After plenty of anticipation, Ahsoka‘s first two episodes have made their debut on Disney+. The Star Wars series follows Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice as she navigates a tense galaxy in pursuit of Grand Admiral Thrawn after the Galactic Civil War.
Since the first two episodes are now streaming, let’s look at some of the biggest takeaways from the beginning of Ahsoka’s latest adventure.
The opening of the first episode was certainly reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, as a careful Ahsoka obtained a valuable artifact while dealing with unexpected dangers that were lying in wait. Of course, that’s a fairly common trope at this point, but given Lucasfilm’s connection to Indiana Jones, it seems like a fairly solid homage.
On the other hand, the arrival of Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati on the New Republic ship seemed straight out of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace — though with these lightsaber wielders being more malicious than Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. If that weren’t enough, the scene of Shin Hati receiving information from a recon droid was almost certainly a visual homage to a similar scene from The Phantom Menace, though that one had Darth Maul in Hati’s place.
These more subtle visual references certainly beat the more blatant ones that recent Star Wars projects have favored.
A More Rigid Ahsoka
Given all that Ahsoka has been through from the time in which she left the Jedi Order, it makes sense that she’s a bit more withdrawn than in previous stories. She and Sabine Wren — one of her friends and allies from Star Wars Rebels — clearly had a falling out after Sabine stopped her Jedi training, leading Ahsoka to be more distant at the start of this new series. I’m sure she’ll begin to warm up again as she continues to work with Sabine and Hera — and hopefully Ezra, somewhere down the line — as we already saw a bit of the old Ahsoka in the final scenes of Episode 2.
The War Criminal Returns
Perhaps the absolute highlight of the show so far is the return of C1-10P — better known as Chopper. This violent little droid first appeared in Star Wars Rebels, where he was more than down to inflict all sorts of violence against the Empire.
The manic little robot seems to be back in all his glory, as he suggests shooting down an enemy-occupied ship despite the numerous civilian casualties. It’s also a little easier to understand Chopper’s warbled voice, which is just Dave Filoni saying the lines with plenty of filtering and mixing done to make them less intelligible. Here’s hoping we get just as much perceived swearing as we did in Rebels.
A True Star Wars Rebels Sequel
From the repeated views of the Rebels mural to the returning characters — including Clancy Brown’s Ryder Azadi and Vinny Thomas’s Jai Kell — it’s clear that Ahsoka is Dave Filoni’s follow-up to Star Wars Rebels, which concluded in 2018.
While this may make the new series a bit harder to get into for fans who have skipped Star Wars’ animated output, it’s a delightful treat for fans who haven’t missed an episode. Seeing all these threads and characters carry over has been a lot of fun already, and I can’t wait to see Thrawn debut in live-action. Even if you aren’t a Rebels fan, that series has now allowed one of the franchise’s best Expanded Universe characters to fully jump into live-action.
As previously mentioned, Sabine and Ahsoka were on the outs with one another for a while when the series picks up, though it’s clear that they still care about one another. Sabine still watches a recorded message from Ezra and uses his lightsaber — and apparently even customized it a bit — meaning she’s more than gung-ho to join her old pals on this new journey,
Assumedly, the series will feature the group confronting Thrawn and finding Ezra, so we’ll likely see Sabine grow into a greater Jedi and warrior in the coming episodes.