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Ahsoka's Latest Lightsaber Fight Is A Nod To One Of Star Wars' Most Primal Battles

Contains spoilers for "Ahsoka" Season 1, Episode 4 — "Fallen Jedi"

As "Ahsoka" reaches its halfway point, the show's stakes increase. Episode 3 left Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), and Huyang (David Tennant) stranded on Seatos with Baylan Skoll's (Ray Stevenson) forces on their trail, teasing many exciting showdowns in the immediate future. This week, we are in said immediate future, and "Fallen Jedi" delivers on all the teases of forest-themed combat the previous episode — as well as the "Ahsoka" trailer — hinted at. 

Mid-season finales don't need to be a massive thing in the weekly-release streaming format, but "Ahsoka" sure seems to treat "Fallen Jedi" as one. From the long-awaited showdown between Ahsoka and Baylan to the rematch between Sabine and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and Morgan Elsbeth's (Diana Lee Inosanto) plan to find Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) finally coming to fruition, things are well and truly on in a way that makes the viewer wonder how the show plans to deal with the fallout with just four more episodes to go. Still, this being a "Star Wars" show, one thing is certain. We're going to see a whole bunch of Easter eggs ... much like in this episode, which pays obvious homage to the famed "Duel on Starkiller Base" lightsaber battle between Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in "Star Wars: Episode VI — The Force Awakens." 

Two forests, two huge lightsaber battles

The big centerpiece of "Fallen Jedi" is, of course, the amazing lightsaber action that forms the backbone of the episode. The vast majority of its runtime is constructed around the ebb and flow of the massive battle that begins with some droid space karate and ends with Ahsoka's fall. The centerpiece of this multi-scene fight, in turn, begins when Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren run into Shin Hati and Inquisitor Marrok (Paul Darnell) in the woods. 

The following events offer two equally cool, yet extremely different takes on the concept of lightsaber battles. Ahsoka takes on Marrok in a relatively straightforward duel that starts out evenly enough ... that is, until Marrok is foolish enough to whip out the spin function of his double-bladed Inquisitorius lightsaber, and immediately discovers first-hand that Ahsoka is really, really good at one-shotting people who use it. Meanwhile, Sabine gets her rematch with Shin, and while she does fare somewhat better than during her first meeting, it's clear that she still has a whole lot to learn. 

The entire sequence is more than a little reminiscent of Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren's duel, which takes place during the Battle of Starkiller Base in "The Force Awakens." Just like the fights in "Ahsoka" Episode 4, the battle takes place in a forest and involves multiple opponents — one of whom (Finn) is hopelessly outclassed by a far more experienced, villainous adversary. Both of the fights also have two parts. The clumsy, visceral sequence between Finn and Kylo is a lot like Sabine's attempts to hang with Shin's superior skills, while the far more technical showdown between Kylo and Rey is closer to the Ahsoka-Marrok portion of the "Fallen Jedi" fight. 

Of course, there are differences too — the Starkiller Base sequence features a snowy forest, there are only three characters involved, and they sure take down a ton of trees with their sabers. Even so, the overall vibe between the two battle scenes is too similar to be anything other than a deliberate homage. 

The forest battle joins the list of lightsaber homages in Ahsoka

A clear-cut way of knowing that the forest battle's similarity to the one in "The Force Awakens" is intentional is the simple fact that "Ahsoka" really loves paying homage to past lightsaber moments. In the first episode, Shin injures Sabine with the same type of survivable lightsaber stabbing that the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and Reva Sevander (Moses Ingram) received and lived through in "Obi-Wan Kenobi." During Sabine's lightsaber training scene in "Time to Fly," Ahsoka reintroduces the classic vision-impairing helmet technique Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) used on Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in the very first "Star Wars" movie. Even Baylan Skoll's introduction in "Ahsoka" Episode 1 features a scene that's a surprisingly accurate reproduction of Darth Vader's (Spencer Wilding, Daniel Naprous, and James Earl Jones) hallway assault on the Rebel troops in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." 

"Ahsoka's" place in the "Star Wars" timeline means that the forest lightsaber battle in "Fallen Jedi" happens before the one in "The Force Awakens," so technically, Kylo Ren, Rey, and Finn are unwittingly paying homage to the fight that took place on Seatos many years before they clashed plasma blades. Considering the show's fondness for this type of homage, it will be interesting to see how many other past or future duels "Ahsoka" will reference before Season 1 is over.