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The Peanut Gallery Reviews Season 1 of Ahsoka

PG Score: 8/10

Season 1 of Ahsoka is available for streaming on Disney+

Star Wars under the Disney flag has been met with mixed reviews. There have been great films and shows, average films and shows, and there has been a movie so divisive that the Star Wars fandom hasn't really recovered from it yet. That's par for the course in this franchise. The prequel trilogy wasn't universally loved other than the lightsaber battles and the same can be said of Ahsoka Tano herself.

Ahsoka's First Impression

Clone Wars (2008) the movie and Clone Wars the show introduced the world to Anakin Skywalker's padawan, Ahsoka. That's right, for those of you who have only ever watched the films; Anakin had a padawan learner, much like he was Obi-Wan's padawan learner. I was against her at first. Not really against the character, though young Ahsoka was a bit annoying, but the fact that Anakin all of a sudden had a student in his history. It is Star Wars, though. It is one of my great loves in life, so I stuck with it.

Both the movie and the first season were nothing special and didn't leave me with high hopes. Moving around and living without cable for a while left me a season or two behind when I was finally able to tune back into Clone Wars, and I was happy I did. The show and the stories told got much better. Little by little, Ahsoka grew on me. Clone Wars is largely Ahsoka's show and she is a nice counter piece to Anakin's struggle with the Dark Side of the Force. Cartoon or not, if you love Star Wars you will appreciate sticking with this show throughout.

Becoming a Fan Favorite

We all know what happens. Anakin's fall brings about the ruin of the Jedi and everyone but Obi-Wan and Yoda die. Oh, that's not what happens? I disagreed heavily with the fact that after Ahsoka's banishment (yes, she almost gets expelled, then decides to quit the Jedi Order after being framed and put on trial), she somehow managed to survive the purge. After realizing that disagreeing wouldn't change the fact, I embraced the stories given of her survival.

The character ended up completely winning me over. From her appearance on the show Rebels (2014-2018) as one of the leaders of the Rebellion, to the reborn final season of Clone Wars (2008-2020) where she battled Maul on Mandalore and escaped Order 66. Gripping television and storytelling have led to Ahsoka being one of the most beloved Star Wars characters, and when it was announced that Rosario Dawson (after years of fancasting) was going to take on the mantle and then appeared on The Mandalorian (2019-), it was pandemonium. The excitement of seeing her post ROTJ led to all kinds of possibilities. Seeing her cross paths with three fan favorites in the Mandalorian, Grogu, and Luke Skywalker helped to up the ante.

Ahsoka Characters and Places

Finding out that the Filoni-verse was growing and that Ahsoka was getting her own show and crossing paths with the Expanded Universe's first great villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn, was spectacular. Given life anew in the Disney world of Star Wars, Thrawn has remained one of the most interesting and popular bad guys due to his calm demeanor and brilliant strategic mind. His first foray into live action was highly anticipated, and to be portrayed by the same actor who voiced him in animation, Lars Mikkelsen, adds built-in layers and allows for a strong performance.

All that history aside, do you have to have seen Clone Wars and Rebels (you should) to be able to follow along with Ahsoka? It wouldn't hurt, but it's not completely necessary. The cast does a great job of making you care, either with attitude or just by cool appearance. The standout for me, by far, was Baylan Skoll, portrayed by the late Ray Stevenson, sadly. His character is a fresh take and not the force-sensitive character we have come across before. Foreboding and collected, Stevenson adds a dignity to a character who is on a mission yet to be revealed to us. His recent passing throws the future of the character up in the air, but the mark he left won't soon be forgotten by the fanbase.

New planets, excellent visuals, and live-action Nightsisters of Dathomir help expand an already well-established galaxy. To see the Force used in different ways keeps things fresh, while also being a way to connect to the Jedi: Survivor video game, where we have also seen this Witch power in action.

Character and Story Development

The story isn't perfect, but it is beautiful in execution, with glimpses of the past to help establish the present. Ahsoka's journey brings back the prequels and gives Hayden Christensen (Jumper) another chance after Obi-Wan Kenobi to put on Anakin Skywalker's skin. His presence looms large in her choices, which is a driving factor in the story and her relationship with Sabine Wren (aka worst jedi ever), played by the enchanting Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Day Shift), and their failed padawan/master relationship. It's an unexpected relationship and a new development in the story I wasn't expecting.

I enjoyed the slow burn and eventual payoff of that growing dynamic between both characters. Rosario Dawson (Trance) gave us a raw look at a character that has a lot of backstory. More serious than in the past, the weight of her failures and past actions ground Ahsoka in a way not seen before. Her journey, especially in the middle episodes, make for great streaming television.

Filon-Verse Prequel

All said and done, this is a setup for the Filoni-verse movie. We appear to be on the cusp of a deep dive into our understanding of the Force. Sabine represents the original idea that anyone can use the Force if they study and train hard enough. There's a mythology to that expanding galaxy that has only been scratched at the surface. We are going to see characters from his other shows pop up and team up, ala The Avengers, and face off against Thrawn and the challenges he represents. It will be interesting to see how this story will unravel the time between now and the sequel trilogy. Will we get an appearance from Luke again? I really hope so. To see him, Ezra, and Ahsoka teaming up against Thrawn would be something out of a dream.

Worth The Watch

Ahsoka is a fantastic show that adds layers of mysticism to a galaxy far, far away. Whether there is another season before we get to the movie, one can only hope. Definitely worth checking out and an excellent addition to the Saga.

PG Score: 8/10

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