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Star Wars: Ahsoka Review — stunning, magnetic, and captivating storytelling

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Here is our review of the 2023 Disney+ series Star Wars: Ahsoka, which does not contain significant spoilers.

How can a streaming service consistently deliver such a grand cinematic scope for television? When you possess the money-grubbing mouse's black card, there's no budget request that a filmmaker or showrunner cannot meet.

Regardless, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have yet another smash-hit homerun on their hands with Star Wars: Ahsoka. They provide an engaging and exciting introduction to the new Disney+ series, boasting a terrific cast, stunning special effects, captivating storytelling, and a fantastic lead performance by Rosario Dawson. 

All the while, the series delivers an innovative perspective and further builds upon the lore of the aftermath of the Rebels and the Clone Wars saga.

Star Wars: Ahsoka Review and Plot Summary

The story follows a group of heroines and villains years after the end of the evil Galactic Empire. The series begins with two dark Jedi, Baylan (the late Ray Stevenson) and Shin (Ivanna Sakhno), attempting to sneak aboard a Republic cruiser. Their mission? To free Lady Morgan (Diana Lee Inosanto), the former Magistrate of Calodan (and ally of Thrawn), who has been living out her days in a Republic prison after being captured by Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson).

Morgan dispatches droids to the planet Arcona, to the ancient ruins where Lady Morgan's ancestors, known as the Night Sisters of Darthomir, resided. That’s because Ahsoka possesses a star map that holds a secret pathway to a mysterious galaxy that may (or may not) be the banished home of Thrawn, who was thought to have died in the Clone Wars. The star map could have tremendous implications. 

If Thrawn is alive, that could mean the former Republic Commander Ezra Bridger might have a slight chance of returning (or at least returning his body home). That’s what General Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seems to imply during their discussion. They permit the former Mandalorian Sabine Wren (Day Shift’s Natasha Liu Bordizzo) to unlock the map's contents.

The first two episodes were made available for critics, and the series is a visual and epic marvel. The studio made a bold, smart, and obvious choice in allowing writer and creator Filoni to expand on his Ahsoka creation. Filoni is on record saying that this Disney+ series is a sequel chapter to Rebels. If you were one of the few who watched that series, a science fiction gem, Filoni does a wonderful job enriching the story with this modernization.

Like most of Filoni’s previous Star Wars series, the writing is funny and thrilling. While the show feels more like a sequel to Rebels and the Clone Wars than a stand-alone franchise, that’s hardly a bad thing. There’s a danger that some fans may feel lost if they haven’t caught Rebels. However, that’s nothing a few obsessive articles filling in the gaps can't fix. The beginning of the series is effortlessly engaging for anyone going in for, say, cold-roasted "porg" (yeah, I said it).

The cast is exceptional here, with the late Ray Stevenson offering a commanding presence, and I cannot imagine the series going forward without him (depending on when that happens). Winstead's role expands astronomically in the second episode.

However, Ivanna Sakhno’s breakout turn as Baylan’s apprentice had my eyes glued to the screen; she’s such a magnetic presence that you cannot take your eyes off her (and that insanely heartwarming Lothcat).

Yet Bordizzo’s Wren comes across as excessively stoic at points, as if she’s recovering from being cataplectic. While Sakhno and Bordizzo have an intense lightsaber battle, her expressions lack an emotional element present at the moment, leaving this writer cold.

Is Star Wars: Ahsoka good or bad?

Ahsoka is good because no single frame of Dawson's performance feels forced or contrived. Dawson is a force of nature in the role, finding that Star Wars sweet spot of a heroic figure and philosophical scholar, which is where this franchise thrives.

Is Star Wars: Ahsoka worth watching?

Ahsoka is worth watching because you'll come away with goosebumps at first sight of Rosario Dawson's titular character pulling out not just one but two of those legendary radiant white lightsabers.

Ahsoka gives you those Lucasfilm "feels" that are hard to come by and even harder to ignore.

Grade: 8/10

"Star Wars: Ahsoka boasts a terrific cast, stunning special effects, captivating storytelling, a magnetic turn by Ivanna Sakhno, and Rosario Dawson's compelling performance is a true force of nature."

What did you think of Star Wars: Ahsoka Season 1? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Disney+.

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