This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
Ahsoka Episode 8 may not be overly accessible to viewers who haven’t seen the Star Wars animated series, but the finale wraps up a massively successful and thrilling first season. The final episode is full of unexpected twists and turns that are amplified by Kevin Kiner‘s chilling score.
Although Ahsoka Episode 8 is far from perfect, the finale wraps up the titular character’s arc in an incredibly satisfying way. There are still many story threads left to be resolved in future projects, but that’s the beauty of an expanded universe with plenty of years left of storytelling.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Ahsoka Episode 8, The Clone Wars, and Rebels.*
Grand Admiral Thrawn Gets the Last Laugh in Ahsoka Episode 8
Ahsoka Episode 8 continues the trend set since Grand Admiral Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelson) introduction, depicting his elite military tactical skills. Throughout the finale, Thrawn is constantly sacrificing pawns to protect the king. He has no issue forfeiting a battle in favor of winning the war.
More light is shed on Thrawn’s relationship with the Great Mothers of Dathomir, as it’s revealed he not only awakened them from their slumber but is helping them return to their own galaxy. However, he is willing to sacrifice far more important pieces along his journey home as Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Insanto) acts as the series’ final antagonist for Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson).
While Morgan isn’t much match for Ahsoka Tano in previous showdowns, it’s a completely different ball game in Ahsoka Episode 8. Morgan has been rewarded for her service to Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Great Mothers with the full magic of the Night Sisters of Dathomir, ascending to the status of Great Mother Herself. Additionally, she is gifted with the Blade of Talzin, a powerful sword used by Mother Talzin in her battle against Mace Windu during The Clone Wars.
Morgan’s ascendance leads to some incredible action in her fights against Ahsoka Tano throughout the episode. The two are evenly matched, with Morgan actually destroying Ahsoka’s second lightsaber. However, as Ahsoka emerges victorious, she is now armed with the Blade of Talzin alongside her single lightsaber.
Ahsoka Episode 8 also reveals the extent of Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Great Mother’s power. Thrawn’s army has been mysteriously lifeless since their debut and their secrets finally come to light in the series finale. The Night Troopers are revealed to be zombified, undead warriors reanimated with the power of the Great Mother’s magic. Zombies now exist in Star Wars live-action as they plague the escape attempt of Ahsoka’s squad.
Unfortunately, Thrawn successfully escaping Ahsoka’s grasp means war for the Star Wars galaxy. Although it’s common in Star Wars projects, it’s rare in popular media that the antagonist actually comes away victorious, but that is certainly the case in the first season of Ahsoka. He escapes back to his own Galaxy, stranding Ahsoka and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) far, far away.
Eman Esfandi Steals the Show in Ahsoka Episode 8 as Ezra Bridger
Ahsoka Episode 8 continues to reward Rebels fans with nostalgic callbacks to their favorite characters. Prior to their final showdown with Thrawn’s army, Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) builds a new lightsaber while providing one of the most heartfelt moments of the series with Huyang (David Tennant). Huyang reveals he helped Ezra’s Master, Kanan Jarrus, assemble his own lightsaber as a youngling and even still has a spare emitter from his old blade.
Throughout the preparation and action sequences in the episode, Eman Esfandi constantly reminds viewers why he is the perfect choice to play Ezra Bridger in live-action. His inflections, charisma, and bodily movements perfectly mimic his animated counterpart.
While Ahsoka and Sabine are stuck stranded after saving him from exile, Ezra actually receives his almost happy ending, returning home and seeing his mother figure Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) for the first time in years. Eman Esfandi delivers a perfect “Hi Hera” in what should be one of the most heartfelt moments of the series.
However, this brief exchange ends up being the most disappointing aspect of Ahsoka Episode 8. It has all the makings of an absolute tear-jerker but cuts away from the scene before savoring the emotional weight of the moment. Without so much as a hug between Ezra and Hera, the scene transitions back to Ahsoka and Sabine before Rebels fans even have time to process the reunion. Fan favorite Garazeb Orellios is noticeably absent from this touching moment, and doesn’t even appear once throughout the series.
Dave Filoni Takes the Star Wars Universe in a New Direction With Ahsoka Episode 8
Throughout the series, the relationship between Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren as Master and Apprentice has been a mainstay. As Ahsoka previously struggled with the trauma and grief of losing Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to the Dark Side, it clouded her ability to be a leader for Sabine. However, the titular character finally has closure on the situation by Ahsoka Episode 8. It turns out that all Sabine needs to unlock her potential is someone in her corner.
Ahsoka has dealt with more trauma throughout her Star Wars history than most characters. However, throughout The Clone Wars, even when she is alone opposite the galaxy from her friends, she is always able to sense her Master Anakin Skywalker in The Force. After Order 66 and Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, this was no longer the case, leading to her struggles as a Master for Sabine.
“Snips” transitions to the same character fans love from animation in Ahsoka Episode 8, she remembers she needs to be there for Sabine the way Anakin was there for her. She sheds the fear of her apprentice turning to the Dark Side and ultimately stands in her corner. Ironically, this is likely all Anakin needed from his Master to stop him from turning to the Dark Side as well. With the Jedi Council afraid of his power, he was always kept at bay instead of being allowed to embrace his full potential. Star Wars has always been a story of cycles and Ahsoka breaks the pattern with Sabine in the series finale.
With Ahsoka finally backing her and Sabine shedding her imposter syndrome, she breaks free of Mandalorian stubbornness and utilizes The Force to grab her lightsaber and push Ezra to safety aboard Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Star Destroyer. It’s been teased throughout the series and animation whether Sabine is force-sensitive, and fans finally have their answer. The scene is wildly exciting and brings new possibilities to Sabine’s future in the Star Wars universe.
Despite no announcement on whether Ahsoka is being renewed for a season 2, the finale definitely sets up that assumption. Fan favorite antagonist Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) is primed for a new journey while Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) is atop monuments of the Mortis Gods known as “The Ones.” While the late, great Ray Stevenson won’t be able to continue the role, the character is poised to reveal something big as the monument of The Father points to a mysterious beam of light.
While the monument of the Daughter is destroyed, eagle-eyed fans of Clone Wars and Rebels will have spotted Morai, the Convor with spiritual ties to the Daughter, a character that previously gave up their life force to save Ahsoka. Morai was also alongside Ezra Bridger when he pulled Ahsoka through the World Between Worlds in Rebels, indicating a potential route for their return in future projects.
The Door is Wide Open for Ahsoka Season 2 After the Ahsoka Finale
Although there are still many loose threads, Ahsoka Episode 8 provides an incredibly satisfying resolution for the titular character. Although she’s stuck in another galaxy, she has resolved her past trauma and is ready to lead Sabine as a proper Master.
Additionally, the episode concludes with Ahsoka sensing Anakin in the force for the first time since Order 66, providing internal peace like nothing else can. Ahsoka’s re-introduction to the powers of The Force leads to her finally seeing the Force Ghost of Anakin Skywalker and sets up exciting potential for her future in the Star Wars universe.
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'Ahsoka' Episode 8 Review'Ahsoka' Episode 8 Review
- Satisfying conclusion to Ahsoka's personal journey
- Exciting set ups for future projects
- Eman Esfandi is perfect as Ezra
- Blade of Talzin is wildly cool
- Mesmerizing score
- Reunion between Ezra and Hera
- No Zeb
- The episode and series would've benefited from additional storytelling, more time