“The Jedi, The Witch, And The Warlord” marks the end of the road (for now) for Ahsoka, Sabine and others and despite being a finale (whether it’s a season or series finale remains to be seen) that delivered more questions than answers.
Let’s start with the question of what type of finale the eighth episode of this series was. Unlike, say the Obi-Wan Kenobi series which was always termed a “limited series,” Ahsoka never received that designation. Moreover, the social media posts supporting the finale from the official Ahsoka account specifically calls this a season finale in multiple posts.
Now, there was no title card at the end teasing that Ahsoka will return, nor a mid-credits sequence, however, given where the characters are left in this finale it’s hard to believe that we won’t have more adventures with the padawan of Anakin Skywalker. All that said, let’s get into it.
Master and Apprentice
While Ezra gets a moment to feel a connection to his old master Kanan Jarrus while building a new lightsaber with Huyang, learning a bit about him and also learning how similar they are by choosing the same emitter for their blades, we finally learn what drove a wedge between Ahsoka and Sabine. Huyang says that after the purge of Mandalore, Ahsoka feared that Sabine was training for the wrong reasons and that if she unlocked her potential she could be dangerous. This further illustrates the way that Ahsoka may have been letting fear of repeating the mistakes of the past dictate her future (as did her refusal to train Grogu in Mandalorian season 2).
We see Ahsoka’s growth, however, and her decision to live as made in “Shadow Warrior” when Sabine finds her outside the ship and Ahsoka reveals she’s not mad at Sabine for the choice she made on Seatos. For the first time, to the seeming surprise of Sabine, Ahsoka talks about her relationship with Anakin, and that she understands making difficult choices that not everyone understands or agrees with. But, Ahsoka always had one person who understood – her Master. She notes that Anakin always stood by her, even when no one else did, a reference to the Jedi Temple Bombing arc in Clone Wars in which the Jedi Council (even Obi-Wan despite making a minimal attempt to help her) was prepared to abandon her and allow her to take the fall for a crime she did not commit. This is why Ahsoka says that no matter what happens next, she will be there for Sabine.
Later, when it looks as though Sabine has a chance to follow Ezra onto Thrawn’s Star Destroyer and make it home, she willingly stays behind when she sees Ahsoka in trouble. As it appears Ahsoka is in trouble, down a lightsaber and surrounded by storm/night troopers, Morgan Elsbeth taunts her that her friends are dead and she’s going to die here alone. But Sabine appears and says she’s not alone, helping Ahsoka fight off their opponents’ overwhelming numbers. In this season we see Sabine fight with both blasters and her lightsaber, melding both sides of her personality, Mandalorian and Jedi. Here she seems her most natural, most in tune with the Force. Earlier, Ahsoka had told Sabine that being a Jedi isn’t about wielding a lightsaber, it’s about training her mind and body as well as trusting in the Force. Only at the end of this series does it seem that Sabine has taken this to heart.
When all is said and done and Ahsoka and Sabine are left behind on Peridea, we see that their Master and Apprentice bond is perhaps stronger than ever. Ahsoka tells Sabine that she did well, noting that even though Thrawn indeed got away, Ezra got home and is where he needs to be. As are they. Ahsoka says it’s time to move on, suggesting that they not focus on what’s happened but only look to the future (and perhaps more adventures together in this new galaxy). Sabine, again feeling more in tune with the Force, senses ... something. But she dismisses it as shadows in the starlight. Ahsoka turns back, and looks over the horizon. She appears contemplative and seemingly nods, and as she turns away we see the Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker, continuing to watch over and stand by his apprentice as well as seemingly approving of her choices as a small smile spreads on his face as the season comes to a close.
The season ends with Ahsoka having grown, proving as Anakin said that she’s never too old to learn. She has finally accepted the past, let go of her trauma, and embraced her old Master and is allowing herself to act not out of fear of the past but rather living in the moment (as her grand-grandmaster Qui-Gon once told her grandmaster Obi-Wan) and trusting in the Force. I had wondered if Ahsoka would make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that Ezra and Sabine made it, but I’m glad she survived this season. It definitely feels as though we are not done with her story yet.
While Ahsoka and Sabine are ultimately stranded on Peridea, Grand Admiral Thrawn successfully escapes.
As always, Thrawn has a plan in mind, telling Morgan at the beginning of the episode that never again will he underestimate even a lone Jedi, as he often saw Imperials underestimate the Rebellion and he himself was foiled by a lone Jedi.
We see him continue to cultivate his alliance with the Great Mothers, who in turn give a “reward” to Morgan for her efforts in finding them — the gift of shadows. After Morgan pledges herself to the sisterhood, to the magicks, to the old ways and to abandoning her old life, she is embued with new dark magick and her eyes become black as theirs with markings on her face. She is also gifted with the Blade of Talzin, previously seen in Clone Wars and which will come into play later on.
Eventually, Thrawn sends two TIE fighters out to attack Ahsoka’s ship, taking out its stabilizers. Sabine, with a Force assist from Ahsoka and Sabine, takes them out, but does severe damage to their ship. With Huyang and the Noti working to make repairs, Ahsoka, Sabine and Ezra make their way to Thrawn’s fortress on the back of howlers. Ezra notes that Thrawn found this fortress and woke up the witches, making it unsafe for him to come alone previously. Thrawn, using his past knowledge of Anakin to inform his tactics, notes there will be no negotiating with the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, so he orders hellfire down to try and stop them, but they make it in anyways.
Inside, the Jedi trio easily cut through Thrawn’s forces ... until the Great Mothers use their dark magick to resurrect them as zombies. At that point they become imperious to pain and push our heroes further into the fortress. The Jedi are able to hold them at bay, eventually slashing the controls the door, but not before we get a nice moment of banter between Ezra and Sabine reminiscent of their relationship on Rebels. While all this is going on, Thrawn is preparing to lock his Star Destroyer with the giant hyperspace ring, but can’t leave until the Jedi are at least slowed down to make sure they don’t stow aboard. Ultimately, Morgan accepts that she will have to stay behind and distract Ahsoka and crew so that Thrawn and the Great Mothers can get away. He says for the Empire, while she quietly says for Dathomir, perhaps laying the groundwork for some eventual conflicts of motives between Thrawn and the Great Mothers.
Ahoska and Morgan have a wicked duel, lightsaber vs. Blade of Talzin, as Ezra and Sabine make their way toward the ship. Ezra and Sabine have their own problems, however, as zombified Death Troopers impede their progress. It looks like their both out of luck, as we see one zombie trooper’s zombie jaw and hear its screams as it chokes Sabine. But here we finally get the moment we’ve been waiting for — Sabine summons her fallen lightsaber with the Force and ignites it right into the brain of the zombie trooper to kill it, then distracts the other long enough for Ezra to decapitate it. You definitely felt the horror vibes in this scene and it’s a nice payoff for Sabine to finally be able to wield the Force. It’s good that she finds this skill in this moment, as she will need it to send Ezra onto the Star Destroyer.
Ultimately, Ahsoka, following Sabine’s re-emergence in the fray, is able to disarm and kill Morgan, using both her remaining lightsaber and the Blade of Talzin. Ultimately, Morgan proves to be more of a pawn in Thrawn’s game, and while the Great Mothers seem saddened by her death they go along with it willingly. Thrawn simply says she did what we required, proving he had no real devotion to her in the way any of the previous Master and Apprentice relationships talked about above had.
Thrawn gets his moment of glory, opening a channel to Ahsoka’s Jedi Shuttle to taunt her. He tells her he knows her because he knew her Master and that as such he concluded her strategies would be similar. He throws back Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side in her face, wondering just how similar they might become. Prior to this series, it seems as though that would have really cut Ahsoka deep, but her growth makes it a less effective barb than it otherwise would have been. Thrawn suggests that perhaps this is where a ronin such as Ahsoka belongs, before making the jump and leaving our heroes behind.
While Ahsoka and Sabine are lost (for now, at least), we do get one happy homecoming. Ezra is successfully able to get away from Thrawn’s Star Destroyer and meet up with the New Republic fleet commanded by Hera. Initially, the New Republic forces are on edge, a nice bit of contrast from the premiere and a sign of the difference in Hera’s leadership compared to other New Republic generals, but eventually, Ezra takes off his stormtrooper helmet and Hera is in disbelief. Unfortunately, she is still missing one of her “kids” from the Ghost crew, but she is overjoyed to see Ezra return home.
Similarly, back on Peridea, the Noti seem overjoyed to see Ahsoka and Sabine return to their camp. Meanwhile, interestingly, Ahsoka sees Morai, the convor who is the physical representation of the Daughter, whose life force saved Ahsoka on Mortis in Clone Wars and has watched over her since, once again showing that Ahsoka is not alone.
On the darker side of the ledger, we see Thrawn’s Star Destroyer approach Dathomir while he surveys all the cargo he’s brought back with him. We still have no clue what this is, but it seems like the MacGuffin for a future adventure (perhaps Ahsoka season 2 or Dave Filoni’s live-action movie which is rumored to be an Avengers-style crossover featuring all the Mandoverse characters). I continue to wonder about when we will see Thrawn doublecross the Great Mothers. Obviously, Palpatine doublecrossed Mother Talzin, and it seems Thrawn and the Great Mothers might eventually come to cross purposes, with his devotion being to the rise of a new Empire and theirs to the rise of Dathomir. It’s easy to see a road where that leads them to direct conflict. But for now, they remain a strong alliance.
- It was surprising that almost no time was spent with Baylan or Shin in the finale. It honestly feels like they were tacked on at the end, with Shin returning to seemingly take control of the bandits and Baylan still on his quest, although we know little more than we did last week about it.
- The one thing we did learn about what Baylan's up to is that it has something to do with the Mortis gods from the Clone Wars. Baylan is seen standing on a rock sculpture of the Father pointing at a light off on the horizon. Meanwhile, he is flanked by cliffs in the shape of the Son and a headless Daughter. Ray Stevenson’s tragic death complicates Baylan’s incomplete journey. It’s hard to see how they could complete that now, although it’s possible they recast or instead have Shin take over his quest in an audible.
- I appreciated the subtle nods to past Filoni work — whether it be to Kanan Jarrus or even the subtle easter egg of Ahsoka repeating Obi-Wan’s line of trusting in the Force from his Holocron message seen in Rebels. It’s a fitting callback since Ahsoka and Sabine’s future is now very uncertain and they will be challenged but must persevere, as Obi-Wan says in his message.
- Of course, no Star Wars character can ever use the word try without immediately correcting themselves to do in deference to Master Yoda’s famous line.
- One wonders how all of those skeptical New Republic bureaucrats will react upon the return of Ezra, the disappearance of Ahsoka and Sabine and the return of Thrawn. Senator Xiono certainly owes Hera an apology. Also, at this point, how can any of our OG heroes not get involved with such a dire threat looming?
- Anakin continues the trend of Jedi Masters returning at the end of a series to appear before their apprentices. I said last week that I didn’t really NEED to see Anakin again, but I do think it makes sense in storyline, tying back to Ahsoka’s earlier statement that he always stood by her. It certainly also seems to leave open the door for him to return in a second season/future Ahsoka adventure to continue to guide her and support her.
That’s it. Again, there’s been no confirmation of a season 2, but with so many questions left hanging, it feels inevitable that we’ll see Ahsoka, Sabine, et al. again. Overall, this was a very enjoyable series, with Filoni once again proving to be the most successful Star Wars creator of the post-Lucas era. I think most Star Wars fans would be perfectly content if Lucasfilm gave him the keys to the kingdom moving forward, especially after the disastrous end to the sequel trilogy with Rise of Skywalker.
If I had to rank all of the live-action Star Wars series on Disney Plus, I would have to rank this second behind the Obi-Wan series. I know the Obi-Wan series was divisive for some, but for me, it worked and the dynamic between Obi-Wan and young Leia as well as that final duel between Obi-Wan and Vader lifted it to the top of my list. Similarly, I enjoyed the evolution of the Ahsoka-Sabine relationship from wary allies to a strong Master-Padawan duo with a deep bond. The series gave Ahsoka great character growth and allowed her, like Obi-Wan, to unpack her guilt over Anakin’s fall. I thought Rosario Dawson was excellent in the role, portraying well Ahsoka’s ongoing trauma and hardened exterior, but also allowing the animated character’s wit and humor to shine through when it made sense. I also thought Natasha Liu Bordizzo brought it as Sabine, and of course, Lars Mikkelsen did excellent taking Thrawn from animation to live-action, just as Katee Sackhoff did with Bo-Katan in Mandalorian. Ray Stevenson delivered a powerhouse performance, and it’s so sad that he didn’t live to see how well his turn as the former Jedi-turned-mercenary has been received. I can’t wait to see where these loose threads left by this finale lead us.
Hit me up on X at @ByAndySilva to let me know what you thought of the Ahsoka finale and where all these characters are left at moving forward. May the Force be with you!