22-10-23 | The Star Wars universe has recently embraced the episodic television format, which resulted in the hit series The Mandalorian. Since then few Star Wars series have impressed fans in the way the movies have. And then came Ahsoka, a fan favourite character from the Clone Wars cartoon series, who previously appeared in a stellar episode of The Mandalorian.
The show follows Jedi Master Ahsoka’s quest to find her lost friend Ezra, who just happens to be stranded on the same planet as Grand Admiral Thrawn, the warlord who has the power to revive the Empire. And despite the hype and familiar elements, Ahsoka struggled to connect with its audience.
Meaghan Colleran of Bell of Lost Souls felt that ‘Ahsoka started out okay and became more engaging every week. Which is a good trajectory, I was still pretty excited to come back every week knowing that it had only been getting better.’ Damning praise to which Joshua Rivera of Polygon added: ‘When you lay out the main plot beats of the last eight episodes, it is astonishing how little happens, and what is actually accomplished or made clear.’
And yet the series can hardly be called a failure. ‘Once the pieces finally come together in the back half of the season, Ahsoka delivers an excellent mix of action and pathos with major implications for the future of the franchise.’ said Samantha Nelson of IGN, who was backed up by WCCB’s Jack Hale. ‘Dawson does an incredible job as Ahsoka and it is a lot of fun to watch her on screen again and see her growth in an uncertain period of her life.’
Special praise was given to the recently deceased Ray Stevenson, who brought Shakespearean weight to his role as evil Jedi. Aiden Shaprio of The Albion Pleiad found that ‘Baylan may not talk much, but when he does, Stevenson knocks it out of the park with his deliveries and subtle motions. Furthermore, he brings a stoic and physical presence to the screen and the mystery of his background intrigues me, even near the end of the season.’
Tom Spoors of Loud and Clear has a harsher view of the characters. ‘They all ultimately feel like pawns for yet another generic Star Wars story that struggles to feel at all different from any of the ones that came before. There’s plenty of recognizable iconography, but absolutely nothing new to help any of the episodes here stand out from the many others I’ve consumed over the last however many years.’
‘But once the pieces finally come together in the back half of the season – ’ counters IGN’s Nelson ‘ –Ahsoka delivers an excellent mix of action and pathos with major implications for the future of the franchise.’ Though it’s an uneven show, Nelson remains positive. ‘Once the actors and cosmic plots are really given time to shine, Ahsoka finds a wonderful mix of rich lore, humor, and big battles that make it feel like classic Star Wars.’ Critics describe Ahsoka as either a failed attempt or a flawed diamond. It is ultimately up to the viewer to decide which is the truer statement.
Read the full reviews here:
Meaghan Colleran at Bell of Lost Souls
Joshua Rivera at Polygon
Samantha Nelson at IGN
Jack Hale at WCCB
Aiden Shaprio at The Albion Pleiad
Tom Spoors at Loud and Clear