Hayden Christensen is back as Anakin Skywalker in the latest installment of Ahsoka, but he’s hardly the biggest returning star of the episode. Anakin is upstaged by one of the good guys, who comes to defend Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) while Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and her senate chamber try to condemn the general for allowing Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) to jet off to another system.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
That good guy? A “mere droid”—this is a quote from one of the evil senators, don’t shoot the messenger—named C-3PO (Anthony Daniels). Threepio arrived with news that Senator Leia Organa actually approved Hera and Ahsoka’s mission, so Mon Mothma needn’t punish her trusty general. Did Leia approve the mission beforehand? Nope. But she did it eventually, and that’s all it takes to clear Hera’s name.
We all clap at our TV screens at the appearance of sweet Threepio, but that’s about all the time he has before wobbling back off the screen. That’s enough fan service for today.
But wait, there’s more! Anakin is back in the form of an old hologram Ahsoka has been saving for a rainy day. Skyguy recorded around two dozen videos of himself hyping Ahsoka up for battle—what a good master. It’s a shame he had to go and do all that other stuff, whatever that was... Huyang (David Tennant) walks in on Ahsoka’s session with Anakin and finds some newfound respect for the man behind the Vader mask.
Okay, now we’re done with the throwbacks. The purrgils are wrapping up their migration; soon, Ahsoka and Huyang will find out if Ezra (Eman Esfandi) and Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) are waiting for them in this new galaxy. Huyang frets that the mission will fail. He’s proved wrong almost instantly, when Grand Admiral Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelsen) army starts bombing the poor space whales from their headquarters down on Peridea. If the enemy is here, Sabine and Ezra should be, too.
After learning that Anakin was once Ahsoka’s master, Thrawn wants to control her every move. She could be a wild card. He uses the Nightsisters of Dathomir—a band of creepy witch women—to find Ahsoka. But this isn’t a super solid plan. Why not allow Ahsoka to find Sabine, and then strand the trio of Jedis on Peridea forever? They have no way of getting home, if not for the giant galaxy-traversing space shuttle owned by Thrawn and Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto).
Later, we learn that Thrawn is actually one step ahead. The whole plan was to keep Sabine, Ezra, and Ahsoka at bay long enough to load up the space station with a transfer of armies headed straight to the New Republic. As Ahsoka, Ezra, and Sabine battle troopers scattered around the planet, Thrawn is almost ready to take back the Empire. So, really, as long as the trio can’t breach his transfer, Thrawn is in the clear.
This doesn’t stop Baylan (Ivanna Sakhno) and Shin (Ray Stevenson), master and apprentice, from respectively taking on Ahsoka and Sabine, also master and apprentice. Really, it’s Ezra who does most of the work in the fight with Shin. His Noti friends are pacifists (cute!) which means that their only form of weaponry is tiny rocks and slingshots (even cuter, but save them!). He protects the creatures and Sabine from Shin, who is so menacing and evil that I only want to watch her fight. Who cares about Thrawn or anyone else, really?
After Ahsoka makes her descent to Peridea—“descent” meaning that she jumps off a plane—she’s greeted by Baylan, who challenges her to a lightsaber duel. Ahsoka wins. She uses the force to track down Sabine. Ahsoka arrives at Sabine's location in the knick of time, when Shin and her army of troopers are about to kill them and the Noti. The troopers are blasted away by Ahsoka’s use of the force. Ezra, too, has been practicing his use of the force in the many years spent stranded in Peridea, so with some needed help from Ahsoka, the battle is over in a flash. Ahsoka offers to help Shin, but Shin darts away, unwilling to join the good guys.
Then there’s a tearful reunion where Ezra states how happy he is about the opportunity to go home. Sabine has spent all day catching Ezra up to speed on the New Republic; the poor guy can’t wait to make it back. Unfortunately, every moment spent celebrating is time wasted. Thrawn is about to make his grand return to the New Republic. They only have minutes to stop him. Stop hugging and whip out those sabers!