DisneyPlus - Celebrating heritage and new horizons: Ahsoka lights up the Star Wars universe on Disney+

By Mulder, 23 august 2023

Exploring the richness of the Star Wars universe, Disney+ presents Ahsoka, a captivating new series that weaves a tale of intrigue and legacy in the galaxy far, far away. For fervent fans and newcomers alike, this series is a new way to immerse yourself in the vast mythos. Set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Awakening of the Forc", Ahsoka follows in the footsteps of the eponymous former Jedi Knight, Ahsoka Tano, played with a mixture of gravity and vulnerability by the talented Rosario Dawson.

The series embarks on a bold narrative journey that interweaves threads from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. With a narrative scheme developed by veteran Star Wars animator Dave Filoni, Ahsoka pays homage to its animated predecessors while taking a bold step into the realm of live-action storytelling. While not completely shedding its reliance on pre-established story, the series manages to introduce fresh angles and developments.

One of the strengths of the series lies in the exploration of the relationships between the characters. Ahsoka's dynamic with former apprentice Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and Resistance general Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) provides a strong emotional core. These characters, with their distinct personalities and histories, complement each other in a way that resonates beyond the screen. The mixture of camaraderie and conflict within this trio drives the story forward, giving depth to the overall plot.

Ahsoka also strives to explore the complexities of duty, sacrifice and redemption. Ahsoka herself is a testament to resilience and the ability to navigate the complexities of her own history. Her interactions with the enigmatic Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), a character known for his strategic intelligence, promise to open up new dimensions in the Star Wars universe.

The series' pacing, while generally well executed, stumbles in places, with occasional lulls in momentum. Certain moments of exposition weigh on the fluidity of the narrative, attempting to condense a vast story into succinct explanations. However, these moments are counterbalanced by intense lightsaber battles and thrilling action sequences, showcasing the raw power of the Force and the prowess of skilled warriors.

Visually, Ahsoka remains true to the grandeur and aesthetics of the Star Wars franchise. The cinematography captures the grand landscapes and intricate details fans are accustomed to, while Kevin Kiner's music evokes the spirit of John Williams' iconic compositions, underscoring the emotional rhythms of the story.

While seasoned Star Wars aficionados will revel in the myriad Easter eggs and callbacks to the overall story, Ahsoka makes a conscious effort to remain accessible to newcomers. The story takes the time to reintroduce characters and concepts, allowing audiences less familiar with the animated series to find their feet in this new narrative landscape.

After the tragic loss of Ray Stevenson, his interpretation of Baylan Skoll, a morally complex character evolving in the gray area between the Jedi and the Sith, is remarkable. Stevenson's interpretation lends Skoll an enigmatic quality, capturing the audience's attention and leaving an indelible mark on the series.

Ahsoka is a remarkable addition to the Star Wars pantheon on Disney+. It strikes a balance between paying homage to its animated roots and creating its own identity in the realm of live action. The characters, their relationships and underlying themes of growth and redemption breathe life into the galaxy, reminding us of the deep emotional resonance that Star Wars stories are capable of delivering. As the series embarks on a quest of discovery and renewal, fans can expect to embark on a captivating and thrilling adventure that continues to shape the legacy of Ahsoka Tano and the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.

In the aftermath of the fall of the Empire, former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano investigates a latent threat that could upset the fragile balance of a still-vulnerable galaxy...

Created by Dave Filoni
Based on George Lucas' Star Wars
Written by Dave Filoni
Starring Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, Diana Lee Inosanto, David Tennant, Eman Esfandi, Lars Mikkelsen
Composer: Kevin Kiner
Executive Producers: Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Carrie Beck, Colin Wilson
Producer: John Bartnicki
Director of photography: Eric Steelberg, Quyen Tran
Editors: Dana E. Glauberman, Rosanne Tan
Production company: Lucasfilm
Original network: Disney+
Original release date: August 22, 2023 - today 
Running time: 44-57 minutes