I used to think I was gratuitously harsh on Disney’s live-action Star Wars efforts because I didn’t like any of them. Then I watched Andor and saw that it sounded like a pretty good Star Wars TV show. I prefer not to go back to the previous normal state. But despite her efforts to pretend otherwise in the two Disney+ pre-show episodes, old normal is exactly what Ahsoka represents. There’s no reason to watch this show unless you’re a Rebels fan looking for that cliffhanger from the series finale.
Ahsoka and a pair of villainous Force users–Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati–attack a New Republic cruiser to rescue a villain from The Mandalorian Season 2 named Morgan Elsbeth. As we then learn, Elizabeth knows something about the whereabouts of the missing Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn, and they conclude that someone (no telling who) has paid these forces to rescue Elizabeth and in her quest to Help bring him back.
Coincidentally, in the very next scene, we see Ahsoka Tano recreating the opening credits of Guardians of the Galaxy , but more boringly and without the dancing — she visits some sort of ancient archeological site in the middle of nowhere on a planet of nothing to retrieve a magical place. orb, after which he immediately fights bad guys working for the main villain. This orb contains Thrawn’s map, which may or may not be in another galaxy. So Ahsoka reunites with the surviving Rebels characters, Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren, and the race for Thrawn is on.
are you still lost If you haven’t watched “Star Wars: Rebels,” which saw Thrawn’s genius and main character Ezra Bridger pulled by space whales to an unknown destination, you probably are. Ahsoka is a direct sequel to the cliffhanger ending of that animated series—essentially Season 5 of Rebels—and the result is that the two episodes I’ve seen don’t have much to offer fans who haven’t seen that cartoon. .
The first two episodes—directed by showrunner Dave Filoni, who was also responsible for the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons—attempt to make up for Andor’s slower pace by holding longer shots. But this does not work. These episodes end up having no rhythm to speak of, as every scene is filled with extra pauses – Ahsoka has the whole flow of Attack of the Clones .
It doesn’t look much better, with a series of action sequences that all basically look like the cheesy final battle of Marvel’s Secret Invasion series – the camera is always too close to the action to get a good look at what’s going on. It’s clear, and the fights are inexplicably ineffective. It’s hard to believe we’ve gotten to the point where I’m whining when it’s time for a lightsaber battle, but here’s the reality of the situation.
To make matters worse, you can feel Rebels’ more cartoonish DNA seeping through the entire production. We’ve had Ahsoka do some funny spinning moves to make holes in the ground while fighting like Bugs Bunny. One of the bad guys is an ex-inquisitor named Marok who has one of those spiked lightsaber hilts they used in Rebels, and he swings it really fast and then throws it like a boomerang – it didn’t look great. And near the end of the second episode, Hera Sandola is chasing a bad guy ship and asks her astronomer droid to set up a tracking device—which, perched on the outside of the ship like R2-D2, begins searching through the from the ship Things are sitting freely on the surface of this ship like a table while Hera is doing all sorts of combat maneuvers. Finally, it finds the tracer and then physically throws it with its claw arm. You might be able to get away with this in an animated series that is inherently less grounded in reality, but in live action, it was embarrassing to watch.
But hey, it could be worse: they could have Marok use his lightsaber like a helicopter blade and fly with it, which is what the Inquisition did with the Rebels. But there are still six more episodes to go, so don’t count it out.
What’s really disappointing here is that if you strip away all the baggage of the previous story and the characters the show assumes we already like, there’s a potentially very interesting large-scale story going on here that could Take us to a new place. Ahsoka and her friends are racing some free Imperial agents and mercenary force users on a grand galactic quest to solve an interesting mystery that might actually take us beyond the realm of Star Wars as we know it? And we have the likes of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and the late, great Ray Stevenson chewing up the scenery? It looks like it could be fun.
Right now, though, all the fun is being overshadowed by that story baggage and these characters the show assumes we already like. Hopefully, the dynamic will change as the series continues — as we saw earlier this year with The Mandalorian Season 3, the quality of these Disney+ Star Wars series can vary dramatically from week to week. And after such a rough start, Ahsoka could use one of those dramatic quality changes right now.