Ahsoka Season 1 Review – Another Disney Star Wars disappointment

Another Disney Star Wars Disappointment

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 8 -|Review Score – 2/5



When Disney acquired Star Wars, the initial optimism that came with that has slowly petered out over the years, starting with the abolishment of the Expanded Universe to the disaster of the sequel trilogy and beyond. Those who grew up loving and enjoying the franchise have certainly been given their fair share of tripe with this IP.

The sequel trilogy effectively lost half its audience, and every small screen Star Wars iteration since (with the exception of Mandalorian season 1) has lost a substantial slate of viewers. Star Wars has become another IP lost to the machine of underwhelming mediocrity, and nowhere else is that more evident than with Ahsoka.

Ahsoka is marketed as a stand-alone Star Wars series but in reality, this is actually season 5 of a small-audience animation called Rebels. That, in itself, is a continuation of another animated series called The Clone Wars, and Ahsoka makes absolutely no distinction through its marketing or by the characters themselves in the show that this is what the series is. That’s obviously not a great start to win over general audiences.

But of course that’s not a complete dealbreaker. After all, we’ve seen shows serve as spin-offs or sequels to popular series that can absolutely stand on their own two feet, even for super popular shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unfortunately, Ahsoka is not one of them. Produced by Dave Filoni, who made his mark on those aforementioned animated shows, and dubbed by some as the “savior of Star Wars”, this man attempts to bring his trademark animated style to live-action… with awful results.

Before we dive into that, it’s worth mentioning the narrative. The story centers on Ahsoka and her Padawan Sabine Wren, who set out to find a map to lead them to parts unknown where Ezra (Sabine’s best friend) is lost following an incident that occurred at the end of Rebels. Don’t know what this incident is because you didn’t want Clone Wars of Rebels? Too bad, the show won’t tell you what happened either.

Anyway, Ezra isn’t alone as a big threat known as Grand Admiral Thrawn, a tactical genius and a man who could unite the fractured forces of the Empire together, is plotting his return. In the midst of all this, there’s also General Hera too, who tries to keep everything in order with the New Republic Council.

All of this builds up to a non-ending, where none of the characters (with the exception perhaps of Sabine Wren) grow, learn or are really tested. There’s an entire chapter full of key-jangling nostalgia that simply serves to keep people engaged, with no explanation as to what’s happening or why, while the latter chapters thrown in a whoe bunch of cameos and easter eggs that are designed specifically for hardcore fans of Rebels and Clone Wars.

While that in itself is fine, if “remember this from the better Star Wars material?” is all Ahsoka has to offer (and it is) then it typifies the sad state that Star Wars is in right now.

Each episode clocks in at around 40 minutes or so, but each feel like they’re about 90. Scenes drag on far longer than they should. There are constant moments in between lines of dialogue where characters stand around staring at each other. And they all talk. So. Slowly. While stoicism is fine to revel in mystery, Ahsoka doesn’t do that. In fact, almost every delivery is done without a sniff of emotion.

There are whole exchanges between characters, through awkwardly choreographed action or a big dialogue exchange, where characters will simply stare with blank expressions. When the two robots in your show, Chopper and Hayung, are the most emotionally harged players, you know you have a problem.

Ahsoka then doubles-down on this slow, methodical pace by overdoing the establishing shots for almost every scene. The editing is woeful too, with every individual scene taking way too long and dialogue designed to sound mysterious and insightful but just coming across as frustratingly empty and vague. Even fans of the animated shows are likely to come away disappointed when the dust settles and the excitement about seeing old faces and familiar names dies down.

There are exchanges between characters happening off-screen that should be front and center for this show, mined for emotional resonance with the audience. There are action sequences that should be super tense but Ahsoka and Sabine struggle to emote or even care about what’s happening. Even in the finale, when the stakes are at an all-time high, the monotonous, bored tone coming from everyone involved ultimately translates across the audience as well. After all, if the actors don’t care then why should we?

Ultimately, Ahsoka is another big disappointment. It’s no wonder that the viewing figures are so disappointing and judging by the woeful narrative, horrible characterisation (or lack thereof), sloppy editing and laborious pacing, it’s a long way back for Star Wars to reclaim its place as the pinnacle of space operatic storytelling. Shows like Andor showed that Star Wars can deliver the goods but likewise, that show failed to get anyone interested. 

While this franchise might not be completely dead, shows like Ahsoka feel like another nail in the apathetic coffin.

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  • Verdict - 3.5/10

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