The show Star Wars fans have long waited for was released on August 22nd with a two-episode premiere. To the casual audience, Ahsoka, written by Dave Filoni and produced by Queens College alumni Jon Favreau, serves as an intriguing continuation to past Star Wars shows. The more experienced fan will recognize the character of Ahsoka Tano — as the show is named after — to be that of a character first introduced in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).
Ahsoka, now an ex-Jedi, starts her journey as a sequel of other shows, such as Star Wars Rebels (2014) and The Mandalorian (2019), leading her on a chase to find Grand Admiral Thrawn — who is seen as the last hope of the Galactic Empire. Since the end of Rebels in 2018, fans have awaited the conclusion to their plot and speculated endlessly. While Ahsoka acts as a sequel of sorts to Rebels, it is also a major setup for the future of established characters. Speaking of characters — audience members, both new and old —— will be pleased to see that establishing and driving character development is precisely what Ahsoka excels at.
Like many others, Ahsoka finds herself lost in the aftermath of the Empire’s defeat as she searches for her old enemy, Thrawn, and an old friend in Rebels star Ezra Bridger. The conflict of the original three Star Wars films has long been resolved and yet the threat of an Empire resurgence remains so long as Thrawn is rumored to be alive. The ex-Jedi, played by Rosario Dawson, is often cold toward others and her mannerisms come off as reserved. This is especially clear as we are introduced to the show’s secondary lead, Sabine Wren, portrayed by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, whom Ahsoka does not greet with a warm hug.
Sabine, similarly to her companion, finds herself at a crossroads. With the peace they fought so hard to preserve finally achieved, both characters have regressed since their victory. Sabine lives far from the rest of her friends and family, calling an old radio tower home as she dreams her days away. This is a far cry from her days as a freedom-fighting rebel, and ultimately she finds herself suffocated by the struggles of the past.
However, not all the stars lie with the forces of good. M.N. Miller, a reviewer for Nerd Alert went on to praise Ahsoka for a, “…terrific cast, stunning special effects, captivating storytelling, a magnetic turn by Ivanna Sakhno,” which leads us into the next star of this show, the character Shin Hati played by the aforementioned Sakhno. While little is known about this dark Jedi, some can be read between the lines. While serving her mysterious master, Baylan Skoll, Shin acts as the silent apprentice, waiting for orders and promptly following through — which often leads her into direct conflict with the two heroes of the show.
Despite how compelling the cast is, the real spotlight of the show is the deconstructive philosophy introduced through the master and apprentice relationship of Sabine and Ahsoka. Through this lens, the audience sees the franchise from a different perspective. Without delving into spoiler territory, a conflict of faith nestles itself between Ahsoka and Sabine as the latter struggles to embrace their powers with the Force. However, Sabine consistently demonstrates to Ahsoka that she has little talent with the Force, which begs the question: What does it mean to be a Jedi?
Until the show goes any further, the answer to such a question is left to speculation. Regardless of what direction the show will take its viewers, this question is shaping up to ask how this space opera can do so much more with its universe. One Queens College student, Angelina Aponte, an undeclared Sophomore, summed up the phenomenal experience as she believes that, “…these characters in the live-action Star Wars universe are really influential to how the rest of the timeline goes. Seeing Sabine and Ahsoka carry out their missions and prevent a war is super important and really exciting to watch.” With years of content riding on this show, it is hard not to feel the pressure that comes with such a legacy as it transitions from the animation of the long-neglected Rebels characters to live-action. However, because of the long line of stories leading up to his climactic series, the conclusion will truly shape the future of Star Wars galaxy.