First Impressions: Star Wars Ashoka 

First Impressions: Star Wars Ashoka 

I just saw the first two episodes of Star Wars: Dave Filoni’s Waifu Harem. I wasn’t expecting a lot and yet it delivered on so much less than that. 

Let me preface this by saying I was never into Star Wars Rebels or for that matter Star Wars The Clone Wars. I’ve watched a few key episodes and I’ve been forced to read up on some of the others in Wookiepedia for various Disney TV shows because Dave Filoni is under the happy impression that everyone who saw and loved the first six Star Wars movies has also seen and loved his animated shows. 

That is quite honestly the assumption he appears to be working under. This is what’s called a false premise. His shows aren’t nearly as popular as the features, if you haven’t watched those shows at all there is no real entry point here for the flirts and the culturalists. You are just dumped into the middle of these characters and their relationships with no reason to be invested in any of them. 

The show starts with a title crawl but they don’t do it right. Then we see a New Republic ship with a high-security prisoner aboard being approached by a ship. I admit the ship looked good, it had the right Star Wars aesthetic. The other ship has old Jedi clearance codes. The captain being an idiot lets them land because he wants to “call their bluff”. Ray Stevenson and his apprentice board the ship and kill everyone on it except the prisoner who is a “witch.” 

After the title is played we see Ashoka entering a long abandoned temple. She then moves the tops of some pillars around until the light reveals the MacGuffin ball. It’s a puzzle box that reveals a map to where Grand Admiral Thrawn is hiding. As opposed to the secret puzzle box that reveals a map to where Luke Skywalker is hiding, or a secret puzzle box that reveals a map to where a different secret map of where the Emperor is hiding. Or let cartoon Captain Kirk speak to the Aztec god Kukulkan which is where I first saw this tired-as-hell trope decades ago. 

Forgive me for stating the fucking obvious but you have a secret map to where a long-lost treasure is buried, not to where you personally are hiding. For the simple reason that if you are indeed hiding then you don’t want to be found and a map that leads people to your front door completely defeats that. 

Also, it’s utterly ludicrous to keep using this cliché in Star Wars, it was done completely to death during the Abrams years. 

Also, why was a map to a guy who had been a Grand Admiral in the Imperial just ten years ago in some ancient temple? It’s like putting a puzzle box map to the vacation home of James Mattis in the Pyramid of Khufu. Sure Star Wars has always been a little ridiculous but it at least made sense internally.  

The next scene is on some planet where the Star Wars Rebels are well thought of. There is a public celebration of them led by the local governor (Clancy Brown) where Sabine is supposed to give a speech. She is too much of a rebel to do that and skips the ceremony. This involves a long chase scene for some reason.  

Why? Okay, when we first met Sabine she was something like sixteen or so. Fine, kids are going to do dumb stuff just because they feel like it. However, she’s thirty now and at that age, you are just being a dick. Which is exactly how this comes across. Sabine by the way wants to find Ezra because he was like a brother to her and absolutely not a boyfriend.  

Ashoka shows up and asks for her help with the puzzle box map. Sabine steals it and takes it home to study and after a long protracted and boring scene solves the puzzle. It’s a Rubik’s cube, that was the puzzle. Ray Stevenson’s evil apprentice attacks Sabine and stabs her with a lightsaber. Cucking Liam Neeson yet again because she basically walks it off in the next episode. 

Apparently, Filoni has retconned his own canon without telling anyone about it. Ashoka is now a Jedi, despite the fact that she quit the order right before Order 66. How did she become one? Who knows? You will certainly never find out. Clearly, it was decided by someone on high at LucasFilm that she just had to be one now. Also, Sabine was her apprentice and nobody who watched Rebels seems to know when that happened. 

So the canon has been broken again, if they were assuming people like me wouldn’t care, then I have to hand it to them because they were right. 

Ashoka no longer resembles the character from either the Clone Wars or Rebels. She is now very dour and stoic. So is Sabine and so is every other woman in this show. And they just can’t pull it off. The mystic warrior master needs to exude the autocratic authority that only a man can bring. Ray Stevenson manages it but there isn’t enough of him in this show to save it.  

Hera is also in this show although Zeb is nowhere to be seen yet. Hera no longer resembles her character either, which is a pity but at this point, it’s obvious that Filoni has no idea how to get any kind of performance out of a human actor. 

The action briefly picks up in the second episode, which is why Disney streamed them both at the same time. Ashoka and Hera go to the shipyards at Corellia because the Siths are headed there. They find some humongous superstar destroyer engine was being built off the books. They were also shocked to find there were still Imperials working for the shipyard. As the manager pointed out, most “Imperials” were just collecting a paycheck and keeping their heads down. Nonetheless, the girls disapprove of Imperials on general principles. Turns out they were right because out of the blue one of them starts shouting, “For the Empire!” And randomly fires a blaster at them. 

I know that no one at LucasFilm has ever wondered about this but why are there still people loyal to the Empire? What did being an “Imperial” bring to the party? What did people get out of it? A cult of personality around the old Emperor would be one thing but there are still people loyal to the Empire after the emperor has been dead for years. 

The truth is “Imperial” just means “Nazi,” And they have no idea what their political philosophy was other than just being evil. 

Ray Stevenson’s other Sith apprentice shows up and grabs the big engine.  

Ashoka briefly fights the third Sith who is wearing a mask. The only reason to put the 3rd Sith in a mask is that his identity is known to the audience. Which means he’s Ezra. The third Sith is Ezra.  

The fight choreography needed a little work. 

Mostly this show is as dull as a twenty-year-old Schick disposable razor. This movie is supposed to set up Dave Filoni’s own separate theatrical release. I am pretty sure that by the end of this series, that dream will be dead. 

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