Ahsoka Episode 6 Recap: “Far, Far Away” — Reunions

Thrawn and Morgan learn of the Jedi threat
Photo Courtesy of Disney+/Screenshot

The following recap contains spoilers for Ahsoka Episode 6, “Far, Far Away” (written by Dave Filoni and directed by Jennifer Getzinger). Some elements of the Star Wars Rebels series are also discussed in this recap.

Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

It was 2,025 days from the finale of Star Wars Rebels to Ahsoka Episode 6, “Far, Far Away.” In true Star Wars fashion, they had to add the famous “a long time ago” to the events of “Far, Far Away” this week when after more than five years, fans of the animated show finally learned what happened to Jedi Ezra Bridger and Imperial antagonist Grand Admiral Thrawn.

With a wait that long, and with characters as beloved as Ezra and Thrawn, it was a Jabba the Huttian-sized task for Dave Filoni and Jennifer Getzinger to make sure that they nailed the landing, not only bringing these two back into the Star Wars universe (albeit in a different galaxy) but also in their introduction into live action. Despite some winding roads and questionable deviations, Filoni and company largely delivered on the moment many Star Wars fans have been so desperate for.

They deployed a couple of smart strategies in making the introduction of these characters so impactful, the most substantial of which would be how they minimized Ahsoka’s role in Episode 6. Apart from some brief witty banter between Ahsoka and her droid, Huyang, while they jump through hyperspace in the belly of a space whale (or purrgil), Ahsoka does not find herself in this episode at all. We spend just about every minute of this episode in a completely new galaxy that introduces a new galactic threat, and the showrunners were smart to let this one take some slow breaths before we are inevitably sent on a two-episode sprint to finish the season beginning next week.

Ahsoka and Huyang ride in purrgil through hyperspace
Photo Courtesy of Disney+/Screenshot

Ever since he was glimpsed in early trailers for the Ahsoka series, the anticipation for Thrawn’s appearance in live-action was palpable. He is played by Lars Mikkelsen, the same actor who voiced Thrawn during his time on Rebels. This synergy and comparison of mannerisms and personality completely worked for me, even if Thrawn looked like he had been feasting on a little too much blue milk and portion bread while in exile.

Ezra’s introduction is trickier. His character was a teenager in the animated series and was voiced by Taylor Gray in Rebels, who began with the character when he was just 22 years old. Now, lost on a mysterious planet for a decade, Ezra is much older and is played by 26-year-old Eman Esfandi. Through just the four minutes we spend with Ezra, Esfandi seems to adequately nail the chippiness, the edge, and—most importantly—the floppy hair that defines Ezra Bridger.

While the casting was mostly nailed, what remains unclear from this episode is what exactly both of them were doing for the last decade on this planet inhabited by howler dogs, Noti crab creatures, and the mysterious and magical Dathomiri Nightsisters. When Thrawn meets Morgan, Baylan, Shin, and Sabine after they arrive on his planet, he claims not to know where Ezra is. But they were literally intertwined within purrgil tentacles when they were transported together at the end of Rebels.

Morgan meets the Nightsisters on the new planet
Photo courtesy of Disney+/Screenshot

Did the two adversaries broker some kind of peace since they are marooned on an unknown planet? Did they just decide to go their own separate ways? We literally know nothing of what Ezra has done since he left the Rebels crew with Thrawn, but there are plenty of clues and Easter Eggs that drop hints about not only how Thrawn has been spending his time, but also what his future plans may be now that he can hitch a ride back to his own galaxy.

Similar to grand appearances in the original trilogy by Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, we meet Thrawn as he walks through a legion of troopers who are undoubtedly there to serve his every command. His right-hand man is a gold-faced trooper named Enoch who looks more like Goldenface from Threat Level Midnight than any stormtrooper or dark trooper we are accustomed to. The troopers’ uniforms are in various states of disarray, but each has a distinct gold binding or melding in spots where they have been repaired. Many have noted that there is an ancient Japanese practice called kintsugi whereby broken pottery or walls are mended together with lacquer that contains traces of gold. After looking at the Japanese influence of this show and the larger Star Wars universe in last week’s episode, this mysterious feature might also point to what Thrawn is up to.

Thrawn, Enoch, and his nighttroopers meet Morgan and Baylan
Photo Courtesy of Disney+/Screenshot

His first request when he learns that Morgan, Baylan, and Shin traveled across galaxies in the Eye of Sion (not Sauron) ship is to request that they begin loading his “cargo” on board for the journey home. It’s interesting that someone who crashed in a star destroyer 10 years ago would have gained cargo in that time, but the type and size of cargo lend to some interesting theories.

Much like the warrior Merrok, whom Ahsoka dispatched in Episode 4, it’s likely that these troopers are all undead versions of their former selves and that the Nightsisters who are native to the planet have worked out some kind of arrangement with Thrawn to turn his deceased soldiers into a type of zombie army. That would explain why all of them have broken and repaired armor. The cargo cases they carry to the ship look awfully like space caskets.

(For a more detailed look at the Nightsisters, their origins, and the details of the “magick” they possess, check out the Wookiepedia entry. But what’s important to know is they were shown the force by a Jedi who was exiled, so they have a long-standing Vendetta against those who stand with the light side.)

Ezra sees Sabine for the first time
Photo Courtesy of Disney+/Screenshot

As far as the other person stranded on this planet, Sabine is given what she was promised by Baylan and Thrawn allows her to leave in search of Ezra. Once again, this shows that despite her upbringing as a Mandalorian warrior, she might be overwhelmingly blinded by this search for her close friend. First, she made the Sophie’s Choice to give Baylan the map to Thrawn instead of destroying it. Now, she heads out to find Ezra not suspecting (at least we don’t think she is suspecting) that this would be a plot by Thrawn to get someone else to do his dirty work. Thrawn gives Baylan and Shin the order to follow Sabine and dispatch both her and Ezra once she finds him.

After we meet the latest entry in the Star Wars “cute-verse,” the Noti, these crab-like nomad creatures who can camouflage themselves like rocks lead Sabine to the long-awaited reunion. Ezra’s first words to Sabine are, “I knew I could count on you,” a reference to the video message he left for her before he disappeared at the end of Rebels. But the smile on Sabine’s face quickly turns to angst when Ezra tells her, “I can’t wait to go home.”

“Well, you see, about that…”

Baylan and Shin follow Sabine’s tracks as they hunt her, with callbacks to Humperdink tracking Buttercup when they come across the remains of a mighty duel Sabine had with some bounty hunters. And while we don’t see them catch up to Sabine and Ezra, we know the two mercenaries are right on their heels. We also learn that there is much more to Baylan and Shin’s plan than being Force-wielding muscle for Morgan and Thrawn.

Baylan and Shin discuss their plan
Photo Courtesy of Disney+/Screenshot

While the appearances of Thrawn and Ezra were the highlight of Episode 6, I was personally much more intrigued by the private conversations Baylan and Shin have when they are out of earshot of Morgan, Thrawn, and the Nightsisters. It’s always been curious why the powerful Baylan and his apprentice, Shin, are content to be lightsabers-for-hire in this mission to find Thrawn when it’s clear Baylan has: a) a lack of respect for the Empire and their motives; and b) a heightened level of respect (if not fondness) for powerful Jedi. Recall in Episode 2 when Baylan proclaims it will be a shame when he has to kill Ahsoka. That doesn’t sound like a very Thrawny thing to say, Baylan!

Baylan tells Shin that the kind of power Thrawn has “is fleeting” because the rise and fall of dominant powers like the Jedi and the Empire has happened since the beginning of time. Baylan wants to end that conqueror’s hamster wheel. What he is seeking on this planet is “the beginning…so I may finally bring this cycle to an end.”

Clearly, there are ulterior motives here from Baylan and he isn’t just along for the ride on another attempt for the Empire to regain galactic control. He believes there is some force, some energy, or some presence on that planet that can help him gain the ultimate power that these factions have fought over for centuries. That mysterious undercurrent, combined with the inevitable reunion of Thrawn and Ahsoka in Episode 7, should make for a thrilling last two episodes.

Written by Ryan Kirksey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *