Television

Star Wars: Ahsoka – Part 4: Fallen Jedi review S1 E4

Oh c’mon! Y’all can’t give me a cliffhanger like Fallen Jedi and expect me to patiently wait another week!

One thing that keeps feeling true with each episode of Ahsoka is it doesn’t feel like a quality episodic Star Wars TV show so much as a really strong Star Wars movie broken up into a TV series. That’s not a bad thing since it’s high quality either way, but it doesn’t seem out of the question that I’ll binge the series on the Tuesday of the season finale to really get that movie viewing experience.

Fallen Jedi delivered some intense Star Wars action, a little mystery and showed why Baylan Skoll can afford to be so calm in all situations.

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Why Morgan and her allies in possession of the map to Thrawn (and Ezra), Ahsoka ponders if they can’t have it should it be in anyone’s hands? She poses it to Sabine, but this feels like a rhetorical question.

Director Peter Ramsey set the episode up nicely with distant shots of Ahsoka’s damaged ship as Baylan’s assassin droids observed in the tree line.

It’s always fun catching how many Prequel and Original Trilogy lines writer/showrunner Dave Filoni will work into each episode. I caught at least the homage to a line from Padme although I’m sure I missed more.

Huyang gets ambushed and Ahsoka and Sabine come out to play destroy the assassin droids. Have we ever seen a live-action fisticuff droid fight before? That was pretty fun and almost as cool as watching the dynamic of a (not-quite) Jedi and Mandalorian fighting side by side.

I wonder if Filoni thought viewers would be tired of Mandalorian-style combat of blasting and using Beskar armor to block blaster fire? It really feels and looks cooler to see Sabine fighting in her classic Rebels style as opposed to just playing junior Jedi.

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Back at the New Republic fleet, Hera decided the senators plan was a stupid one and heads out to aid her friends. Carson Teva and four other X-wing pilots accompany Hera to help out. Gee, if only there was a friend to both Carson and Hera that could tag along to add a little muscle to the rescue effort?

Now I’m worried that with this show’s admittedly super impressive CGI effectives budget if animated Zeb for multiple episodes wouldn’t have been too much?

Baylan sends Shin and Marrok out to delay Ahsoka and Sabine resulting in a very cool red forest backdrop duels. Marrok gets Phasma’d (sorta) as he manages to give Ahsoka some trouble before getting gashed in the stomach and evaporating in a puff of smoke.

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So, was he a Morgan construct or an off-brand Costco version Inquisitor? Masked helmeted characters in Star Wars really have a bad track record — Mando aside — so I probably shouldn’t have grown too attached.

Shin is shocked Sabine is ready for round 2, but Sabine is ready for the rematch incorporating both Jedi and Mandalorian techniques in the battle. While she loses her lightsaber, she does get the drop on Shin with a blast from her wrist cannon. That was pretty savvy and shows Sabine’s not afraid to “cheat” to get a win.

Ahsoka meanwhile is off to tangle with Baylan, who almost gives the sense that he doesn’t want this fight. He namechecks Anakin probing to see if that throws her off her game, but it doesn’t work. Watching two experienced lightsaber users go at it is always fun and a great contrast from the more inexperienced “padawans” of Shin and Sabine.

Ahsoka isn’t so much preoccupied with defeating Baylan so much as regaining the map to stop Morgan and crew from finding Thrawn. This distraction costs her as Baylan is able to back her up to the cliff. Sabine arrives and threatens to take out Shin if Baylan doesn’t let Ahsoka go. Not one to be forced into a decision, Baylan’s final blow sends Ahsoka off the cliff presumably to her death.

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Now Baylan slips into his Palpatine/Dooku mode where he tries to reason with Sabine to give him the map back. He knows more than he should specifically Sabine’s bond with Ezra and promises if she gives him the map he’ll reunite her with Ezra.

It’s a wild choice and one where the response seems obvious. Ramsey milks all the possible tension in this moment before Sabine hands over the map (!). Wow. That was a nice surprise in terms of going against the norm for this genre. Baylan is a man of his word as he stops Shin from harming Sabine.

He’s not a snake like Palpatine and carries himself with the same kind of quiet dignity as Dooku yet Baylan is proving to be a very complex and layered character. One I’m still not quite willing to label an outright villain just yet.

Hera and her fleet arrive just in time for Morgan to launch the hyperspace ring destroying two of the X-wings. Jacen has a bad feeling about all this. (There’s two!)

Ahsoka is in a familiar looking location. It’s similar to the pathway where she was in the Jedi Temple Portal with Ezra and her old master.

A very familiar voice calls out to her referring to her as…Snips. Oh man! And sure enough it’s Hayden by gosh Christensen in his Anakin Skywalker attire. Did it seem like his hair was styled based on his Clone Wars look more than his Revenge of the Sith appearance?

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Who cares? The important thing is Anakin has arrived so for absolute sure Episode 5 is going to be one of my most anticipated episodes of any series this year.

Fallen Jedi was a tremendous Star Wars experience with intense lightsaber battles, a stellar “villain” and the odds constantly against our heroes. Ahsoka is nailing all the important elements of Star Wars with this series and this was a strong halfway mark for the show.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Disney

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