The Spool / Recap
The New Republic clings to denialism in the face of mounting evidence in Ahsoka’s third episode
"Time to Fly" keeps things moving, but might be failing to makes its case to viewers, not just Senators.

“Time to Fly” keeps things moving, but might be failing to makes its case to viewers, not just Senators.

This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, the works being covered here wouldn’t exist.


Hello friends! Welcome back to Ahsoka

This week’s entry, “Time to Fly,” is a slim little entry at 37 minutes. I can only assume writer Dave Filoni was missing Rebels. Regardless of length, though, it’s an action-filled good time.  

In hyperspace, on their way to the Denab System, Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) does lightsaber training with Huyang (David Tennant). She’s…not great. Based on this and Din Djarin’s poor showing with the Darksaber, it doesn’t seem like Mandalorians spend a lot of time training with swords of any kind. Or maybe those two are just bad examples. 

Ahsoka Part 3 (Disney+)
Despite looking a bit green around the gills, Mary Elizabeth Winstead argues a good case for intervention. (Lucasfilm, Ltd)

Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) enters and learns, to her annoyance, that Huyang has fully told Sabine she’s one of the worst potential Jedi he has ever seen. Given that Huyang is thousands of years old, this is a deep burn. In response, Ahsoka gives Sabine a visor to block her vision and duels her. Sabine pulls it together somewhat by the end, but she clearly has a long way to go.  

Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) returns to the New Republic fleet to have a hologram meeting with Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and some assorted Senators. Among them is one Senator Xiono (Nelson Lee), a real pill. Hera lays out what happened at Morgan Elsbeth’s factory on Corellia, but the Senators are eager to declare those Imperial Loyalists outliers and wrap the whole topic up. Hera thinks these Loyalists speak to a more significant problem, one we’ve seen previously on The Mandalorian. In particular, she’s speaking to the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Unfortunately, Xiono thinks Hera is creating an excuse to use New Republic resources to search for Ezra Bridger. Xiono declares that both Thrawn and Ezra are most likely dead. Surely, the man the Empire found randomly living in space could never survive randomly in space once again.  

Hera excuses herself as the committee discusses her requests. Alas, we learn later they refused to send any aid for Ahsoka and Sabine. The New Republic is so very eager to bury its head in the sand and ignore the obvious signs that the Empire isn’t truly dead. Every pocket of Loyalists they write off as a fluke. 

The show demonstrates the deficit of introducing characters into live action who primarily have existed purely in cartoons or books.

Meanwhile, as viewers learned in The Mandalorian, a full council of Imperial officers are still out there carrying the torch. One in particular has a child growing up with some very unseemly values. The creation of the First Order didn’t happen in a vacuum. It shouldn’t have surprised a soul. But the New Republic embraced denialism.

In the hall, Hera runs into her son Jacen Syndulla (Evan Whitten), a green-haired little guy who wistfully tells his mother of his desire to become a Jedi. To answer some quick questions about Jacen: Yes, he’s Hera’s biological son; the green hair represents his Twi’lek side. His father was Kanan Jarrus, who died back on Rebels before learning that Hera was pregnant. Kanan was also a Jedi.  

Back on the ship, Sabine sulks at a kitchen table. Soon, Ahsoka joins her. Sabine acknowledges she doesn’t have the Force. While Ahsoka asserts the Force is in everything, she admits talent helps. Ahsoka Force-slides a mug over to take a drink and encourages Sabine to start small. She returns to the cockpit where Huyang, less optimistic about Sabine’s chances, points out that very few Mandalorians have been Jedi. Nonetheless, he muses, Ahsoka herself comes from a long line of non-traditional Jedi. Perhaps, he allows, she may see something in Sabine he simply can’t.

Ahsoka Part 3 (Disney+)
Natasha Liu Bordizzo looks to Rosario Dawson. (Lucasfilm, Ltd)

Ahsoka calls Sabine to the cockpit to receive Hera’s comm, interrupting the student’s unsuccessful attempts to move a cup. Alas, before they can get the bad news, they enter the Denab System, disconnecting the call. In short order, they encounter Morgan’s giant hyperspace ring and a collection of fighters led by Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and current Internet Mystery Man Marrok (Paul Darnell).  

Despite Shin’s best attempts, Ahsoka and crew get close to the hyperspace ring, where Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) also fires upon them. Shin gives Morgan some attitude, smugly revealing they’ve survived and can handle Ahsoka, et al. There’s a lot of tension between those two. Frankly, I don’t know how much time Thrawn will have for it. 

After realizing they’re badly damaged and outnumbered, Ahsoka goes outside onto the ship’s wing in a spacesuit. There, she attacks the fighters with her lightsabers. That’s right, she does Jedi Force Flips and the whole shebang. She might have plenty of justifiable issues with her past, but that’s Anakin Skywalker’s padawan right there. She’s knocked into space, but luckily, Sabine manages to restart the ship in time to fetch her. 

Ahsoka Part 3 (Disney+)
Rosario Dawson has an appreciation for metallic David Tennant craftmanship. (Lucasfilm, Ltd)

They race down to the nearby surface of planet Seatos, the one with the cool red trees. Shin and her remaining fighters give chase, but Ahsoka and Sabine manage to reach the surface and hide their ship among those remarkable trees. Near the ruins on the planet’s surface, Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) sends his people out to find Ahsoka’s ship.   

Nearly as exciting as that is what the duo encounter in Seatos’ atmosphere: a pod of purrgil! Their appearance is probably not only a sign but an even more definite foreshadowing we’ll soon follow these space whales clear out of the galaxy. 

“Time to Fly” has already drummed up discord in fandom circles for “nothing happening,” but that’s willfully ignoring what’s building up underneath the flash and firefights. Thrawn is on his way, and no one but Loyalists and our Rebels gang seem to care. While Mon Mothma expressed at least an appropriate amount of concern at the idea, the rest of the Senate committee continues to act like Admiral Motti in Episode IV, laughing away a very real and very scary threat. 

Visually speaking, Part 3 went for gold with the purrgil, the space fighting, and Seatos’ striking red foliage.

The show demonstrates the deficit of introducing characters into live action who primarily have existed purely in cartoons or books. We know the characters are concerned with Thrawn’s return, but rarely the why. For viewers unfamiliar with Thrawn, he’s still little more than an oft-repeated name people. The audience needs some context soon, or the anticipation may rapidly fizzle out for those without some pre-existing familiarity.  

Visually speaking, Part 3 went for gold with the purrgil, the space fighting, and Seatos’ striking red foliage. Star Wars is so much fun to look at, friends. 

Where are we going next week? Is it galaxy-hopping time? Is Marrok a mystery or just a tired Inquisitor? Let’s all wait patiently and see! 

Star Wars Time to Fly (Disney+)
Rosario Dawson is keeping it cover to visit you in the postscript. (Lucasfilm, Ltd)

Bantha Droppings:  

  • Ahsoka’s non-traditional Jedi line? That would be
    • Anakin Skywalker 
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi 
    • Qui-Gon Jinn 
    • Count Dooku 
    • Yoda 

Let that family tree sink in.  

  • Admiral Motti’s full name was Conan Antonio Motti, making it both the most and the least Star Wars name of all time.  
  • Huyang spends most of the fighting and purrgil viewing, waiting for his backup battery to kick in. Like I said, he’s very, very old.