Ahsoka has come a long way since her first appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She was once an annoying padawan who was an apprentice to Anakin Skywalker but now has come into her own as a beloved character with a rich history in the Star Wars galaxy. The premiere episodes of the Ahsoka series for Disney Plus set up many interesting ideas and conflict, which comes as a result of the fall of the Empire from Return of the Jedi. There are many nods to the show Star Wars Rebels, which may require one to have seen in order to fully enjoy everything in here, but there are a lot of great things that make Ahsoka very interesting for everyone to dive into. Even if you’re not a die-hard Star Wars Rebels fan, you’ll be intrigued at what the series is aiming for.
The beginning of Ahsoka starts off slower in comparison to other Star Wars Disney Plus series. But there are many layers to the story, along with many continuations for characters that were prominent in Star Wars Rebels. The overarching plot of the show is focused on finding the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn and rescuing Ezra Bridger, after their disappearance at the end of Star Wars Rebels. But there’s also an interest in traveling to the unknown regions, areas of space we’ve never seen in Star Wars before.
The best parts of the premiere episodes are the lightsaber battles and action. Surprisingly, there are a lot of clashes with lightsabers in the first two episodes, with Ahsoka fighting droids and Sabine Wren fighting with a new villain Shin Hati. While the first episode is a slow burn when revealing details vital to the plot, both episodes do a good job of establishing Ahsoka as a force to be reckoned with. She has been around for a long time and has taken on the calmer demeanor we associate with Jedi masters. As the series goes on, we’re going to see a lot of Jedi in action, some of whom have survived big events like the Clone Wars and Order 66.
If you weren’t a fan of the musical choices for previous Star Wars shows, you’ll be pleased to know that Ahsoka is very different. The background music feels much more in line with both the Star Wars animated shows but also has great inspiration from the original Star Wars trilogy as well. In the calmer moments with characters talking, you can see beautiful shots that are accented by music scores that echo similar moments from A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Some of the locations Ahsoka goes to even have similar visual nods to things seen in the original trilogy, including a meeting room for the New Republic that looks like the one straight out of Return of the Jedi. It makes everything feel more like classic Star Wars than other shows have in the past, even more so than The Mandalorian did in its early seasons.
One thing that does hold back the series is how slow some parts of the first two episodes play out. There are scenes where things feel slow-moving with how characters interact with things around them, often taking time to soak in the surroundings and their actions. For some people, there are moments that will drag a bit too long for comfort. But for others, there’s a lot of ground to cover in the relationship between characters since the finale of Star Wars Rebels.
While Rosario Dawson does a great job being a live-action Ahsoka, the rest of the cast also brings their A-game. Baylan Skoll and Shin Kati, played by the late Ray Stevenson and Ivanna Sakhno, are intriguing characters with a backstory that will definitely get revealed in later episodes. Their relation to the Jedi order and how much of a match they’ll make for Ahsoka are defined very early on, but in various ways that keep an air of mystery to both of them. Hera Syndulla is played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and is a solid adaptation of her animation counterpart. She’s has a caring, yet firm presence as a general in the New Republic that has a very strong friendship with Ahsoka and Sabine. The rich history these characters have with each other is definitely hinted at in multiple ways that will make fans of Star Wars Rebels happy.
Natasha Liu Bordizzo is a big stand-out as the live-action version of Sabine Wren. She does a great job being the Mandalorian with an attitude that has been impacted by the loss of her close friend. Of course, there’s a ton of fan service with her that fans will spot easily, but she has the potential for a lot of growth as the series goes on. Her relationship with Ahsoka is going to become one of master and apprentice, which will most likely see her in more lightsaber fights with Shin and Baylan down the line. There’s also a few scenes with the fan-favorite droid Chopper that are brief. They are funny and will get a laugh out of Rebels fans, but don’t last long enough to have a big impact on the premiere episodes.
What the first two episodes of Ahsoka seem to lack is an emphasis on Ahsoka herself. Although from trailers we know we’re going to get more backstory and flashes of the past for Ahsoka, we don’t get anything like that in the first two episodes. There’s a greater emphasis on setting up the stakes for Ahsoka and her friends, as well as getting everyone reacquainted once again.
It’s a good choice for those who have not watched Star Wars Rebels or haven’t revisited the series in a long time, but it does take up a lot of time away from the title character. For some, this won’t be a big deal because it’s keeping things focused on the main plot now, rather than revisiting Ahsoka’s past or lingering on her for too long. We’re definitely going to get those moments in the series in future episodes, but there needed to be a foundation for the conflict of this show first.
Other interesting aspects of the start of this series is the continuous buildup of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Ahsoka begins with an opening crawl, a first for the Disney Plus shows, that reinforces the importance of Thrawn and why so many people are searching for him. He’s being treated like the next major antagonist that will cause all of the main players in the galaxy to converge at some point, both good and evil.
Baylan and Shin are working with Morgan Elsbeth, the former magistrate that Ahsoka captured during Season 2 of The Mandalorian, to bring Thrawn back from his exile. On the other hand, Hera and Ahsoka are doing what they can to prevent Thrawn from regrouping remnants of The Empire by preventing his return. It’s an interesting race between both groups that is bound to have dire consequences when we finally do see Grand Admiral Thrawn in the series.
Ahsoka is off to a good start with very minor things to harp on. Where the premiere episodes leave viewers by the end is definitely intriguing enough to keep them watching. The action with Ahsoka and other characters is exciting, while the presentation in both episodes is also very well done. The balance of good story and fan service is handled with care, without leaving newcomers in the dark about many things that have happened to these characters in previous shows. Star Wars fans will have another good show to look forward to watching every week, with some exciting things being promised to come soon. How crazy this story will get for Ahsoka is anyone’s guess for now, but you will definitely want to find out.
What do you think of the Ahsoka series on Disney Plus? Are you a big Star Wars fan who has watched all of the shows up to now? Who is your favorite character in the series? Let us know your thoughts about everything in the comment section down below!
Ahsoka Series Premiere
The series starts off a bit slow, but has some great action scenes and a phenomenal presentation. There’s a good balance of fan service and new story beats to follow for everyone, not just die-hard fans. The characters have great moments with each other that reacquaint them with the audience and promise exciting things to come. The music is also great, making action and quiet moments interesting to watch.
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