How Ahsoka‘s First Two Episodes Set Up a Long-Awaited Star Wars Story

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Star Wars: Ahsoka.

The new Star Wars spinoff series Ahsoka dropped its first two episodes on Disney+ on Tuesday, laying the groundwork for a galaxy far, far away storyline that some fans have been waiting on for years.

Written and co-directed by Star Wars veteran Dave Filoni, the show brings Rosario Dawson back as Ahsoka Tano following the former Jedi Knight's live-action debut in The Mandalorian. But the character's backstory stretches well beyond her interactions with Din Djarin and Grogu.

First introduced in the 2008 animated movie The Clone Wars as the teenage padawan of Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter), Ahsoka (voiced by Ashley Eckstein) has a long and significant history within Star Wars canon. In the subsequent animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels, Ahsoka walks the path of the Jedi before ultimately rejecting the Order, survives the Jedi purge, aids the rebellion against the Empire, teams up with the infamous Ghost crew resistance fighters, and even battles Darth Vader (her former master turned to the Dark Side) in an epic lightsaber duel.

Ahsoka picks up where its titular heroine's storyline left off in the series finale of Rebels, which aired in March 2018 and left the fates of several fan-favorite Ghost crew members open-ended.

How Ahsoka takes up the Rebels cause

Set within the same timeframe as The Mandalorian, the events of Ahsoka take place several years after the fall of the Galactic Empire in The Return of the Jedi. This is a period of time when the New Republic, the democratic government formed by the Rebel Alliance following their victory against the Empire, retains only precarious control over the galaxy.

(L-R): Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll and Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati in AhsokaNicola Goode—Lucasfilm Ltd.

The premiere begins with Baylan Skoll (played by the late Ray Stevenson), a former Jedi who fell to the Dark Side, and his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) deceptively boarding the New Republic ship where former Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) is being held prisoner. We last saw Morgan when she was being questioned by Ahsoka about the whereabouts of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen, who also voiced the character in Rebels) in The Mandalorian.

This cold open immediately sets the scene for where Ahsoka appears to be headed. Rebels, which was set after The Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope, centered on a small rebel cell known as the Spectres, or Ghost crew, that primarily operated off of the Outer Rim planet Lothal and whose activities drew the attention of Thrawn, one of the Empire's top commanders. Members of the Ghost crew included Ahsoka, Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren (voiced by Tiya Sircar), pilot Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.), and Kanan's padawan, Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray).

Following Kanan's death, the finale of the animated series saw the remaining Spectres go up against Thrawn to save Lothal from the Empire. The battle ended with Ezra—who was wanted by Emperor Palpatine for his connection to the World Between Worlds, a mysterious plane of the Force that touches every point of time and space in the Star Wars universe—sacrificing himself by boarding Thrawn's flagship and summoning a flock of the space whales known as purrgils to capture Thrawn's fleet and vanish it through hyperspace with both Thrawn and Ezra onboard.

What happens in the first two episodes of Ashoka

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla in AhsokaSuzanne Tenner—Lucasfilm Ltd.

When we're reunited with Ahsoka in the spinoff's premiere, she's searching for a map that holds the key to Thrawn's whereabouts—and also possibly Ezra's. After finding the map on Arcana, a former stronghold of the Witches of Dathomir, she reconvenes with Hera (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), now a New Republic general, who suggests she seek out her estranged former apprentice Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) on Lothal to help unlock it. Unfortunately, Morgan anticipates this move and has Baylan send Shin to Lothal to find Sabine and retrieve the map.

The second episode opens with Sabine recovering after being stabbed and defeated in a lightsaber duel against Shin, who has delivered the unlocked map back to her master. The map reveals the Pathway to Peridea, a passage between galaxies that supposedly leads to where Thrawn and Ezra disappeared to all those years ago.

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano and Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren in 'Ahsoka'
(L-R): Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano and Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren in AhsokaSuzanne Tenner—Lucasfilm Ltd.

With Thrawn poised to become heir to the Empire if he returns—and the hope of finding Ezra reignited—Ahsoka, Sabine, and Hera once again join forces on a mission to prevent another war as the episode draws to a close.

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