Star Wars: Ahsoka - 01:06 - Part Six: Far, Far Away

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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The search for Grand Admiral Thrawn reaches beyond the limits of the galaxy.
IMDB score: 8.5 (2.4k votes) Runtime: 49 minutes
 
I have thought a lot since the talk about the space wizard and impossible laz0r sword battles conversation and when you apply a wizard hat, remove the knight from the picture the whole thing changes and it explains even better Ashoka's reluctance to do pretty much anything during the rebels era.

To get there, the wizard hat in the question has to be the classical Gandalf model, pointy but not too pointy, and it should have a wide brim. The way I got myself there was to think ADDs Raistin and Elminster. Both grand mages, the first one even being an epic time traveller. They both are physically weak and most of the time, they don't want to get involved into anything except if it comes to magic.

Ashoka is the same way, reluctant on doing the engaging stuff that might solve things. And you can see that over the years if you watched the animated series. She goes as far as to abandon her order and venturing into the unknown, while completely changing her looks by applying the grey tunic.

I do agree that her ascension to wearing whites is highly symbolic to the famous LOTR wizard and in places highly dubious because of the lack of the context, if you skipped the animated background. Thing is, this is Dave's story, and he has opted to go with that baggage, without giving the large audience a reason because his stuff is already published and available for anyone to check at Disney+.

In his defence, it would be hard for him to write in a lot of flashbacks to explain the context, because we know where that leads. Complete sh*t, utter tr*sh.

So by having the proverbial wizard hat on, I'll try to review this episode...
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Purrgil hyperspace seems to be a bit different than the usual hyperspace lane. In the Mandalorian the space whales were shown to travel outside those lanes, and everyone assumed it was the same 'space.' but different location. This capture clearly shows that they follow signals that seem to be more organic. Almost as if 'living things' are giving them a guidance between the stars.

"Intergalactic travel within a star whale," Huyang commented from the limited point of view inside the docking point. "Now I really have done it all."

The space wizard didn't chuckle, instead she said, "I remember them from the stories you would tell us when we were youngling back at the Temple."

"Ah, yes. History of Galaxy, Parts One, Two and Three," the droid replied.

"One being the best, of course." The wizard smiled.

"I still have those stories in my Archive Memory," droid said. "Would like to hear one?"

"Oh," Ashoka glanced her partner and went back to her memories. "Not right now."

The master droid turned towards her. "Perhaps you'll have a story for me."

Just like Raistlin or Elminster she confessed, "There's something I didn't tell Hera about Sabine," as it's always the case with grand wizards. Never tell nothing about anything that might be crucial information.

"Which is?" Huyang queried.

She leaned forward and almost whispered, "That she went to enemy willingly."

"Impossible."

In the tone of Raistlin spirit, she confessed, "I saw it through the Force when I held the map."

"Well, that is troubling."

Indeed it is, master droid, if you look at it as the sole point of Jedi Order versus the Sith, but the SW galaxy has moved away from it. Especially with Ashoka's transformation. No other canon Force User has gone through the same experiences. But all we know is that Sabine did it for love of Ezra. One that she'd never really confessed.

That was the thing the droid picked up. It completely ignored Thrawn, War and the renewal of the Imperial Might, because it is the most logical solution.

Ashoka shook her head on that note and said, "She was fated to make that choice. There wasn't enough of time to prepare her to make the right one."

"The Force provides you with insight, but it does not give one all the answers."

"Meaning?" Ashoka frowned.

"Perhaps, for Sabine, it was the only choice."

The space wizard wasn't happy about it, but she accepted it and to get rid of the bad thoughts, she asked Huyang to tell one his, "A long time ago, in a galaxy. Far, Far Away," stories. I wish Ashoka would have pulled out a pipe and started packing it at that point.

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Not the first time and most probably not the last time in the brig, girl. Only this time the rescue is unlikely, so what are you going to do? Baylon as he approached the cell, called it a reflection, almost as if he was able to read her past by looking at her, instead of receing the attitude.

The thing the girl was looking for Ezra. Baylon couldn't deliver. Only grin at her for falling in his trap. When Lady Morgan asked about her, he called it as inpatients, instead of using the real word, rebellious. So she asked, "You still mean to follow through on your promise to her?"

"Her focus to find Ezra Bridger blinds her," Baylon answered. "I believe she can still be of some use to us."

A moment later they arrived at Peridia.
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"The ancient home world of my ancestors, the Dathomiri," Lady Morgan explained.

"The Jedi Archives spoke about this place," Baylon recalled. "It was the end of a migration route used by the star whales as they traversed the void from one galaxy to another."

"My people were the first to harness and ride the creatures," Lady Morgan recalled in return, "... in the days before time was counted."

"The whales came here to die," Baylon commented on his apprentice. "Peridea is a graveyard."

That it most certain was as the ring through over the disks, showing massive bones floating in the haze and not a particle storm. Well, not until they zoomed out and showed the hyperspace ring diving into the bone particle cloud.

It wasn't long after they received a beacon signal from the surface and Sabine got fetched from her cell. When they broke through the cloud ceiling the scene looked his Scottish highlands, with fjords breaking the landscape. And all over the place were those weird NightSisters monuments.

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Then this was shown...

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To my eyes, that is a Minas Tirith, except in this case it's Thrawn's castle. The four landed just outside the NightSister Temple, and some ladies wearing very infamous red robes. Palpatine effed up his chance when he ordered the Purge.

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"Welcome Child of Dathomir," lead sister said in ethereal voice. "You do our ancestors credit."

"Thank you, Great Mother."

"You heard our call to you in the dream?" Great Mother asked.

"Your vision guided me through the stars," Morgan replied.

At the back, Shin whispered, "More witches."

"Long we have waited for you. And you came as Thrawn promised," Great Mother stated. But the trio of NightSister were behaving as if the Grand Admiral were their master and it wasn't long before they'd sussed out Sabine reeking "Jedi." They went even as far as to claim she was dangerous.

So they solved the problem by releasing three sophisticated drones in bone casings to capture Sabine in an energy net and transfer her deeper inside the castle. At the rooftop Baylon looked at the landscape and told Shin that the landscape reminded him of the stories. Of a land where the children stories come to life. "A land of dreams and madness."

He went to claim that they were ancient stories. Tales that people had "long forgotten."

Shin didn't believe in any of them. So Baylon told her that back in the Temple he had seen of vision of "everything burning." He knew nothing about at the time, until it came to pass and watched everything he knew "to burn." The Order 66.

The only way for him to understand it was the Fall of the Jedi Order, Rise of the Siths. Just like it endlessly repeats in the Mortis Gods. There never really has been the time when the Mortis Father rules in the balance.

Shin however could only see the event as the Rise of them through the Alliance with the Grand Admiral. Baylon scoffed it off and said, "What I seek is the beginning, so I may finally bring this cycle to an end."

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Chimera, Thrawn's Flag Ship. Part of the Lost Fleet. It has the markings at its belly. It was kind of funny watch it docking with the temple at that same place where they used to launch and recover vessels.

Then they showed NightTroopers, Thrawn loyalists, wearing classical stormtrooper armour with his colours, while chanting their master's name. So the man walked out, pompous as ever, all full of the might of the Imperium, but also looking old.

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"This is Enoch. Captain of my guard." That is the first time we see facial features in storm trooper helmet. "He shall begin the cargo transfer as per my agreement with the Great Mothers."

"I have seen the catacombs," Lady Morgan replied. "It will take some time. At least three rotations."

Yeah, the Grand Admiral has always been a collector. And he was more than willing to accept the timeframe. Except the Great Mothers weren't happy about "the prisoner." Baylon confessed to the act, and took the responsibility. The weird thing is that Thrawn didn't recognize the Fallen Jedi.

Only when the name was dropped Thrawn recognized Baylon as the General. Of Jedi Order. So the man countered it by claimed he had parted his ways "long ago." Something that Thrawn had witnessed happening time and again. Sabine however was more familiar name.

"You're quite right," Thrawn smiled. "She'll be quite use to us."

That means Ezra rebelled and Thrawn couldn't handle the boy. Wohoo. So Sabine was brought to inner temple, where Trawn was delighted on "seeing a familiar face." He event to as far as to thank for his escape from exile. So Sabine popped the name and Thrawn saw it as a desire.

Grand Admiral smiled and ordered Enoch to remove the shackles and then provide her with supplies and intel. He went to then claim that Ezra might even be dead, and he would leave her on planet stranded and without any means to escape.

Enoch gave her ride, supplies and then handed over her weapons, including the sabre before he warned about nomads and asked her to, "Die well."

Shin called her task as "fool's errand." Thrawn agreed and the suggested Baylon to step on with his own mission. The destruction of Ezra and Sabine, otherwise they were going to be destined to be stranded.

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Not long after the venture into the nomad land her howler picked up scent and stopped. Sabine pulled a scanner and tried to get reading. But it was too late as she was surrounded by hostiles. Thanks to her blaster skills, and mando armour she was able to survive multiple hits before she was disarmed and then it sabre time.

This time she showed the fierceness as she pulled on the warface and went on with the business. The fight is mayhem, just like it always is in the one matches where there's one versus many. It's never clean but she came out from it as winner thanks to her Mando training.

The howler got a proper bollocking, but like a loyal dog he followed the master. What else he could do? Second chances are better than no chances and Sabine is a good master. She might even give treats.

So the dog took them deep into the world. Showed a water source and then tracks on dinner.

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Stranger in strange land. Weird thing is that he seemed to be able to understand Sabine. Doggie only saw him as dinner. They are called Noti and the language they'll speak is not common. Then Noti noticed Sabine's shoulder watch and showed a matching symbols on his pendant.

She dropped Ezra's name and the next thing whole family of Noti's were rising from the ground. The next thing dog got compliments and Sabine marched after the family.

In the wastes Baylon and Shin came across the battleground and he called Ezra as a Bokken Jedi, trained in the wild, while Shin was destined to be something bigger. He saw the old order as their weakness. "There was no future there."

Shin questioned his wisdom, and all Baylon could see around them was tales from the past. And the bandits as their allies.

Noti family led Sabine in a minuature shell village. The house included antennas and power were supplied by SW technology.

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"I knew I could count on you," bearded Ezra said when they saw each other. She smiled and then chuckled and then complained that she didn't get the address. But the plan worked even if it took years for them to find each other.

Ezra asked the important question of, "How she found" him. But the girl didn't want to deal with the business as all she wanted was to bask in the happiness. She had found her man. So Ezra ordered the tribe to collect their things because they were moving. Then he said, "I can't wait to get back home."

At the temple Trawn received news from Great Mothers that they'd been told about a Jedi. Trawn decuded that to Ashoka and then gave his usual bollocking to Morgan on failing the task. Lady blamed the Fallen Jedi and Thrawn agreed. Jedi are always bad.

Then he asked Great Mothers to help and they agreed because it's part of "the Great Destiny."

--

mysterious episode.
 
Nice precis, as usual CTG. This looks like a very interesting episode.

It's interesting how Filoni has taken elements of Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy and used them for this series.

The old statues look great and remind me a lot of the massive statues we saw in Jedi: Fallen Order. They have a Dune vibe to them too. I approve. :)

I love the red ribbon and the facial features on that trooper helmet and I hope they make better use of him than they did with Phasma.

Incidentally, i see that the Ahsoka soundtrack is being released. What is the music like?

Also, I hope there is an "Art Of" book.
 
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What is the music like?
Personally, I don't even notice it. I learned from TWD to listen to the world instead of the music, and I tend to pause a lot between writings. If the music is noticeable, I will mention it and might even link in the track.

This world needs a beefed up sound tracks, because at the moment, without that bird in the bandit scene I was going to write about its desolation. Which is a strange thing because the marshlands are full of life.

Personally I also believe that many force users made it there and there's more to this world than what the NightSisters or Thrawn wants to reveal. In fact, Ezra, Thrawn and the Mothers cannot wait to get out from there. It is their sole focus.
 
I can’t take the emotional excitement :D

Purrgil hyperspace seems to be a bit different than the usual hyperspace lane

I noticed the change in hyperspace and assumed it was something to do with organic jumps. However when the giant hyperspace ring is in hyperspace the effect is identical.

I suspect that it’s because we’ve only seen hyper jumps between systems within the galaxy (core, mid rim, outer rim etc) before whereas the Unknown Regions are our first visit to another galaxy. Intergalactic rather than interstellar.

I’m really hoping the force that Baylan senses is Mother Talzin. She’s always said she’d be back when she went back to the spirit realm ….
 
As you will know, I haven't watched many of the animated series episodes and none of Rebels, so my comments on this series have to remain firmly based upon only what we see and hear here. I understand everything that is happening and have no problem with following the story.

The only problem I had with this week was how Ezra Bridger had remained so elusive for so long. He mentioned keeping on the move, but that would hardly be enough to cut it. Admiral Thrawn has a Star Destroyer Class Battlecruiser at his disposal, even if it is fairly beaten up, with a hundred or so Stormtroopers. He also has a planet full of mounted native raiders who would surely search in exchange for a bounty. But most of all:
At the temple Trawn received news from Great Mothers that they'd been told about a Jedi.
The Great Mothers can sense a Jedi on her way through hyperspace, but they cannot sense Ezra only one day's ride away?

Anyway, apart from that it was a slower episode, but much world-building and character-building, necessary at this point.
 
“I miss the idea of it. But not the truth, the weakness.”

With these words Baylan pretty much summed up my problem with Ahsoka. If you take every single piece of that show as an individual idea then Ahsoka has the potential to be the greatest Star Wars show ever: Heavy on the Fantasy, inspired by both TCW and the old EU, digging into the Force and its ancient origins, a killer production (I mean look at this photography! These costumes! Star Wars hasn’t looked this good since the Empire Strikes Back!).

And the show is full of little visual moments that stand out in the best of ways. A world whose planetary rings are just massive bones. Sabine on her mount wandering through the wasteland. These sinister statues of witches sprouting out of the ground that wouldn’t have felt out of place in a Giger exhibition. That “Enoch” stormtrooper with his badass facemask. This is exactly what I want from Star Wars: grandiose vistas, a western feel with heavy Japanese influences.

But it just doesn’t come together. Because the overall story, the thread connecting it all, doesn’t hold. We are sent to a distant galaxy that ends up being… well, not much more alien than just any other Star Wars world. Then we learn that its inhabitants are the original Wayward Sisters Nightsisters, and they were - yikes! - expecting the arrival of their distant cousin Elsbeth. But how? “Your voices guided me through the stars.” Well, that and a star map we spent four whole episodes running after, when clearly your sisters could just have texted you their address by way of dreams. This "far, far away world" they're trying to pass as some kind of inescapable land of banishment just seems way too close, too connected to the rest of the SW universe. Then we learn that this planet is a doomed wasteland, but somehow Thrawn has been living his best life there with an entire garrison and a working Space Destroyer. Hm. Okay, let's see where this goes.

Thrawn tells Baylan that Sabine can indeed be very useful to them, so he sets her free to find Ezra. Well, that’s only useful if he wanted to find Ezra… Except she’s gonna find him using intel that he provided himself, so he can’t be that interested in finding him, right? And what’s that he told her? “Once my star destroyer departs, you will be stranded here forever.” Then why send Baylan and Hati after them? And then why tell Elsbeth “It doesn’t matter if they’re killed or just remain trapped here forever.” Boy, will you make up your mind, cause you've already lost me three times. Were you trying to rid yourself of Baylan and Hati, then?

And, oh, look it’s some hermit crab trolls that would be right at home in a weird Frozen meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crossover (I wouldn't mind watching that). Heh, I’ve seen far worse designs for Star Wars aliens, but again, once Sabine reaches their caravan, the whole idea of this “wasteland” far removed from anything and completely barren takes another massive punch to the face. Is this really an empty world that has nothing to offer? And look, Ezra has been living with them for years! Could it be that Thrawn, the greatest threat to the SW galaxy, is actually just an incapable dummy?

We'll know soon enough. I bet on yes.
 
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The Great Mothers can sense a Jedi on her way through hyperspace, but they cannot sense Ezra only one day's ride away?
There is an explanation for this. I don't want to really speculate what it is, I rather wait and see because it might be something completely different. What is clear is that Thrawn and Ezra are archnemisis and there's no love between them two. Just a wish the other would go away.

Although Thrawn does have a stardestroyer it means very little because I'm pretty certain that Ezra had found a way either by nicking their stuff, or using the 'animal' companions. He was the original one who talked to the Purrgil. He also talked to LothWolves and Bentu, and found himself as the Guardian of the World-between-Worlds.

In the wizard terms he's more of Elminster than Raistlin or Gandalf, because he's connected to so, so many things. But when he left he wasn't a master, not even a knight, but something else, and yet powerful enough to connect through all things. Almost as if he is Picard.

He was taught mainly by Kanan, but Ahsoka, Bentu and Maul all lent their visions. So he had many, many masters, including Huyang. And in the technology wise, he's smart enought to make and modify his own sabres, like for example fusing a blaster with sabre and have a dual use. So, he's very, very capable of surviving and I'm pretty certain that he could have used World-between-Worlds to travel. It's just he couldn't trust Thrawn or something.

Additional note on the damage on the Thrawn's star destroyer. It was damaged by Purrgil, under Ezra's command, and he hasn't been able to fix it. So damage remains, and he couldn't have limped through the stars even if he has a 'ship.'

Thrawn has the most brilliant tactical mind in the SW universe, but just like all the other super smart people, he'd deeply flawed in that he needs minions.
 
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I liked this episode. Although the threads holding everything together are frayed for me, a real Star Wars novice as I've learned. I like that this is one where the Force is a force. Rather than something that's given a nod, or in the case of Andor, not even mentioned. I will admit to being more that a little frustrated when Sabine refuses to tell the truth to Ezra. That seemed very selfish and short sighted. I'm sure it's going to come around and bite them on the backside. But I'm hooked and staying with it.

Thanks @ctg for continuing to do your summary of the action with insights I could never have imagined.
 
Nice to see that Claudia Black as one of the Mothers.
 
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What is picking the space whale carcasses clean?

Morgan’s shuttle looks like something from Lynch’s Dune. Not just the colour, but the whole aesthetic.

Thrawn’s beat up Star Destroyer looked really good, and the ribboned troopers along with Enoch’s faced helmet are also cool. I like the Gold “Kintsugi” look, too. Are these looks ever explained?

The fighting seems so telegraphed. Block then move to the next defending position before the enemy has moved. It’s kind of jarring and I can’t unsee it.

I also like the look of the crab people. I’ve not seen anything like that and it’s a very interesting look.

Bokken Jedi is mentioned again. I wonder if the story will tell us more?
 
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What is picking the space whale carcasses clean?
Good observation. In the next one, you'll see shrimps. Space shrimps. So the ecosystem is there, even if our traditional way of thinking doesn't allow that sort of biology. There is also those huge gravitational forces that keep the disk alive. It is a Super Earth type of planet. So it must be heavy, because of all that rocky mass. Those rings must have moons, and all that gravitational play causes the bones to tumble, and get ever smaller pieces. But biology wise, bacteria and crustaceans.

I wonder if the story will tell us more?
Nope. It's just his way of speaking. He must have reasons, but he doesn't explain it to the audience.
 

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