Patient storytelling is becoming a staple as Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s New Republic era of stories continues to unfold on the small screen. While the urge for all action all the time is undoubtedly present, the creative teams behind the Mandoverse properties continue to follow the way of the Jedi and the latest episode of Ahsoka, “Time to Fly”, is another example of their patience.
Picking up right where the two-episode premiere left off, “Time to Fly” opens with Ahsoka, Sabine and Huyang tracking the warp drive transported off of Corellia in “Toil and Trouble.” However, instead of having the heroes hop out of hyperspace and enter into battle with Morgan Elsbeth and her band of Force-wielding mercenaries, Filoni and director Steph Green (who also directed episode 2) wisely invest some time into the master and apprentice relationship between Ahsoka and Sabine. Additionally, through Huyang–voiced the wonderfully talented David Tennant–a clear picture of Sabine’s not-seen-onscreen struggles to become a Jedi is painted. Meanwhile, as Hera plays politics with Chancellor Mon Mothma and some New Republic talking heads only to get stonewalled, the stunning failures of the new system to be any better than the old system continue to pile up.
And so while it was 20 minutes into a 35-minute episode before any big action took place (and that was a very fun dogfight), seeds have been sown that will certainly pay off not only over the course of the remaining episodes of Ahsoka but also over longerform narrative taking place in the Mandoverse. Unfortunately, that’s a fairly tough sell that’s further complicated by the fact that not everyone watching Ahsoka is incredibly well-versed in the preexisting relationships between the Star Wars Rebels characters. That having been said, enough exposition and work is being done to do most of the heavy lifting for the uninitiated audience even if they don’t quite know why Jacen Syndulla is a much better candidate for being a Jedi than Sabine.
Asking the audience to be patient for the third episode of an eight-episode series shouldn’t be asking too much, especially since it seems all the pieces have been put into place for the Peter Ramsey-helmed Episode 4 to be bursting at the seams with action and lore before Filoni resumes directing duties in Episode 5. With most of the major players having converged on Seatos, it looks as though that Baylan vs. Ahsoka lightsaber duel is right around the corner…but what of Sabine’s second chance with Baylan’s Dark Padawan? The seeds were all smartly planted. Patience, you must have.