Dave Filoni writes and directs this first episode of “Ahsoka” on his own and brings to the forefront every bit of “Star Wars” storytelling he’s learned over the years from George Lucas. Instead of giving us a straight continuation of the story from “Star Wars Rebels” as many expected, Filoni skips past that story and drops us in the middle of a situation that we’re expected to make guesses about, putting viewers of all levels of “Star Wars” fandom on a level playing field. None of us know exactly what happened or why and it creates a mystery and an energy to the story that would have been absent otherwise.
He begins, as many “Star Wars” films do, with an opening crawl, though this is the first “Star Wars” television project to begin this way. This tells us that the story we thought we knew isn’t exactly what we were expecting.
Filoni then draws from the openings of “Return of the Jedi” and “Attack of the Clones” to create something unexpected and exciting. Like Darth Vader’s ship arriving at the Second Death Star, Baylon Skoll’s shuttle arrives at a New Republic ship’s docking bay, claiming to be Jedi from a forgotten time. But, like the assassin’s explosion in “Attack of the Clones,” the Jedi are revealed to be users of the dark side and they proceed to slaughter everyone aboard and free Thrawn’s loyal servant, Morgan Elsbeth. It has visual moments that match “A New Hope” with the hallways and uniforms of the Rebels, but it also has an element of a dark version of Luke Skywalker rescuing Princess Leia from the Death Star. It’s an exciting, thrilling opening that borrows from all the best parts of “Star Wars” storytelling, dropping us into the middle of a situation we can only make assumptions about with characters we don’t yet know.
Filoni also draws subconscious parallels to elements of “Star Wars” we might not even realize. There’s a reason that Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Ahsoka discuss the return of Thrawn in the same briefing room where Mon Mothma gave the Rebel Alliance its most dire briefing before the assault on the second Death Star in “Return of the Jedi.” It’s a subtle choice designed to make us believe that Thrawn’s return is as much of a threat to the galaxy as Death Star II was.
The influence of other “Star Wars” movies are also present in the episode. Shin Hati, Baylan Skoll’s dark apprentice, is sent on a mission to Lothal much like Darth Maul is sent to Tatooine in “The Phantom Menace.” In both cases, they use probe droids to hunt their quarry and strike when their prey is unsuspecting. Unlike Maul, though, Shin Hati completes her mission, stealing the map that may lead to Thrawn and Ezra and viciously wounding Sabine Wren.
Filoni cribs from his work on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” as well, creating a coherent visual style that passes seamlessly between animation and live-action, proving he’s the right person for this particular job. He learned from the master and he’s putting everything he learned on display. In fact, there was something about watching it that felt like reading those early drafts of “The Star Wars” from 1974, like Filoni had captured some of that vitality that Lucas had in his earliest days in a galaxy far, far away.
Source From: www.slashfilm.com