I’ve been reviewing shows here on The Workprint for a little over a year now, and I can say with complete honesty that Ahsoka is the toughest show I’ve had to review. Not because it’s terrible – frankly, it would be a lot easier if I could just make fun of it. But, it’s just kind of… there. The same problems plague this show every week: weird pacing, flat characters, and big reveals that don’t mean much to me because I haven’t watched 75 episodes of an animated show. It gets hard writing the same thing over and over while trying to do so in an interesting way.
So in the finale — The Jedi, The Witch, and the Warlord — there was a lot of cool action once again. There wasn’t a ton of character development. And the plot was a bit puzzling. Oh, and nothing gets wrapped up. You will have to wait until season two or, given the way Favreau and Filoni structure this stuff, a random episode of Season 4 of The Mandalorian.
In a nutshell: Thrawn sacrifices some of his troopers to delay Ahsoka and company from getting to his star destroyer. Morgan gets turned into a more powerful witch and gets what looks like a Vorpal sword. (Yes, I played a lot of D&D back in the day. And I know what THAC0 means.) There is a lot of fighting that eventually results in Morgan raising dead stormtroopers to make zombies, Ahsoka killing Morgan, and Sabine establishing a connection to the force. She promptly uses this power to force hurl Ezra onto Thrawn’s ship. Thrawn jumps back to our galaxy with his mysterious cargo, leaving Ahsoka and Sabine stranded with the turtle people. Also, Shin is apparently going to run the squads of bandits and Baylan is going to roam the planet, stopping atop the heads of some giant statues carved into a cliff. Ezra makes it off Thrawn’s ship and finds his way back to the New Republic and Hera and Chopper. Oh, and Anakin’s force ghost shows up to nod approvingly at his old padawan.
So, a fair bit happened there. Why didn’t any of it feel like it particularly mattered?
Thrawn made it back to his home galaxy with his cargo, the thing the show kept telling was important to stop at all costs, and none of the characters seemed all that concerned about it? Ahsoka and Sabine seem content to chill on Turtle Planet. Are they going to wait for the whales to get them home? Ezra’s back, which I guess is a good thing, but the Republic has lost Ahsoka. Sabine discovered her force powers when she pulled her lightsaber to her in desperation to save herself, but then five seconds later she’s adept enough to toss Ezra into the hatch of a Star Destroyer hundreds of feet away. I hate when people whine about Mary Sues and whatnot, but that seemed like a rather improbable scale up from pulling a one pound lightsaber 10 feet.
To me, the whole series was somewhat unsatisfying. It never felt like the stakes mattered. They seemed to be banking on the thrill of recognition to carry these characters, but if you don’t recognize them how is that supposed to work? Everything felt like set up and no payoff. (Of course, the payoff will come in Filoni’s movie, allegedly coming soon to a theatre in your galaxy.)
Having said all that… what do I know? Fans of Rebels on-line were estatic. They were beside themselves over the giant statues Baylan was standing on. (Apparently these are the Mortis Gods? And it’s all quite clearly explained in Season 3 episodezzzzzz…) They were thrilled to see Hayden Christiansen return!
Star Wars is a giant sprawling franchise. While I grew up on the OG trilogy, there are millions who grew up with the prequels and love them. There are millions who faithfully watched every episode of the animated Clone Wars and Rebels and the Bad Batch. There are even people who – for some reason – consider The Rise of Skywalker the best movie! Star Wars is no longer all things to all people. There are different shows for different generations.
And that’s FINE! That is GOOD!
If you watched Ahsoka and were delighted to see your favorite characters in live action, I am happy for you! I hope you can get a little Chopper droid to put on your desk!
It just wasn’t aimed at me. And that’s ok! I can always rewatch Empire Strikes Back and Andor and the good seasons of Mandalorian.
Episode Rating: 3 out of 5
Season Rating: 3 out of 5