Fifteen years after she made her debut in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Jedi Ashoka Tano is finally getting her own Disney Plus series, Star Wars: Ahsoka. Originally voiced by Ashley Eckstein, her live-action incarnation will be played by Rosario Dawson who made her debut as the character in The Book of Boba Fett.
But unlike Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian Star Wars T.V. shows, Ahsoka may require a little more knowledge of the extended Star Wars universe, the world beyond the movies. Everyone knows who Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi are, but who is Grand Admiral Thrawn? And why is his return such a big deal?
You can expect Star Wars: Ahsoka to deliver a reasonable amount of exposition. But with only eight episodes to fill in the gaps, you may well find yourself scratching your head. Sure, it’s great if you can find the time to watch the entire run of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. However, with over 200 episodes in total, that’s an awful lot of homework.
That’s why we’ve narrowed things down a little. We’ve pored over The Clone Wars, Rebels, Tales of the Jedi and more to bring you a list of ten episodes of Star Wars to watch before Star Wars: Ahsoka. Every episode is available on Disney Plus so if you want to catch up there’s no time like the present.
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1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (movie)
Despite getting a theatrical showing, this is three Clone Wars episodes stitched together and it absolutely shows. It also feels as if Lucasfilm wanted the movie’s Baby Hutt to be as marketable as Baby Yoda later was (case in point, see the Lego Star Wars The Child build).
Here we see Ahsoka’s first meeting with Anakin Skywalker, who’s been charged with training her. Even though he initially sees her as a burden, we get to watch their partnership blossom into something special. You just know that nothing bad is ever, ever going to break them up. Honest.
2. The Academy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 Episode 6
The Academy sees Ahsoka teaching a group of Mandalorian students, uncovering a sinister plot in the process. When they want to charge in, she steps up and takes command, shining both as a leader and a Jedi. It’s Ahsoka’s guidance (and her Jedi training) that helps her charges foil the episode’s villain.
Considering her impetuousness once got several clones killed, it highlights just how much she’s grown as a character. This is a glimpse of the Ahsoka we later see in Star Wars: Rebels, acting as mentor to Ezra Bridger and company.
3. Heroes on Both Sides
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 Episode 10
A reference to Revenge of the Sith’s opening crawl, the events of this episode sow the seeds of doubt in Ahsoka’s mind. She becomes aware that, as she puts it, “The politics of this war are not as black and white as I once thought they were.”
Aside from humanizing the separatists, something that the prequel trilogy failed to accomplish, it also introduces Lux Bonteri. He’s the son of a Separatist senator and, turning up in later episodes, clearly has a crush on Ahsoka. Nothing comes of it, but if the Disney Plus series goes there it could make for an awkward reunion.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Season 1 Episode 5
In an unsettling piece of foreshadowing, Anakin decides to put Ahsoka through his own Jedi training program. Instead of just swinging away at training drones, he has her taking on Commander Rex and his clones, blasters set to stun.
It’s more than a little off-putting watching Ahsoka get repeatedly knocked unconscious, with Anakin looking on. This minisode says as much about his character as it does Ahsoka’s tenacity and Jedi skills. It also explains how, compared to other less fortunate Jedi, Ahsoka fared better against the post Order 66 clone troopers.
5. Altar of Mortis
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 Episode 16
Have you heard about the time Ahsoka Tano died? It’s not a story the Jedi would tell you. This episode sees her pushed to the Dark Side by an entity known as the Son. A Dark Side Ahsoka is quite something to behold, with her holding her own against both Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
She dies at the hands of the Son, but is restored to life by another entity. However, that kind of experience, both her death and her dalliance with the Dark Side, is bound to leave a mark. We’re curious to see if the Disney Plus series revisits or even references it.
6. The Wrong Jedi
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 20
The Wrong Jedi is both the season finale and the conclusion to a four-episode arc that has Ahsoka accused of bombing the Jedi temple. She’s had her doubts, but she still believes in the Jedi Order and in her master, Anakin Skywalker. They’re sure to spring to her defense, right?
The court scene is slightly undermined by the fact that, after the death of previous actor Ian Abercombie, Senator Palpatine is blatantly Tim Curry. However, it’s still absolutely heartbreaking to see Ahsoka’s faith shattered and, at the conclusion of the episode, watch her exit the Jedi Order.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 11
Whatever happened to Ahsoka Tano when the rest of the Jedi were being slaughtered? The Clone Wars’ final two episodes have the answer. She may have left the Jedi order behind, but that doesn’t prevent her being swept up in the events of Order 66.
Trapped on a Republic Cruiser with a legion of trigger-happy Clone Troopers, she still refuses to kill her former allies and, instead, is forced into an unsettling (and unwise) alliance. This episode also reveals how Captain Rex, reported to appear in Ahsoka, parted company with his fellow clones.
8. The Siege of Lothal Part 2
- Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Episode 2
Ahsoka briefly appeared at the conclusion of Season 1 of Rebels, yet it’s this episode where she steps up and takes the fight to the Empire. She joins forces with the crew of the Ghost, three of whom (Ezra Bridger, Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren) feature in Ahsoka.
That said, it’s not like she has much of a choice. The episode also features the bombshell moment when, connecting to Darth Vader through the force, she realizes who he truly is. And with him (and the Emperor) aware of her survival, she can’t afford to stand still.
9. Twilight of the Apprentice Part 2
- Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Episode 22
Twilight of the Apprentice offers up a confrontation that’s been brewing ever since the end of The Clone Wars: Ahsoka Tano against her former master, Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader.
It’s as dramatic as you’d expect and hearing Tano utter “I am no Jedi” still gives us chills. She ducks and weaves around Vader who, while lacking in finesse, has real power behind his blows. At the time, if not for one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, it seemed like Ahsoka had died fighting Vader.
10. An Inside Man
- Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 1
Ahsoka Tano and Grand Admiral Thrawn have never butted heads on-screen, prior to the live action series. An Inside Man illustrates just how formidable a foe, and leader, he is. Actor Oliver Reed once said, “The dangerous man has a great silence about him,” and Thrawn, with his subdued manner, fits this perfectly.
Intelligent and ruthless, he addresses sabotage at an Imperial factory by having the workers put their lives on the line, literally. The series’ protagonists Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus do put in an appearance, tasked with gathering intelligence on a new Imperial weapon, but it’s still very much Thrawn’s episode.