How A lot Star Wars Do You Have to Watch Earlier than Ahsoka?


I haven’t seen a lot of Ahsoka. Not simply within the sense that there are solely two episodes of her present at the moment launched, however within the sense that I haven’t watched a lot of the animated reveals the place she reveals up. I haven’t seen all of Clone Wars, I’ve received no reminiscence of Tales of the Jedi, and I’ve dipped into perhaps three episodes of Rebels, simply to see what it was about. I did learn the novel, Ahsoka, which was categorically effective, however I’m taking part in out a significantly better model of queer anti-agricorp hardscrabble fighters in my Orbital Blues marketing campaign.

It’s due to my willful ignorance and my basic love of Star Wars that I used to be tapped to reply the query: “How a lot tv do it’s essential to watch earlier than you perceive Ahsoka?

The quick reply is: not a lot. In case you go into Ahsoka having watched little or no of the animated reveals, you need to anticipate to be launched at velocity to lots of characters you’ve by no means seen earlier than and be taught little or no about what they care about to start out with. Which, as everyone knows, is how most tv works. It’s fairly traditional Star Wars fare; a lacking map which may result in people who find themselves very particular for some cause, and a handful of Sith parading round making bother. In case you go in understanding nothing and paying consideration, Ahsoka begins out simply effective.

The lengthy reply is: quite a bit. Ahsoka, as a personality, has been round for 15 years and in that point has gone from a hated tweenybopper to a beloved fan favourite. However watching Ahsoka, and having seen the character seem briefly in The Mandalorian and The Guide of Boba Fett, I’m left questioning… why can we care a lot about her? Sure, she’s a badass and clearly on her personal aspect in a means that I recognize in a Star Wars character, however she additionally seems impassive, distant, and with a disrespect in direction of allegiances that make her appear a insurgent with out a trigger and a grasp to none. Is she a Jedi or isn’t she? Does she care concerning the rebel or does she care about her former grasp, Anakin Skywalker, infamously referred to as Darth Vader? How does she really feel about any of her associates and… I suppose… buddies? I actually don’t know, and I’m not sure if this can be a fault of the character’s fragmented on-screen historical past or a failure of Ahsoka’s writing.

The bigger drawback with Ahsoka, the present, is that after two episodes I’m questioning why we’re specializing in Ahsoka in any respect. Sabine Wren, one other character who confirmed up in Rebels, appears to have a a lot stronger plot, character, and momentum all through the 2 episodes of Ahsoka. She’s additionally a Mandalorian, and we’ve got a big rolodex of on-screen Mandalorians to consult with, so for somebody like me who has solely seen the stay motion reveals in full, Wren appears the pure important character.

Image for article titled How Much Star Wars Do You Need to Watch Before Ahsoka?

Picture: Lucasfilm | Disney+

The present is fully watchable with out understanding who these characters are, however with none actual grasp on the ties between Ahsoka Tano, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, and Ezra Bridger, many shall be left feeling chilly in direction of the entire endeavor. So much is completed to make Wren moody, unpredictable, and sensible, however the missing-presumed-dead Ezra Bridger appears to be the fulcrum on which this whole collection swings, and we’re instructed actually nothing about him aside from he was a Jedi, or presumably a Jedi-in-training. Grand Admiral Thrawn (whom, I admit, I’m conscious of as a result of I learn at the very least one if not all three of the Thrawn books again in highschool) can be a boogeyman ready on the sting of the universe, however for each Ezra and Thrawn there’s an implied significance to those characters that merely doesn’t translate.

Apart from the truth that I’m watching Ahsoka and type of assuming it’ll make extra sense down the highway, is the problem that the present itself appears to understand that they’re working with characters that most individuals gained’t acknowledge. The primary two episodes are much less about Ahsoka and rather more targeted on this expansive, previously-seen-on solid. Which can be irritating, as a result of the brand new characters—the Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth, the Sith grasp Baylan Skoll, and his apprentice Shin Hati—are extremely attention-grabbing. With out the burden of expectation that comes from being a beloved character on another present, these three have been capable of emerge as totally shaped and essential characters, one thing that Ahsoka fails to do with its lead.

Image for article titled How Much Star Wars Do You Need to Watch Before Ahsoka?

Picture: Lucasfilm | Disney+

The issue I’m working up towards is that the present appears to need me to know who these individuals are and their connections and hook up with the story by their private emotional struggles. This isn’t a present about Ahsoka, it’s a Rebels sequel and it isn’t shying away from that. The reliance on traditional Star Wars plots—maps, highly effective chosen ones, fractures between Jedi and Padawan—makes Ahsoka straightforward to know, however with out a built-in love for these characters, it’s in service of an finally boring plot that we’ve all seen earlier than. I wouldn’t thoughts a character-driven present, however I don’t know these folks and Ahsoka doesn’t do sufficient to make me care. The worst half is that I’m not that interested in these characters both! Rebels is 75 episodes over 4 seasons and it can’t be value it simply to know the intricate net of emotional connection occurring on this present.

So are you able to watch Ahsoka with out watching Rebels? Sure. You’ll get it, however you’ll in all probability discover the present fairly uninspired, and also you’ll want that Sabine Wren had been the principle character as a substitute. Hopefully Ahsoka can discover extra character within the subsequent few episodes. Is there a map for that?

New episodes of Ahsoka premiere Wednesdays on Disney+. The primary two episodes can be found to stream now.

This piece was written through the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. With out the labor of the writers and actors at the moment on strike, the film being coated right here wouldn’t exist.

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