The third episode of Ahsoka continues a trend that dates back to The Mandalorian with the series having inconsistent run times.
Three episodes into the series and this episode doesn’t even reach 40 minutes in length. Factor in the recap, end titles and credits and the episode barely runs a half hour long, if at all. It’s an unfortunate trend in the franchise at the moment. While the episode features some good action sequences, I kind of wanted to see more. The other thing here is that the episode splits its focus. The part focusing on the New Republic politics seems rather limited. Meanwhile, the bulk of the episode focuses on Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) training Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) before having to evade Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno). The brief run time limits the appearances of both Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto).
Chancellor Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) asks Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) about Jacen (Evan Whitten), paving the way for his first appearance in live-action. But of course, this meeting is not about playing catchup. Unfortunately, Hera’s report doesn’t go anywhere as the Senate refuses to send a task force to further investigate the reports of Thrawn’s return. The Senate hearing does bring some new light into the Rebellion against the Empire and which Senators just sat back and did nothing. Hera shows real concern but perhaps she’ll have to take an initiative herself. It’s clear that the New Republic doesn’t want to utilize any of their resources.
Three episodes in and there’s still no sign of Grand Admiral Thrawn, let alone the return of Ezra Bridger. A character as menacing as Thrawn should not be saved for the final episodes. He’s a character that one wants to see on the screen, blue skin and all. If it’s any consolation, there are a number of purrgil that appear during the battle sequence. Sabine notes that she hadn’t seen the space whales since Ezra disappeared. We still have five episodes remaining but it would be nice if we start seeing some serious movement. It’s one of the larger differences between live-action and animation. Animation does lead to more character development but they have the time to do this over the course of episodes. With live-action, there clearly is not as much time because of the budget.
My problem with the episode has nothing to do with Steph Green’s direction in as much as it has to do with the episode being too short and feeling incomplete. There’s definitely a sense of a longer story playing out over more episodes rather than containing a story within one episode. In rewatching Star Wars Rebels, some arcs played out over a number of episodes while others were very much self-contained. Dave Filloni is definitely playing the long game here. Will Ahsoka be able to nail the landing? I can only hope.
CREATOR/HEAD WRITER: Dave Filoni
DIRECTOR: Steph Green
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson, Carrie Beck
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Karen Gilchrist
CAST: Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, Diana Lee Inosanto, David Tennant, Evan Whitten, Genevieve O’Reilly