Star Wars: Ahsoka First Reactions: 'Brings Rebels to Life,' 'Epic,' and 'Incredible,' Critics Say

Critics on social media say Rosario Dawson and Natasha Liu Bordizzo shine in Dave Filoni's latest Star Wars series, which feels like the next chapter of Rebels.

by | August 18, 2023 | Comments

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Star Wars: Ahsoka takes place after the fall of the Galactic Empire and follows former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) as she investigates a new threat endangering the galaxy.

Writer and showrunner Dave Filoni is behind the series, which is fitting, since he originally created the Ahsoka character for animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While this is the first standalone series that focuses on Ahsoka, she’s appeared in a handful of properties: Star Wars Rebels, The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian season 2, and she’s heard guiding Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Starring alongside Dawson is Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Eman Esfandi, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the late Ray Stevenson, David Tennant, Ivanna Sakhno, Genevieve O’Reilly, Diana Lee Inosanto, and Hayden Christensen.

Here’s what critics are saying on social media about season 1 of Star Wars: Ahsoka:

How does it fit into Disney+’s Star Wars lineup?

Natasha Liu Bordizzo

Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in Star Wars: Ahsoka (Photo by Lucasfilm)

Ahsoka is 100% a sequel to Rebels. The 2 episode premiere felt like it was right out of The Clone Wars & Star Wars Rebels, but in live action. — Jorgie, POC Culture

Previewed the first two eps of #Ahsoka. Though it’s an exciting new chapter to the Star Wars story that Dave Filoni has created, it feels more like a sequel to Rebels than a true Ahsoka series. That said, it has all of the charms, humor, and thrills of Rebels… if you watched it. — Michael Lee, Geeks Of Doom

Initial #Ahsoka thoughts: Dave Filoni lovingly brings his rebels to life in a story that embraces mythology, magic, and lore in a way that could turn off, say, ANDOR fans. Slower paced than expected but still enthralling for this Rebels fan. — Meghan O’Keefe, Decider

A promising start for #Ahsoka with many cool story elements that expand the #StarWars universe and feel different from Mando. — Eric Goldman, Fandom

The first two episodes of #Ahsoka are very good. It really does feel like Star Wars Rebels season 5… great news for fans, but others might feel a bit lost at first. — Mark Cassidy,

How is the cast?

Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA

Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) (Photo by Lucasfilm)

Rosario Dawson is SO at home in her adaption of the character but it’s Natasha Liu Bordizzo & her Sabine that steals your heart. Cant wait to see her & Askoka’s story in full. — Lauren LaMagna, NextBestPicture

Also, the late Ray Stevenson is excellent in the episodes I’ve seen, creating a compelling character and performance with minimal screen time and dialogue. — Matthew Simpson, Exclaim!

I cant take my eyes off Ivanna Sakhno whenever she’s on screen and I’m so intrigued by her character. —Ash Crossan, ETNow

Rosario Dawson plays Ahsoka perfectly; Hera and Sabine solid; intriguing villains. Adorable Lothcats. — Mark Cassidy,

What about the story and pacing?

Rosario Dawson and Natasha Liu Bordizzo in Ahsoka

Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) (Photo by Lucasfilm)

#Ahsoka is AWESOME. It’s got just about everything a #StarWars fan could want out of a live-action TV series, but the thing I admire most about it might actually be its deliberate pacing. Scenes are allowed to play out at an organic rate rather than being rushed along by rapid-fire editing. —

Every scene gets time to breathe & feels completely organic! Perfectly paced & putting characters first!! — Zach Pope

Dave Filoni has perfected his craft with this one. It’s a stunning show with incredible storytelling & great writing. Some moments will SHOCK you. — Atom

I enjoyed the first two episodes of #Ahsoka, and the best part about it is that it’s focused on telling one grand story.

I’ve never watched the animated shows, so I don’t know the ins and outs of these characters’ backstories, but their dynamics are clear. — Brian Davids, Hollywood Reporter

Impressed with the action & how it’s all story. No side missions or filler. Can’t wait to see episode 3. Wish I could watch future episodes on a movie screen. — Steven Weintraub, Collider

How are the visual effects and production design?

Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) in Ahsoka

Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) and Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) (Photo by Lucasfilm)

I enjoyed the first two episodes of #Ahsoka, which kind of play out like an elegiac coda to rebels – the tone is very similar to the Mandalorian episode The Jedi – silent and still with brilliantly eerie music and a lot of cool tableaux — Andrzej Łukowski, TimeOut

If you’re a fan of #StarWarsRebels you’ll love all the nods. #Ahsoka    is Dave Feloni’s masterful vision in live action form. — That Hashtag Show

The first 2 episodes of #Ahsoka are a lot of fun, especially for fans of REBELS and CLONE WARS. Love Ashoka’s fight scenes the most. The 1st episode is written & directed by Dave Filoni & it’s my fav of the two. Definitely more serious in tone. This is some good #StarWars — Erik Davis, Fandango

Star Wars GAMECHANGER! Surpasses Andor & will win several awards. Great cameos, epic action & gorgeous visuals that will soak uh your pants. — Atom

Any final thoughts?

Rosario Dawson in Ahsoka

Dawson (Photo by Lucasfilm)

Expect reviews for this show to be heavily divisive among those who are fans of Rebels and those who are not. And it’s still hard to reconcile the difference between Ashley’s Ahsoka and Rosario’s Ahsoka. And yet, I am excited to see what comes from this. It’s an intriguing setup — Joe Schmidt,

As a Rebels fan, I felt a connection to it that was truly special. And yet it’s hugely epic at some times & oddly flat at others. — Germain Lussier, Gizmodo

Not just another tv show, it’s the BEST Disney+ series ever! A fitting end to her journey while also setting up what’s next — Atom

The entire cast is incredible and perfectly embodies the Rebels. THIS FEELS LIKE REBELS. I am obsessed already. Cannot wait for more. I didn’t want it to end. Dave Filoni is a genius. #Ahsoka — Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

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