On May 25th, 1977, “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” was released in theaters starting the legacy of one of the largest, widely known sci-fi series in the world. Since its release it has created twelve movies, ten TV Series, over three hundred books and more. The most recent to come from the sprawling galaxy of Star Wars is the live-action series “Ahsoka”.
Ahsoka was first introduced in the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” show, as the snarky padawan to Anakin Skywalker. After numerous adventures with the Jedi order, Ahsoka leaves, eventually joining the early Rebels in the animated series “Star Wars Rebels”. Ahsoka made the leap to live action in “The Mandalorian” appearing in “Chapter 13: The Jedi” becoming a stoic ‘Ronin’ within Star Wars. In this episode, she is hunting down the whereabouts of Grand Admiral Thrawn. This leads to her own show which began airing on August 22nd, 2023 on the streaming platform Disney+.
The show follows the titular character Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) in a post-Empire galaxy, racing against Jedi mercenaries, droids, remnant soldiers of the Empire and even witches to find Thrawn, an Imperial General, and stop his return which would mean calamity.
A cache of the characters made their debut in animation and have been adapted to live-action. Characters like Hera (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) retain their vibrant, animated colors and designs using makeup and great costume design making them unique in live action Star Wars. Further, the visuals are ripe with practical effects and modern CGI that give it the Star Wars aesthetic that we’ve come to expect and enjoy. From the creature and costume designs full of personality to intense CGI space battles and environments.
Something woven in both the acting and soundtrack is the level of emotion in the show. The soundtrack is stunning and perfectly portrays the intended emotions throughout the show, with the violin work in the theme a range of emotions from intense to grand and hopeful. The music in Star Wars has always been grand within cinema and Ahsoka is no exception to the rule.
Though it should be noted that so far there appears to be a lack of emotion from the performances in the show. With some moments feeling like there should be more intense emotions where it just falls short. Something I feel is due to how ‘fresh’ these characters are despite previous appearances, with the most recent episode, “Part Three: Time to Fly” filled with wonderful acting and personality from the cast. Bordizzo portrays a vibrant, rebellious character, against Dawson’s role as a stoic hero, slivers of their younger snark and attitude seeping through.
The script in this show thus far is filled with exposition to catch up newer fans with these characters, which can bog down an episode slightly. Though this is offset by the dialogue and interactions between the characters which is ripe with story, history and emotion. Though I enjoy the race against time structure of the show, some may find it to be a little cliche.
As of writing this review, three of the planned eight episodes have aired and already Ahsoka has slotted in nicely as a unique addition to the growing collection of Disney+ shows. One with gorgeous visuals, great acting, an emotion filled score and a plot that will hook you in and leave you eager to see more.