Monday, April 15News That Matters

Rosario Dawson is a Force to Follow in Disney+ Series Ahsoka | TV/Streaming

Casual Star Wars fans may be forgiven for not having seen every installment and perhaps being a little lost at the start of “Ahsoka.” (Consider it punishment for not being loyal enough.) Still, “Ahsoka” has classic Star Wars stylistic flourishes, like how the show opens with that famous scrolling text—but with a more serious red this time. Early on, we’re also reminded of the franchise’s lore, from how each lightsaber is unique to its owner to Ahsoka’s days as the padawan of a pre-Darth Vader Anakin Skywalker.

From the first two episodes made available to critics, it’s hard to tell where “Ahsoka” falls in the Star Wars universe. It appears to lack the political aspirations of “Andor,” an exposé of how fascism rises and affects the fates of immigrants when it does. “Ahsoka” doesn’t have much of that, only a slight note about how greed, not loyalty, wins people over to the Empire. It also is missing the madcap fun of “The Mandalorian.” There’s no monster of the week or cutesy sidekicks here.

Instead, we have Ahsoka herself, a compelling character and enigma in the Star Wars universe. She is both part of the central Darth Vader/Luke/Leia tale and separate from it, a Jedi by training but one that left before completing her training.

She’s also visibly not human, a rarity for a Star Wars protagonist. And a woman of color, too. As such, Rosario Dawson fills her head tails well. She moves and speaks slowly and purposefully. Ahsoka is a hero who will not be rushed, and who is clear in her sense of self and place in the universe.

Of course, that doesn’t mean she can’t go quickly when needed. Plenty of fun action sequences in “Ahsoka” let us watch Dawson’s character wield her two white lightsabers with purpose, speed, and precision.

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