Wednesday, September 27, 2023

REVIEW: 'Ahsoka' - Ahsoka Fights to Locate Her Allies While Hera Defends Her Actions in 'Part Seven: Dreams and Madness'

Disney+'s Ahsoka - Episode 1.07 "Part Seven: Dreams and Madness"

Hera must answer to the New Republic, while far, far away, a reunion takes place.

"Part Seven: Dreams and Madness" was written by Dave Filoni and directed by Geeta Patel

Time is running out. The New Republic can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best now. The leaders have no idea what's happening in a galaxy far, far away. Thrawn's return may be imminent. Some Senators have the lack of imagination to believe it's even possible. His allies believed it to be true. The audience has that clarity. As such, it's easy to hate Senator Xiono as he advocates for Hera's dismissal for insubordination. Similarly, it's easy to love the appearance of C-3PO carrying a message from Leia. She carries enough influence to retroactively authorize Hera's mission. That's good but time is still wasted having these arguments. Thrawn is carefully counting down the remaining hours until his return to conquer their galaxy.

Time is limited for Ahsoka too. She's catching up to everything that has happened on Peridea. Morgan is preparing her ship for Thrawn's departure. Sabine found Ezra. Baylon and Shin are closing in on their targets. This battle between good and evil must occur. It can't be disrupted. Baylon wields an incredible amount of power by seeing beyond this conflict. He recognizes Shin's ambition for power doesn't align with his goals in this distant galaxy. She deserves her rightful place at the top of the resurgent Empire. However, she's more alone in this conflict than she realized. Yes, Thrawn provides reinforcements. That overpowers Sabine and Ezra quickly. But Ahsoka can only be kept off the battlefield for so long. Her connection to the Force is strong. Huyang questions if her bond with Sabine is powerful enough to locate her. It is. They may have their differences but they still rely on each other throughout every stage of this battle. That trust can't be broken now.

No one needs to win right now either. The storytelling focuses on the reunions and bringing the pieces together for the finale. Thrawn creates his entire plan for Ahsoka based on knowing Anakin Skywalker trained her. Ahsoka still honors those teachings. She trains alongside the final message Anakin left for her. That's an analog way for that connection to still be honored. The Force links them even beyond death. Ahsoka rallied back to life to complete this unfinished business. She had to rescue Sabine and Ezra while preventing Thrawn from returning. The galaxy is too fragile to handle that imposing threat. It's a battle of wits and strategy between Thrawn and Ahsoka. They each have influential tools that allow them to prevail for now. Time is still running out. It doesn't matter to Thrawn if anyone gets left behind on Peridea. That's inconsequential.

Ezra leads with certainty that he's bound to return home. Sabine is tentative about sharing any details of how she arrived. Moreover, she fears Ahsoka was killed. She can't bear all the brutal decisions she made to make this moment happen. Ezra is grateful. He never doubted his friends. He's glad the resistance ultimately succeeded. Many Imperial loyalists remain. They are coordinating their efforts. It serves no one to be in the dark about the realities of this life. Sabine is honest once the situation requires her to be. Ezra needs to know what he's facing when Shin enters the battlefield. Even then, the Force is the only weapon he needs to protect his friends. The lightsaber he gave to Sabine belongs to her now. She must move seamlessly between her Jedi training and Mandalorian instincts. Ahsoka took her on as her apprentice. They didn't accomplish much during that time together. The distinction still matters. It signifies Sabine as coming from the same lineage as Ahsoka - the greatest Jedi engaged in this current conflict.

Trust remains amongst all of these allies. Ahsoka knows Huyang will perfect the timing required to make her approach on the ground while escaping Baylon. The droid succeeds. Moreover, Thrawn sees the brutal reality of Baylon staying removed from the current battlefield. That changes his calculus immediately. Baylon offered a sense of legitimacy. He could be trusted with this consequential task. Shin remains unproven. She's still volatile with her emotions. As such, it has to be satisfactory enough to delay Ahsoka from impeding any progress for Thrawn's escape. Time still remains for the transfer to Morgan's ship to be disrupted. It's not without risks. However, it's more sweeping and rewarding as Ahsoka embraces Ezra. They both traveled to this world through the support of the Purrgil. Those creatures were targeted. Their protection could only be extended for so long. Now, it's a battle for survival. Only one side is capable of returning to the galaxy they've always known. No one sees a future in the wasteland of Peridea. Baylon is the sole exception. His motives remain unknown. He's certain of the path though. 

Meanwhile, Ahsoka reaches out with acceptance towards Shin. She sees the conflict within her. It's not in Shin's nature to acknowledge that. Instead, she retreats alongside the rest of her allies. This is the side she has chosen. She can't change that now. Ahsoka senses the turmoil. Shin isn't gone for good. She has the capacity to wield the other side of the Force. That's a missed opportunity for now. Shin embarks on her own path. It's one she remains committed to even though it may blind her to everything. Her impatience will lead to certain defeat. Baylon fears that. It's a significant message to carry. The rebels fought for years to overthrow the Empire. They succeeded. They can't callously believe they will always remain in power. Good governance has to be something they continually fight for. Ahsoka and Sabine are risking everything. Their allies at home don't know if those sacrifices will matter. They don't know what fate will possibly emerge. They can't live in fear. Right now though, it's the great unknown. Thrawn seems one step ahead. That's what makes him a formidable adversary without ever having to enter the battlefield once. He hasn't lost that touch. He hasn't escaped yet either. He assumes that's inevitable. The story isn't finished. Ahsoka remains unpredictable. That's the only energy that could disrupt his plans. He knows it. Now, she must execute her grand ambition to own the final chapter of this story.