In “Far, Far Away,” Ahsoka and Huyang continue the voyage to the other galaxy. Meanwhile, Balon, Shin, and Morgan are met by a native coven of Nightsisters. They lock Sabine away in their temple, sensing Jedi influence in her. Grand Admiral Thrawn finally makes his appearance and sends Sabine off to find Ezra, ordering Balon and Shin to pursue. Picking up on an approaching craft, they prepare to meet Ahsoka Tano.
The first thing that strikes me about “Far, Far Away” is that it looks like an episode of Rebels or The Clone Wars. The Purgil jumping through hyperspace looks just like in Rebels, and the Nightsisters’ Homeworld looks like something straight out of The Clone Wars. Lothal looked great in the first couple of episodes, but it’s nice to see a new location, and it looks terrific. It’s eerie, mysterious, and perfect for the witches. Ezra looks and sounds amazing; they definitely found the right actor for this character. I’m mostly happy with Thrawn, too, but I’ll get back to him.
This brings me to a big question about the Nightsisters, one Ahsoka is going to have to answer. Why and how is Thrawn working with them? In Rebels, he didn’t believe in magic or have any understanding of the Force. How does someone like that make friends with a matriarchal society of dark magic users and enlist their aid in escaping an entire galaxy? I’m not against it, but I need some context. Interestingly, this new planet and its inhabitants change the status of the Dathomiri witches. After General Grievous laid waste to Dathomir in The Clone Wars, that left only stragglers like Asajj and Merrin in the Jedi game series. Now we potentially have another planet of them! It makes sense that the sisters originated somewhere else since they’re distinct from the Zabrak, Darth Maul’s people. I also liked Thrawn’s line about not waiting for Balon to find Sabine, Sabine to find Ezra, etc. I wondered why he would care about any of them; leaving them stranded to die is just as good as capturing them, if not better. I was trying to figure out why he thinks Sabine or Ezra could be useful. It makes more sense to send them all on a wild goose chase and leave anyway. Obviously, that probably won’t happen, but we’ll see. I liked the trooper telling Sabine, “Die well.” This was a small touch, but it’s a compliment to a Mandalorian, and reminded me of Maul talking to his followers in the Siege of Mandalore. That still leaves me curious about why the sisters tolerated Sabine as long as they did, despite their concerns. Also, if she smells like a Jedi, why doesn’t Balon? They can sense someone with no Force aptitude but not a fallen Jedi who still more or less lives like one?
It is convenient that Sabine located Ezra so quickly and easily. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad we don’t have to wait for the finale to see him and Thrawn. That’s what I was afraid of. It’s great that we’ll spend time with these characters before the season ends. But it feels like Sabine got into one minor scuffle and then immediately found Ezra. It makes you wonder how Thrawn didn’t locate him before, unless he decided not to pursue him. He doesn’t seem to care much about Ezra now, so maybe he just ignored him as long as he stayed out of the way of Thrawn’s plan. I like the rock creatures Ezra hangs out with a lot. They’re cute, funny, and feel very Star Wars. I also enjoyed Sabine’s wolf-like horse. I thought it was dumb when she tried to shoo it away for not defending her. It’s just an animal; what did she expect? And walking around in unfamiliar terrain without a mount makes no sense. I also don’t like Sabine’s repeated attempts to harness the Force. The fact that she keeps trying leads me to believe that she will unlock Force powers by the end, which has been one of my main concerns. I’m glad she keeps failing or realizing things are being moved by something else, but we can all smell what they’re setting up here. Sabine’s Jedi training brings to mind the film Ratatouille, specifically the repeated mantra “Anyone can cook .” As the film progresses, we learn that a great cook can come from anywhere, not that everyone and anyone can be a great cook. This is how I’ve always viewed the Force. A Jedi could come from any background, but that doesn’t mean everyone possesses the potential to harness the Force. I’m 100% okay with Sabine wielding Ezra’s saber. She’s a brilliant fighter in general, trained under Kanan with the Darksaber, and Ezra literally left it for her. But she shouldn’t be a Jedi.
Shin really hates Sabine. She’s spiteful and petty, which doesn’t seem like Balon or his teachings, from what we’ve seen. I understand why she feels this way after their clashes in earlier episodes. Still, it’s just funny and revealing of her character. I loved the conversations between her and Balon in this episode. This may have been my favorite aspect of “Far, Far Away,” or maybe Thrawn. He looks excellent in live-action, and I loved hearing his theme from Rebels in the background. I’m so glad they were able to keep the voice actor in this role! Part of me always hurts when they recast the characters, even when I understand why. I have questions about Thrawn’s Stormtroopers, especially Enoch, the one with the gold face plate. Is he a droid? Is this confirmation of those rumors about undead troopers raised by Nightsister magick? At the end of the episode, Thrawn asks the “mothers” for help against Ahsoka. This implies the use of their ability to make zombies. In fact, this final scene all but spells that out.
Back to Balon, I wonder why he keeps reiterating that Sabine could be useful. What use does he see in a failed attempted Jedi? Does he want a second apprentice? I almost think that’s what Shin fears and why she hates Sabine so much. I hope we get more of Balon’s backstory and motivation in these final two episodes. I’m intrigued by his desire to stop the galaxy’s cycle of power and war; it reminds me of Daenerys “breaking the wheel” in Game of Thrones. However, it’s not quite the same because Balon doesn’t want to seize power for himself. Some final thoughts here: I love Eman Esfandi for the role of Ezra. He isn’t in the episode much, but he’s like the animated character come to life. He already has good chemistry with Bordizzo, and the reunion of Ezra and Sabine almost made me tear up. This was very well executed. I look forward to seeing how Ezra reacts when Sabine eventually tells him (or he finds out) why and how she’s here. The nomads on Peridia remind me of sand people; even their noise is similar. I smiled at Huyang beginning his story, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” I think this will be more than a cutesy callback; I think more than the Nightsisters began in this faraway galaxy.