On Wednesday, Lucasfilm finally revealed that Ahsoka will premiere on August 23. According to the show’s synopsis, “Ahsoka follows the former Jedi knight Ahsoka Tano as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy.” As we know from the trailers and Star Wars Celebration, that threat has a name: Grand Admiral Thrawn (played by Lars Mikkelsen).
Star Wars fans, especially those who have watched the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels, have plenty to be excited about. Rosario Dawson has done an outstanding job bringing this beloved character to life in live-action, Grand Admiral Thrawn should make for a compelling villain, and we now know that this, The Book of Boba Fett, and The Mandalorian are building to the movie that will tie up all of their respective stories.
My only concern is that Ahsoka will repeat The Mandalorian’s biggest mistake.
The Mandalorian is arguably the most successful byproduct of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm to date. Not just critically lauded, the series also managed to attract untold subscribers to Disney Plus when the streaming service launched in 2019.
That momentum continued through The Mandalorian season 2 in 2020, culminating with one of the most surprising cameos of the decade in the finale. What came next was not quite as widely celebrated, with some viewers saying the show lost its way in its third season, choosing to focus on other characters and storylines at the expense of Din Djarin and Grogu.
The Book of Boba Fett similarly lost interest in its title character halfway through the season.
This is a trend that I hope ends with Ahsoka. A show’s focus doesn’t have to be so narrow as not to give the other characters some time in the spotlight, but it’s a delicate balancing act. In fact, its ability to balance its myriad storylines was one of Andor’s greatest strengths. The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian season 3 weren’t nearly as graceful.
I am hopeful that Ahsoka writer Dave Filoni, who helped create the character alongside George Lucas 15 years ago, gives Ahsoka Tano the attention she and her story deserve. Of course, the show will also bring fan-favorite characters like Thrawn, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, and Ezra Bridger to live-action for the first time, connect to Andor by bringing Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) into the fold, and give Hayden Christensen another turn as Anakin.
All of this fan service won’t mean anything if the core narrative isn’t engaging, propulsive, and — most of all — focused. It doesn’t need to be Andor, but it doesn’t have to be The Book of Boba Fett either. If Filoni can strike a happy medium, Ahsoka will be a blast.