Friday, September 1, 2023

Recap — Ahsoka Episode 3: Time to Fly

The third (and extremely short!) episode of Ahsoka slows down and sinks into its characters and its Star Wars Universe — fans will either love or hate it. 

We open with a familiar scene — a young Jedi-in-training sparring on a spaceship. Except this time, Huyang is there, looking for the all the world like another four-armed, lightsaber-welding mechanical being we know and love: General Grievous. Weird!

Ahsoka then enters and reaffirms the perennial Jedi lesson of feeling with the force while sparring blindfolded on a ship while in hyperspace. Sabine, it appears, is a little less adept than Luke Skywalker was (okay okay, a lot). But as Huyang keeps repeating: she's incredibly underqualified. (Is he negging her?)

Unlike the 45 seconds in A New Hope, this training scene fills up a few minutes, and the choreography is silent, nuanced, and utterly captivating. I'm really digging the slightly Eastern-sounding music of the soundtrack. It captures the feel of old kung fu movies for me. 

Politics as Usual Back in the Senate

Call me an idealist, but one of the things that bugs me about the new Star Wars TV shows is how much they poop on the New Republic government. I know all governments have their issues, and no society has yet to figure them all out, but come on! Their quick reluctance to help is infuriating. I guess it helps the plot.

On Home One, Hera is in a virtual Zoom meeting with Chancellor Mon Mothma and several senators and they rebuke her for asking for NR backup to chase Thrawn, claiming she's just in it to find Ezra. Frustrated, Hera storms out, disappointed and dubious at the wisdom of the senators. She runs into her son, Jacen — and our collective heartstrings are tugged in unison. RIP Kanan!

Drinks with Sabine and Ahsoka

Back on the ship, Ahsoka and Sabine are talking about life and training over what appears to be some sort of alcohol. Sabine reaffirms her commitment to training, and Ahsoka is comforting and encouraging.

Ahsoka returns to the cockpit, swirling in beautiful hyperspace colors, to chat with Huyang about Sabine. He's still sassy but acknowledges that Ahsoka herself comes from a long line of untraditional Jedi — a subtle nod to Anakin there, y'all.

Ready for a Space Battle in Real Time?

On their own with no assistance from the fleet, our heroes emerge from light speed in the Denab system with enemy fighters on their tail — and they look kind of like 1940s-era planes! Dark Jedi-in-training Shin Hati is piloting one, along with yet-to-be-identified Marrok.

Sabine rushes to the back of the ship to take a seat at the turret gun in a fun take on Luke and Han's adventures in the Millennium Falcon toward the end of A New Hope. Here's the thing: As someone who was an avid fan of the 90s video games X-wing and TIE Fighter (and X-Wing vs TIE Fighter!), I absolutely love me a space dogfight. I could have watched this scene for hours. Hell, it felt like hours! And whether that's a good thing depends entirely on your point of view. 

The maneuvers and lasers and interplay between Ahsoka and Sabine were stellar and helped to cement their bond. I totally buy them being Padawan and Master after this. They just jive. 

The Eye of Sion Approacheth!

As our heroes evade the smaller ships, they approach the Eye of Sion, which appears to be a hyperspace ring of absolutely monumental proportions. 

So this is how Morgan Elsbeth and company are going to be retrieving Thrawn from the next galaxy over. I like how they're setting this up. 

Spacesuit Ahsoka Takes on Starfighters

Disabled by the Eye of Sion's turbo lasers, Ahsoka's ship is dead in the water. As Sabine scrambles to get the systems back online, Ahsoka puts on a WHOLE-ASS SPACE SUIT and MAGNETIC BOOTS and goes out into the deep dark vacuum of space to take on the remaining ships, white glowing lightsabers in hand. 

Whoever said don't bring a lightsaber to a dogfight was, well, wrong. This scene was incredible, and unlike anything I've seen in Star Wars before. It was just the right amount of badass and also cartoony. 10/10, would recommend anyone watching this scene, even if they don't watch the entire episode. 

Lightspace Whale Ho!

Entering the atmosphere, Ahsoka and Sabine fly directly into a pod of purrgils, the hyperspace whales that sent Ezra and Thrawn into the next galaxy years ago. It appears that between the purrgils and the Eye of Sion, Morgan's found a way to jump galaxies. 

Let's go get 'em!!!


The Math

Baseline score: 7.5

Bonuses: +3 So.Many.Purrgils. It was like watching space Moby Dick! Seeing Ahsoka take on starfighters was pretty badass, too. Also, all the throwbacks to A New Hope. Ahsoka so far is feeling very cinematic.

Penalties: -3 This episode flew by and was super short.

Nerd coefficient: +5 If you love classic Star Wars and Rebels, you're in for a treat.

Gonk droid count: 0 :(

POSTED BY: Haley Zapal, NoaF contributor and lawyer-turned-copywriter living in Atlanta, Georgia. A co-host of Hugo-nominated podcast Hugo, Girl!, she posts on Instagram as @cestlahaley. She loves nautical fiction, vidalia onions, and growing corn and giving them pun names like Anacorn Skywalker.