The epic two-episode premiere of Star Wars: Ahsoka will air exclusively on Disney+ at 1am GMT on August 23rd.
Set after the fall of the Empire, “Ahsoka” follows the former Jedi knight Ahsoka Tano as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy.
The build up to Disney+’s Ahsoka spin-off series has been… immense. This character means so much to so many people, and with 15 years under her belt it’s no surprise that this show has become one of Disney’s most anticipated projects. To see Ahsoka make the leap to live-action with her own show (let that sink in) is truly a wholesome and fulfilling feeling as a fan. After a shakey introduction, Ahsoka quickly became one of the most revered characters in the galaxy. However, that title does carry a lot of weight. As with any Star Wars project, the anticipation is always absurdly high, and the expectations are through the roof. But for Ahsoka… Something felt different.
The growing buzz surrounding Ahsoka has been so intoxicating and unique compared to the other shows, and in a way there was this added pressure in regards to catering towards multiple sides of the fandom; specifically the animated fans, the wider Star Wars fans, and the casual viewers. Despite that pressure, this premiere acts as a fantastic introduction for the newer fans and a stellar continuation for those long-time fans. It handles everything so diligently without neglecting newer audiences, but the experience of watching these two episodes evolves if you have the prior knowledge from both The Clone Wars and Rebels. It certainly doesn’t disrupt the flow for the more casual watchers, but as a huge Star Wars fan… I was in my element from the very start.
The first two episodes, which really should be enjoyed back to back as if you’re watching a movie, perfectly captures everything that makes Star Wars what it is. From the stunning visuals, to the mesmerising environments, these episodes feel like a return to form. There’s balance between the sublime world building and the necessity to unravel this enigmatic story. These episodes inhabit the best of both worlds, whereby we can enjoy and marvel at the spectacle and also allow ourselves to be taken on a journey with old friends and new enemies. Even as a hardcore fan, I’m willing to admit that some projects got slightly lost in the cameo/surprise whirlwind, but Ahsoka is genuinely exploring new territories while staying true to the Star Wars mythos.
Not only is this a new chapter for Ahsoka, but it’s also a chance to revisit some of the coolest elements from the animated world. Fans of The Clone Wars and Rebels are going to be left stunned by the inclusion of lore that we thought was long lost, and little subtle references to key characters like Kanan and Vader. It’s also impossible to ignore the flawless live-action transition for certain characters. Ahsoka, Huyang, and Sabine feel so at home in this live-action universe. They’re all integrated beautifully, and they each capture the small nuances that made these characters flourish in the animated shows. From Ahsoka’s contagious smirk, Sabine’s rebellious and sassy demeanor, to the humour and humanity of Huyang. These characters have not only been perfectly adapted to suit the new medium, they’ve also evolved in-line with the narratives progression. It all feels very natural and clean.
Now, this isn’t just a Rebels reunion. There are new dark forces at work here, and these forces take different guises. Through Morgan Elsbeth, we see a more ancient power rising, and through the New Republic it becomes clear that not everyone is happy with the new regime. The introduction of Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati also further complicates matters. Their arrival is both very typical of Star Wars and quite refreshing. Their relationship is more refined compared to Ahsoka and Sabine’s, but you can definitely feel some tension which is caused by the ambiguity of their mission. What they want is a mystery at the moment, but it’s clear that they are neither sith or Jedi…
Regardless of their goal, they blur the lines that Star Wars fans have become so accustomed to. The dynamic between good and evil is no longer a simple war between two different ideals. Heroes and villains aren’t restricted to the paradigm of labels like “Jedi” and “Sith” because we have grown beyond those simplicities. There’s a complexity to both of them that really emphasises their power and presence, yet they don’t feel inherently evil. Their development, along with the evolving relationship between Ahsoka and Sabine, is one of the most fascinating elements of this premiere. To an extent, they are binary opposites in nature, but Baylan and Shin somehow evoke that Master & Apprentice bond that Sabine yearns for.
As a Star Wars fan I am beyond happy. This show has kicked off to a great start and there is simply too much to say about it. The main thing to take away is that these episodes have really grasped the opportunity to further enhance the Star Wars universe with new ideas that have the potential to change everything, and explore characters that haven’t had the chance to fully flourish. It’s a lot to tackle, but Ahsoka absolutely nailed it in every capacity. The future is looking very bright for our favourite Togruta.
The first two episodes of Ahsoka really embody the essence of Star Wars, and go well beyond those boundaries. The effects and world building are next level, the leap from animation to live-action is seamless and inclusive, and the action triumphs with intense and fluid lightsaber duels. This premiere honours Ahsoka’s character and legacy while also directing us to something new and refreshing. Simply put, Ahsoka is a visual marvel that will leave fans desperate for more, and I am already feeling the burn waiting for episode three.
Check out the trailer below:
Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, Diana Lee Inosanto, David Tennant, Lars Mikkelsen and Eman Esfandi.
The episodes are directed by Dave Filoni, Steph Green, Peter Ramsey, Jennifer Getzinger, Geeta Vasant Patel and Rick Famuyiwa. Dave Filoni is the head writer and executive produces along with Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson and Carrie Beck. Karen Gilchrist serves as co-executive producer.
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