[This is a spoiler-free editorial about the Star Wars: Ahsoka series. For more thoughts on the latest episode, click HERE.] The more I continue to watch the Star Wars: Ahsoka series, the harder and harder it’s getting for me to avoid going into full-on gatekeeper mode. There’s another publication (which I won’t name; I’m not dignifying their coverage by linking to their work) that has done nothing but bash the series since the first episode. The coverage is so negatively biased I truly wonder if any of the writers there had ever seen anything Star Wars before they started commenting on this series. If they had, they’d likely join the overwhelming majority of fans that are finding the series, Part 5, in particular, to be among the best Star Wars has to offer.
The fifth installment of the series was, in a word, perfect. Dave Filoni has proven his mastery of Star Wars storytelling time and again, but it’s going to be hard to top what we saw in Part 5: ‘Shadow Warrior.’ In just forty-five minutes of screen time, Filoni took us on one of the most emotional, poignant, and impactful journeys through Star Wars that fans have ever experienced. With Ahsoka Part 5, we’ve truly returned to a depth of feeling we haven’t known, certainly not in live-action, since perhaps The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.
Ahsoka is everything the Star Wars sequel trilogy is not
Haters gonna hate, as they say. At this point I simply have to tune them out. No matter how good Star Wars can be, there’s always going to be someone to knock it down. In the case of Ahsoka, despite what they say, we are seeing the franchise at its best. It embodies everything that the sequel trilogy lacked. A concise, well-thought-out, baseline story. Exquisite character depth and development. Emotion. Empathy. Excitement. Subtle humor. Well-placed nostalgia. Granted, as a whole, the sequel trilogy did have its moments of each, but not in the way this series has. Not even closely. We have Dave Filoni to thank for that.
It should come as no surprise that some of the best of Star Wars has come, and continues to come from George Lucas’ protégé. Filoni and Lucas worked hand-in-hand together to create The Clone Wars animated series, from which the character of Ahsoka was born. She first appeared in the franchise in 2008. For fifteen years we’ve watched her character develop and grow. We’ve seen nearly every moment of her journey through the Force; every instance of elation and moment of adversity that’s shaped the character Rosario Dawson now personifies. There are few characters in all of the franchise that have had a more complete story…. And it’s not over. But we knew that back in 2019 when Filoni hinted at more to come.
Snips is no “Mary-Sue”
While I do generally like the sequel trilogy character of Rey, she doesn’t hold a candle to Ahsoka Tano. She can’t. Like the series is to the sequel trilogy, Ahsoka is everything that Rey is not. Her talent, while innate, required far more nurturing than did Rey’s…. Thus making the character far more relatable, real, and dare I say, likeable. Don’t believe me? Look no further than the gut-wrenching episode of Jedi Tales entitled ‘Practice Makes Perfect.’ In it, Anakin Skywalker teaches his padawan a hard lesson in survival, a lesson on which she’d rely during her escape of Order 66.
This is no, simple, one-sided character. Unlike Rey, Ahsoka has had to fight for everything she’s ever achieved. As a result, she’s also had to bear the unreasonably heavy burden of her upbringing. That’s never more on display than it is in Part 5 of the series. This, folks, this character, this series, is everything Star Wars should be. It’s hard to image that Filoni can elevate it any higher than what we saw last night…. But with three episodes to go, I can’t wait to see just how high it can get.
Star Wars: Ahsoka airs Tuesdays at 9:00 pm EST on Disney+.