(SPOILER WARNING: plot points from the Ahsoka series are discussed below.)
Ok, we’ve shaken off the rust during re-entry into the atmosphere in Ahsoka – Part One – Master and Apprentice. Now let’s get down to business in our search for Ezra and Grand Admiral Thrawn in Part Two – Toil and Trouble.
Coming in at 44 minutes, Part Two is able to get moving more quickly than the premier, which spent some extra time getting viewers caught up with (or introduced to) several characters from Star Wars: Rebels, as well as introducing a few juicy Force-wielding villains.
Similar to the premier, Part Two starts off with Baylan and Shin, though this time they are alone (with their goons – one of whom is NOT a droid, but instead has the appearance of one of those menacing Inquisitors from Rebels). Here on a hilltop amid some ancient ruins on the planet Seatos, Baylan places the orbital map on a pedestal, where it immediately fidgets and settles into its new perch. Baylan reads the orb’s behavior as “this looks A-ok” and places a galactic call out to Morgan Elsbeth to let her know the map is secured and working.
Back on Lothal, Sabine groggily awakens amid a foggy hospital room, also inhabited by Ahsoka, Huyang, and a medical droid. Sabine quickly regains her focus and explains rather panicked and sheepishly that she lost the map, as well as any information she had started to gather from it (she did, however, proudly take out ONE of the droids).
Let’s take a moment here, shall we? Going back to Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, we witnessed Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn lose his life from a stab wound to Darth Maul. Since then, many people have been stabbed in the galaxy, including Reva in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Kylo Ren in Star Wars: Episode Nine – The Rise of Skywalker, the Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars: Rebels, and now Sabine. All have healed quite nicely, and most were not nearly the accomplished Jedi that Qui-Gon was. Note to any and all future Star Wars storytellers: stop stabbing people with a death blow only to quickly heal them with nary a consequence! Ok, my rant is finished.
Deducing that there may be one assassin droid unaccounted for, Ahsoka visits Sabine’s hangout in the control tower looking (and sensing) for clues. Sabine’s pet Loth-cat adorably assists Ahsoka with a little animal intuition, followed by a nasty hiss when the remaining droid prepares to strike Ahsoka. Making quick work of the droid, Ahsoka takes its head back to Sabine in the medical ward.
There – surrounded by Ahsoka, Huyang, and the humorous holo presence of Hera – Sabine is able to unlock some information from the droid’s memory, determining that it came to Lothal from the planet Corellia – home of the New Republic’s galactic shipyards. Smelling a scheme, Ahsoke and Hera depart from Lothal to meet on Corellia for an unannounced inspection.
Sabine volunteers to assist on the mission, but is left behind by Ahsoka, who seems to be stubbornly resisting Sabine’s offers to help. Sabine voices her frustration to Huyang, who serves back a heaping helping of “stop making excuses and get off your butt.” This seems to be the kick Sabine needs to get started again, as we next see her back in her apartment, gathering her thoughts and her armor, and losing her long hair in favor of her “getting down to business” short haircut.
In a quick skip back to Seatos, Morgan has joined Baylan and Shin. Now, she uses her Nightsister “magicks” (Star Wars-speak for witch magic) to open the map, showing not just the galaxy we know, but the surrounding galactic neighborhood, which includes a separate galaxy far, far, FAR away, in which Thrawn is thought to be residing. In a brief exchange between Morgan and Baylan, we learn this other galaxy – called “Peridia” – is largely thought to be the stuff of legend. We’ll surely learn more lore about this mythical-sounding place. But first things first – Morgan needs the last of nine super-hyperdrive engines to complete her gateway vehicle to reach Thrawn. The final engine is just about ready for delivery from – you guessed it – Corellia. We are now firmly on a light/dark collision course to the planet Han Solo once called home.
On Corellia, Ahsoka and Hera conduct an impromptu inspection – more importantly, an interrogation of the shipyard boss, Myn Weaver (Peter Jacobson). Weaver blows as much smoke at Ahsoka and Hera as he can, before they catch him and his program covering up their secret Imperial intentions. When a protocol droid accidentally rats out the Imperial supporters, a short shootout ensues in the shipyard’s primary control room. Ahsoka and Hera make quick work of the Imperials, then immediately spring into action to prevent the final hyperdrive from departing the planet.
On the surface, Ahsoka meets a couple more goons while trying to leap aboard the departing vessel. She successfully kills the assassin droid, while the Inquisitor-like figure – who goes by the name Marrok – narrowly escapes with Shin aboard the vehicle and into the sky.
In the air, Hera takes her ship the Phantom (another callback to Rebels) to chase down the hyperdrive vessel. Hera’s astromech copilot Chopper (C1-10P – voiced by series showrunner Dave Filoni) displays his usually grouchy charm, much to the glee of Rebels fans. Chopper and Hera are successful in tagging the departing vehicle with a tracking beacon before it jumps into hyperspace. Using the tracking device, Chopper is able to plot the ship’s next destination – the planet Seatos. Can you guess where we’re going next?
But first – the reunion. Sabine, who has now decided to get serious about learning the Force, reaches out to Ahsoka and declares that she is “ready” to continue her training. A slightly touching reunion – hitting some of the Rebels epilogue sequence note for note – puts the pair back together in the cockpit of Ahsoka’s ship, heading for the next stop in the grand adventure to find Ezra and Thrawn. This scene – meant to land with hard emotional beats – fell flat for me. The stiffness the two heroes exhibited toward each other in the premier wasn’t entirely convincing (or at least wasn’t satisfyingly emotional) so the reunion lacked the punch it so clearly desired. Perhaps if the show had provided more details on the circumstances that pushed the two apart, the audience may have a stronger reaction to the reunion.
The final scene in this episode was the most intriguing to me. Once again back on (or technically orbiting above) Seatos, Morgan is looking quite proud of her hyperspace concoction, boasting to Baylan and Shin that the final engine is now undergoing installation, and the vehicle will soon be ready for travel to Peridia. Baylan looks nervous as Shin assures him that they made a “clean escape” from Corellia. Morgan senses Baylan’s concern, and asks him to feel out with the Force. When Baylan observes that he can feel Ahsoka’s determination, Morgan warns him that she (Ahsoka) cannot get in the way of this project, no matter the cost. Baylan appears to have a mixed reaction to this declaration, telling Morgan that it would be a shame to have to kill someone like Ahsoka.
So Baylan is giving off the scent of significant inner conflict. Even though he claimed in the premier that he is no Jedi, he clearly does not want to continue the purging of his kind. Where does Baylan go from here? Are we being set up for Baylan turning to the light, or does he have other sinister aspirations for which he needs Ahsoka. I’m very interested to follow Baylan’s story, as I love a good gray character.
Overall, the pace of Part Two was much quicker than the premier, and the Thrawn/Ezra MacGuffin hunt is well underway. Time to say goodbye to Lothal (at least for now) and head for the stars.
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