The Meaning of This
To fans, these opening episodes of Dave Filoni’s Disney+ show, Ahsoka, decided whether the galaxy far, far away would be raised to new life or sink further into the woes of life support as a dying modern myth. Star Wars brought life to pessimistic cinema once upon a time, redefining the cinematic landscape of its day and changing American culture for decades. Now, it’s in the hands of the creator’s protégé, Filoni, who must prove to fans that there’s still a shred of competence at the helm even with the IP in Disney’s castle where lights are going out everywhere.
What’s Bad About It
There’s no such competence with this continuation of Star Wars Rebels in live action. The story Filoni delivers is like a cold, half-eaten pizza dropped off by an Uber driver stoned out of his mind. An amoral Jedi villain has more presence than Anakin’s apprentice, whose presence is cold and mute on screen. Her arms-crossed posture communicates not a masterful reserve but boredom and indifference. The character subtext between the master (Ahsoka) and apprentice (Sabine) is paper thin and makes the deliberately slow pace of these episodes feel accidentally hollow. Sabine’s motivations are incoherent with her actions, and the plot feels like an A-to-B-to-C exercise in putting the viewers to sleep. It’s as if Filoni has surrendered to his Force-is-Female, creatively challenged boss, Kathleen Kennedy, writing to stay cozy in his desk chair at Lucasfilm, instead of preserving the IP that elevated his career in animation under Lucas’ employment.
The only redeeming element to this show, thus far, appears in episode 3; it has broader implications for the franchise. This show may offer diminishing rays of hope for fans wanting to love Star Wars again if it doesn’t become character-driven soon.