As Ahsoka barrels into its season finale this week, the latest live-action series has left Star Wars fans with plenty to chew on as the show threatens the status quo of the galaxy far, far away. Ahsoka takes place just after the events of The Mandalorian Season 3 as the New Republic struggles to build a peace-oriented and effective government following the destruction of the Empire in Return of the Jedi. However, that mission is threatened by leftover Imperial remnants and an even greater danger in the form of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).
After being teased in The Mandalorian, the iconic Star Wars villain made his live-action in Episode 6 of Ahsoka finally answering the question of where Thrawn disappeared to in the series finale of Star Wars: Rebels. The ruthless Imperial strategist was blasted to an unknown location alongside fledgling Jedi Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi). Ahsoka Episode 6 revealed that location to be the planet of Peridea, nestled in a separate galaxy that Star Wars fans have never seen before. But the planet is holding a dark secret that is “calling” to the mercenary Jedi Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) that could be an even more grave threat than the return of Thrawn.
While the secrets of Peridea have yet to be revealed by Ahsoka, the show has dropped some clues and Easter eggs that could hint at what’s in store for the finale. Let’s break down the biggest theories and predictions as well as drop one of our own.
What Is Calling Baylan Skoll?
For most of his screen time on Ahsoka, Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll has stared off into the distance as something clearly troubles his thoughts. Don’t get us wrong, it looks badass as hell thanks to the late Stevenson’s imposing figure and natural gravitas, but it would be nice to know what the heck is going on.
As eagle-eyed fans noticed in Episode 6, the temple where Thrawn meets with the Night Sisters is littered with Zeffo symbols from hit video game Jedi: Fallen Order. The Zeffo are an ancient species who were wildly adept at wielding the Force. While on Peridea, Baylan finally tells his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) that he’s been feeling something from the planet calling him and whatever it is, the Night Sisters don’t want to go near it. The Zeffo could easily fit that bill, or something that even scared them out of their space pants…
The other major theory is that Baylan is being called by Abeloth, an extremely powerful and immortal Force entity, who’s also called the “Bringer of Chaos.” Considering Ahsoka Episode 7 was titled, “Dreams and Madness,” Abeloth is also a solid bet. Baylan has often spoken of a power greater than anyone has ever seen that can reshape an entire galaxy, and a full-on Force goddess sounds like it would do the trick.
Ezra Bridger Has Been ‘Possessed’
Now, we’re venturing a little more into wild speculation. Going into Ahsoka, there were already theories that Ezra Bridger turned to the Dark Side. The character was tempted by Darth Maul during his time on Rebels, and maybe years in exile pushed Ezra over the edge.
However, that doesn’t appear to be the case based on his live-action debut so far. He seems genuinely happy to be reunited with Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and is living peacefully with the Noti. That said, Ezra does exhibit some possibly suspicious behavior. For starters, he’s extremely eager to get off Peridea. Although being in exile probably sucked. During a showdown with Shin Hati and Thrawn’s Night Troopers, he adamantly refuses to take his old lightsaber when Sabine offers it back to him. Ezra then proceeds to take out troopers left and right — and block Shin’s lightsaber — using nothing but the Force. But, again, this could all be explained by his time in exile. Ezra was forced to adapt. (We’re so sorry.)
By themselves, Ezra’s eagerness to leave and his refusal to use a lightsaber have easy explanations. But then there’s the matter of the Night Sisters. They were able to easily locate Ahsoka in orbit, but not Ezra over the past ten years? Thrawn also had little interest in going after a Jedi who could sabotage his plans. Was the Grand Admiral conserving resources, or were he and the Night Sisters afraid of Ezra because he now has a power far greater than the Dark Side? During the skirmish in Episode 7, Baylan Skoll notably stayed far away from Ezra as well. Granted, Baylan could have needed to get his pensive stare on again, or maybe he sensed something in the missing Jedi.
The Time Travel Theory
One of the problems going into Ahsoka is honestly a problem with a lot of Star Wars stories: We know how it ends. In this case, should Thrawn resume control of the Empire, which is looking increasingly likely, we know that he’s ultimately defeated and the First Order is running things in the Sequel Trilogy. Granted, there’s a roughly 20-year gap until that happens, so that leaves plenty of storytelling possibilities. But what if Ahsoka jumps completely over that problem?
Thanks to Episode 6’s use of The World Between Worlds, Ahsoka has essentially brought the potential of time travel to live-action Star Wars. However, the series doesn’t have to get that hand-wavey to solve the Sequel Trilogy problem. By visiting Peridea, Ahsoka’s characters have traveled to a whole other galaxy and will presumably have to return at some point. Who’s to say when they return it will be around the same time they left? What if they returned after the events of the Sequel Trilogy? This would lean Thrawn’s rein of power wide open and untether Ahsoka from the canonical restrictions that these Star Wars shows get tangled up in.
Granted, this prediction probably won’t happen because that’s a whole lot of narrative leap-frogging, but it is an exciting idea to consider.
Shin Hati Is Mara Jade
This last prediction is the biggest long shot yet, but not completely out of the realm of possibility. With the live-action debut of Thrawn, Dave Filoni is setting the stage for his live-action Star Wars movie that seems to be pulling heavily from Heir to the Empire books. The early ’90s book and its two sequels were one of the first and most memorable stabs at imagining a post-Return of the Jedi world before being knocked out of canon by the Sequel Trilogy.
Also included in Heir to the Empire is a fan-favorite Star Wars character named Mara Jade. Known as the Emperor’s Hand, Mara served as Palpatine’s secret weapon before becoming entangled with Thrawn’s regime. However, her allegiance to the Empire slowly waned and she eventually became a love interest for Luke Skywalker after embracing the Light Side of the Force.
Ever since Ahsoka‘s debut, Star Wars fans have been hoping for a live-action Mara Jade to be retrofitted into the story just like Thrawn. But what if she’s already here? In Episode 7, Ahsoka offers to help Shin who’s seemingly been abandoned by both Thrawn and Baylan. Shin could accept that aid in the season finale and in doing so potentially reveal her real name: Mara Jade.
Again, this one is a huge long shot, but not for nothing, actress Ivanna Sakhno did pull off red hair in The Reunion. That’s half of the character work right there, plus Sakhno has been winning rave reviews for her performance as a fledgling Dark Jedi apprentice.
The Ahsoka season finale starts streaming October 3 at 9 ET/6 PT on Disney+.