The Ahsoka finale is everything wrong and right about Disney Star Wars

Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

The series season finale of Star Wars: Ahsoka has finally arrived on Disney+. After traveling to a galaxy far, far away in hopes of saving Ezra Bridger, the Jedi outcast Ahsoka Tano and her Mandalorian apprentice Sabine Wren pull out all the stops to try and keep the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn from escaping exile and restarting the Empire.

“The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord” is a solid finale that gives us closure for several important characters and relationships, but it’s also very clearly meant to set up a follow-up adventure for Ahsoka and the gang. There are some major cliffhangers and questions. The biggest: what show or movie will we have to watch to actually see how this story ends?

SPOILERS ahead for Star Wars: Ahsoka.

(L-R): Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) in Lucasfilm’s STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) in Lucasfilm’s STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Ahsoka season finale review: “Part Eight: The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord”

What a strange ride it’s been watching Ahsoka. When the show premiered, I was swept away by how much it captured the classic Star Wars spirit. Now, I’m mostly just relieved that it’s over. Ahsoka still has plenty of magic in it despite having a rocky second half to its debut season, but I can’t remember the last time I soured so quickly on a show which I initially enjoyed.

Most of my problems stem from how half-heartedly Ahsoka has handled its reunions and climactic moments on the planet Peridea. Fortunately, “The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord” hits harder than the previous two episodes. The finale revolves around Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson), Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), and Ezra (Eman Efandi) trying to prevent Thrawn (Lars Mikkelson) from escaping back to their home galaxy. Thrawn throws the kitchen sink at them: they face down TIE fighters, stormtrooper zombies and a powered up, sword-wielding Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto).

It’s exciting to watch Ahsoka and company face down this gauntlet of challenges. Not only are the action sequences great, but they help develop the characters. Mikkelson, Inosanto, Dawson, Bordizzo and Efandi all turn in great performances, in part because the script gives them stuff to work with. The special effects are very solid, with the Star Destroyer bombardment chase and Ahsoka’s duel with Morgan standing out as high points.

Ahsoka falls on its lightsaber in service to Disney’s Star Wars ambitions

Ultimately, I think the biggest problem with “The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord” and Ahsoka as a whole is that so much of it is in service Disney’s grand plans to produce an infinate amount of Star Wars content. The end of this series doesn’t really feel like an ending, but rather an elaborate set up for the next thing.

By the end of the season, Ahsoka and Sabine are stranded on Peridea, while Ezra and Thrawn make it back home. They essentially trade places. This hits well for characters like Sabine, who had been largely self-serving up until now but decided to make the ultimate sacrifice at the eleventh hour to help her master. But it also makes the show feel strangely pointless because the entire thing was just a vehicle to get Thrawn back into the picture in time for Dave Filoni’s upcoming Star Wars movie.

That’s fine, but it means that Ahsoka isn’t a very compelling show on its own merits. Ahsoka Tano and Ezra Bridger never even meet Thrawn face to face, and literally none of our heroes are in the same room with him after Episode 6. This is a problem, because the entire series has been about the build up to Ahsoka, Sabine, and Ezra clashing with Thrawn. Try to imagine if a Marvel show ended without the hero and villain even meeting, or hell, any other show that’s not part of a mega-franchise ended without delivering on the main thing it had spent the season foreshadowing. It’s one thing if there’s a long-game plan for multiple seasons, but it seems more likely that the story started in Ahsoka in a movie, or maybe a different show. That feels more frustrating than exciting.

Ahsoka is an engaging, fun Star Wars show, but it’s hobbled by Disney’s bigger ambitions for the franchise. It feels a little like The Mandalorian season 3, which prioritized setting up more Star Wars content instead of having a satisfying journey for its main characters. That season received a relatively muted reception and Ahsoka may follow suit. Ahsoka has fallen on its lightsaber in the name of the Star Wars extended universe.

In many ways, Ahsoka represents the best and worst of Disney Star Wars. It brings back beloved characters and continues a story that fans are interested in; Ahsoka is basically season 5 of the Star Wars Rebels animated series. But the condition is that it must serve Mickey’s long-game, which keeps it from standing on its own. I’ll always be grateful that we got it…but I’ll also always wonder what might have been if the show had actually focused on Ahsoka Tano and her story instead of setting up yet another sequel in an unending parade of them.

Ahsoka Bullet Points

  • Diana Lee Inosanto had a quiet but excellent performance this episode. The moment where Thrawn asks Morgan to stay behind was one of my favorites.
  • During the fight with the stormtroopers, Ahsoka almost looks more like she’s doing an exercise routine than deflecting blaster fire. Obviously all the actors with lightsabers are swinging them at non-existent lasers, but rarely does it feel this obvious. The choreography didn’t always quite line up and I found it distracting.
  • The zombie stormtroopers were a lot of fun! That’s not something I can recall ever seeing in Star Wars before. It was properly creepy and surprising.
  • Ezra’s reunion with Hera is another one of those moments that’s clearly supposed to mean a lot to longtime Rebels fans. But even having seen all of Rebels, it didn’t hit me as hard as it might have if Ahsoka had given Hera and Ezra a bit more development.
  • We only saw Shin Hati and Baylan Skoll at the very end of the episode, once more reinforcing the idea that Ahsoka was meant to set up a sequel of some kind. Shin joins the raiders on Peridea, which is interesting. I’m sure we’ll see her again.
  • Ray Stevenson’s final scene as Baylan Skoll was a cool send-off. We still don’t even really know what he was searching for on Peridea, but leaving him standing on a giant Lord of the Rings-style statue of a king is a striking way to go. The late Stevenson was a highlight of Ahsoka, and he will be missed.
  • Ahsoka ends by showing the spirit of Anakin Skywalker smiling as he watches over Ahsoka and Sabine on Peridea. I can’t lie, I laughed out loud at this. I was excited to see Hayden Christensen back as the character in Episode 5, but by the end of the series his inclusions started to feel much more forced and unnecessary.


“The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord” is a solid ending for Ahsoka that sets up the next phase of Disney’s Star Wars universe. It was a much stronger episode than the two before it, but ultimately still falls victim to Disney’s ever-churning content machine. Ahsoka feels like set up for whatever show or movie Disney wants us to watch next. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make Ahsoka a weaker show as a whole.

Episode grade: B

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