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“I am no Jedi.”

This newest entry into the Star Wars franchise is closer in tone to Andor, with the action and sweeping plotlines of the mainline films. Focusing on the title character, this is half mystery, half action-adventure, and it turned out way better than I expected.

This series serves as a spiritual successor to Star Wars: Rebels with several returning characters, but is also a direct spin-off of The Mandalorian. To make things more complicated it has heavy ties to the prequel trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. With so much continuity linked to this one show, you might imagine the plot would be completely inaccessible to new viewers. Thankfully, it can be viewed as a stand-alone project, with one major caveat.

While the plot and story can be easily followed, the characters and their complicated relationships and motivations are not fully detailed. While Ahsoka, Hera and Sabine’s general place in the world and their personalities are quickly established, the show frequently references a shared history that isn’t shown on screen. I’m not sure if it is a huge issue for new viewers, but I imagine it could be frustrating to realize the only way to get those implicit backstory details would be to watch dozens of hours of content.

So what about a fan who has seen all the Star Wars content out there? Well, it is kind of amazing. The detail work in this show, the returning characters and Easter eggs are just bursting at the seams. Not only do we get a continuation of characters that haven’t been seen or even really discussed since Rebels ended back in 2018; after five years of wondering where Ezra and Thrawn went in the finale, we get a mostly satisfying answer. Although unfortunately this isn’t an end to that story, but merely a single chapter in an overarching narrative.

I could go into heavy details about the backstory and the why’s and how’s of the various plots and payoffs scattered throughout the season. But the main gist of this story is about Ahsoka and her views on herself and her place in the galaxy. Specifically in how she interacts with her padawan, Sabine Wren.

Ahsoka's history is long and complicated, having already appeared in three other shows. But the foundational information that you need to know is that she was the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker in the Clone Wars, she escaped Order 66, joined the rebellion, faced Anakin again as Darth Vader. Ahsoka eventually took Sabine on as her apprentice at some point after Return of the Jedi and due to a clash of personalities they separated, with Sabine never connecting to the force. Which is likely why Ahsoka refused to take on Grogu as an apprentice.

That mix of fear in her own abilities, the belief that she has only the capacity to train a wartime Jedi, and her complicated history with her mentor all combined to make Ahsoka very isolated and somewhat cold. Sabine in particular needed someone to lift her up and help her deal with the tragedy she suffered because of the destruction of Mandalore, referenced in season one of The Mandalorian. She lost her entire family in the attack, and has since been alone without Ahsoka, Ezra, Hera or Zeb to help her through her grief.

Ahsoka’s inner conflict was beautifully highlighted in the best episode of the season, Shadow Warrior. It featured the World Between Worlds, a kind of metaphysical and spiritual manifestation of the force, which acts as a portal to various times and places throughout history. There she encountered Anakin’s force ghost, who decided she needed one final lesson.

The ensuing lightsaber battle and flashback sequence is incredible, as he challenged her firmly held self doubt. This was further redemption for Anakin, who in death has fully embraced both his good and bad sides. It was terrifying to watch him switch to the dark when she brought up his legacy, and when Ahsoka’s eyes flashed Sith red for a moment, it was chilling. Yet in the end she finally embraced her past, and has a much better understanding of herself.

This Ahsoka the White has finally become the person she always should have been. This allows her to finally connect with Sabine, who does eventually develop the ability to use the Force. I really loved their relationship too; we don’t exactly know what happened between Ahsoka and Sabine, but that break in their relationship sets up the early episodes. Just like the mending of their relationship acts as a lovely closed circle for the plot as well.

Underscoring all of this drama and character work is the tone and setting for this series. While definitely leaning into the action-adventure of the films, it also adopts a much darker and more somber tone and music. It gives the series an almost Empire Strikes Back vibe, which is fitting given how it ends with the villain winning the day, and most of our heroes stranded in another galaxy.

While some of the individual episodes, especially early on, were not as strong, the overarching plot was well done. The fight choreography was top tier with some of the best lightsaber combat I’ve ever seen. I especially loved how Sabine utilized her Mandalorian armor and blaster in an almost seamless dance along with her lightsaber. The special effects were also very well done, with the Purgill introduction giving me chills.

As far as performances go, almost everyone brought their a-game. The new live action versions of Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and Ezra (Eman Esfandi) were very close to their animated counterparts and felt right. Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and Ryder Azadi (Clancy Brown) were reprised by their original voice actors, and Chopper was just a delight. The only exception was Hera. I don’t have any issues with Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s performance, but she didn’t really feel like Hera from Rebels. This might have been an intentional acting choice.


David Tennant (Doctor Who) voiced the droid Huyang, reprising his role from The Clone Wars.

The Loth cat and pile of helmets in Sabine's home were nice visual call back to Rebels. It is also likely the same tower that Ezra had lived in before he joined the crew of the Ghost.

Mon Mothma had a small reoccuring role. While this is also a reprisal from Rebels, Genevieve O'Reilly has been featured heavily in recent projects including Andor.

It is significant that Ezra choose his new lightsaber to be blue, although the reasons are complicated and involve deep Star Wars lore.

Ray Stevenson, who portrayed the dark force antagonist Baylon Skoll throughout the season, passed away before the series aired. Considering where his character ended, this might end up as a loose thread that is never tied up unless he is recast.


Ahsoka: "All right. What's the lesson, Master?"
Anakin: "Live... Or die."
Ahsoka: "I won't fight you."
Anakin: "I've heard that before."

Ezra: "As a Jedi, sometimes you have to make the decision no one else can."

Baylan: "You're right about one thing, captain. We are no Jedi."

Anakin: "Hello, Snips."
Ahsoka: "Master?"
Anakin: "I didn't expect to see you so soon..."

For me, this series was an exciting return to form for Star Wars with satisfying plots, compelling characters and exciting action that changes the landscape of the galaxy far, far away in new and interesting ways.

3.5 out of 4 Epic Lightsaber Fights

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. Ahsoka is an interesting Star Wars series. It definitely needs a second season! So many new things were introduced, especially to casual Star Wars fans who didn’t watch the animated series. I had watched Rebels, and I watched all the episodes Disney recommended as “important episodes relating to Ahsoka Tano” or whatever the category was called. That really helped as it took me through Ahsoka eps in Clone Wars, Tales of the Jedi (surprisingly good,) Rebels and Mando.

    I had a few issues with some of the characters. Sabine was highly irritating and selfish. I never did feel she redeemed herself from her bad decisions. Ahsoka was little like the Ahsoka from clone wars until the later episodes. And Hera was rather flat. I liked her, because she’s Hera, but I don’t think newbies really got to know her. Yet. Maybe season 2. I liked her (and Canan’s) son.

    I liked Ezra. Took a minute to get used to the beard. I am amused because I realize my focus has moved from eye brows to beard.

    Anakin and Thrawn were both excellent. Baylon & his padawan were intriguing.

    One random note, what was the purpose behind the the name of the last episode’s nod to Narnia? The Jedi the Witch and the Warlock? To me, these are 2 universes that don’t exactly connect.

    Second random note: I loved Huyang’s “Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away….”

    Thanks for the good review, Samantha.

  2. Loved the 'I've heard that before..' call back to ROTJ


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