Review: Ahsoka - Season 1
After the fall of the Galactic Empire, former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy.
Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, David Tennnat, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, Diana Lee Inosanto, Hayden Christensen & Eman Esfandi.
'Ahsoka’ takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows in terms of its storytelling and production values. From a cinematography perspective, the series often struggles with achieving a dynamic visual style. The use of 'the volume' technology, which has been a standout feature in the first two seasons of The Mandalorian, occasionally feels distracting rather than immersive. Greig Fraser needs to be on set at all times, at this point. However, amidst these challenges, there are moments of brilliance where the cinematography manages to capture striking visual imagery that lingers in the viewer's mind. Even if it’s once an episode.
One of the series' undeniable strengths lies in its ability to breathe life into beloved Star Wars Rebels characters in the live-action format. Natasha Liu Bordizzo's portrayal of Sabine and Eman Esfandi's take on Ezra are particularly noteworthy, showcasing the actors' talents in bringing these fan-favorite characters to life. Their performances add that lovable authenticity to the Star Wars universe & Rebels series making them standouts in the cast.
On the other hand, the writing and dialogue in ‘Ahsoka’ do not consistently match the high standards set by the franchise, or should I say: Andor. While the narrative has its moments of intrigue and excitement, there are times when the dialogue falls flat and fails to fully engage the audience. The pacing of the series generally keeps things moving along, but there are instances where the plot drags, leaving viewers yearning for more excitement. Which definitely comes down to some of the cinematography.
One aspect of the series that consistently shines is the sublime score composed by Kevin Kiner. His music serves as an emotional backbone for the series, taking character themes to higher highs and creating a wonderful tone and atmosphere to scenes that felt empty. Kiner's work continues to be a standout element in the Star Wars universe.
Rosario Dawson's performance as Ahsoka is commendable, although it may not have the same gripping impact on all viewers. While she captures the essence of the character well, some may find that her portrayal doesn't entirely grab their attention as expected.
The series also delivers some enjoyable and humourous moments reminiscent of "Star Wars Rebels," providing fans with a touch of nostalgia and lightheartedness amidst the larger narrative.
Ray Stevenson's portrayal of Baylan is a highlight, offering a screen presence that is undeniably gripping. His character's engaging monologues, though occasionally feeling somewhat disjointed from the rest of the dialogue (in a good way), add a little depth to the Jedi/Sith morality.
Overall, ‘Ahsoka’ is a fun addition to the Star Wars canon, sprinkled with subtle and quiet moments that offer character depth and introspection. The flashbacks to Ahsoka's past are much better shot and provide a much-appreciated opportunity to revisit the Clone Wars era.
While Thrawn makes a welcome return, the series could have benefitted from more episodes to fully harness his menacing presence in live action. Unfortunately, the filmmaking at times does not complement Lars Mikkelson's performance, preventing him from being as intimidating as he should be.
From a technical standpoint, ‘Ahsoka’ boasts commendable editing, sound design, and impressive camerawork. The VFX work is undeniably fantastic, although it leaves viewers wishing for a more visually exhilarating finale setting.
In conclusion, ‘Ahsoka’ is a series that has its moments of greatness but also reveals areas in need of refinement. It succeeds in some aspects while falling short in others, making it an enjoyable addition to the Star Wars universe but leaving room for improvement in terms of storytelling and visual execution. There's many characters that are very wasted and underdeveloped, often painting the entire series as one big set up for a larger season.
3 / 5