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" gives "Ahsoka - First two episodes" a 8."
Written by on 24 August 2023.
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Ahsoka - First two episodes

The Star Wars series about former Jedi apprentice Ahsoka Tano is off to a promising start. The first two episodes make you curious for more.

When The Mandalorian opened the door to Star Wars live-action series a few years ago, it wasn't a question of if, but when Ahsoka Tano would show up. Ahsoka first appeared in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, playing Anakin Skywalker's Jedi apprentice until the latter switched to the dark side. She also appeared in the sequel series Star Wars Rebels, as one of the instigators of the rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

Finally, we first saw the live-action version of Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson, Daredevil) in a second-season episode of The Mandalorian, and she later had a small role in The Book of Boba Fett as well. Then came the next big step: our own series. The first two episodes premiered on August 22 on Disney+.

Ahsoka is set in the same timeline as The Mandalorian, several years after the end of the original film trilogy. The Galactic Empire is defeated, but the New Republic is not entirely successful in keeping the peace. There are also plenty of senior officers who were loyal to the Empire on the loose, including Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen, Forbrydelsen). Together with her old allies, she embarks on a dangerous expedition to track down Thrawn and thwart his plans.

Ahsoka is actually a sequel to Rebels

Actually, Ahsoka is mainly a continuation of the series Rebels, which took place several years before the original film trilogy. Thrawn was the main villain in that series, and several other characters from Rebels also make an appearance here. The series is full of other references to Rebels and also The Clone Wars. For fans of these series, Ahsoka feels like a warm bath. I do wonder if the series is also accessible enough for people who are not familiar with the animated series.

Apart from that, Ahsoka does manage to really bring a Star Wars feeling to the screen. The special effects are good and the scale of the conflict is on par with some Star Wars films. Although the spectacular action in the first two episodes is rather sparse, it looks beautiful again. At the same time, Ahsoka adds enough new elements to give it something of its own. One of those elements is the atmosphere. They succeed well in translating the idiosyncratic atmosphere of Rebels into live action as well. Here and there this cartoonish atmosphere is a bit out of place when some more dark themes are treated, but the kind of little.

The main characters are well-portrayed

The actors are also doing well. In addition to Ahsoka, pilot Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Fargo) and weapons expert Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo, The Society) also return from Rebels. These three women work together well and know what to do with their characters. Furthermore, the recently deceased Ray Stevenson (Rome) has a cool villain role as Baylan Skoll, a former Jedi gone bad and working as a mercenary for the last supporters of the Empire. In addition, the robots Huyang (David Tennant, Doctor Who) and Chopper (voiced by showrunner Dave Filoni) give the series wonderfully light-hearted moments.

However, the story is not yet a masterpiece. Ahsoka finds a map that may lead her to Thrawn, and what follows is a bunch of discussion about how to read the map and that there are villains out there who are also after the map. In the first episode, the pace is quite slow, but that is also necessary to give all the protagonists a good introduction. In episode two, the acceleration is a lot better and the makers show better what kind of story they want to tell. The diptych ends with a strong cliffhanger that certainly makes you curious for more.

Ahsoka's two-part premiere signals a promising launch for the latest Star Wars series. With three sympathetic heroines at the helm, a lot of nods to Star Wars Rebels and a unique atmosphere, this looks set to be a valuable addition to the Star Wars universe.
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Part Eight: The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord
Part Eight: The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord
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