George Lucas’ “Star Wars” franchise has received a lot of controversy regarding all of Dave Filoni’s spinoff series. Nothing amounts to the first two trilogies of “Star Wars,” and an animated spinoff show “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” which expands on a huge chunk of the prominent timeline of “Star Wars.” But, once Disney bought Lucasfilm, their production spread like wildfire.
Let me explain the potential problem for Filoni with a real life example: if your grandma is known for making a stellar chocolate cake unlike any other, your taste for any other chocolate cake will be spoiled. Only the original cake has that richness in flavor, the fluffiness in texture and the small kick of that one special ingredient only your grandma and her recipe book know. This is how true “Star Wars” fans view and appreciate the entirety of the “Star Wars” franchise. Therefore, if Disney bakes all of these other chocolate cakes, and gives them big names, like “The Mandalorian,” or “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” these “Star Wars” lovers are expecting that ‘special ingredient’ to be present. Does Disney have what it takes to match George Lucas’s particular flavor?
With the beginning of Filoni’s career of heading “Star Wars” comes several spinoff series, starting with “The Mandalorian,” then “The Book of Boba Fett,” then “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and more animated series. The newest series, with episodes still coming out each week, is “Ahsoka.” Even though she was introduced in the 2008 “Clone Wars” animated series and not in the first two trilogies, Ahsoka Tano, played here by Rosario Dawson, is considered a keystone character. She is the padawan of the “chosen one,” Anakin Skywalker, played in most live-action Star Wars installments by Hayden Christensen, and if you’re a Star Wars fan, you know exactly how their relationship turned out.
This is what makes Ahsoka so essential. Her journey is plausibly one of the darkest ones developed. Growing up, Anakin puts Ahsoka through a copious sum of turmoil with training. An important example regarding her training was presented in, surprisingly, another spinoff series called “Tales of the Jedi.” In episode five, “Practice Makes Perfect,” the audience sees first hand how difficult it was as she gets shot repeatedly with blasters set to stun as a training exercise. Despite the rough training tactics, this very long exercise ends up saving her life during the first moments of Order 66, the greatest tragedy in “Star Wars” history. She survived a tight room with six clone troopers, with blasters set to kill.
After Order 66, Ahsoka turns away from the Jedi, including Anakin, which leads to her appearance in “Star Wars: Rebels,” another animated series similar to “Clone Wars.” During this time, she discovers that Darth Vader is her former master through the Force. Upon discovering Anakin’s fate, she believes she is part of the reason for Anakin’s demise to the dark side, and regrets leaving Anakin behind when she did. This detail accompanies Ahsoka’s personality in her own spinoff series. Her demeanor is strong, yet closed off from the ability to trust, which is portrayed through the relationships she has and maintains in her new series.
That being said, there are seven episodes of “Ahsoka” out on Disney+ as of the writing of this article, and as a “Star Wars” fan, I have taken advantage of indulging in my guilty pleasure. Do not worry, there are no spoilers in this article!
Here are some concepts to consider when watching “Ahsoka” for the first time: the importance of character development and the canon material already mapped out with past movies/series. Filoni has a tendency to add his own details and build off of his new canon information. It can also be concluded from Filoni’s previous decisions that he has the ability to create new characters but does not show his knowledge of developing a new concept beyond what George Lucas has already written. It is almost as if they use the same ideas in different fonts.
One example from when Disney first bought Lucasfilm, Rey and Luke experience the same turmoil upon hearing who their descendant is. Luke figures out that Darth Vader is his father, and Rey discovers that she is the granddaughter of Palpatine. The recurring theme of revealing that these Jedi are the offspring of now-Sith is a concept that “Star Wars” fans are yawning at. The whole point of “Star Wars” is about new beginnings that relate to no other, and this is the key element that Dave Filoni seems to not consider.
Although, the release of episode five of “Ahsoka” has the whole internet exploding with excitement. Fans have created loads of content based on this one episode alone, making it almost impossible to open a social media platform without accidentally seeing a spoiler. What could have possibly started this uprising with the series, and why didn’t this occur before episode five? (I know why. That is for you to find out!)
The eighth episode is going to come out by the time this article reaches the public, so if you are a true “Star Wars” fan reading this today, what do you make of this series? Will the last episode of “Ahsoka” be as satisfying as the fifth and sixth episode? Has Filoni filled George Lucas’s shoes, and will he continue to keep the stakes high for the die hard followers of the “Star Wars” franchise?
Until then, may the Force be with us all.