‘Ahsoka’ finds its long-lost fan favorites in a galaxy ‘Far, Far Away’

‘Ahsoka’ finds its long-lost fan favorites in a galaxy ‘Far, Far Away’
  • PublishedDecember 9, 2023

A long-awaited moment finally arrived for “Star Wars Rebels” fans in the sixth episode of “Ahsoka,” marking the live-action debut of two fan favorites from that animated series.

The extended search for a villain and hero exiled in another galaxy, Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen, also the character’s voice in animation) and Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), set up what promises to be a major battle and payoff in the final two episodes, and perhaps beyond.

Thrawn, after all, was a central villain in “Rebels,” and serves as a sort-of bridge in the “Star Wars” timeline between the remnants of the Empire and the evil forces that would coalesce into the First Order, the martial threat in the most recent film trilogy.

Moreover, “Rebels” mastermind Dave Filoni’s expansion into these live-action series, including “The Mandalorian” working with Jon Favreau, is expected to lead into a “Star Wars” movie featuring characters culled from this quadrant of the galaxy. Given that, there might not be much urgency to completely wrap up these storylines with the fertile possibilities that they provide.

The search for Ezra has motivated the heroes throughout “Ahsoka,” though it fell to Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) to locate him. With Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) riding to the rescue, the combatants appear set for major fireworks over the final installments, with the side note that the good guys look conspicuously outnumbered.

“Ahsoka” started off slowly, and after solid fourth and fifth episodes, moved a bit more sluggishly again in this chapter. All told, though, the season has offered plenty to delight fans, including a detour involving Hayden Christensen reprising the role of Anakin Skywalker, for the first time encountering his former padawan in a live-action setting.

Ezra nobly sacrificed himself at the end of “Rebels” to banish Thrawn and save his friends, and like Ahsoka, he migrates into the live-action realm with high expectations and considerable built-in enthusiasm.

After “Solo: A Star Wars Story” became a box-office disappointment, Disney began steering “Star Wars” concepts, including “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” to streaming to lure subscribers to Disney+. In that sense, “Ahsoka” might help open not just a pathway to another galaxy, but more pragmatically, a logical portal back to the movies.


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