Ahsoka dropped its third episode on Tuesday night and while it was low-key at the start, we got plenty of action in an extended space dog fight near the end as well as further development in Ahsoka and Sabine’s relationship and the latter’s Jedi training. Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from “Time to Fly.”
Ahsoka was in fine form this week, not only teaching Sabine but also being a straight-up badass in space — showcasing the influences of her own master and grandmaster.
Last week, I noted that we had never really seen Ahsoka as a teacher before, but this week we got a steady dose of it and she seemed to do quite well! Throughout her training of Sabine, Ahsoka reminded me quite a bit of Obi-Wan — patient and mild, encouraging while also challenging and not letting Sabine take any easy way out when she became frustrated by her lack of success.
It’s hard to ignore the connection to Obi-Wan and Luke’s training in A New Hope when Ahsoka has Sabine put on a visor and attempt to duel with her. Sabine even has the near-verbatim quote of “I can’t see, how am I supposed to fight,” while Ahsoka’s reasoning of wanting Sabine to see with more than just her eyes is definitely evocative of her grandmaster telling Luke to let go of his conscious self. Ahsoka’s advice to Sabine that she’s training her body but must also open her mind as well as saying that in wielding the force definitely sounded like something Obi-Wan would have said.
Ahsoka also lifts up Sabine, telling her she did well, but at the same time challenges her — the line about not everyone having the discipline to master the ways of the Force while casually calling a cup to her and taking a sip was definitely a fun moment.
Then even during their dogfight in space, Ahsoka attempts to impart a lesson to Sabine, telling her she has to learn to anticipate all the while offering her encouragement.
Speaking of that dogfight, Ahsoka going out onto the wing with her lightsabers to distract the enemy and then actually taking out one of the fighters is definitely something I could see Anakin doing during the Clone Wars. It will be interesting to see what other echoes of her master we see come into play going forward, especially in light of an expected appearance in some form by the Chosen One.
In the course of Sabine’s training, we also see bridges being rebuilt between master and apprentice.
After largely seeming cool and skeptical toward Sabine in last week’s two episodes, Ahsoka was much warmer this week. Last week, Ahsoka was skeptical about resuming Sabine’s training, but this week she seemed undaunted by Sabine’s limited success and slow progress. She compliments her, calling her a fast learner, and encourages her rather than focusing on failures as she did when Sabine lost the map.
In fact, it seems almost like Ahsoka and Huyang have swapped places. Where last week Huyang was playing matchmaker with Ahsoka and Sabine and pushing Sabine to come back, this week he was far more skeptical. When Huyang once again asserts that the Jedi Order would never have allowed Sabine to be a padawan candidate, Ahsoka takes a jab at their standards, noting that they failed (perhaps showing her continued resentment at the way she was treated during the Jedi Temple Bombing arc on Clone Wars). Ahsoka also tells Huyang that she doesn’t need Sabine to be a Jedi, just herself.
We also see Ahsoka and Sabine get back in the groove when it comes to fighting together during the dogfight in the Denab system. Their tandem fighting works well, and the duo easily communicate with each other during the stress of battle. It’s clear that even with time apart, they remain well-tuned to each other's thoughts and tendencies, even if there is a brief jab from Sabine about Ahsoka removing her presets on the tailgun.
The master/apprentice duo work together to overcome odds that aren’t in their favor and to survive briefly being dead in space amid their enemies. We also seen Sabine genuinely concerned when it appears as though Ahsoka may have been killed while out on the wing in space. All in all, solid progress was made this week on rebuilding their relationship
On the other side of the equation, we continued to see that perhaps all is not well between Morgan Elsbeth and her allies.
I noted last week that Shin seemed at least somewhat cautious and wary of working with the Nightsister, and this week those fissures were laid bare. Elsbeth coolly chastises Shin and her fighters for allowing Ahsoka and Sabine to get so close to her in-development hyperspace ring before announcing that she will handle it, almost in the way a parent would scold a child for not completing a chore before doing the task themselves. Shin gives it right back, however, when she congratulates Morgan for almost destroying Ahsoka’s ship. The baddies might be aligned for now, but it seems to be a very tenuous alliance to say the least.
Meanwhile, over on the New Republic side, we meet Senator Xiano, who appears to have no love lost with Hera (with the feelings being mutual). Xiano is particularly antagonistic from the start, quickly putting an end to the small talk Chancellor Mothma makes with old friend Hera. Xiano outright accuses Hera of looking to use New Republic funds to aid in her personal quest to find Ezra Bridger, with the threat of Thrawn’s return a convenient excuse. She fires back by pointedly asking Xiano if he was ever part of the war against the Empire and when he says no, she asks if he was just waiting to see which side came out on top.
Xiano ultimately gets her goad by reasserting his belief that both Thrawn and Ezra, brave and heroic as he may have been, are dead. This lead Hera to lose her cool, potentially undercutting her request to send a task force to the Denab system to assist Ahsoka and Sabine with their investigation. Something tells me this won’t be the last time we see Xiano as a thorn in the side of our heroes.
New Republic Naivete
Speaking of the New Republic, we continue to see its complacency and naivete.
Members of the Senate committee seem to underestimate the ongoing threat of the Imperial remnant, with one noting that their fleet is scattered and without central command. Most of the members, with the possible exception of Chancellor Mothma, seem closed-minded to the notion that Thrawn could still be alive, despite no one actually seeing his death.
And once again, while acknowledging that there are former Imperials at every level of the government, it’s cool because they took an “oath of loyalty” to the New Republic and the recent arrests just represent outliers. This led to a great one-liner from Hera about “Long Live The Empire” not being the kind of loyalty they were looking for.
The Senate committee seems to be willing to put its head in the sand to avoid another war. One of the senators notes that the citizens of the New Republic do not want more fighting, and are unmoved by Hera’s plea that they may not have a choice and that she’s spent most of her life fighting and actually wants to prevent another war by nipping the threat in the bud before it can grow into a bigger problem.
Once again, we see how the New Republic was destined to fail almost from the start.
- Hera’s son Jacen makes his live-action debut, asking about “Aunt Sabine” becoming a Jedi. Upon being told by Jacen that he wants to be a Jedi too, Hera looks at him fondly (surely thinking about his Jedi father) and says she knows he does. A few of the ads talked about a new Jedi rising. Could that Jedi by Jacen? And could the show be setting him up to be a returned Ezra’s padawan, completing the circle of Kanan’s one-time padawan passing on his teachings to the son he would never meet, connecting father and son.
- We get several references to Sabine’s Mandalorian heritage, with Ahsoka noting that her aptitude for weapons is thanks to her upbringing. However, she notes that she will need more than those skills to defeat their enemies. Huyang also notes that there have been few Mandalorian Jedi, so it will be interesting to see how those seemingly disparate aspects within Sabine affect her training.
- Speaking of Kanan, it felt like a missed opportunity to reference him when Ahsoka was instructing Sabine about seeing with more than just her eyes since he did that for the final two seasons of Rebels after being blinded by Maul.
- While not a protocol droid himself, Huyang has the most affinity for it of any droid this side of C-3PO.
- Huyang points out that perhaps Sabine fits in with Ahsoka’s lineage of non-traditional Jedi, harkening back to Dooku, Qui-Gon, Anakin and even Master Yoda himself as the head of this lineage.
- Unlike past Force users like Chirrut from Rogue One who repeated the mantra, “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me,” Sabine says a variation when she attempts to wield the Force to move the cup on the table. She says “The Force is in all of us,” which is similar to a line of thinking in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi which in claiming that Rey came from nowhere and had unremarkable parents made it seem possible for anyone to be a Jedi. It will be interesting to see where this line of thinking goes moving forward in the series.
- We also got the live-action debut of purrgil, the very creatures who aided Ezra in defeating Thrawn in the Battle of Lothal. The fact that the Jedi archives suggested that there was intergalactic travel lanes along the migration pattern of the purrgil and the immense nature of Morgan’s hyperspace ring, we’re inching closer to the plan to bring Thrawn, and perhaps Ezra, back from unknown space.
Well, that’s it. Another excellent episode that has me excited for what’s to come. Hit me up on X at @ByAndySilva to let me know what you thought of “Time To Fly” and how excited you are for where the series might go.