TELEVISION | Long-awaited Star Wars installment relies on a detailed backstory casual viewers won’t know
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Ahsoka is the series die-hard Star Wars fans have been waiting for, bringing to life—or at least to live action—the popular animated series Rebels. Rebels ended on a cliffhanger, and fans have waited five years to find out what happened to their favorite characters.
But what appeals to long-time fans might not entice those less familiar with the galaxy far, far away. Ahsoka relies heavily on a detailed backstory that many viewers won’t know. The first few episodes provide a smattering of details that help newcomers understand what’s happening and, more importantly, why. But those tidbits might not carry enough emotional weight to make the casual Star Wars watcher care about the stakes.
Those stakes, of course, include nothing less than the future of the galaxy. Ahsoka begins several years after the defeat of the evil Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi. One of the Empire’s greatest military commanders, Grand Admiral Thrawn, went missing during the final battles, and his followers are trying to bring him back from exile. If they succeed, he’ll muster those still loyal to the old order and reassert galactic control.
Ahsoka, a former Jedi, knows the dangers of such grandiose ambitions. After all, her former master, Anakin Skywalker, eventually became Darth Vader. She’s determined to stop Thrawn, and in the process find her missing friend and fellow Jedi Ezra Bridger.
To complete her mission, she’ll need help from the allies she fought alongside during the war. They’ve all got problems of their own, but they’ll do anything to figure out what happened to Ezra and bring him home.
Ahsoka includes some of the most compelling characters and storylines of the Star Wars universe. But Disney will have to work hard to convince newcomers it’s worth taking the time to get to know them.
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