Produced by John Bartnicki
Starring Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, and Lars Mikkelsen
Rated TV-14 for sci-fi violence
Distributed by Disney Platform Distribution.
The quality of recent Star Wars productions has been inconsistent. Obi-Wan Kenobi bungled the opportunity to bring back the charismatic Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan, presenting a hapless ex-hero stumbling through a contrived story, and the third season of The Mandalorian featured the title character flying aimlessly around the galaxy for a series of over-the-top adventures that never delivered a meaningful message or overall narrative. On the other hand, the animated series The Bad Batch delivered a fascinating run of episodes exploring the early rise of the Galactic Empire and the moral alternatives facing the clone warriors who find themselves fighting for it; and Andor masterfully portrayed the experiences and decisions that turned the title character from a mercenary fighter disinterested in any cause into a principled fighter for freedom against the Empire.
Given this context, many fans were both hopeful and skeptical about the latest Star Wars installment, Ahsoka. Continuing a story line from the popular animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels, Ahsoka follows Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, as she works to prevent the cunning and ruthless Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) from escaping exile in another galaxy and returning to wreak havoc once more.
From the start, Ahsoka presents a clear objective (something notably missing from many recent Star Wars productions): prevent Thrawn’s return. But Ahsoka; her one-time apprentice, Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo); and their ally, General Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), also have a more personal motive: recovering their long-lost friend, Ezra, who they believe is alive and stranded in the same distant galaxy as Thrawn. To achieve either goal, they must overcome resistance from their government’s senators, who don’t believe their claims about Thrawn’s impending return and dismiss their warnings as a pretense to mount a rescue mission to find Ezra.
This compelling setup makes Ahsoka far more interesting than many of the recent Star Wars shows. Virtually every character has clear motivation, and the main story is supported by interesting subplots about Sabine’s abortive Jedi training and Ahsoka’s backstory with Anakin.
Although Ahsoka doesn’t have as explicit a moral message as Andor, . . .
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1. Molly Brizzel, “There’s One Reason Ahsoka Has Avoided Obi-Wan Kenobi's Biggest Mistake,” Screen Rant, August 25, 2023, https://screenrant.com/ahsoka-avoids-obi-wan-kenobi-volume-mistake.