REVIEW: Reunion and Separation in the Midst of “Dreams and Madness”

For every way that Ahsoka has felt very, very Star Wars-y, there continues to be the personal touch that creator Dave Filoni has always put on his work for Lucasfilm. And so, while Episode 7, “Dreams and Madness” has plenty of lightsaber fights, space scenes, a touching reunion between friends and even a cameo from everyone’s favorite protocol droid, it once again gives us something new to think about hope we see come to fruition at some point.

There’s no questioning that Baylan Skoll, played magnificently by the late Ray Stevenson, has quickly ascended the hierarchy of very impressive characters created and curated by Filoni. In case you missed the declaration, he’s no Jedi but as we’ve learned through his relationship with his apprentice, Shin Hati, and their ongoing mission in the service of Morgan Elsbeth, he’s no Sith either. Skoll is rather a pretty damn enlightened Force user who saw the Jedi order for what it was: a wonderful idea that fell to pieces as the galaxy changed around it. Skoll wants something “more” and he has eaten a lot of shit from some pretty evil people in order to get to the far reaches of ANOTHER galaxy to find it and now, with whatever it is he seeks just outside of his reach, he imparts one last piece of wisdom to Shin and abruptly bails on Elsbeth and Grand Admiral Thrawn. For as long as we’ve seen the Master/Apprentice relationship in Star Wars (and if you’ve watched Filoni’s animated series, that’s a lot), we’ve NEVER seen something remotely similar to what Skoll just pulled here…and it is fascinating. Is he displeased with Shin? Has he taught her everything he thinks he can? Whatever this man wants on Peridea, it was worth losing everything to find.

Balancing out the separation of Baylan and Hati is the reunion of Ahsoka with her apprentice, Sabine, and, of course, with Ezra. While it takes all of the episode’s run time to get there, Ahsoka’s warm embrace of Ezra feels incredibly authentic and wonderfully earned. It’s hard to remember sometimes that much of Star Wars has always centered around wonderful friendships and this warm and fuzzy moment reminds us just how important to their survival these friendships have been. Sooner or later, however, Ahsoka and Sabine are going to have to come clean with Ezra…

Speaking of coming clean, with–as Thrawn points out–time working against the trio of heroes how long will it be before one of more of Ezra’s secrets will come to light. As fans of Rebels may remember, Ezra has quite an interesting history with Dathomiri folks and owes a debt to the Nightsisters. His being on their ancestral home of Peridea simply cannot be a coincidence. It’s possible, no matter how terrifying, that he and Baylan could be on a collision course and Ezra’s bill may just come due.

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