It’s a woman’s world in Ahsoka, as a certain talented Togruta is swinging her white lightsabers into action for the latest Star Wars series on Disney+. Poised to usher in the next chapter of the galaxy far, far away, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s Ahsoka sees Rosario Dawson take the lead for the long-awaited standalone for Anakin Skywalker’s outcast apprentice.
Filoni and George Lucas created the fan-favourite padawan for 2008's underwhelming Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, however, she’s since evolved to become a cornerstone of the franchise through the Clone Wars series and Star Wars Rebels.
Taking the lead for her own series, here’s everything you need to know about the Ahsoka release date, cast, story, and more.
Ahsoka release date
Star Wars: Ahsoka has begun streaming on Disney+ following its two-episode debut on Wednesday, 23 August. From there, new episodes will be dished out weekly.
Read more: Star Wars recap ahead of Ahsoka
The eight-episode run has secured some impressive talent in the form of Filoni apparently directing three episodes. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also producing alongside Favreau and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy.
Filoni’s directing talents are backed up by episodes from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Peter Ramsey, Mad Men’s Jennifer Getzinger, and House of the Dragon’s Geeta Patel. There are also some Star Wars alumni with The Book of Boba Fett’s Steph Green and The Mandalorian legend Rick Famuyiwa.
The reviews are in and it looks like the force is strong with Ahsoka so far.
Our own review championed the show for beginning on "a thrilling note" that introduces a rich world of villains and heroes. Meanwhile, places like the Evening Standard put their praise up-front, saying it was the show that has helped Star Wars "find its heart again."
The Guardian wasn't so enamoured with Ahsoka's appearance, saying the series "suffers from the same syndrome that makes Bad Star Wars bad: it’s so in awe of franchise lore it keeps taking our interest for granted." Thankfully, The Telegraph was kinder, calling the series "a space opera full of bite and brawn."
Read our review round-up below.
Yahoo Entertainment: The force is strong with Star Wars fan favourite's solo venture (4-min read)
Evening Standard: Star Wars finds its heart again (3-min read)
The Guardian: More bad Star Wars in a galaxy too far away to care about (4-min read)
The Independent: Disney’s latest Star Wars outing is flat, flimsy and devoid of life (4-min read)
The Telegraph: The saviour the Star Wars franchise needed (again) (3-min read)
Following her debut in The Mandalorian’s acclaimed season 2 episode, Chapter 13: The Jedi, and an underwhelming return in The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka is getting her time in the spotlight.
Once upon a time, Ahsoka was known for Ashley Eckstein’s performance in The Clone Wars and Rebels — even voicing her in The Rise of Skywalker.
While Dawson playing Ahsoka was once just a fan casting, the idea steamrolled and caught the attention of Filoni. Alongside the likes of The Book of Boba Fett and the canned Rangers of the New Republic, Dawson was officially confirmed for her own live-action series in December 2020. Expect some form of flashback, as Savannah Steyn has also been cast as Young Ahsoka.
Dawson and Steyn are joined by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who takes up the mantle of Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren.
Taking over from Tiya Sircar in Rebels, Bordizzo said she got into character by watching the animated series, admitting to The Hollywood Reporter that Wren is her “dream” role.
It’s something of a Rebels reunion, as the crew of the Ghost make the leap into live-action. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is playing the fan-favourite Hers Syndulla, meaning she joins husband Ewan McGregor in the franchise.
Eman Esfandi has landed the lucrative role of Ezra Bridger, and even though the beloved astromech called Chopper appeared in the first trailer, we don’t know whether Filoni will be voicing him again.
In terms of villains, the late Ray Stevenson confusingly won’t be reprising his role as Gar Saxon from Rebels, but instead, plays a Jedi gone bad known only as Baylan Skoll.
Skoll is joined by Ivanna Sakhno’s Shin Hati, although Filoni told ScreenRant the orange hue of their lightsabers might suggest they aren’t the out-and-out villains we assume.
Speaking of villains, Hayden Christensen is once again tipped to play Anakin Skywalker — although Lucasfilm has been deathly quiet about his return.
The de facto big bad means we’ll get to see Grand Admiral Thrawn in live-action, Lars Mikkelsen is coming back as the blue-skinned baddie and was a huge talking point of the show’s Star Wars Celebration footage.
Being more sneaky than the conniving Chiss, Mikkelsen denied his involvement to a Danish publication just weeks before he appeared at the Ahsoka showcase.
Despite Ahsoka’s formidable skills, she’s got her work cut out for her. Explaining why Thrawn is such a deadly enemy, Mikkelsen warned ComicBook.com, “That bloke, he doesn't have the force. He's not a Jedi, he's not a superhero of any kind, but he has the brain…his superpower is his mind, which is really and always like seven paces ahead of everybody.”
Rounding off the cast, Diana Lee Inosanto reprises her role as Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth from The Mandalorian season 2.
Finally, Genevieve O'Reilly returns from her stint on Andor as Mon Mothma, Wes Chatham is Thrawn’s right-hand man called Captain Enoch, and David Tennant gets another shot at playing the lightsaber-crafting Huyang from The Clone Wars.
Instead of being a spin-off from The Mandalorian, consider Ahsoka as a continuation of Rebels. Filoni told Vanity Fair, “Ahsoka is a continuous story. It is definitely driving toward a goal, in my mind, as opposed to being little singular adventures. That’s what I want the character to be doing, and I think that’s what fans want now.”
In another interview with Vanity Fair, Filoni teased how Ahsoka’s clash with Elsbeth in The Mandalorian might come before the Rebels epilogue of her recruiting Sabine on Lothal. This means there’s plenty of wiggle room with the timeline, especially now Favreau has thrown The Mandalorian’s into disarray. Ahsoka is known as something of a loner, with the show’s tagline of “Warrior. Outcast. Rebel. Jedi” hammering home the fact she’s lost.
The timelines get a little confusing, but with Ahsoka and co. hot on the trail of Thrawn, don’t expect him to be marooned in space with Purrgils for long. The Ahsoka logo hints at the World Between Worlds, and with time travel looking like a likely arc, Christensen’s return could be brought in via revisiting Ahsoka and Vader’s fateful fight on Malachor.
Even though it seems like a generic quest for revenge, Mikkelsen had the following to tell Collider at SWC: “All the characters have their own drive, and you will probably not know what's it all about until that very last scene and I like that. I like that writing, that takes its audience so seriously, that you can see for yourself that we drag it right to the reveal. What was the whole thing about?"
Expanding on where the series will take her with the Rebels characters, Dawson told Variety, “There is an aspect to the hero’s journey that is very lonely. You sacrifice a lot when you’re out there fighting the good fight. It’s going to be really beautiful and revelatory to see the things that can happen when you work in community, when you find those relationships and the people that you can trust.”
Read more: Everything we know about Skeleton Crew
The fact Ahsoka and Thrawn are MIA around the time of the sequel trilogy means Ahsoka will hopefully fill in some of the gaps and confirm their fates… whether good or bad.
At least some of the Rebels characters live to fight another day, as the Ghost appeared as an Easter egg in The Rise of Skywalker’s final battle.
As Ahsoka finally gets her much-deserved series, here's hoping it's the next version of The Mandalorian and not another The Book of Boba Fett.
An Ahsoka sizzle reel was originally shown at Star Wars Celebration 2022, but as it was hosted behind closed doors, most fans had to wait until the full trailer was unveiled at SWC 2023.
A final trailer was revealed on Tuesday, 11 July which gave viewers an even better look at the season and what they can expect from the characters.
The trailer also gave the first official look at Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn, the infamous Star Wars villain.
Later, in mid-August, a short, 50-second trailer teased the return of Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker, with the voice of a pre-helmeted Darth Vader narrating the action.
Ahsoka season 2 speculation
So far, Ahsoka is being billed as a miniseries similar to Deborah Chow’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, but as Loki was also called a miniseries before being commissioned for season 2, there’s hope Ahsoka will be back for more.
Let’s also remember there’s Filoni’s live-action movie set around the time period of both The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, leading to hopes we’ll get a cinematic crossover event for the ages.
Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+ now. Watch a trailer below.