August 28, 2023

CABLE | 'Ahsoka' – Rosario Dawson Rebels Against 'Star Wars'

"We are no Jedi!"
Ivanna Sakhno Dave Filoni | Star Wars: Ahsoka | Disney+
Longtime Star Wars writer/producer Dave Filoni brings the eponymous fan-favourite former Jedi Padawan apprentice animated character to live-action screens for her own solo miniseries starring Rosario Dawson, reprising her guest appearance in The Mandalorian. Star Wars: Ahsoka starts slow with an odd flatness to its expositionary dialogue that (re)establishes the stakes and a new intergalatic mission.

We pick up a few dangling story threads from the Star Wars Rebels (a series Fuloni co-created) finale set after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi and before the rise of the First Order in The Force Awakens. Supporting actresses Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star as highly accurate but new portrayals of previously seen characters, Sabine Wren and Hera Syndulla, as they help Dawson's Ahsoka Tano after a familiar potential threat against the recently reformed New Republic arises from the remnants of the evil Galactic Empire.

When a former Jedi knight turned mercenary and his dark apprentice, played by the late Ray Stevenson and Ivanna Sakhno, start to cause trouble, a search sets off for a map-like MacGuffin that leads to the possible whereabouts of the only surviving Imperial leader left and "Heir to the Empire", Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen reprising his vocal role), and Rebels protagonist Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfand).

Ahsoka likely feels almost too familiar for existing fans yet cold for those not aware of these characters despite a standard adventure premise still hyper-focused on a sense of rebellion. However, its cast and production design offer a promising tease of what's to come. Dawson is stoic and captivating alongside some fun performances of existing characters surrounding her, but how the new post-ROTJ threat manifests in an increasingly crowded Star Wars television universe leaves both room and doubts for refreshing space adventure.

Ahsoka's eight-episode season is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

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