(L-R): Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

AHSOKA delivered its best episode yet, having more in common with ANDOR and the best of THE MANDALORIAN than other Star Wars series. To its detriment, it also relies too heavily on the audience, having seen all of STAR WARS: REBELS. 

First, let’s talk about the good and very good. Rosario Dawson is perfectly cast as the titular lead, and every time she’s on screen, I fall a bit more in love with her performance. This isn’t to take away from the original voice-over actress for Ahsoka, Ashley Eckstein. Their portrayals are complimentary, but it was smart of Dave Filoni to cast the Oscar-nominated Dawson, who is still underrated. While there have been other Jedi since Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka stands above the rest. Her strength as a character and Dawson’s portrayal of her are remarkable, especially in this latest episode. 

Ray Stevenson has had such an illustrious career that his final powerhouse of a performance as Baylon Skoll is bittersweet. Stevenson passed away in May 2023, just shy of his 59th birthday. After remarking that he “seemed familiar” but that I couldn’t place him, a friend responded that he was so talented he would lose himself in roles. When I looked him up on IMDB, I realized the beloved Irish actor had been in so many films and television shows I enjoyed. For Disney fans, he voiced Gar Saxon on REBELS and starred as Volstagg in the first three Thor films of the MCU. People like him are often referred to as “character actors,” but his presence in Ahsoka is so strong and intense that he steals just about every scene he’s in. The moments between him and Dawson here in PART FOUR are some of this century’s best Star Wars moments. No matter what happens in this series, I’m incredibly sad we won’t get to see more of him after this, in or out of the Star Wars universe. 

Most of everything else in AHSOKA, and especially here in E4, is far too tied into the STAR WARS: REBELS mythos, a show I’ve only seen a bit of. Instead of feeling like I’m being introduced to new (to me) characters and settings, I feel like an outsider who is never fully getting it. This is where the issue with AHSOKA lies; it never fully commits to being something fresh, but it’s also not STAR WARS REBELS: THE LIVE ACTION SERIES either.  

Characters in FALLEN JEDI make life-changing decisions that don’t feel earned to me because, apparently, I haven’t seen enough of REBELS to understand. I know some fans of THE MANDALORIAN were equally confused when S3 expanded upon events in THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, which many Mando fans didn’t watch. That was just a couple of episodes worth of content, while the pieces to AHSOKA I’m missing are threaded through 4 seasons of REBELS and, before that, several seasons of THE CLONE WARS. Perhaps even a better scrawl to introduce the AHSOKA series could have helped. ANDOR is unique among the Star Wars TV series so far. You don’t really need to know anything going on. Even though some of the same characters appeared in ROGUE ONE, ANDOR is the precursor to that. If Disney is going to keep expanding the stories of characters who have been part of the canon for decades, it will need to make sure these stories are accessible to new fans as well.

AHSOKA is streaming on Disney+, with a new episode premiering every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. PT. 

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

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