At the end of the premiere, Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) found herself on the receiving end of a pretty serious lightsaber wound. Fortunately, Ahsoka’s second episode wastes very little time assuring its audiences that the plucky rebel will be just fine. Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) seems frustrated that the star map was stolen by Baylan’s (Ray Stevenson) apprentice Shin (Ivanna Sakhno), but she also seems somewhat concerned about Sabine’s wellbeing—even if the theft was due to Sabine disobeying direct orders. Unfortunately, not only did Shin take the star map, but she stole away with the unlocked star map and ensured that the droids destroyed all of Sabine’s notes about what the map revealed.
Steph Green—who directed one of the strongest episodes of The Book of Boba Fett—returns to the director’s chair for “Toil and Trouble,” and the marked difference between her style of direction, versus Dave Filoni’s, is felt almost immediately. Green has a way of making even her most mundane scenes feel dynamic, in part because of the way she crafts her scenes, but also due to the lens through which she views the galaxy. Scenes are not left to feel static or disconnected from the bigger picture, and editing feels crisper and more fast-paced.
While Baylan and Shin are one step closer to finding Thrawn on the far-off planet of Seatos, Ahsoka is focused on luring one of the droids back to Sabine’s home on Lothal. With the droid’s severed head in hand, Ahsoka lets Sabine try to crack into its memory banks to recover vital information about where Shin absconded to. While she nearly causes it to implode, Sabine is able to discover that the droid originally hailed from Corellia—a location where Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) once harbored her resources, before the fall of the Empire.
‘Ahsoka’ Episode 2 Focuses More on the Hunt for Thrawn
Before the episode follows Ahsoka on her journey to Corellia, it lingers on Sabine — who is out of commission for the better part of the episode. Sabine and Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) discuss the uncomfortable tension between the former master and apprentice, noting that it has been a few years since the last time their paths crossed. This small comment further compounds some of the issues with Episode 1, namely that the timeline seems somewhat skewed and purposefully obfuscated with Ahsoka. It has been “several years” since Ezra Bridger’s sacrifice and “years” since Ahsoka trained Sabine, yet that broad timeline doesn’t necessarily work with established events. Despite Ahsoka’s insistence that she doesn’t need help, Hera is convinced that she does need help—pushing Sabine to offer her assistance as soon as she’s healed up.
Back on Seatos, Morgan Elsbeth arrives to investigate what Baylan and Shin discovered. With the star map unlocked, Morgan is able to uncover the location of where Grand Admiral Thrawn has been banished. Baylan refers to it as the “Pathway to Peridea,” though Morgan indicates that only some people call it that. Bayaln goes on to explain that the children at the Jedi Temple were the ones to call it “Pathway to Peridea,” pulling the name from old fairytales and stories. Morgan asserts that Thrawn is calling to her across time and space, calling back to Star Wars Rebels, which established that Thrawn and Ezra Bridger are in the World Between Worlds. Shin seems uncertain about what will happen once they locate Thrawn, but Baylan assures her that once he is located they will receive power like never before. As Episode 1 established, her master and apprentice dynamic has been set up as a foil to Ahsoka and Sabine, so perhaps this is setting up seeds of doubt in Shin.
On Corellia, Ahsoka and Hera arrive to investigate Morgan’s facilities—and unsurprisingly they are met with a bureaucratic mess and dubious politics from former Imperial sympathizers. Ahsoka is a far cry from what Andor sought to do with its lush exploration of the galaxy’s political intrigue, but this did prove to be a compelling aspect of the episode. While the “Mandoverse” series will likely never live up to the prestige of Andor, and its biting critique and examination of the galaxy, at least Ahsoka acknowledges the turmoil in the post-Empire era.
‘Ahsoka’ Episode 2 Sheds More Light on Ahsoka and Sabine’s Strained Relationship
As they venture out to Morgan’s abandoned facility, Hera tries her best to convince Ahsoka to take Sabine on as her apprentice again, though Ahsoka seems hesitant to go down that path once more. Whether Ahsoka’s resume training Sabine is rooted in a fear of repeating old cycles of trauma or a genuine doubt in Sabine’s skills, it’s not clear yet. Sabine, however, has made her own mind up about what went down between her and her former master. During a conversation with Huyang, Sabine reveals that it was Ahsoka who abandoned her training, seemingly without cause, leaving Sabine with a pretty big chip on her shoulder. Huyang attempts to assure her that Ahsoka really did want and need her help with the star map, but Sabine is quite convinced that the only reason why she was made aware of the search for Ezra was because of Hera. Huyang is excellent at playing devil’s advocate—or being “logical” as he boasts—by reminding Sabine that she never indicated that she wanted to return to training. He also employs a little tough love by telling her she wasn’t a very good student or as skilled as Ezra, but he wraps it in a reminder that essentially the only way to get better is to actually try.
Once again, Ahsoka loses sight of what could be a really thrilling lightsaber battle for Ahsoka by setting her fight with the Inquisitor Marrok (Paul Darnell) against a near-white skyline that matches the color of her lightsaber blades. Marrok is quite the mysterious character in his own right, as his helmet and lack of dialogue obscure his true identity. This character will undoubtedly spawn a dozen well-formulated theories, though it’s unclear—as of yet— if Filoni aims to take the predictable route with the character. While his duel with Ahsoka isn’t as thrilling as it could be because of the color choices, at least Hera’s fancy footwork in the sky (which ensures they can track Shin’s vessel) makes up for it. Her ace piloting is made even sweeter due to everyone’s favorite murder droid Chopper causing a little mayhem along the way.
Back on Lothal, Sabine pulls her Mandalorian armor out of storage and mulls over the decision to chop off her hair and return to who she once was. Unlike the Mandalorians that The Mandalorian introduced to casual fans, her clan is dissimilar from both Din’s and Bo-Katan’s. Still, her dual-colored hair won’t fit in her helmet without her sheering off a decent chunk of it. Ahsoka seems as though she expected this turn of events when she climbs aboard her vessel and cues up Sabine’s message to her. In the end, Hera was right—they both needed each other, even if their history is still clouded in mystery about what went wrong. Before setting off on her new mission with Ahsoka to track Shin’s vessel down to Seatos, Sabine visits the mural of the Ghost’s crew and studies Ezra for a long moment. For fans of Rebels, this moment will feel special and steeped in a history that only they know, but for casual fans, the show hasn’t fully established why the audience should care about Ezra.
Aboard the Eye of Sion, Morgan reveals that they are nearly done outfitting the starship with new hyperdrives that can get them to Thrawn’s location. Their victory is undercut by the knowledge that Ahsoka is determined to track them down—a fact that seems to be bothering Baylan. Shin is convinced that they made a clean getaway, but Baylan can sense that Ahsoka is on their trail. The final moments of the episode are neatly designed to make you want to hit play on the next, but fans will have to wait another week to see what happens when Ahsoka and Sabine track down their foils in the Force.
While the premiere meandered quite a bit, Episode 2 is the epitome of the “this where the fun begins” meme. Much of that can be credited to Green, whose directing never fails to elevate what’s on the page, but it is also owed to Winstead having a larger presence in the episode, alongside Bordizzo. Both actresses are the shining beacons of the series, and it’s their performances that will lure newcomers to Star Wars Rebels.
The first two episodes of Ahsoka are streaming now on Disney+.