Ahsoka S1E01-E02 – Understanding ‘Star Wars Rebels’ is Almost Mandatory

SERIES REVIEW – Ahsoka serves as a worthy live-action sequel to Dave Filoni’s Emmy-nominated animated masterpiece, Star Wars: Rebels. Fans of the original animated series are reunited with beloved characters and the familiar Star Wars universe.



With the thrilling finale of Star Wars Rebels, unfinished arcs are given the opportunity to continue. However, the first two episodes of the series move at a slower pace as time is spent introducing new viewers to the events that have taken place since the fall of the Galactic Empire and the adventures of the ship Ghost and its crew.



The performance of the actors is uneven


A fundamental problem with the series is that the characters, who were so vivid and full of life in the animated version, seem less so here. Filoni reunites Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice and now a rebel leader, with her old comrades as both writer and director. Hera Syndulla, the ace pilot and general (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Sabine Wren, the Mandalorian artist and explosives expert (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), round out the team. Dawson’s take on the character, originally animated by Ashley Eckstein, is more “meditative” than dynamic, which worked well in episodes of “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” where she was merely Din Djarin’s mysterious Jedi ally. However, as the main character of the series, this portrayal creates distance between the viewer and the character. This effect is exacerbated by Winstead and Bordizzo’s flat and dull performances. Both actors make vague references to past events, but never clarify what caused the rift between Ahsoka and Sabine. The return of David Tennant as Huyang, the Jedi training droid, doesn’t add any depth to the story, only consistent wisdom – sometimes humorous, sometimes tedious.

A standout in the first two episodes is Clancy Brown, who reprises his role as Ryder Azadi, the former imperialist politician turned rebel leader. With Brown’s deep and nuanced performance, Ryder Azadi adds a new layer of complexity to the character of Sabine, a reluctant hero who hasn’t yet found her place in the New Republic.



Visuals are on point


While the performances of the newly added actors often fall short of expectations, the visual presentation is quite captivating. The streets and towers of the planet Lothal, which were crucial in the Rebels series, have been beautifully recreated, as has the heroic fresco depicted there. The animatronic Loth cats are incredibly realistic and adorable, whether they appear in the fields or purr in Sabine’s home.

The star map, introduced in the second episode, is impressively detailed, an effect enhanced by the show’s soundtrack. Ahsoka’s fight scenes are dynamic and exciting, both on the ground and in the air. In one standout sequence, Ahsoka skillfully neutralizes an entire squad of droids with her dual lightsabers just before dodging an impending explosion. She also engages in a thrilling lightsaber duel while Hera pursues a transport ship and receives help from another returning Rebels character, the cunning Chopper.



Explore the mysterious corners of the galaxy…


The Rebels series ended when space whales carried Admiral Thrawn and the young Jedi Ezra Bridger off to an unknown galaxy. Filoni has never hesitated to explore the more mysterious corners of the Star Wars universe. The Ahsoka series is preparing to embark on similar journeys, focusing in particular on ancient civilizations and the witches of Dathomir, who have already played an important role in The Clone Wars. This direction could give Ahsoka a unique quality compared to other live-action Star Wars series, shifting the focus to the mystical and philosophical underpinnings of the galaxy rather than returning to familiar ground like Coruscant or Tatooine.

The series delves deeper into the question of what it means to be a Jedi. Ahsoka Tano, who grew up fighting and witnessing the downfall of the original Jedi Order, is now trying to enforce the Jedi ethic as a wandering hero – with an apprentice who has yet to learn the Force. This theme also connects to the character of Baylan Skoll, portrayed by the late Ray Stevenson. Skoll is a former Jedi who now works as a mercenary. Although he wields a red lightsaber and serves the Empire, he still harbors nostalgic feelings for his old order.



Fluctuating Quality


The series is strongest when it focuses on the mystical aspects of the universe rather than the mundane events. One subplot focuses on a theme previously introduced in an episode of “The Mandalorian” entitled “The Heiress”: that many perceive the differences between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic as merely political. The plot concludes with a rather clichéd explanation: the perpetrators acted out of pure greed, not out of any loyalty to the Empire – a simplification that pales in comparison to the nuanced portrayals of those who serve the Empire in the “Andor” series.

“Ahsoka,” the new live-action series on Disney+, offers a chance to explore deeper, more mystical sides of the Star Wars universe. However, the first two episodes can be a bit clunky, as the characters spend a lot of time bringing viewers up to speed on events from the “Star Wars: Rebels” animated series. Although the visuals and action scenes are impressive, the performances of the new cast do not reach the level of the original series’ cast, for which Dave Filoni’s work rightly received a sequel.




Ahsoka S1E01-E02

Direction - 7.2
Actors - 6.8
Story - 7.4
Visuels/Action - 8.2
Ambience - 7.6



The Ahsoka series seems like an exciting new chapter in the Star Wars universe, but it lacks the deeper narrative layers and dynamism of the original animated series titled 'Rebels'. The first two episodes may seem slow due to the introduction of characters and the setting up of past events, although the visuals and action are well executed. The new actors do not always bring the level of performance we have come to expect from the animated series, which could be alienating for viewers.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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