The new Star Wars series Ahsoka has done something I never thought possible.
Needless to say, this is going to be a spoiler-soaked post, so keep that in mind if you're one of the few people insane enough to have not spent your valuable time watching this excellent series.
You have been warned.
Actually, I lied. The series managed to do two things I didn't think possible.
Taking place before the rise of The First Order, Ahsoka dips deep, deep into Star Wars lore in order to explain how The First Order could even happen given that The Empire had just been defeated. Along the way we get Zombie Stormtroopers, C-3PO, and Anakin Skywalker in a time period after he became Darth Vader, but who is actually in flashback form prior to that when he was training Ahsoka during The Clone Wars.
There's also plenty of delicious sci-fi battles with starships, blasters, and lightsabers galore. All very, very cool to watch. It makes me thrilled for Star Wars in a way I haven't been in a while.
Unfortunately there's also a race of turtle people that are every bit as annoying as Ewoks. And the whole Zombie Stormtroopers ordeal was absurd.
One of the best surprises for me was how delicious Baylan Skoll was utilized as a villain despite his limited screen time. He's an entirely new character for the series brilliantly played by the late Ray Stevenson, who tragically passed away after filming (he also played Volstagg in the Thor movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). The fact that he won't be able to appear in future Star Wars projects is a gut-punch to be sure. It sure looked like his story was going somewhere interesting considering those were statues of The Ones at the end.
But Thrawn was the villain of the day, and he was everything you could hope for. Cool, calculating, and oh so deadly. I don't know what I was expecting, but certainly nothing this amazing. His history in the Star Wars universe is crazy long and deep. I've read many of the novels, comics, and saw him in the animated series... but I'm acutely aware that I don't even know the half of it. Fortunately I didn't really need to, and knowing the stuff that I do just made him a more realized villain for me. Whatever Dave Filoni has planned for his feature Star Wars film will very clearly involved Thrawn, and I cannot wait for that.
And speaking of...
Ending the series as a cliffhanger is hardly surprising. We knew that a movie would come next. We knew that this was an appetizer for the main course. And yet... still kinda shitty. Although... Ezra's reunion with Chopper and Hera crushed me a little bit. It was so simple and understated that it caught me in all the feels. They could have dragged that shit on for ages, but short and sweet was brilliantly played. I loved that.
No word on if we're getting a second season of Ahsoka once the movie is done. But Lord I sure hope so, because this is absolutely everything you could want out of Star Wars and the best Star Wars Disney+ series by a mile. The Mandalorian faltered a bit in its third season. Boba Fett rang a bit hollow, and Obi-Wan could have been better story-wise, featuring plot-holes big enough to fit the Death Star through.
And now I'm going to resist the urge to watch the series all over again because I think it will hit sweeter if I hold off for six months.