Indeed, the years’ worth of backstory and mythology built into “Ahsoka” can be seen as a blessing and a curse. While it is tempting to consider the show a direct sequel to “Rebels” — particularly since its trailers have specifically recreated the final scene in the “Rebels” series finale — it is also part of a collection of live-action “Star Wars” shows that have been mostly standalone and required little previous knowledge of the franchise.
The worst-case scenario for “Ahsoka” would involve the show either going full nostalgia and alienating newcomers, or completely ignoring “Rebels” and “Clone Wars,” alienating longtime fans. That last bit seems unfortunately probable given the way “The Mandalorian” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” have already seemingly erased an integral part of “Clone Wars” from existence — Duchess Satine Kryze.
The best-case scenario, then, would be something akin to “The Lord of the Rings.” That story can be enjoyed knowing absolutely nothing else about hobbits or Middle-earth. And yet, the importance of the ring, the story of Sauron beyond being just some cartoon villain, and the characters of Galadriel, Elrond, Glorfindel, and the importance of Aragorn’s lineage only really come to light in the larger Legendarium, particularly “The Silmarillion.” We see this in the way “The Rings of Power” has used scope and scale to contextualize the War of the Ring as just the final chapter in a story that started long, long before.
If done right, “Ahsoka” can do something similar, telling a standalone story that can be enjoyed on its own merits, while still reaping what the animated “Star Wars” projects have sowed over the past 15 years.
“Ahsoka” begins streaming August 23, 2023, on Disney+.