Ahsoka Tano has been a fan favorite for a very long time, thanks to the talents of George Lucas, Dave Filloni, and Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka in animated form). Ahsoka charmed us in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, dazzled us in Star Wars Rebels, and thrilled us in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. She may not be a Jedi, but her Force abilities combined with her lightsaber prowess, wisdom, and heart make her one of the best Star Wars characters of all time.
So it’s only natural that Anakin Skywalker’s former Padawan would get her Disney+ series. The premise of the series continues Ahsoka’s story around the timeframe of The Mandalorian (the Empire has been defeated thanks to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, etc., but a faction of Imperials is attempting to resurrect the tyrannical forces) and is helmed by Dave Filoni. Filoni, as most Star Wars fans know, worked with George Lucas to create Clone Wars and is instrumental to the success of carrying on Lucas’ staggering legacy.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that many of us would have handpicked Dave for this series. Filoni writes, directs, and produces the first episode (and writes the second one too). His dialogue is sharp and methodic, building the pace and dramatic tension while also reminding the audience of what we love about Ahsoka and these characters in the first place. The first episode has a slow burn that builds to a crescendo-no spoilers but I am fairly confident that you will immediately press play to watch the second episode after you have completed the series premiere.
The supporting cast has a daunting task: to embody some of the beloved animated characters from Star Wars Rebels (my favorite Star Wars of the Disney era) including General Hera Syndulla (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the leader and heart of the crew of the Ghost, and the artistic and feisty Mandalorian, Sabine Wren (played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Winstead is serviceable as Hera (I have only seen the first two episodes, which is an extremely small sample size), but showcases a bit more of Hera’s nurturing side and gravitas in some nice scenes in the second episode.
The real standout is Natasha Liu Bordizzo, a bonafide breakout star. Again, I’ve only seen the first two episodes, but her Sabine is the perfect physical embodiment of the animated version. She emotes swagger, vulnerability, and temerity with balance and charisma. You can’t take your eyes off her. Rosario Dawson portrays the live-action titular character, and as she did in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, brings elegance, grace, and toughness to the role. I will say Dawson seems a bit constricted this time around, but I have a feeling it is because Ahsoka is dealing with a significant inner conflict I won’t spoil here.
Kevin Kiner composes the music for Ahsoka and once again reminds us that he belongs in the same conversation as John Williams for his tonally perfect score. This is his first music for live-action Star Wars and it is an instant classic. The production design here is gorgeous and so is Dave’s camera work as well as Eric Steelberg and Quyen Tran’s cinematography. There are times when I get a bit disenfranchised by the effect of the Volume, but in Ahsoka, it’s magical. Plus, there are enough practical sets to recreate that old-school Star Wars magic.
Ahsoka has a clear direction and tone that is authentically Star Wars. I am not ready to declare it a masterpiece but I am reservedly optimistic. This should prove to be a fun series for Star Wars fans to embrace while also continuing the story of some of the characters from Star Wars Rebels too.
The two-part debut of Ahsoka premieres tonight on Disney+ at 8:00 pm CST (moving up earlier than originally scheduled). Be sure to join me one hour earlier (7:00 pm CST) for CWK LIVE for the Ahsoka pre-show, where I will share your top five Ahsoka Tano characteristics, look at new Ahsoka merchandise, and more!
Part One: 3 out of 5
Part Two: 4 out of 5
Connect with Dan Zehr and Coffee With Kenobi online:
CWK Cafe Facebook Group: Join the CWK Cafe Facebook Group
Instagram: @coffee_with_kenobi on Instagram
YouTube: Coffee With Kenobi on YouTube
Instagram: @danzehrcwk on Instagram
Facebook LIVE Word Press posts:
You can check out the show in several ways:
1) Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform
3) Watch and subscribe to Coffee With Kenobi’s YouTube channel
Powered by Sidelines