“The search for Grand Admiral Thrawn reaches beyond the limits of the galaxy.”
While jumping through hyperspace the pod of purrgil carrying Ahsoka Tano and Huyang, the pair reminisce on a time when the Jedi Order was full. While Huyang initially believes it’s impossible that Sabine went with their enemies willingly, Ahsoka states that she was fated to make the choice she did and there wasn’t enough time to train her to do the right thing.
Instead of the conversation at hand, Ahsoka asks Huyang to tell her one of the stories he once told her and her fellow younglings at the Jedi Temple.
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …”
Sabine expresses her unhappiness toward being in a cell and in cuffs to Baylan Skoll, reminding him that he made a deal with her to see Ezra again. Rejoining Morgan and Shin he expresses that Sabine’s search for Ezra blinds her and that he feels she can still be of some use to their plans. Completing their hyperspace jump, the trio land just beyond the planet Peridea, the ancient home planet of the Dathomiri. According to the Jedi Archives which Baylan seems to have spent some time in considering his memory, Peridea is the end of the route for purrgil … in that it’s where they come to die, because the planet is a graveyard. As they make their way through the rings around the planet they are surrounded by bones.
Sabine is escorted to join on the small ship going to the planet surface to respond to the beacon being picked up by their ship’s systems. A mostly desolate planet with scattered statues, it’s not hard to find a large structure resembling a Temple. When Morgan, Baylan, Shin, and Sabine emerge they are greeted to the sight of three Nightsisters who welcome Morgan as a Child of Dathomir. Morgan heard their call in a dream, and the trio of new witches promise that Thrawn is coming, though their attention quickly turns to Sabine.
“It reeks of Jedi. It is dangerous.”
Unsatisfied with the cuffs she’s already in the Nightsisters use their own magic to further bind her, insisting that she will wait in solitude. As she is pulled away she reminds Baylan they had a deal again. Sabine finds herself in a cell yet again.
Baylan is troubled by their new surroundings and shares with Shin that stories of this galaxy were told as folktales at the Temple, something she would never know considering she was not raised on the Temple. Baylan shares that when he was not much older than her he watched everything he knew burn, and while he couldn’t make much sense of it at the time, as he’s gotten older he realizes that it was all inevitable and that the fall of the Jedi and rise of the Empire will happen again, and again … and again.
While Shin hopes that this means it’s their turn to be in power, Baylan tells her that the sort of power she talks about is fleeting, and what he seeks is the beginning so he can break the cycle, and he’s hopeful they’ll find it on Peridea if the stories he was told prove to be true.
Sabine, meanwhile, is attempting to call out to her Master through the Force, though quickly moves on to instead trying to open the door. Outside, the Chimaera in all of its massive glory appears overhead, rumbling the very ground and signaling the arrival of the Grand Admiral. When the doors open a mass of Stormtroopers with armor modified with Nightsister materials lead by the new Captain Enoch part ways to allow for Thrawn to make his way to his allies.
“What was first just a dream has now become a frightening reality for those who may oppose us.”
It will take at least three rotations to move supplies which Thrawn considers an acceptable timeframe. His disappointment is instead focused on the fact that the three Great Mothers did not foresee Morgan, Baylan and Shin bringing a prisoner, something they refer to as a “loose thread.” Baylan steps in to say that he brought the prisoner because he felt she could be of some use, which leads to an official introduction with Thrawn … one that Thrawn follows by surmising the man must be General Baylan Skoll of the Jedi Order. Baylan says he parted ways with the Jedi long ago, and Thrawn responds that he would not be the first.
Of course, Thrawn recognizes Sabine Wren by name and agrees that she will be of great use. Sabine is escorted to Thrawn, who is delighted to see a familiar face after so long. While Thrawn sets out to thank her for making it possible for him to escape, Sabine immediately asks him where Ezra is. Thrawn taunts her about how her singular focus will reshape the galaxy, but ultimately honors Baylan’s agreement and frees Sabine of her restraints saying she will be provided with provisions, a mount, and their latest intel on Ezra’s whereabouts, warning her that Ezra may be dead, though Sabine is confident he’s still alive.
“You’ve gambled the fate of your galaxy on that belief.”
Enoch warns Sabine that nomads roam the planet and feast on one another as he gives her weapons to use, including her lightsaber as he bids her to “Die well.” Sabine sets off on her own mission to find her long lost friend and brother as Thrawn, Shin, Baylan, and Morgan watch. Thrawn tells Baylan he can follow Sabine at her own pace, and while Shin seems surprised her Master will not honor his agreement, Thrawn says that he will … Sabine will get the opportunity to find Ezra, and then Baylan and Shin will kill them both.
Sabine makes her way through the desolate planet until she reaches an area that sets both her and the howler she’s riding on edge. When she is fired upon her howler runs off, leaving her to fend off the bandits herself. Her odds seem poor until she opts to wield her lightsaber, quickly laying waste to the team of bandits save for one who runs off. With her tracking technology broken and her mount gone, things don’t look promising for Sabine’s search.
Baylan and Shin set off on Sabine’s trail as materials begin to move. Thrawn instructs Enoch to prepare to squads to join them should they need it, and Morgan’s request to send more is denied due to the dwindled numbers of the forces at Thrawn’s hand. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to Thrawn if Sabine and Ezra are killed or left stranded … and he also doesn’t care if that’s the same fate for Baylan and Shin.
Sabine’s howler finds her and while she reprimands the creature, it continues to follow after her happily. The howler begins sniffing the air indicating to Sabine it has something, and the pair quickly set off to follow the trail. The howler continues to sniff even after it has gotten a drink, paying particular attention to what appears to be a rock, but is actually a small creature hiding in a hollow rock-like shell. When Sabine says she won’t hurt the creature it finally stands to face her. There is an unfortunate language barrier between Sabine and her new alien friend, though it quickly points to the Rebel Alliance symbol on her shoulder in recognition … it’s wearing a necklace with the same emblem.
All around her several of this new species jump up, speaking to one another until they can manage one thing Sabine understands:
On the trail of Sabine, Baylan and Shin find the bodies of the bandits Sabine faced. Further reminiscing on the Jedi Order, Baylan shares that he misses the idea of the Order but not the weakness that came with it. While Shin doesn’t seem happy about their surroundings or sold on the fact that the future’s beginning can be found on this wasteland, Baylan says that something calls to him on the planet. When a new team of bandits show he insists there will not be bloodshed, and that the old “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” rule applies to their situation … for now.
Arriving at a small village with her new allies, the Noti, Sabine is offered a meal and is shortly reunited with Ezra.
“I knew I could count on you. Though, sure took you long enough.”
The two share a long awaited hug, and Sabine quickly changes the subject about how exactly she found him, hoping to just share the happy moment for a while. Sabine and Ezra help the Noti pack up the village to move, and Ezra shares an earnest thank you and that he can’t wait to go home.
The Great Mothers summon Thrawn to share that another Jedi is coming riding the travelers (purrgil), asking if it could be the recently deceased Ahsoka Tano. While Morgan says it’s impossible and that Baylan assured her that Ahsoka was dead, Thrawn reminds her that that he was once a Jedi and is therefore flawed. Thrawn will consider Ahsoka alive until they know otherwise, asking Morgan to learn of her background, history, training … and her Master. He instructs Morgan to destroy any purrgil that approach Peridea.
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