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‘Toll and Trouble’ expands upon ‘Ahsoka’ to build lore in a shade of Star Wars gray

There is still tension between Ahsoka and Sabine, but Morgan inches closer to finding Thrawn’s location.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Can you ultimately defeat the Empire? The sequel trilogy and the onset of The First Order would tell us that might not be an achievable feat. It feels exhausting to know there will always be something or someone ready to take over the nefarious mantle others have left behind. That’s one of the main themes within Ahsoka’s second part, ‘Toil and Trouble,’ as all roads lead to Thrawn and his whereabouts.

Thrawn isn’t force-sensitive, but his intellect and ruthlessness are qualities that could fill the space left behind by the Emperor/Darth Sidious. Not only that, there is the matter of loyalists working in all pockets of the government who are actively working towards the day some figure will come and battle the rebels. We see this with Ahsoka and Hera investigating Morgan’s old shipyard and finding out it wasn’t shut down like it was supposed to. In fact, they are working on a hyperdrive to complete the Eye of Sion – the thing that will take Morgan, Baylan, and Shin to Thrawn.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

A couple of things are said in these exchanges that may hint at the partial degradation of The New Republic. When Ahsoka and Hera question the Director, he states that the average worker cares about wages, not politics. Ahsoka follows that later, saying it’s not the Empire driving people; it’s greed. In Star Wars lore, we always talk about the pull of the Dark Side of the Force and what that can do on a Jedi level. With shows like Andor, we see evil in another sense – just on a basic human level.

You can have people at the top, but if there are always willing participants to push their messages forward in the slight promise of wealth and social standing, things will never get better. Baylan Skoll speaks to Morgan and addresses his concern with Ahsoka’s resolve, but shows regret in possibly killing her – “there are so few Jedi left.” However, the promise of unlimited power (in the best Darth Sidious voice) has placed him on a path of no return.

‘Toil and Trouble’ also serves where Ahsoka and Sabine continue to try to patch things up. Hera urges Ahsoka to give Sabine another shot, but Ahsoka has been uncharacteristically cold throughout these two episodes. I’m not sure if it’s due to what happened between them or because she lost Anakin and saw what he became that’s doing it. It’s one of the characterization points I look forward to developing in future episodes.

Poor Sabine! She wants to be of help, and Hera sees that. It’s why she’s going to bat for her. Huyang (voiced by David Tenant) gives her tough love advice. Everything that Sabine says about her training – whether it be about Ahsoka abandoning her, the lightsaber being Ezra’s and not hers, and Ahsoka’s unwillingness to train her, Huyang won’t have it. The droid urges her to move forward. He also states she’s one of the worst Padawans he’s come across – despite that, she should try anyway.

Sabine is not force-sensitive, and Ahsoka mentions she’s not ready. What does being ready mean in terms of someone like Sabine? I’m unsure because this opens up a whole line of questioning about what The Force means and who can yield lightsabers. They put their quarrels to the side in a scene that mirrors the finale of Rebels and set off to intercept Morgan and possibly find Ezra in the process. There’s still more to this story that I’m sure we’ll get from conventional conversation paired with flashbacks.

‘Toil and Trouble’ wasn’t all foreboding doom. It was a delight to see Hera and her expressive droid, Chopper, interact with one another in a live-action sense. Please give us more of this; I’m sure Dave Filoni will. In two episodes of Ahsoka, we’ve taken our time and set the stage. But there is still some work to do regarding some new lore that has been introduced. What is the Pathway to Peridea, and who are these visitors from other galaxies?

Star Wars is at its best when trying to expand upon its base with new perspectives and stories – not just building upon already built foundations. At least in it’s beginning, Ahsoka is looking to do just that.