Meet Ashoka, a character that has undergone an impressive evolution since her first introduction to the Star Wars realm in the animated series, The Clone Wars back in 2008. After enduring a frosty reception, Ashoka not only defied critics but also went on to emerge as a much-loved favorite amongst fans. Making a significant leap from the animation...
Meet Ashoka, a character that has undergone an impressive evolution since her first introduction to the Star Wars realm in the animated series, The Clone Wars back in 2008. After enduring a frosty reception, Ashoka not only defied critics but also went on to emerge as a much-loved favorite amongst fans. Making a significant leap from the animation universe to a live-action platform, Ashoka now takes center stage, leading her very own eight-part episode series.
Often, fans have hailed Andor as the epitome of a live-action Star Wars series. And while its compelling narrative set within the Star Wars universe is engaging, it misses several traditional Star Wars components. Ashoka's storytelling may not reach Andor's heights of sophistication and quality, but it compensates with a hearty dose of classic Star Wars atmosphere.
Ashoka evokes the nostalgia of classic Star Wars, weaving in exciting lightsaber combats, thrilling space dogfights, and exotic aliens, both new and familiar. These compliments are backed by an engaging, harmonic score, arguably rivaling John Williams' musical feats.
Even though it's the first season of Ashoka, it might be better conceived as the fifth season of Rebels—an animated series that managed to garner a decent fan following from 2014-2018. The backstory for Ashoka's live-action voyage first emerges in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. It's definitely a nod to the recent trend of building a cinematic universe, which has both its virtues and vices.
Ashoka shines in portraying a strong sense of purpose and making steady progress towards goals. Characters are well-defined right from the start, with clearly established motivations, and steadily work towards achieving them. Although Ashoka may not seem to be the most charismatic lead initially, her character undergoes a significant transformation halfway into the series.
The characterized cast of Ashoka accentuates the gripping narrative. Natasha Liu Bordizzo portrays Sabine Wren skillfully despite the performance lacking some warmth exhibited by the animated version. Making a triumphant return using de-aging technology, Hayden Christensen embodies Anakin Skywalker, delivering his most phenomenal Star Wars performance to date. Ray Stevenson, as a disillusioned former Jedi, also embraces his complex role with aplomb.
Despite a couple of rough spots, Ashoka is a terrific Star Wars journey! After several recent stumbles by the franchise, it's a refreshing surprise to watch the series recapture some of its lost glory. With Ashoka, Star Wars may not revisit its past pinnacles, but it certainly promises to set the gears in motion toward an equally enthralling future voyage!