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The ‘Ahsoka’ Finale Chose ‘Pew Pew Pew’ Over Its Best Characters

By Mike Redmond | TV | October 6, 2023 |

By Mike Redmond | TV | October 6, 2023 |


Previously on Ahsoka: As Ahsoka arrives in orbit around Peridea, she shakes off Thrawn’s forces while Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren continue their reunion below. However, the Noti caravan carrying the two heroes is discovered by Baylan Skoll, Shin Hati, and the local bandits they recruited. Uninterested in doing Thrawn’s bidding, Baylan cuts Shin loose to pursue her own ambitions as he continues to focus on the mysterious power calling him from somewhere on the planet. As Sabine and Ezra hold off Shin, the bandits, and a squadron of Night Troopers, Ahsoka eventually joins the fray after demonstrating to Baylan that he won’t best her in a lightsaber duel again. Realizing it’s not worth the loss of men, Thrawn orders the Night Troopers to retreat, leaving Shin behind as an acceptable loss. When Ahsoka offers to help her, the twice-discarded Shin runs off. Now, all that’s left for the trio is to stop Thrawn from returning to their home galaxy and rebuilding the Empire…

When this show started, I gave it the benefit of the doubt that it wouldn’t lean too hard into the animated series and even assured people that it’d be easy enough to follow if you didn’t sit through 75 hours of cartoons. I should not have done that. That was stupid of me to do.

Obviously, Episode 5 with its admittedly pitch-perfect Clone Wars flashbacks made it very clear that Ahsoka is nothing more than a nostalgia smorgasbord specifically made for Star Wars fans who consumed all the right content. If you didn’t fall into that category, well, tough titties. And yet, I still held out hope that maybe, just maybe, Ahsoka would deliver some sort of compelling narrative in its finale that would move Star Wars, or at least the show itself forward in an exciting new direction.

It did not do that. Instead, the finale delivered 45 minutes of amateur hour lightsaber duels with zero dramatic stakes and barely 30 seconds of its most captivating characters who actually have an interesting story to tell. That’s not an exaggeration. My heart sank when I looked at the clock and realized Baylan and Shin were getting totally boned. To add insult to injury, one of them — whose actor is now dead — appeared in a silent final scene that meant absolutely jackshit unless you watched three very specific episodes of The Clone Wars. He literally just stood on a statue and looked off into the distance. That was it. End of story. Hope you liked the “pew pew pew” instead of answers!

Episode 8, “The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord” (Yup, yup yup yup.) kicks off with Morgan Elsbeth being promoted to a full-on Night Sister through the gift of shadows or whatever. In a nutshell, her face is all creepy now, but not as creepy as the Great Mothers, and she didn’t get a sick new outfit. (The costuming issues on this show really reared their head in the home stretch, but we’ll come back to that.) What Morgan did get is a magic sword that, of course, is shamelessly pulled from the cartoons. The governor is off, baby, and Ahsoka is ramping it off the fan service cliff. Yee-haw!


Morgan wasn’t the only one getting a magic sword butt-loaded with fan service, but at least hers had the courtesy of not being a direct piss in the face. So remember last week when Ezra made a big deal about not wanting his old lightsaber back because the Force is his ally, which he demonstrated by slapping ass using just his Force karate? Well, f*ck all that, he wants a lightsaber this week because Star Wars, bitches! But not just any lightsaber, Ezra wants a lightsaber that’s just like the one his old master Kanan Jarrus used to have. What does any of this mean and why is even sassy David Tennant-bot emotional about it? Guess you should’ve watched twenty one hundred billion hours of Rebels, loser. Sucks to be you.

With Ezra busy proving nothing on this show means anything, Ahsoka and Sabine have a little master and apprentice chat on the wing of her ship. Her ship that, by the way, is literally flying 10 feet off the ground at a snail’s pace instead of directly engaging Thrawn. I cannot stress how this is probably the dumbest creative decision in the entire episode — which is no small feat — because none of Thrawn’s supposedly brilliant strategies work without our hero’s being complete idiots. Everything that happens from here on out hinges on these morons taking their spaceship for walk. I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it again. Not all of these shows have to be Andor, but that’s not a free pass to insult your intelligence.

Anyway, this is the first time Ahsoka and Sabine have talked since the latter decided to hand Baylan the star map to Thrawn on the off-chance she’d find Ezra. A choice that, as much as shit as I talk about this show, I defended last week. I get it. It made sense at the time, and Ahsoka agrees. But why does she agree? Well, you see, after reuniting with her old master (the child murderer) Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka remembered that he (the child murderer) always had her back and so she, too, will always have Sabine’s back. He really was a great master, you guys, until, you know, some stuff happened. It’s not a big deal.

With that ham-fisted piece of foreshadowing out of the way, two TIE fighters attack Ahsoka’s ship, which is spectacularly easy to do because I mentioned it’s just floating out in the open at three miles per hour, right? Ok, good. While Ezra and Ahsoka jump under the ship and use the Force to keep it from crushing the Noti below — Way to paint a huge target on their adorable little backs. Incredible thinking, everyone. — Sabine takes the controls and decides the best course of action is to slam into the TIE fighters. Granted, they immediately explode, but at the cost of Ahsoka’s ship crashing into the ground below. Should these clowns tie their shoelaces together to make it easier for Thrawn? Because I’m pretty sure they’d do it. Couldn’t hurt to ask.

Speaking of Thrawn, now that he’s aware that Ahsoka’s ship is down, the unparalleled military genius predicts that our heroes next move will be a ground assault. Holy shit, how does he do it? Here I thought they’d attack by sea or through a series of interconnected tunnels like the Viet Cong. That’s why he’s the Grand Admiral.

Sure enough, our trio comes bounding towards Thrawn’s ship on the back of Howlers. Despite the superior firepower, they easily dodge cannon blasts and make their way to the Night Sister’s fortress that’s still doing this action after three days. It should really see a doctor.


I spent hours looking for that screencap. You’re damn right I used it again.

Because this episode is locked into the Marvel and now-Star Wars tradition of throwing a bunch of shit at the screen in the final act, the bulk of the finale is Ahsoka, Sabine, and Ezra easily knocking down a bunch of bumbling Night Troopers until their zombie powers are activated. What happens then? They knock them down all over again save for two Death Troopers who give Ezra and Sabine a little trouble until the latter finally has her inevitable using the Force moment. Never forget Dave Filoni trained at the feet of Mr. It’s Like Poetry, It Rhymes.

Realizing they’re getting too close for comfort, Thrawn, who inexplicably didn’t book it a half hour ago, sends Morgan on a suicide mission to hold off Ahsoka. Really glad we burnt precious screentime watching her get face paint and a new sword. In the midst of all this, Sabine helps Ezra Force-jump onto Thrawn’s ship as it’s taking off. However, she doesn’t join him because Ahsoka’s child-murdering master said something about having each other’s back, and that guy seems like he had shit figured out. So Sabine stays behind to help Ahsoka and runs around a horribly lit and stiff fight scene because everyone’s crammed into a LED shoebox. The whole thing is so bad that you can’t help but notice that Sabine is basically wearing nothing but cheap black tights with the most minimally placed Mandalorian armor. Did she look like that the whole show?!

Predictably, Ahsoka wrecks Morgan, but now there’s a new problem. Thrawn just ordered his ship to destroy the Night Sister’s fortress. Granted, the Great Mothers are safe with Thrawn, they’re not thrilled by this maneuver. Ahsoka and Sabine make a mad dash to the edge of the fortress where they leap off. Will they use the Force to land safely because at least that would make sense? Nope. Huyang surprisingly shows up with Ahsoka’s ship. The same ship we just saw Sabine leave a smoldering wreck. Apparently, you can fix these things in the time it takes to make a pot of coffee. I can’t even rotate my tires that fast and I pay someone to do it because of my hands. My soft, delicate hands.

Hot on Thrawn’s tail, the Grand Admiral opens a radio channel to Ahsoka to rub it in her face that she’s too late, which is actually true. She blew it, and that’s what happens when you take your spaceship for a walk. (It’s neat when these shows teach you life lessons.) Thrawn also taunts Ahsoka by bringing up Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side and suggests the same could happen to her. Inexplicably, this rattles her even though we all watched an entire episode where she literally made peace with this exact issue. She even got a new outfit at the end and everything. Goddammit.

Smug in his victory, Thrawn blasts off unaware that Ezra is on board and just traded places with his friends. Now, they’re stranded and he’s headed back to their home galaxy. But more importantly, Thrawn also called Ahsoka a ronin. I forgot to mention that, which is actually quite interesting because here’s a little known fact about the Jedi: They’re kind of like samur—


With barely a few minutes left to spare, the Ahsoka finale decides maybe it should check in on Baylan and Shin, as a treat. The former is walking on what looks like a rocky hillside, but it’s actually the outstretched hand of a statue. Except, no wait, it’s actually a set of statues. Three to be exact, but one of them is missing their head. Off in the distance, there’s a light. Is this what’s calling to Baylan? Who the hell knows? Because the scene ends without the late Ray Stevenson saying a word. RIP, I guess.

If you haven’t watched the cartoons, those statues probably seemed meaningless. If you’re like me and used to put action figures on layaway until you saved up enough money at your after-school job, the faces looked very familiar. Long story short, they’re the Mortis gods and they probably have something very nuts locked up that Baylan is going to unlock because, when you think about it, the Jedi and Sith are the same. Why not try a third option? That never goes wrong.

As for Shin, she’s going to be the new leader of the bandit dudes, I guess? She somehow had even less screen time than Baylan who stared at a mountain for 45 seconds. If you’re going to do two people this dirty, Dave Filoni, I hope you bought them dinner.

And now back to the least interesting people on Ahsoka, which is always a great thing to say about the title character. Resigned to their fate, Sabine and Ahsoka reunite with the Noti and start setting up camp for the night. Once again, Ahsoka speaks wistfully of Anakin because this show refuses to let her out of his shadow. Case in point: Guess who’s proudly watching her as a Force ghost. The child murderer has never left Ahsoka’s side and he’s pleased with the path she’s on, which is really what being a Jedi is all about. That sweet child murderer approval. You can’t beat it.

Meanwhile, back in the Star Wars galaxy, which really needs an official label besides the Far, Far Away Galaxy (Please, don’t let that stick.), Thrawn’s ship arrives at Dathomir where he’s going to set up base and no doubt raise an undead army thanks to the metric butt-ton of space coffins he brought with him. Cool, I guess.

As for Ezra, well, hope you didn’t want to actually see his escape. While disguised as a Night Trooper, he managed to commandeer a shuttle and make it to the New Republic where he’s reunited with Hera. Presumably, he warned them about Thrawn unless he took a page out of Sabine’s book and just sat around saying, “It’s complicated,” until someone was like, “Hey, is that a zombie.” Dumber things have happened, and I would know. I just wrote about them.

May the Force be with you.