Ray Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll Is The Only Interesting Character In ‘Ahsoka’ Episode 6 Despite Thrawn And Ezra Bridger Returning
Ray Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll continues to be the only interesting character in the ongoing Star Wars: Ahsoka series and that’s despite Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger returning in the sixth episode of the Disney+ series.
The episode begins with Ahsoka and Huyang traveling inside a Purrgil to the new galaxy in an attempt to stop Grand Admiral Thrawn from returning. The dialogue between the two is quite boring. Not only is it boring, but the entire sequence was done far better in Empire Strikes Back when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda attempt to stop Luke from going to rescue is friends on Bespin.
Basically, the entire point of the dialogue is supposed to be Ahsoka learning that saving the galaxy and saving your friends is not a mutually exclusive choice. It’s possible that you can you do both.
However, it’s unclear if she learns this lesson or not because she is clearly unhappy with the direction of the conversation and abruptly ends it by requesting Huyang tell her a story about the galaxy. He does by quoting the Star Wars opening crawl and making the phrase, “In a galaxy far, far, far away” a piece of dialogue rather than exposition setting up the movies. It was cringe.
Next, the show transitions to Sabine being held captive on the Eye of Scion and getting upset that Baylan Skoll appears to have reneged on a deal to see Ezra. However, this is just childish behavior especially coming from Sabine who witnessed Pre Viszla betray her mother in a similar fashion in Star Wars Rebels.
Her whining to Skoll and later to Thrawn would continue through at least half the episode until she was eventually cut loose to find Ezra Bridger.
The Eye of Scion eventually exits hyperspace in the new galaxy and lands on the planet Peridea where the Purrgil migrate to die. It also happens to be the former power base of the Witches of Dathomir.
Upon landing on the planet, Morgan Elsbeth, Shin Hati, Skoll, and Wren meet with what appear to be the final three Dathomiri witches, who are clearly inspired by the Greek Fates as they can see the future and also somehow sense the “reek” of Jedi on Sabine Wren. They then transfer Wren to another prison cell where she whines to Skoll about her deal.
After Wren is put in her new prison cell, one of the more interesting parts of the show occurs as Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll provides some exposition about this new galaxy to Shin Hati. His delivery is top notch and we get to understand a little bit more about his motivations and what he seeks albeit it is still shrouded in mystery.
His delivery, the mystery, and the ominous musical score definitely draw your attention to what is happening on the screen. You definitely want to know a little bit more about him, what his goals are, how he intends to obtain them, and what his overall endgame is.
Around 16 minutes into the episode, Thrawn’s Star Destroyer the Chimaera arrives over the Dathomiri fortress. As it lands on a pedestal, Thrawn makes his entrance surrounded my Stormtroopers wearing dirty armor and cobbled together armor in parade formation. The chanting of “Thrawn” can be heard, but none of the Stormtroopers appear to be actually chanting it. It’s poorly edited and ruins the entire foreboding atmosphere they were clearly trying to capture.
Lars Mikkelsen’s Thrawn also does not exude the character’s supreme confidence in the way he carries himself. His physique is a little lacking too. He should look more like George C. Scott as General Patton. The director Jennifer Getzinger appears to have realized this as well and attempts to make up for it by using a lot of closeup shots on Thrawn from his chest and above.
While Wren finally stops whining about her deal with Baylan Skoll when Thrawn appears to honor it by giving her a mount, provisions, and intel on Bridger’s whereabouts, she doesn’t think to do any critical thinking about his motives or believe that he might renege on it despite being in a war against him where he was constantly using deceptive tactics in order to get the upper hand on Phoenix Squadron.
She appears to just buy the idea that Thrawn is acting in good will given she didn’t destroy the map leading to this new galaxy and thus will allow him to leave Peridea.
Thrawn clearly has another motive as he deploys Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati to follow Sabine and kill her and Ezra Bridger if she indeed finds him. Nevertheless, Sabine heads out into the wastelands fully armed riding upon a wolf-like creature.
Upon making her first stop, she is ambushed by this new galaxy’s Sand People or Tusken Raiders. There’s a brief combat sequence with Sabine using her blasters and armor before eventually using her lightsaber.
This combat sequence was atrocious. It starts with her getting ambushed and her mount quickly running off. As she screams at the wolf to come back, she is getting repeatedly shot by the nomads. In fact, they actually have her surrounded and she just stands in the middle with the Beskar armor and the writing keeping her safe. Sabine also can’t hit anything. Her blasts are a couple feet off the mark. This is from a trained Mandalorian soldier who fought in the war against the Galactic Empire…
She eventually finds cover after killing one of the nomads, but is quickly attacked in close quarters combat by another. At one point one of the nomads hits her in the back of the head with the flat of his spear, but you hear a clanging sound like it made contact with her breastplate instead. It barely affects her.
The nomads eventually knock her to the ground and then just stand around watching her as she pulls out her lightsaber and makes quick work of them. Laughably, the nomads stop firing any of their weapons and only engage her in melee combat. Calling it bad is an understatement.
The episode gets even worse from there. After a brief scene of Thrawn ordering two attack squadrons to aid Skoll in the event Sabine finds Bridger, Wren begins lecturing the mount that ran off and is now slowly falling her. The lecture is absolutely bizarre and breaks any immersion one might still have. She even makes it clear to send the animal away. It’s just vapid given that’s where all of her supplies are and she has no clue where Ezra is or how long it might take to find him. You would think she would want the provisions that Thrawn gave her. I guess they want you to believe she is a whiny child as they characterized her in the first half of the episode.
Nevertheless, the wolf makes amends by discovering a bunch of hermit crab individuals that do indeed lead her to Ezra Bridger. However, this takes an excruciatingly significant amount of time and really drags the episode. It would not surprise me if one falls asleep during this sequence.
To wake you from this monotony we do get another scene with Baylan Skoll discussing his past, but also briefly hinting at his plans for the future for himself as well as Shin Hati. He also teases that the Dathomiri might be fleeing from a greater power.
This was also foreshadowed with Thrawn informing Elsbeth earlier that his forces had suffered significant losses since being in exile. The implication is that indeed they had been fighting someone.
The episode begins winding down with Sabine Wren being taken to the hermit crab or Noti village where she reunites with Ezra Bridger. Their reunification is extremely awkward. After an embrace, Bridger rightfully asks how she got there alongside a number of other questions.
However, Wren punts on all of them instead informing Bridger that she just wants to enjoy the moment of finding him and begins helping the nomadic Noti pack up their camp as they never stay in one place too long.
One would think Bridger would be able to sense Sabine’s emotions given his Jedi training or at least press her on what actually happened. One might also think that Sabine would want to inform Ezra about what’s going on given she might now be stranded there with him once Thrawn leaves. Nope. She’d rather just enjoy the moment.
The episode concludes with the Dathomiri witches informing Thrawn that another Jedi is traveling through hyperspace to Peridea. Thrawn suspects it is the recently deceased Jedi Ahsoka Tano and tasks Elsbeth with providing him with a report on everything she can dig up on her.
The scene is used to showcase that the witches can foresee events across the galaxies as well as depict Thrawn as meticulous. Honestly, it probably was unnecessary, but I guess it could create some kind of suspense for a potential showdown between Thrawn and Ahsoka.
Overall, this episode was flat out boring. The series draws out scenes way too long with wide-sweeping shots and dramatic music, but usually nothing of import happens. It’s all build-up with no pay out.
The acting is quite dry for the most part. Stevenson and Diana Lee Inosanto are the only ones who make you pay attention. Stevenson particularly carries ever scene he’s in and they are indeed the only interesting moments in the show. The series might have been better off cutting everything else and just leaving in Skoll’s mission at this point. However, even those scenes might have been better off showing rather than telling.
It’s likely one could just skip this episode entirely and not feel like they are missing anything.
What did you think of the sixth episode of Ahsoka?