TV Review – Numerous Paths Converge On Peridea in “Star Wars: Ahsoka” Episode 7 – “Dreams and Madness”

This evening saw the debut of the seventh and penultimate episode of Lucasfilm’s live-action Disney+ series Star Wars: Ahsoka, and below are my recap and thoughts on this installment.

The title of Ahsoka episode 7 is “Dreams and Madness,” a reference to the speech that Baylan Skoll (played by the late Ray Stevenson) gave about the planet Peridea in last week’s episode. But it begins on what is presumably Coruscant– though the seat of the New Republic government will be relocated later on in the timeline– at a hearing regarding General Hera Syndulla’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) recent conduct. Naturally Chancellor Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) is more inclined to let things slide, but Senator Hamato Xiono (Nelson Lee) isn’t so ready to let Hera off the hook. Enter a very familiar golden protocol droid– yes, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels, as always) shows up at the hearing, carrying a message from an off-screen Senator Leia Organa, claiming that the Alderaanian princess was the one who authorized the Ghost’s trip to Seatos. After privately confessing the ruse to Mon Mothma, Hera tells her superior to “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” when it comes to the possibility of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelsen) return.

The episode then cuts to hyperspace, where Ahsoka Tano’s (Rosario Dawson) Jedi shuttle is still traveling in the mouth of an enormous Purrgil– or star-whale, as characters keep calling it– on its way to Peridea with Tano and the ancient droid Huyang (voiced by David Tennant) aboard. Ahsoka trains with a hologram of her former master Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen, popping up again), of which she tells Huyang there are 20 other such recordings. When the ship drops out of hyperspace, Ahsoka and Huyang find themselves immediately under attack by Thrawn’s forces, who have teamed up with both the Dathomiri Great Mothers (Claudia Black, Jeryl Prescott Gallien, and Jane Edwina Seymour) and Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), also of Nightsister decent. The Purgill quickly flee the battle, leaving the T-6 shuttle to hide among the barren carcasses of other star-whales that orbit the planet. In the Great Mothers’ castle, a conversation between Elsbeth and Thrawn gives us probably my favorite reveal of the episode: the fact that the Grand Admiral remembers the time he spent hanging out with Anakin Skywalker in the current-canon Star Wars: Thrawn novels by author Timothy Zahn. I absolutely love when the publishing side of A Galaxy Far, Far Away factors into the live-action, and since Thrawn was born of Zahn’s work it makes perfect sense to incorporate more of it here.

Elsewhere on Peridea, Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) are traveling with the nomadic, turtle-like Noti creatures when they comes across the aforementioned fallen Jedi Baylan Skoll and his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno), who have teamed up with the local raiders. Cue two concurrent battle sequences, one on the ground and one in space– after the Great Mothers triangulate Ahsoka’s location via the Force– both of which are pretty exciting, and eventually converge upon each other. There are a lot of nice character moments between all these heroes and villains as they cross sabers and other weapons, but the coolest moments come when Ezra declares he no longer needs his lightsaber to fight, simply using the Force to push away Shin’s weapon. I also have to admit I get a pretty big kick out of the Noti, who remind me of just about every other cute Star Wars alien species mashed up into one, and I have to admire their defensive strategies… not to mention their function as Gungan-like comic relief.

Ditched by his opponent Ahsoka during the conflict, Baylan decides to go off in his own direction to pursue whatever mysterious presence he senses on Peridea, while our three protagonists unite their abilities to scare off the attacking Night Troopers, who have in reality been ordered to retreat. Ahsoka offers a hand of peace and redemption to Shin Hati, who refuses and rides her growler away toward the horizon, while back at the castle Thrawn swiftly comes up with a way to use this supposed defeat to his advantage. “Dreams and Madness” is an action-heavy episode, which never really tend to be my favorite, but it does have some great fight choreography and a good number of memorable beats. There’s a big pregnant pause in the final moments here as the dust settles on the battle and Ezra expresses excitement at the possibility of finally returning home to his galaxy, but we as viewers know there are some hitches to that notion. So going into next week we have to wonder if Thrawn will actually make his escape and if the T-6 will be able to follow him, plus how Hera, Mon Mothma, and the New Republic will respond to this ever-more-threatening situation. And the real wild card here is Baylan Skoll, whose intentions are still largely a mystery. In the meantime, all the pieces are in place for what could be a very intriguing finale.

Star Wars: Ahsoka episodes 1 through 7 are now available to stream, exclusively via Disney+.

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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.