Ahsoka episode 3, “Time to Fly,” might not have been the most exciting episode to push the plot forward. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a vital entry in the series. I firmly believe that character development is plot, and it’s never been more apparent in this episode. This entry was so desperately needed, especially regarding the character of Ahsoka Tano.
There was always something that was a touch off about Rosario Dawson’s portrayal for me. She was missing something, but I could not put my finger on it. Then, with “Time to Fly,” I realized what it was. It had nothing to do with Dawson because she portrayed Ahsoka so incredibly well. It was me realizing where Ahsoka was in her character journey.
Ahsoka was closed off and measured in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. People like Luke Skywalker and Grogu needed her, but she waved them away. It was a choice that continued into Ahsoka’s first two episodes.
Then in Episode 3, she’s far more open. She’s throwing around quips that could have come from the lips of Ashley Eckstein in The Clone Wars. It felt like I was finally seeing Ahsoka again, the character who made me a Star Wars fan.
So what changed?
I realize throughout Dawson’s tenure, we’ve been seeing what I call “Trauma Ahsoka.” She’s in a similar place to “Trauma Luke” in The Last Jedi. Of course, she’s not throwing around the snippy quips that gave her a nickname in The Clone Wars. Ahsoka struggled so much in the last several decades. She was a child soldier who fought in two wars, lost everyone she loved, including her Master, Anakin Skywalker, lost Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus, who she guided as a mentor, and comes to find out it could all be for nothing. The Imperial remnants are still around, and Grand Admiral Thrawn may return to kick off the third war of her life.
Yeah, Ahsoka has some trauma she’s dealing with. After losing so much, it’s understandable why she doesn’t want to get close to Grogu and Luke in the previous shows, especially Luke who is tied to Anakin. While we still don’t know why she walked away from Sabine, it does add perspective. Ahsoka was probably still worried about having attachments and losing Sabine too. More than likely, a part of her mind thinks Sabine is better without her. Guilt is real, and I could see Ahsoka blaming herself for a lot of what happened to Anakin.
Now that she’s accepted Sabine back in her life, those little “Snips” of dialogue are starting to come out again. Ahsoka is sassing back at Huyang. She’s tossing out quips while flipping through space, fighting Shin Hati and Marrok. Most importantly, she feels more open and welcoming, much closer to her portrayal in Star Wars Rebels.
Episode 3 didn’t push the plot along, but it did further Ahsoka’s character. Because of that, it’s by far the most crucial episode of the show so far, plot be damned.
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This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the Star Wars content being covered here wouldn’t exist.