Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), hero of the Clone Wars animated series, receives her own live-action incarnation following her positive introduction to the Disney Star Wars empire in The Mandalorian. The story is one that we have become all too familiar with. Ahsoka must investigate an emerging threat to the galaxy following the fall of the Empire, reuniting with her former padawan learner (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) to fight two former Jedi who have fallen to the dark side.
Ahsoka isn’t a shocker (pardon the pun), but a slow burn made for Star Wars fans of old and one that may not be for everyone. Some like the tales of the Jedi, others prefer the action-packed adventures seen in Andor where there is less walking, talking and thinking, and more running and shooting. This is certainly one for the former. Ahsoka makes you wait for the tantalising lightsabre battles, making them all the more sweet when they arrive and if you have to endure a number of scenes where not much happens, so be it.
As she displayed previously so brilliantly in The Mandalorian, Dawson is made for this role. She is so hardcore, so badass, it is hard not to sit there in awe at the power and abilities that she and this character possess. It truly is like watching the Jedi we knew so well do what they do best, something that has been missing from a few recent Star Wars movies and series. Her character does differ slightly in presentation from that we see interacting with Grogu, more astute and silent, but nonetheless Dawson proves she can be the alluring and charming lead required to carry a character’s solo series. She is joined on screen by Bordizzo and the superb Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the epic general Hera Syndulla – who knew someone could do so much acting with just their eyes?
It is so easy to take the visuals and costumes for granted when we are oversaturated with Star Wars content. Back when it was just the original trilogy of films, each second of the film was a spectacle. The same could be said for Episodes 1, 2 and 3. Now, without a second to wait between movies and series, it all becomes common viewing. However, take a step back and it is easy to see Ahsoka makes for terrifically aesthetic viewing. It is just a shame that the storyline is so bland: it takes almost two hour-long episodes for the real story to get going and for our gang to properly assemble, which is far too long to engage audiences. It is also incredibly lore-heavy, which is great for fans, but without a proper introduction will leave newcomers eating dust.
A special shoutout must go to the late Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll, who in his last appearance before his death, really shows us why his power and presence will be missed so dearly.
Ahsoka is released on Disney+ on 22nd August 2023.
Watch the trailer for Ahsoka here: