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How A Scene Cut From 'Ahsoka' Is Dividing 'Star Wars' Fans

A split in the fan base.

By Kristy AndersonPublished 8 months ago 4 min read
Credit: Disney.

One of the most important events to take place in Ahsoka is the return of the Jedi Ezra Bridger. Following a heroic sacrifice which results in his disappearing into the Unknown Regions of space with Grand Admiral Thrawn and a pod of Purrgil in the finale of Star Wars: Rebels, Ezra has spent nearly a decade with a New Republic status of 'Missing, feared dead' when Ahsoka begins. However, in the series' sixth episode, after having travelled to the new Galaxy as a hostage of their enemies, Sabine Wren locates Ezra living on the planet Peridea among the nomadic, crab-like Noti people. In the finale, Ezra becomes the only one of our three major heroes to make it home, after Sabine force-hurls him into Thrawn's departing ship.

There are a number of potentially exciting stories to come from Ezra's return, with many expecting him to train Jacen Syndulla, the son of his late Master Kanan Jarrus, as a Jedi. However, the reveal of a scene cut from Ahsoka has left some fans disappointed at the lost potential of a storyline hinted in the cut scene, resulting in a new split in the Star Wars fanbase.

The Cut Scene

The cut scene in question would have taken place near the beginning of Ahsoka episode seven, as an extension of an existing scene. Following Sabine catching Ezra up with how things were going on at home, Ezra would have shared some of his own experiences from his ten years on Peridea.

Of particular interest to some fans is that the cut footage would have had Ezra reveal that he and Thrawn were forced to form a brief, uncomfortable alliance to survive upon their initial arrival in the Unknown Regions. He goes on to state that this alliance crumbled upon Thrawn's discovery of the Nightsisters, forcing Ezra to flee and eventually find refuge among the Noti.

An idea from Thrawn's creator

Some fans have found themselves disappointed that not only was the above scene cut, but that the idea of an Ezra-Thrawn reluctant alliance was not explored more deeply. Some have even gone so far as to say that such a story would have been better than what we got in Ahsoka. The main reason for this comes from those fans' loyalty to the works of author Timothy Zahn, the creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Timothy Zahn is the writer of five Legends novels featuring Thrawn, and more recently, two canon novel trilogies starring the character. He is also known to have consulted with Dave Filoni regarding Thrawn's entry to the canon Star Wars universe. Without too many spoilers, Zahn's canon Thrawn novels reframe the character somewhat. Thrawn belongs to the Chiss, a race hailing from the planet Csilla in the Unknown Regions, and serves the ruling Chiss Ascendancy. Thrawn's travel into the known galaxy and rise through the ranks of the Galactic Empire are part of a larger plan to use the power of the Empire as a weapon against dark forces in the unknown regions that could threaten the Chiss. While he serves the Empire loyally, he sees them mostly as a means to an end, and his true loyalty remains with the Chiss Ascendancy.

When recently asked what he thought about Thrawn and Ezra's situation post Rebels, Zahn envisioned a scenario similar to the reluctant alliance hinted at in the cut scene, albeit on a larger scale.

"The question was what I would do to bring Thrawn back after nine years of vanishing... It seems to me that what we need to do is set up some kind of reluctant buddy thing between Thrawn and Ezra. The way I see it is that Thrawn persuades Ezra that there are worse things out there even than the Empire. The Empire has an all bunch of Rebels fighting against it; this is something that you and you alone can help us defeat. So, if Thrawn can persuade Ezra to work with him, reluctantly, probably, but I think that that would be the basis for the story."

Some fans, particularly those who have read Zahn's Thrawn novels, have latched onto the above as what 'Should have' happened, making Ezra's storyline in Ahsoka now a disappointment to them. However, while Zahn's proposed version of events may work for Thrawn, it does not entirely make sense for Ezra.

Ezra's Experiences Make Zahn's Idea Less Viable

This is where the new split in the fandom truly comes to the fore. For fans of Ezra Bridger as a character, Zahn's proposed post-Rebels storyline tries to position Ezra as a supporting player in a story where Thrawn is the protagonist, while discounting Ezra's personal experiences as being a factor in how such a storyline would play out. The truth, Rebels fans believe, is that while attempting to foster an alliance with Ezra on the basis of a greater threat than the Empire makes sense for Thrawn, accepting such an alliance, even reluctantly so, would not fit with Ezra's character arc.

Through his relationship with Darth Maul in seasons two and three of Rebels, Ezra has already been through a situation of believing in someone from the opposite side, only to be betrayed in a big way. Ezra's willingness to trust, and even accept a small amount of Dark Side training from Maul at the end of season two leads to Kanan losing his eyesight, the guilt of which Ezra seriously struggles with in the early part of season three. He then spends a large chunk of the rest of that season dealing with the extended fallout from having allowed Maul to gain any sort of influence over him, while shaking off the remainder of said influence.

These experiences, which it seems Timothy Zahn failed to take into account in his proposed Thrawn-Ezra alliance story, would likely make Ezra quite resistant to the idea of trusting an enemy again. A few later occasions in which Ezra temporarily re-allies with Maul also go sideways, so even if Thrawn was able to convince Ezra of a worse danger than the Empire, that doesn't mean he would willingly work with him to fight it.

Hopefully, the fanbase will be able to look at both sides of the story and come to an understanding, or at least, that the current split doesn't devolve into another all out Star Wars fan war.

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Kristy Anderson

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    Kristy AndersonWritten by Kristy Anderson

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