Dave Filoni writes and directs this primary episode of “Ahsoka” on his personal and brings to the forefront each little bit of “Star Wars” storytelling he is discovered over time from George Lucas. As a substitute of giving us a straight continuation of the story from “Star Wars Rebels” as many anticipated, Filoni skips previous that story and drops us in the course of a state of affairs that we’re anticipated to make guesses about, placing viewers of all ranges of “Star Wars” fandom on a stage enjoying area. None of us know precisely what occurred or why and it creates a thriller and an vitality to the story that will have been absent in any other case.
He begins, as many “Star Wars” movies do, with a gap crawl, although that is the primary “Star Wars” tv mission to start this fashion. This tells us that the story we thought we knew is not precisely what we have been anticipating.
Filoni then attracts from the openings of “Return of the Jedi” and “Assault of the Clones” to create one thing sudden and thrilling. Like Darth Vader’s ship arriving on the Second Demise Star, Baylon Skoll’s shuttle arrives at a New Republic ship’s docking bay, claiming to be Jedi from a forgotten time. However, just like the murderer’s explosion in “Assault of the Clones,” the Jedi are revealed to be customers of the darkish facet and so they proceed to slaughter everybody aboard and free Thrawn’s loyal servant, Morgan Elsbeth. It has visible moments that match “A New Hope” with the hallways and uniforms of the Rebels, but it surely additionally has a component of a darkish model of Luke Skywalker rescuing Princess Leia from the Demise Star. It is an thrilling, thrilling opening that borrows from all the most effective components of “Star Wars” storytelling, dropping us into the center of a state of affairs we are able to solely make assumptions about with characters we do not but know.
Filoni additionally attracts unconscious parallels to parts of “Star Wars” we’d not even understand. There is a cause that Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Ahsoka talk about the return of Thrawn in the identical briefing room the place Mon Mothma gave the Insurgent Alliance its most dire briefing earlier than the assault on the second Demise Star in “Return of the Jedi.” It is a delicate selection designed to make us imagine that Thrawn’s return is as a lot of a menace to the galaxy as Demise Star II was.
The affect of different “Star Wars” films are additionally current within the episode. Shin Hati, Baylan Skoll’s darkish apprentice, is shipped on a mission to Lothal very similar to Darth Maul is shipped to Tatooine in “The Phantom Menace.” In each instances, they use probe droids to hunt their quarry and strike when their prey is unsuspecting. Not like Maul, although, Shin Hati completes her mission, stealing the map which will result in Thrawn and Ezra and viciously wounding Sabine Wren.
Filoni cribs from his work on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” as effectively, making a coherent visible model that passes seamlessly between animation and live-action, proving he is the precise individual for this specific job. He discovered from the grasp and he is placing every little thing he discovered on show. The truth is, there was one thing about watching it that felt like studying these early drafts of “The Star Wars” from 1974, like Filoni had captured a few of that vitality that Lucas had in his earliest days in a galaxy far, far-off.