This is yet another new Star Wars TV series launched by Disney Plus as part of their aggressive strategy to maximize their returns from the acquisition of the lucrative Star Wars franchise. Whether this panders and does justice to the expectations of the huge Star Wars fan base is questionable. A similar approach to the Marvel franchise is showing fatigue with its endless movies and TV series tie-in. The so-called Star Wars universe is beginning to meet a similar fate albeit thankfully at a slower and less zealous manner. Another positive thing to note is that in general, the new Star Wars related TV series has been very well made and popular. The Mandalorian is hugely popular, and some like last year’s Andor and Kenobi, had really good storyline and performances making them terrific additions to the franchise. I dare say I preferred some of these TV adaptations to the recent Star Wars movies.
Ahsoka is a character that was first introduced in the Mandalorian and in the TV animated series The Clone Wars. She is a former Jedi Knight and free lancing to help maintain the peace after the fall of the Galactic Empire (ie the period after The Return of the Jedi). The opening episode introduces the key characters which includes Sabine (played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo), a former Mandalorian who was a former Jedi disciple of Ahsoka, and Hera (played by Ewan McGregor’s real-life wife, Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a general for the Rebellions. In keeping with Disney’s current agenda to promote “woke culture” it is not surprising that these three key characters are represented by a multi-ethnic female cast! Thankfully the three actresses playing the roles were more than capable of fulfilling their roles and came across as perceptible and likeable characters.
The series started off strong with some exciting light saber action and a strong plotline involving an emerging threat from remnants of Empire loyalists. This sort of set the expectations for subsequent episodes. Unfortunately, I felt the tempo dropped as the series progressed with some annoying characters appearing for the baddies. Diana Lee Inosanto plays some sort of with Morgan Elsbeth who helps the main bad guy Thrawn, looked more like an auntie standing with the hands behind her back most of the time. At least Ray Stevenson who plays a Jedi who turned bad Jedi has screen presence with his imposing physique. The inclusion of a guest appearance by Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, and C3PO felt gimmicky.
Since this is just season 1, we have an open ending as it paves the way for more Ahsoka adventures. I don’t feel as excited as I was with last year’s Andor that truly stood out with its originality and strong characters and performances. I have mixed feelings for Ahsoka. When it works, I get a bit of that nostalgic feeling of how good the original Star Wars series were. However, after while all the action set pieces and light saber fights felt repetitive and devoid of new tricks and ideas to make them stand out.