Dave Filoni’s Star Wars Universe

A Critical Look at Ahsoka and the Post-Lucas Star Wars Shows

5 min readOct 9, 2023

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I grew up loving Star Wars. Never in my middle school dreams in 1983 did I ever think in the future, I would be watching Star Wars cartoons and live-action television shows, let alone the prequel and sequel trilogies.

The sheer amount of “content” is overwhelming. I can’t consume it all, nor feel the need to do so. As a fan, I get to decide what I will expend energy on, whether comics, novels, cartoons, streaming television, or movies. Not all of it was or is good. Some of it is strictly not for me, and that’s okay. I will probably never read another Star Wars comic or novel. However, I have watched most of the Star Wars post-Lucas streaming shows, and I wish they were better.

The Mandalorian had a solid first two seasons as a kickoff to the Star Wars post-Lucas streaming shows. The Ahsoka-focused episode and the epic season two finale are my real standouts. I did not find the last season worthwhile, with the stunt casting almost unbearable.

The Book of Boba Fett had a few pleasant moments but mostly crashed and burned. The writing and plot were nonsensical and spent far too long explaining how Fett survived the Sarlaac pit. At this point, I was also quite tired of seeing the Tatooine desert.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was supposed to be a feature film on the heels of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Breaking the script, stretching it out, and turning it into a streaming show did not improve it. However, it delivered one of the best fights between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi and added gravitas to the future Death Star lightsaber fight. I especially liked how Vader “killed” Anakin.

In the fan edit community, there’s a fantastic four-hour feature film cut that is a far better way to watch Obi-Wan Kenobi. It cuts much of the fat and streamlines it into one long movie. For me, I like to think of it as two movies, as there’s a perfect stopping and starting point right at the two-hour mark.

Andor, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise. Here was a show I did not have a lot of desire to watch, but I decided to give it a chance. For the most part, it barely had any trappings of Star Wars. It could have been any other space opera rebellion story. It took a few episodes to dive into familiar Star Wars territory, with Imperial Stormtroopers and familiar planets, but no Tatooine, thank goodness.

The writing is what made Andor stand out. Characters who spoke like real people and had real motivations on both sides were refreshing. This was a mature take on Star Wars but at the cost of removing much of the fun like space battles, lightsabers, plus sharp and quippy remarks.

What I was hoping with Ahsoka was a blend of Andor and the better parts of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Perhaps an objective evaluation of Ahsoka as the student of the future Darth Vader and how that has affected her as her search for an Imperial warlord unfolded.

What we got was an “inside joke” of a story that was utterly confusing for anyone who only knew Ahsoka from her appearance in The Mandalorian. It wasn’t that if you watched Star Wars The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated series, you had some cool insider knowledge. You literally had to have seen those shows even to follow the main plot.

Ahsoka is a sequel to Star Wars Rebels, reuniting its cast in live-action to tell the next chapter in a story that creator Dave Filoni has been telling since 2008. Honestly, it would have been way better to call it Star Wars Rebels instead of Ahsoka. At least fans would have been better prepared.

One did not need to have seen Star Wars Rogue One to understand Andor. With Ahsoka, viewers needed to be already well-versed in the characters, locations, and mythologies to enjoy it. Before watching episode one, viewers had to know Ahsoka is a sequel to Rebels, that the main plot is based on one of the crazier Clone Wars arcs that you should have seen beforehand, and that the blue bad guy is originally from the fan-favorite Timothy Zahn novels, but was reintroduced in Rebels and stopped by this Ezra Bridger guy and the hyperspace whales. It’s a bridge too far (no pun intended).

Filoni does nothing to help a new viewer understand what’s happening or who these people are. Ahsoka isn’t for the uninitiated, and that’s too bad because who knows if we will get a second season of Ahsoka?

Right now, it looks like fans will have to wait for the future Dave Filoni-helmed film that’s supposed to complete the stories of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka. Maybe even the upcoming kid-focused Skeleton Crew will also be involved. None of these shows have satisfying endings as they stand, and the only person with any idea of what’s going on is Dave Filoni.

Seeing the Star Wars Rebels cast in live-action was undoubtedly a massive thrill for Filoni, just like when he cast Rosario Dawson as a grown-up Ahsoka Tano. Taking his drawings and animation and turning it into a live setting is pure fan service. It is pretty cool, and I remember seeing Boba Fett as a cartoon before showing up in The Empire Strikes Back. Having Hayden Christensen’s Anakin interact with Dawson’s Ahsoka is top-tier fan service, but was he a Force ghost? Where did Ahsoka fall in any way? (It’s the World Between Worlds and is way too tricky to explain).

Ahsoka has incredible visuals that felt like Star Wars but seem not quite right. Even as a sequel to Rebels, some missing things should have been there. For example, the whole Ahsoka and Sabine as Master and Apprentice is an entirely new thing. It wasn’t in Rebels and confused me, and I have a pretty good handle on the Rebels characters and Ahsoka.

Categorically, Filoni gets Star Wars. All the more recent Star Wars stories have his signature style. If you didn’t know, Filoni, with George Lucas’s help, created the Ahsoka Tano character. He’s done everything to bring her story to life. She’s appeared in nearly all the Star Wars shows but never the movies. However, there was no reason for Ahsoka to be written as the middle of a much larger story.

It should have stood on its own.

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Most days I’m a professional copywriter, author, essayist, husband, father, and scrambled eggs maker. Find me at seanmcdevitt.com.