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The Mass Media

Why you should watch Ahsoka (and all of Star Wars)

Dong Woo Im
A student watches “Ahsoka” during their free time in the dorm.Photo by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there were the titular Star Wars. A vast universe whose numerous eclectic populations and uncharted planets are all plagued by war at the hand of the encumbering, conquering galactic empire. Those who rebel dedicate their lives to this grave endeavor, whereas everyone else must live to the whim of either the empire, crime lords, warmongers, witches or nature itself. This universe is rife with feelings of impending doom, wartime desperation and extreme hatred, yet despite this, there remains hope. This theme of hope versus hatred is echoed throughout the franchise in its many narratives; it is what gives each opposing faction their strength, imbalancing the ever-mysterious forces of the universe. A main premise of the series is that there once was a time of peace, but now is no longer then, and the viewer is led to question if that peace will ever return.

This constant tension and the looming apprehension for what awaits in deep space is a recipe for adventure that has given us countless stories, diverse characters and lore all the way back since 1977. All of this enhances the storytelling experience by referencing other characters or events that have their own stories to further contextualize the current story being told. This adds a great deal of depth to the fictional universe. However, watching the new shows without knowing anything prior can still be an enjoyable experience because of its competent storytelling. The show doesn’t rely on its audience to know all this extra context and can still tell a story that invites curiosity and imagination. 

As an avid “Star Wars” fan, one does not need to watch everything, but when watching “Ahsoka,” it can be appreciated from both perspectives. As for world building, “Ahsoka” does an amazing job of telling a fresh, plausible story in the “Star Wars” universe. Ahsoka, as a character, is no longer the naive and rambunctious Jedi apprentice that fans met in “The Clone Wars” TV series. Now a matured Jedi master, Rosario Dawson plays a stoic, pensive and calculated mentor whose juxtaposed frivolousness and lethal capability make her a force to be reckoned with. Her masterful tranquility and mental fortitude shine through in every scene, whether it’s in conversation or combat. 

The action in the show may subvert the expectations of fans of the series, alluding to old-fashioned samurai movies as opposed to the loud, busy lightsaber fight scenes in the “Star Wars” movies with their flamboyant flips and twirls. In “Ahsoka,” the action is usually brief, but the tension building up to the inevitable conflict is what makes it exquisite. The audience feels the same anticipation as each duelist. With their blades drawn, viewers feel the gravity of the situation and anxiously await an outcome, and in an instant, a duelist is slain, marked by the folly of their rage or hubris in that very moment. The action in “Ahsoka” is intense and intimate, often emphasizing the strength of cunning as opposed to brute force, again echoing the theme of hope versus hatred. 

The story, in short, is captivating, curiosity-inducing and enables a character like Ahsoka to be truly tested. She races against a band of force-wielding mercenaries to rescue someone whose influence in the empire means bad news for the newly established New Republic, also known as the Rebel Alliance. Fans of the animated series “Star Wars Rebels” may recognize some live action adaptations. Without seeing this show, “Ahsoka” can be enjoyed nonetheless. As mentioned earlier, this show debuts some good acting, and it also debuts some not so good acting sometimes, albeit few and far between. This show is an entertaining watch—one where some emotionally impactful scenes may require encyclopedic knowledge on character histories—and is a series that intends to keep its audience questioning what will happen next: a note that the series ends on.

In the end, the depth of the show is up to the viewer. Whether implementing these philosophical perspectives or watching it for what it is, a space sci-fi adventure with lasers and swords, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had with this series and “Star Wars” as a whole.

About the Contributor
Dong Woo Im, Photographer