Season I, Part One, Master and Apprentice

The long-awaited live action series on Ahoska and the remainder of Phoenix Squadron is here and it did not disappoint! History! Drama! Action! The first two episodes really bring it and set the tone for the remaining six episodes to come. Massive world building is taking place and all we can do is sit back and enjoy the show. Dave Filoni put a tremendous amount of commitment, love and care into every aspect of this show….well…almost every aspect. The New Republic officer and crew uniforms are hideous. But, other than that, everything else is meticulously researched, cast and shot. Even the red-letter introduction was a nice touch. Here is my break down of the initial episode.

1.  The first episode picks up quite literally where Chapter 13 of the Mandalorian left off. Morgan Elspeth is in custody and two unnamed force wielding mercenaries are dispatched to break her out. They are not Jedi; however, it is very clear that there is a master and an apprentice. The cruiser Morgan is housed on looks very similar to a MC30c Frigate. Those familiar with Star Wars Armada, the Expanded Universe or Wookieepedia have probably seen this ship before.

2. We first find Ahsoka playing Indiana Jones on planet Arcana. She is searching for a map…or at least a key to a map in the ruins of an ancient Night Sisters Temple. Apparently, the Night Sisters did not confine themselves only to Dathomir. All treasure hunts usually lead to triggering a booby trap. In this case, the trap was laid if Morgan ever escaped custody. Ahsoka was met by several HK assassin droids which she quickly dispatched before escaping on her modified T-6 Jedi shuttle.

3. Huyang is an ancient droid who has served the Jedi order for over 1000 generations. It is said that he was built around 25,000 BBY (before the battle of Yavin). We were first introduced to him in the Clone Wars as he helped younglings assemble their lightsabers. Huyang offers a unique, yet wizened companion for Ahsoka to seek counsel from.

4. Hera is a General now. For those that read the Alphabet Squadron novels, you may be familiar with her mop operations in various outer rim sectors while she was in command of a Star Destroyer. Now she appears to be in command of Home One, the flag ship of the New Republic. Presumably the Battle of Jakku has already occurred given this reality. Hera spends much of her time attempting to convince Ahsoka to utilize Sabine Wren’s talents.

5.  Sabine Wren is apparently a commander. True to her Mandalorian roots, she is hardheaded and opinionated. She missed a ceremony on principal and showed off her speeder bike skills in the process. She is clearly scarred and in a deep sorrow over the loss of her beloved friend, Ezra Bridger.

6.  Surprisingly, Ahsoka had apparently taken Sabine on as a padawan learner. This is puzzling. First, Ahsoka has stated she is not a Jedi. Has this changed? Clearly, she has won the trust of Huyang. Second, Sabine has demonstrated no aptitude for the force, an observation Huyang discusses with Sabine in the next episode. This revelation leaves more questions than answers and we are left to wonder what training took place, and if Ahsoka has the ability to assess the latent abilities of a potential padawan candidate.

7.  Sabine’s natural abilities to understand art is an intriguing skill. It is one that she shares with Grand Admiral Thrawn, interestingly enough. Sabine uses her abilities to unlock the mysteries of the device Ahsoka found on Arcana. The manner she chooses leads to her demise at the end of the episode.

8.  This episode also opens our eyes to Morgan Elspeth’s origins. She is a Night Sister. She describes herself as a survivor. She would have to be to serve the man responsible for the destruction of the Night Sisters on Dathomir. It is interesting that she did not reveal her magic when she fought Ahsoka the first time on Corvus. She must have had an ulterior motive…or perhaps her magic has faded. A careful read of the Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars reveals that Night Sisters can lose their abilities if they don’t use them.

9.  Huyang’s ancient archival memory is able to discern who one of the two force users on the New Republic Cruiser were. Baylan Skoll was once a Jedi Knight. Now he apparently has an apprentice and appears to also be in league with a former Inquisitor. It is obvious Baylan Skoll has operated as a mercenary for quite some time. How is it he was able to stay hidden for so long?

10.  This episode is aptly named. There are three Masters and Apprentices in play. First is Baylan Skoll and his apprentice Shin Hati. Next is Ahoska and Sabine. The final Master and Apprentice is Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka. She wistfully brings her old master up on several occasions this episode. His training and mentorship still influence many of her actions.

11.  Easter Eggs. There are a number of them but those that are familiar with the Rebels series will recognize Ryder Azadi and Jai Kell. The E-Wing makes its first live action appearance in Star Wars. Many Star Wars fans have known about the E-Wing since the 1990s.

12.  Cast. Ray Stevenson brings tremendous gravitas to the role of Baylan Skoll. He embraces the role of a much older and wizened force user. It is a shame that we lost him, and he will be missed. David Tennant has reprised his role as the voice for Huyang and he is tremendous. Ewan McGregor’s wife, Emily Elizabeth Winstead was chosen to play Hera. She looks and acts just like General Syndulla would. Natasha Liu Bordizzo plays Sabine as if she was born to it. She has studied the role and brings her own flair and sassiness to the table. The Rebel’s cast all look and act like we might expect in a live action show. Finally, enough cannot be said of Rosario Dawson’s portrayal of Ahsoka. We have already seen glimpses of it in the Mandalorian. Originally, Dawson was fan cast for the role. Turns out, the fans had it right! Dawson has taken the role very seriously. She portrays Ahsoka as an experienced warrior, with a respectfulness to the precocious nature of the famed Togruta, underscoring her research of the character.

For Ray Stevenson, a beloved Actor who brought much joy.

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