"Ahsoka: The Stiffness on the Other Side of the Force"

By Leo Rodriguez August 22, 2023

Ahsoka's adventures in the Star Wars realm may lack the anticipated Force, but there's still hope for this Rosario Dawson-featured series.

In the new series “Ahsoka," the character from the animated world makes a strained leap to life, carried by Rosario Dawson as Anakin Skywalker’s now-mature apprentice. Although the first two episodes falter in their display of the Force, there’s a shimmer of promise remaining. The serie's producer, Dave Filoni, who also brought "The Mandalorian," and the animated “Star Wars Rebels” and “Clone Wars” to life, sets the stage for the journey of one of Star War's favorite characters.

Following the fall of the Empire, a looming imperial threat forces Ahsoka, a loner by default, to reconnect with the “Rebels” crew, specifically Hera (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Ahsoka's mission involves obtaining information to locate Thrawn, a ruthless imperial leader, portrayed by Lars Mikkelsen. Thrawn's potential return could ignite a fresh spiral of warfare. To succeed, Ahsoka needs the assistance of the obstinate Sabine, who previously accompanied her on an endeavor to find the missing Ezra Bridger.

While too much could dampen the viewer's experience, the premiere successfully manages to establish the whole narrative. The entrance of formidable new adversary Baylis Skoll (Ray Stevenson, who passed away in May and to whom the premiere is dedicated), armed with Jedi powers that could equate to Ahsoka's, adds another layer of intrigue.

The initial episodes of “Ahsoka" showcase sufficient lightsaber heroics to establish its credibility within the "Star Wars" universe. Despite the sluggish dialogue and angst-filled expressions, the series presents a grandeur that wouldn't seem out of place within a theatre. The second episode picks up momentum, hopefully indicating the pattern for the forthcoming releases.

However, with the pivotal place Ahsoka has secured in the "Star Wars" history, the episodes fall short of the anticipated thrill. A possible misstep might be the decision to launch "Ahsoka" as a series instead of a movie which could have potentially elevated both the material and character.

“There's a shortage of those who can command the Force,” states Ahsoka during the show. It's equally rare for a character to evoke as much anticipation and zeal as Ahsoka. It would indeed be a pity if those feelings were misused. The true worth of "Ahsoka" might only reveal itself once the final credits roll. However, for now, it seems fitting to quote a popular "Star Wars" phrase, expressing cautious optimism about the series.

“Ahsoka” is set to premiere on August 22 at 9 p.m. ET on Disney+.