Ahsoka: The New Republic has a security problem

(Center): Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) with New Republic Security Guards in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(Center): Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) with New Republic Security Guards in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for the two-episode premiere of Ahsoka.

The New Republic has a serious security problem in Ahsoka and The Mandalorian. Ahsoka begins with Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati boarding a New Republic prison transport. They quickly slaughtered the New Republic’s personnel and freed Morgan Elsbeth from captivity.

It is a captivating opening sequence that clearly communicates the power and ruthlessness of Baylan and Shin and brings Ahsoka‘s villains together. It is exciting and also a bit terrifying to see these dark side users in action, but the opening sequence loses some of its impact due to a trend that began in The Mandalorian.

This marks the third occasion in a Mandoverse series that a New Republic ship has been attacked, and a prisoner has been freed. The first instance was in The Mandalorian season 1 episode “The Prisoner,” in which Din Djarin undertakes a job with some former associates and Bill Burr’s character Migs Mayfeld to free the mercenary Qin from a New Republic prison ship.

The second instance is in The Mandalorian season 3 episode “The Pirate” when Carson Teva discovers that Moff Gideon never made it to trial. Imperial Super Commandos wearing beskar armor freed Moff Gideon from New Republic custody, leaving no survivors aboard the ship.

There are plenty of in-universe reasons for the New Republic’s lackluster security. The Mandalorian season 3 showed how the New Republic is stretched thin and unable to help the many planets and people that need their support. That extends to their security when holding or transporting prisoners.

There is also the matter of Imperial moles working in the New Republic, such as Elia Kane in The Mandalorian season 3. Despite the New Republic’s best efforts, the galactic government will eventually be destroyed by the First Order via Starkiller Base, and the New Republic’s failings will be largely responsible for the First Order’s rise to power. Their missteps to hold onto their prisoners now are a sign of their future failures.

That being said, Moff Gideon and Morgan Elsbeth being freed does present a narrative issue. Moff Gideon’s defeat in The Mandalorian season 2 finale and Morgan Elsbeth’s defeat at Ahsoka Tano’s hands now hold less weight since the next time the audiences see them, they are freed from imprisonment and free from consequences for their previous actions.

When villains are defeated in the future of the Mandoverse series, especially if captured, their defeats may not feel as impactful, knowing there is a good chance they’ll be freed from a New Republic prison transport the next time they appear.

As for the in-universe discussion, the New Republic really should look into improving its prison security, especially when transporting powerful individuals such as Moff Gideon and Morgan Elsbeth. It also doesn’t help when the transport’s captain arrogantly invites a potential threat onboard, as Captain Hayle did in Ahsoka.