'Star Wars: Ahsoka' Review: Rosario Dawson-Led Series Has a Promising Start
The long awaited Ahsoka series should please fans as well as new ones
Star Wars: Ahsoka is the latest spin-off of the Star Wars series for Disney+. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, and Andor before it, this new series follows the exploits of a character that isn’t named Skywalker. Instead, the focus is on a Jedi who was at the heart of the animated Star Wars adventures known as The Clone Wars. The show was set during the prequel trilogy era and introduced a new character, Ahsoka Tano. She became an apprentice to Anakin Skywalker during that time and eventually followed her path while Anakin went to the dark side. The character was originally created by showrunner Dave Filoni and George Lucus as a female heroine Lucus’ daughter could relate to. Remember that before Daisy Ridley’s Rey, there weren’t many strong female characters in the Star Wars universe. Now, Filoni worked on The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and now Ahsoka is helping the character make the transition from animated to live-action. It certainly helps that they’ve found the perfect actor for the part in Rosario Dawson.
Even if you didn’t follow everything I discussed in the intro, fear not, Star Wars: Ahsoka is a pretty easy show to follow. When the show was announced I feared I’d have to watch countless seasons of animated Star Wars shows to be able to follow it. While these characters will certainly be more familiar to fans of The Clone Wars and Rebels, there’s enough world-building down to let everyone in. A foe that was once thought to be defeated, Grand Admiral Thrawn, might still be alive. It was once thought that he was stopped by Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger. Now, Ahsoka is compelled to investigate this rumor not only to stop Thrawn but to see if Ezra is still alive. She’s joined by her Padawan Sabine Wren (Natasha Lui Bordizzo) to stop this new threat to the galaxy.
Ahsoka will be doubly exciting for those who’ve found Star Wars to be mostly a boy’s affair over the years. This is the first Star Wars TV series that puts a female Jedi in the title role and is filled to the brim with strong female characters that audiences will certainly appreciate.
This isn’t the first time that Dawson has appeared as Ahsoka. She previously appeared in the season 2 episode of The Mandalorian, which itself has become a jumping-off point for a majority of these Star Wars stories. Ahsoka is such a perfect role for Dawson and while she’s been in plenty of projects throughout the last two decades, Ahsoka instantly becomes one of her most memorable. It’s not simply in the way she depicts the character, but her commitment to the role as well. Apparently, she was a fan of the character throughout the run of The Clone Wars, and when a drawing was made depicting her as Ahsoka it set in motion a perfect match. She’s joined by a formidable supporting cast in the likes of Bordizzo, the late Ray Stevenson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Tennant, and others.
The first two episodes that premiere tonight at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET on Disney+, spend a lot of time introducing these characters once again. There’s a map artifact that’s of great importance that Ahsoka and some villains are fighting over, lightsaber duels, and thrilling setpieces. You know, typical Star Wars material. I don’t think Ahsoka will win anybody over, but I found it to be one of the more interesting spin-offs to come to Star Wars TV. If Obi-Wan was pure fanservice and Andor was the hopeful future of Star Wars TV, I’d put these first two episodes right in the middle. It’s early in Ahsoka and Sabine Wren’s adventure, but I’m excited to find out where they’ll go next. [B]
National Cinema Day is a thing again this year. It’s a day in late August when movie theater chains offer discounted movie prices. This year, August 27th is the day that theaters (AMC, Regal, and Showcase Cinemas confirmed to be participating) will offer $4 tickets to any show. That means if you haven’t seen Oppenheimer on IMAX 70mm or need to see Ken sing in Barbie once again, Sunday will be a particularly good time to go to the movies.
Some other movies still playing include Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, Blue Beetle, Gran Turismo, and Bottoms. Additions include The Little Mermaid Sing-Along, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Jurassic Park (3D), American Graffiti, Lady Bird, and Oldboy.