“Ahsoka is the Star Wars Rebels sequel we were all waiting for. Undoubtedly, this is the best Star Wars series premiere. It doesn’t feel like watching a series but it feels like watching a film. Ahsoka truly feels cinematic. Dave Filoni has once again delivered on every level, he is the king of Star Wars.”
The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here! Indeed, the first two episodes of Ahsoka are now streaming on Disney Plus!
A LOOK BACK
Everyone who knows me, knows how much The Clone Wars means to me. This series will always hold a special place in my heart. Last week, we celebrated its 15th anniversary. Time really goes by so fast. I’ve been a fan of Ahsoka Tano since day one and I have loved following her journey in The Clone Wars and then in Star Wars Rebels. Rebels is also a series that means a lot to me with its iconic Ghost crew.
Then, on November 27 2020 we witnessed Ahsoka’s live-action debut in The Mandalorian with Chapter 13: The Jedi. Seeing her in live-action was a dream come true and it was truly amazing. I honeslty couldn’t believe it was actually happening. And it was Rosario Dawson playing her. Fans had been campaigning for her to be cast if there ever was a live-action version of the character. It came to the attention of Dave Filoni who met with her and decided that she was the right actress for the role. She really is. Rosario is perfect as Ahsoka. She embodies who is the character and she is also a fan of the character and this saga.
In 2022, we got to see Ahsoka in live-action again in The Book of Boba Fett with Chapter 6: From The Desert Comes A Stranger. This episode was another dream come true with Ahsoka interacting with Luke Skywalker. I remember seeing the episode for the first time and being so surprised with tears of joy. And a year later, we are now witnessing a live-action Ahsoka series with the Ghost crew making their live-action debut. Zeb already made his debut earlier this year in The Mandalorian season 3 and Chopper made a cameo in Rogue One.
Right from the start, the first episode sets the tone. Indeed, there is a red Lucasfilm logo and the opening scene is a dark one. Thrawn’s threat is looming large. The introduction crawl tells us what we need to know before we get into the juicy stuff. It’s not the usual Star Wars crawl, it’s a crawl like in Blade Runner. I love this. I feel like the usual crawl should be kept for the Saga films. This crawl is right for this story. I would love to see it used again in the Mando-Verse film we will be getting in the coming years.
With Ahsoka, Dave Filoni had the daring task to re-introduce in live-action characters, people have followed over 5 seasons while also introducing them to an all-new audience. And I am happy to report that Filoni succeeded at doing both. For the audience who don’t know Sabine and Hera, these two episodes tell them what they need to know. And for us who already know these characters, it’s just tears of happiness to see them in live-action. Ahsoka is the Star Wars Rebels sequel we have all been waiting for. The series premiere uses a slow pace to introduce everything. There is a lot to take in with these two episodes.
We are just two episodes in but all throughout, you can sense Thrawn’s looming threat and presence. The audience and the characters know something bad is coming. The galaxy is in danger. There is a lot of world-building to tell us what is going on during this time period. Even if the New Republic is in control of the galaxy, things are complicated.
Ahsoka does a phenomenal work at setting a new chapter in the Star Wars franchise. Dave Filoni adds to the mythology he already developed in the previous animated series. It balances between adventure, suspense and action while also taking the time it needs to set everything. The slow pace is what was needed here. There are a lot of connections to previously established material. If you have watched what came before, you will definitely enjoy the series at its fullest. The new villains are a compelling threat to our heroes. It’s not going to be an easy task for Ahsoka and the Ghost crew. Many challenges are ahead of them.
I love the interactions between Sabine and Ahsoka. There is an untold story of master and apprentice here. The two are in conflict and yet you know they had a bond. You can tell the exploration of their relationship is going to be the heart of this series. After all, the master and apprentice bond is a classic theme of Star Wars.
I never had any doubts about Filoni, he never disappointed us. But with Ahsoka, he delivers his best work yet. Everything has been leading up to this moment. All his years working with George Lucas in The Clone Wars, learning from him, has lead Filoni to make Ahsoka. He is the king of Star Wars now.
Undoubtedly, this is the best Star Wars series premiere whether you take into consideration animation and live-action. On every level, Filoni has delivered for the greatest pleasure of the fans. Moreover, I love the inspirations he has used for this series – Treasure Planet, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, old adventure films… He knows his classics. After watching these two episodes, all I can say is I can’t wait for next week.
I already knew with The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett that Rosario Dawson IS Ahsoka Tano. But these two episodes just once again confirm it. She shines as the lead character. Rosario has this on-screen presence that Ahsoka has in Star Wars Rebels. She is serene and appears as someone with knowledge. It’s Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings.
Furthermore, I was very much looking forward to seeing Sabine and Hera in live-action. The casting choice do not disappoint. Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are respectively perfect as Sabine Wren and Hera Syndulla. Chopper is also his usual self – grumpy and a bit sadistic. Natasha captures Sabine’s stubborness so well while also the artistic vibe of the character. Sabine is a complex character and Natasha is able to bring all the different layers to the screen. Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Hera feels like the leader and the mother figure we knew in Rebels.
Although, we only see Eman Esfandi’s Ezra in hologram, I think he has found the right voice for the character. It reminds me so much of the voice tone Taylor Gray had in Star Wars Rebels. I just can’t wait for Ezra’s proper introduction in the series. Speaking of voices, it feels so good to hear David Tennant voicing Huyang again.
On the villain’s side, we are introduced to Ray Stevenson and Ivanna Sakhno. This is an excellent introduction. I love what we have seen so far. They both deliver solid performance and I am so intrigued to learn more about their characters.
The Mandalorian and the other live-action Star Wars series all feel like high-quality television work. They are all impressive in their own way. However, Ahsoka really feels cinematic. It doesn’t feel like watching an episode of a series but it feels like watching an actual film. This is how good it looks. I have to applaud everyone who worked on this series and they deserve to win Emmys for their work. Undoubtedly, this is OUTSTANDING. My jaw hit the floor watching these two episodes on my big 4K TV. And I wish we could see them all on the big screen. I can’t imagine how it would be. With only two episodes, we have seen the best lightsaber fights in Star Wars in years. The choreography is on point.
Plus, Shawna Trpcic has done a wonderful job with the costumes. She has perfectly transcribed the Ghost crew’s costume into live-action while adding something new to it. Baylan’s and Shin’s costume are also great. With these costumes, you can tell these two are villains and there is something ancient to it, they still remain mysterious.
Since Solo A Star Wars Story introduced us to Corellia, I wanted the canon to explore more of this planet. We only got a small look at it in the film. Now, Ahsoka gives us another look at this planet. In fact, it feels more cinematic than in the film. That’s to say how good it looks. It’s also so interesting to see what happened to the planet after the Empire fell. We are also introduced to two new planets, each have a very distinct feel following the usual Star Wars rule with planets.
Additionally, we see some New Republic ships. I like the design of these new capital ships. They feel so Rebel while also having an imposing look. And the Home One is back! We hadn’t seen this one for a while. For the first time in live-action, we get to see the Jedi shuttles from The Clone Wars. It is a seamless transition between animation and live-action here. On another note, the Legends starfighter E-Wing makes his canon debut. It’s always a ship I loved so I am glad to see the New Republic using it. It just feels like Star Wars.
LOTHAL IN ALL ITS GLORY
Moreover, Lothal in live-action looks glorious. The capital city feels like a big proper Prequels city. It’s so pristine. And Ezra’s tower is really impressive. The way Filoni films it makes you feel the immensity of Lothal’s plains. It’s exactly how I imagined it to be. Let’s not forget the animatronics loth-cat, he really steals the show. I want one!
Earlier this year, I was at Star Wars Celebration Europe and I was lucky enough to take a picture in front of Sabine’s mural with Chopper, it really looked amazing. And now seeing it in the series feels great. Dave Filoni created this world so he just knows how to bring into live-action. I have loved every second we spend on Lothal. It feels so real.
Fans of Star Wars Rebels will also be happy to see the return of Clancy Brown as Ryder Azadi. He voiced the character in the series and it was designed to look like him so it is great to see him portraying him in live-action. Jai Kell also makes a brief appearance. It’s nice to see what these characters do now. For fans of Rebels, it means a lot to us to see them.
Kevin Kiner who composed the score for Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch, Tales of the Jedi and Star Wars Rebels is also making the jump to Star Wars live-action. He knows the characters, he has composed for the series for so many years, it just makes sense to have him for Ahsoka. He brilliantly re-uses his existing themes for Ahsoka, Sabine, Ezra and Hera while incorporating them into his new score. There is a clear Japanese inspiration in how Kiner uses his percussion instruments. I love what he did. Music is so important in Star Wars and Kevin Kiner has done a tremendous work with Ahsoka. It elevates every scene and it adds to the cinematic feel.
So far in the Mando-Verse series, the end credits features concept arts from each episode. But Ahsoka changes things with a different kind of credits. As much as I loved seeing concept arts, it’s refreshing to see something different. This time, the credits feature the map to this new galaxy. The gold on the blue background really stands out, the camera movements, the old typeface and Kevin Kiner’s score make these end credits truly sublime.
Ahsoka is the Star Wars Rebels sequel we were all waiting for. Undoubtedly, this is the best Star Wars series premiere. It doesn’t feel like watching a series but it feels like watching a film. Ahsoka truly feels cinematic. Dave Filoni has once again delivered on every level, he is the king of Star Wars. Rosario Dawson shines as Ahsoka Tano, she IS the character. Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are both respectively perfect as Sabine and Hera. Seeing the Ghost crew in live-action is a dream come true. With these two episodes, Thrawn’s threat is looming large. With the slow pace, it takes the time to re-introduce our beloved characters while introducing them to a new audience and also setting up this new chapter in the Star Wars franchise. Adventure, action and suspense are there for a phenomenal series premiere.
Star Wars: Ahsoka are now streaming on Disney Plus.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert