that broad gap. And I said it earlier, but I really, really can’t wait for the toys coming out of this episode– the troopers, the howlers, the crab people. I hope Hasbro is on it already.
Star Wars: Ahsoka episodes 1 through 6 are now available to stream, exclusively via Disney+.