“You can change who you are, but you cannot run from yourself.”
Last week, after staging a daring prison break, Ahsoka, Rafa, and Trace found themselves back in prison, right where they started. It’s not Ahsoka’s only problem as things are getting dicier and the stakes are getting higher, she's using her powers more recklessly, risking revealing her Jedi past.
And what does the sudden appearance of Bo-Katan and a pair of Mandalorian Resistance fighter’s mean? They didn’t say much the first time out but I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more this week.
Believing they are better without her, Ahsoka makes a deal to free the Martez sisters and soon attempts her own escape, but she is left reeling from the discovery of the true mastermind behind the Pyke spice operation.
Like I said, this week starts off exactly where last week did, with the three of them in a Pyke prison cell arguing about who’s to blame. Rafa tells Trace that ever since Ahsoka showed up, things haven’t been the same between them.
After some back-and-forth between the sisters, Ahsoka comes to a decision and tells them she has a plan, and to trust her. She asks for an audience with Marg Krim, saying she wants to cut a deal. The idea involves letting the sisters go and retrieve the spice they apparently have hidden; she offers information on their families as collateral. In return, Ahsoka only asks for her cut in the deal, should they return.
Krim agrees, giving the sisters one rotation (one day) to return with the spice or he’ll torture Ahsoka and kill their families. Fife senses the deception but Krim says he doesn’t have much of a choice, eluding they answer to a more powerful, more dangerous master.
Trace doesn’t understand what’s going on with Ahsoka, why she would say such things about their “family”, knowing they don’t have one. But Rafa tells her it’s clear this is part of the plan to get the sisters to safety, sacrificing herself in the process.
Rafa has a plan of her own, to rescue Ahsoka, but first they must get some actual spice. As they leave in the Silver Angel, Bo-Katan and her comrades are watching from a distance, seeing how things unfold. Ursa Wren mentions Ahsoka isn’t aboard and Katan tells them to keep an eye out for her.
The sister’s pull a U-Turn and head back with Rafa coning their way to a landing pad, claiming to be there for a last-minute spice order. They have a funny encounter with a Toong worker on the ground, voiced by Josh Brener aka “Neeku”. It’s not actually Neeku of course but you’ll recognize the voice immediately. Anyways, Rafa pulls a fast one on him and they begin to load the spice.
Back in the prison and now on her own, Ahsoka is free to use her Force powers, getting out of the cell and into the common areas with ease. Along the way, she finds an armory room and grabs some detonators, planning on doing some damage on the way out.
As she’s working her way around the prison/manufacturing facility planting detonators, she happens upon Krim having a conversation with a holo-image. Any guesses who it is? If you guessed Maul, then you’d be right!
Yes, the leader of Crimson Dawn/Shadow Collective has made his first appearance this season and is coming down on Krim for another delay. Apparently, Maul likes to keep a tight schedule, and threatens to have Crimson Dawn take over the Pyke operation.
*Side note, this is the earliest mention of Maul’s connection to “Crimson Dawn” in the timeline.
And speaking of timelines, it’s thorny. Placing this arc gets tricky as it overlaps with the later half of “Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir” and certain parts of the “Dark Disciple” novel. The Pyke’s role in this is critical in understanding where things place, but ultimately, my suggestion is not to get too caught up in it as it can be headache inducing. Really, the most important facts are this, by the time “The Siege of Mandalore” starts, Maul is on Mandalore and the Shadow Collective has collapsed, minus Death Watch.
Anyway, as Maul is threatening Krim it looks like he spots Ahsoka out of the corner of his eye and takes notice. He suddenly cuts the conversation short and says, “I have things to attend to other than your incompetence...”
I assume he means finalizing his plans which are depicted in the second half of “Son of Dathomir”, but again, I digress. You can see here that the seeds of the Pyke’s leaving the Shadow Collective have begun to take root here, as poor Fife expresses major concerns with this alliance and Maul.
We must remember, the Pyke’s stake in this whole scheme, similar to Black Sun, is territory, lanes, and money. It’s not the personal vendetta Maul is all-consumed with and they don’t share his passion for reprisal against Sidious or the Jedi.
The guards show up and inform Krim and Fife that Ahsoka has escaped so the heat is dialed up on her. Here we get one of the big answers to a few of the questions I posed that not long ago, how Ahsoka finds out Maul was on Mandalore.
While avoiding capture she comes across a computer terminal and brings up the transmission log, to find out were Maul was transmitting from. She learns, something we of course already knew, that Maul is on Mandalore, she just doesn’t know why yet. Not long after, the guards locate her position, overwhelming her, but not before she takes a few of them out.
Krim recognizes her as a Jedi now, and asks if she and the sisters were sent by the Republic. He plans on executing her. Rafa and Trace, while almost getting busted for scamming the spice, do make it away safely with the cargo after a tussle with the Trandoshan manager (Tom Root). They head back to Oba Diah to get Ahsoka, and just in time.
They interrupt Krim nearly executing Ahsoka and it’s here they find out the truth about her past. They are a mixed bag of emotions, hurt, surprised, angry. Their biggest issue seems to be the fact that Ahsoka didn’t trust them enough to tell them earlier.
Ahsoka and Trace have a funny exchange…
“I was trained, and then I left”
“You can do that?”
They are getting hauled away just as the detonators go off causing a distraction, which allows them to escape and make it to the Silver Angel.
With three Pyke patrol ships in immediate pursuit, Ahsoka takes control of the gun and manages to shoot two of them down. For the third and final, Trace does some fancy flying opting for a game of chicken, which they win.
As they head into space, plotting a course back to Coruscant, Bo-Katan and her Gauntlet Kom'rk-class fighter appears, punching in the same coordinates.
Back home and safe in the Martez hangar, the three of them discuss Ahsoka’s plans and the fact that she’s a former-Jedi. Both Rafa and Trace understand that everything she did, was for their own good and that without her help, things would’ve turned out much differently.
For her part, Rafa has made peace with the Jedi, holding Ahsoka as the type of person they should all strive to be. But the nice moment is interrupted by Bo-Katan who offers a deal to Ahsoka…
“So, you remember me? Don’t worry, Death Watch is gone. And now, you and I have a common enemy. I need your help; once we’re under way I’ll explain everything.”
She holds up a holo-image of Maul which gets Ahsoka’s attention, and she gives her five minutes to decide. Ahsoka is concerned that going down that path again will lead her back to the Jedi, back to Anakin. Both sisters talk her into it, saying it’s what she’s meant to do.
So, Ahsoka grabs her things and goes to the gauntlet, and in a bit of a callback to the Star War Rebels epilogue, Ahsoka boards Bo-Katan’s ship and they take off.
Even though some of the key moments were rushed, for me, this was a great episode and a fine way to end the arc. A little strange the Martez sisters didn’t get to leave Coruscant, which was their dream initially, but with a renewed faith in the Jedi, perhaps they’ll just make the best of it?
One of those rushed moments for me was the reunion between Ahsoka and Bo-Katan, something we’ve been waiting to see for a long, long time. But, as the minutes and seconds ticked away, I knew it was going to be a short reunification.
I have no doubt we’ll get some quality time between the two on Katan’s gauntlet as she lays it all out for Ahsoka. I’m also hoping we see the other two Mandalorians sans helmet, learning their identities. One of them is Ursa Wren; we know that from the credits, but the other? I’ve seen folks guessing the third is the Armorer (Emily Swallow) from “The Mandalorian”, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.
The way she refers to Jedi as “wizards” seems a little idiomatic to me, not indicative of someone who has actually met one. No, the Armorer’s experience with Jedi is learned, not experienced. At least, that’s what I think anyways. I’d put money on Soniee or Lagos.
As for Katan’s comment, “Death Watch is gone”, that’s symbolically true as the members of the group that sided with Maul and remained on Mandalore, became the “Marauders”. The rest chose to side with Bo-Katan and the “Mandalore Resistance”
The other rushed bit was the sisters learning about Ahsoka’s past. Such a huge part of their backstory was their mistrust of the Jedi, partly blaming them for the death of their parents. It’s the reason they are where they are in life and one of the reasons they wanted off Coruscant.
So, for me, they came around on Ahsoka’s past a little too quickly and I would like to have seen it explored a bit more. At one point, Rafa asks Ahsoka why she didn’t tell them in the prison cell, when they were alone, and I can’t help but think she’s right! But they were busy trying to not be executed so, it is what it is.
As I mentioned, this arc references not only other TCW arcs/episodes, but has direct ties to “Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir” and “Dark Disciple” It’s in “Son of Dathomir” where the Pyke’s finally leave the Collective, having had enough of Maul's crazed behaviour and sensing defeat.
But, as far as this arc goes, with both Marg Krim and Fife being alive and still in the Collective, you get an idea of where this places in the timeline. And since the Pyke’s don’t play a role in the “Siege”, other than being absent, tracking Maul’s journey to his last time on Mandalore should be easy enough.
Indeed, if you just focus on Maul and Ahsoka, which is the point, then the entire picture becomes much clearer. The comings and goings of the other crime syndicates are important, but not vital to the “Siege”
As for Ahsoka, whether you liked this arc or not, these are important and delicate stages in the Togrutan’s maturity process, and vital in building her up to the warrior we know she becomes. Recently, when talking to CBR, Ashley Eckstein had this to say about these four episodes…
“But I will tell you these four episodes are so important because Ahsoka has to go through that before she can jump into the Siege of Mandalore, we need to see that part of her journey.”
Now that she’s teamed up with Bo-Katan, who will instill in her a warrior’s instinct, Ahsoka can get to that level she’ll need to be at in order to effectively go up against Maul.
Speaking of Maul, next week we have the first episode of “The Siege of Mandalore” arc with the episode “Old Friends Not Forgotten” …
Anakin and Obi-Wan must decide whether to help Ahsoka pursue Maul or rescue Palpatine.
So, it’s clear that whatever Bo-Katan tells Ahsoka, it’s enough to get her to join the cause. Their motivations for defeating Maul and taking back Mandalore will of course be different as Bo-Katan has very personal reasons that Ahsoka just doesn’t have.
And as far as Anakin and Obi-Wan are concerned, we know that they choose the latter, opting to rescue Palpatine as seen in “Revenge of the Sith” But not before Anakin leaves Rex and his 501st behind to help Ahsoka with her quest.
We’ve seen some of these moments in the trailer but starting next week, we’ll get the real thing.
It’s a great time to be a Star Wars fan!
Till next time…MTFBWY.
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5/23 - Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention (1987)
5/23 - Barrie Holland
5/24 - Star Wars Celebration IV (2007)
5/25 - Frank Oz
5/25 - Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (1977)
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5/27 - Michonne Bourriague
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