Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Episode 6 of Ahsoka, called “Far, Far Away.”
In the wake of Ahsoka Tano spending most of the fifth episode in the World Between Worlds, Ahsoka picked the Thrawn plot back up in “Far, Far Away.” Morgan Elsbeth, Baylan Skoll, and Shin Hati arrived at their destination to find the former Imperial Grand Admiral, with Sabine in tow to continue her search for Ezra Bridger. Both Thrawn and Ezra finally appeared in the flesh on the suitably creepy homeworld of the Dathomir witches, and Ahsoka addressed some major questions about their exiles that have had me concerned since the show was announced as following up on the Star Wars Rebels series finale. And I'm happy to say that my concerns were unfounded!
So, as the wait begins all over again to find out what happens next in Disney+’s newest Star Wars series, let’s look at the questions Ahsoka addressed with the reintroductions of Thrawn and Ezra, what worked, and the good ways that I was wrong in imagining worst case scenarios.
How Thrawn Has Been Amassing Power
While Star Wars Rebels introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn into Disney-era canon, The Mandalorian Season 3 started building the character up in absentia to become the next Star Wars big bad. What wasn’t clear was how the villain was accumulating any power or support when he was last seen being jumped away by space whales in a battered ship. “Far, Far Away” provided enough of an answer for me in two ways: the Dathomir witches could communicate across great distances, and Thrawn’s resources were seriously depleted after all those years. It's as realistic as one could hope for in the Star Wars universe!
Why I Was Concerned: Look, can anybody blame me for being nervous that we could be in for an Ahsoka version of Rise of Skywalker’s infamous “Somehow, Palpatine returned” line for Thrawn? My fear was that he would be introduced as the powerful new big bad without having to overcome the problems he’d realistically be facing after Rebels. This is where Star Wars TV has an edge over Star Wars films: the shows just have more time to set up characters and conflicts, and Thrawn is too cool of a villain for me to want the franchise to skip any steps of his story.
Where Ezra Has Been
There are still more questions than answers about Ezra Bridger, but “Far, Far Away” confirmed that he hasn’t just been hanging out with Thrawn since during the time jump, and completely debunked any lingering theories that he was connected to Marrok. The episode even disproved the notion that he could be Enoch before fans had time to formulate any theories! Ezra has been stuck on the same planet as Thrawn and the surviving stormtroopers, and living amongst the species identified by the subtitles as the “Noti” long enough to learn their language and their ways.
Why I Was Concerned: For all that I was once in on the idea that Marrok could have been a brainwashed Ezra, I was nervous that Ahsoka would establish that he’d somehow come to an understanding with Thrawn and Co. while they were all stuck in exile together. I was also a little on edge that Eman Esfandi’s portrayal would be completely different from Rebels Ezra, but I’m already on board after "Far, Far Away."
What Ezra Was Counting On Sabine To Do
Ezra’s final message to his Ghost family in Rebels reiterated that he was counting on Sabine for something, without clarifying what it was. Admittedly, it’s not a huge shock from “Far, Far Away” that he was counting on her to find him and bring him home, but getting the confirmation after Rebels left that question unanswered was a relief for me, and likely other fans of that animated series. Plus, for all that everything is bound to sour once Ezra finds out what Sabine did to get to him, the episode showed that their bond is still strong despite years and a galaxy apart.
Why I Was Concerned: Well, if Ahsoka herself could be very different and more stoic in Star Wars Rebels, The Mandalorian, and Ahsoka due to the time jump after The Clone Wars, who was to say that Ezra wouldn’t be totally different after his decade or so in exile? We haven’t seen enough of him yet to be certain of how much he has or hasn’t changed, but he still felt like Ezra when he dropped the line of knowing he could count on Sabine.
Whether Ahsoka Could Continue The Rebels Story Without Feeling Like Clone Wars
As I stated when discussing why I’m more invested in the Rebels characters than Ahsoka herself, the searches for Thrawn and Ezra really should belong to Hera and Sabine rather than Rosario Dawson’s character. Throw in Ahsoka spending most of Episode 5 quite literally immersed in a live-action recreation of The Clone Wars, and it felt possible that the show would continue the Rebels story in a way that was more like its animated predecessor. Instead, “Far, Far Away” honestly felt like a live-action episode of Rebels, to the point that I all but forgot that this show is supposed to be about Ahsoka until she was mentioned again at the end.
Why I Was Concerned: I’m a longtime believer that Star Wars Rebels is better from start to finish than The Clone Wars, and that… has been an uphill battle even among other Star Wars fans. With the central survivor from The Clone Wars literally the title character of Ahsoka, of course I was nervous that the show would stop feeling a continuation of Rebels!
Whether There's Enough Time For Ezra And Thrawn's Stories In Season 1
As much as I love character development over nothing but plot, Ahsoka being in the World Between Worlds for most of Episode 5 meant that only three episodes were left to find Thrawn and Ezra. Prior to Episode 6, I wasn’t even convinced that Ezra would appear before the season finale. “Far, Far Away” introduced live-action versions of Thrawn and Ezra in the flesh and got started on the next chapter of the story. Season 1 may well end on a painful cliffhanger, but Ahsoka has delivered what was promised with Ezra and Thrawn with two episodes left to go.
Why I Was Concerned: Season 2 of Ahsoka hasn’t been confirmed yet, and I really didn’t want to spend the rest of the first season waiting to see Lars Mikkelsen in live-action and check in with Ezra. Plus, I’ve been holding out hope that Ahsoka would bring Ezra and Sabine back to reunite with Hera – and maybe even Zeb, because why not? – before the end of the season, and that prospect feels a little less impossible after “Far, Far Away.”
On the whole, I’m pretty thrilled with the events of “Far, Far Away." Thrawn has already blown Moff Gideon out of the water when it comes to feeling like a genuinely terrifying threat, and the stakes are sky-high at this point. Plus, I already love Eman Esfandi as Ezra. I don’t remember the last time Star Wars has had me this excited for a villain or as happy to see a long-lost character, and I’m optimistic for what comes next.
Is Ahsoka running the risk of, like Boba Fett in The Book of Boba Fett, becoming part of an ensemble in her own show? Perhaps, but I'm enjoying the ride, and this show feels far more cohesive than TBOBF. Disney+ subscribers can find out what's next with new episodes of Ahsoka streaming on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. Star Wars Rebels and The Mandalorian are both available on the Disney streamer as well, in case you want to see how Star Wars handled Thrawn prior to his live-action debut.